Toonumbar Dam, west of Kyogle in the Richmond Range, supplies water to towns and farmers along the Iron Pot and Eden Creeks.
Construction of the 44-metre high dam wall was completed in 1972 and is 229 metres long with a storage capacity of 11,000 megalitres.
Walking is permitted on the dam wall which provides great views along the length of the dam water. At the far end of the wall is the spillway.
Follow the road to the bottom of the dam and there is a picnic area with a causeway across Iron Pot Creek. There isn’t much there though, and much of the facilities around the dam wall are disappointing.
Camping is permitted at Bells Bay Campground further up the dam along an access track about 2.3km from the Dam Access Rd.
Managed by the Kyogle Fishing Club, the campground is only open from Thursday
For days when Bells Bay Campground is closed, the nearest camping is at Iron Pot Campground in Toonumbar National Park.
The facilities are fairly decent for a remote camping location. There are drop toilets, non-potable water, picnic tables and shelters, designated firepits (not permitted in a total fire ban). Signs say there are no bins but there were bins when we were there.
A boat ramp can be used to launch watercraft, with no restrictions on the types of craft. There is an 8-knot speed restriction on the dam and an exclusion zone near the wall.
To get there:
From Kyogle, turn into Anzac Dr with the brown sign for Toonumbar Dam at the Kyogle Visitor Information Centre and follow for 500m. Turn right at another brown sign to continue on Anzac Dr for another 2.5km, then leaving the township, the road becomes Afterlee Rd and follow for about 19.5km reaching Dam Access Rd. Continue straight ahead on Dam Access Rd (Afterlee Rd continues with a turn to the right towards Toonumbar National Park) and follow for another 7.4km to reach the Bells Bay Campground access track, or continue another 600m to reach the end of the dam wall.
Cost Bells Bay Campground: Adult $10, Child (5-17) $5, Large Camp Shelter $20, Fee Collect by Ranger $5
Hours: Anytime, see details in article for open and closed days for camping at Bells Bay Campground
Water: Yes, not potable
Wheelchair accessible: Yes, with assistance
BBQ: Yes, wood