Lake Dyer is near Laidley, an offstream storage dam providing water for irrigation, filled mainly from diverted flows from Laidley Creek as demand requires. Named Bill Gunn Dam, it was built as an ungated dam with a spillway for excess water to flow over when capacity is exceeded.
The level of water normally varies based on the demands for irrigation, however, the lake is susceptible to rainfall shortages as was the case when we stayed there. Water activities had been closed including boating, swimming, and fishing.
The boat ramp finishes way before reaching the waterline and the level had obviously been low for quite some time with the amount of greenery that had grown on the banks normally under water. Lake Dyer is normally a fishing lake, requiring SIPS permits.
Months after staying at Lake Dyer, the water levels are no better looking at SEQ Water’s information about the Bill Gunn Dam, showing a capacity of only 3%. Only 210 mega litres out of a full capacity of 6,947 mega litres.
While the water level is low, it was nice wandering down to the water in the morning and observing the birdlife. There were a large number of pelicans there, something you don’t expect to see at an inland lake.
The campground if well looked after for watered green grass with nice camping sites. There are powered and unpowered sites. The toilets and showers are basic but the water was warm and refreshing after a hot day.
We utilised the free barbeques to cook on during our stay, saving us from setting up our kitchen on our camper. Camping near the children’s playground helped to keep the kids entertained.
The campground and day use areas are locked during the night. A key is provided so you are free to get in and out but you will need to get to the campgrounds during normal open hours to first check in.
Lake Dyer is along the Cobb & Co Tourist Drive which runs from Ipswich to Toowoomba. If you are taking a more leisurely drive along the tourist route, it is a good spot to stop.
To get there:
From Laidley, head south the main street shops along Patrick St and turn right into Whites Rd at the brown sign for Lake Dyer. Follow Whites Rd which becomes Laidley-Gatton Rd for 1.4km. The entrance to Lake Dyer is on the left. Enter through the gate, which is locked between 6pm and 6am. Follow the access track for 700m, turn right to head to the day use area. Camping is straight ahead to reach the onsite resident caretakers.
From Gatton, head east on Eastern Dr. After 2km or so, turn right into into Gatton-Laidley Rd West towards Forest Hill and Laidley. Follow for 7km and turn right onto Forest Hill Fernvale Rd. Follow Forest Hill Fernvale Rd for 800m to the railway line, where it curves to the right then continue following left over the railway, then right again. The road then bends sharply to the left away from the railway line. Continue straight which becomes Gatton Laidley Rd East for 5.6km and turn right at the brown sign for Lake Dyer into the entrance. Enter through the gate, which is locked between 6pm and 6am. Follow the access track for 700m, turn right to head to the day use area. Camping is straight ahead to reach the onsite resident caretakers.