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Burrinjuck, NSW

Historic and vital dam for the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area.

Burrinjuck, Burrinjuck Dam and sometimes Lake Burrunjuck, are all names for a body of water created by a major dam on the Murrumbidgee River below its junction with the Goodradigbee and Yass Rivers. The dam was constructed as part of the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Scheme and today has become a popular recreation destination with good camping facilities and a wide range of water-based activities. Lake Burrinjuck covers 5,500 hectares, has a shoreline of 645 kilometres and supplies 1.02 megalitres of water each year to the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area. On average it attracts around 250,000 visitors each year.

Location

Burrinjuck, and Lake Burrinjuck, are located 327 km south-west of Sydney via the Hume Freeway and Motorway. The main camping and boat launching destination is located 56 km south-west of Yass via the Hume Highway and Burrinjuck Road.

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Origin of Name

It has been accepted that the name 'burrinjuck' is a corruption of a Wiradjuri Aboriginal word (it was first written down as Barren Jack) which possibly means "steep mountain".

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Things to See and Do

Burrinjuck Dam
The vital statistics of the dam: it is a concrete gravity dam with a wall which is 93 metres high and 233 metres long. The water depth is 61 metres and its capacity is 1,028,000 ML. The surface area is 5,500 ha and the catchment area is 12,953 square kilometres. It provides 1.2 ML a year for irrigation downstream. There is detailed information and a map at http://www.statewater.com.au/_Documents/Dam%20brochures/Burrinjuck%20Dam%20Brochure.pdf.

Burrinjuck Waters State Park
The shores of the lake are a popular camping destination offering cabins, powered and un-powered camping sites, a kiosk and an information office, tel: (02) 6227 8114. The lake is used for fishing, boating, water skiing and the shores are ideal for picnics. The area around the lake has attracted kangaroos and rosellas in significant numbers. For more information check out http://www.stateparks.nsw.gov.au/burrinjuck_waters.

Fishing
The lake is known for its Murray cod, golden perch (yellow belly), trout, Atlantic salmon and redfin. There are a number of good boat ramps around the shores of the lake. For more information tel: (02) 6227 8114. The Facebook site - https://www.facebook.com/burrinjuckadmin - has weekly updates on the fishing conditions.

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Other Attractions in the Area

Hume and Hovell Walking Track
The Hume and Hovell track stretches 440 km from Yass via Lake Burrinjuck to Wee Jasper, Blowering Dam, Tumbarumba and through to Albury. The first section is from Yass around the shore of Lake Burrinjuck to Wee Jasper. It is from Cooma Cottage (Yass) to Fitzpatrick Trackhead (Wee Jasper). There is a useful, downloadable brochure available at http://www.lpma.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0015/70602/Hume__and__hovell_DL.pdf and detailed information at http://www.lpma.nsw.gov.au/about_recreation/walking_tracks/hume_and_hovell_walking_track/track_and_walks. The route from Cooma Cottage to Fitzpatrick Trackhead is 75 km and is defined as moderate/hard. A section of the route passes around the edge of the lake.

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History

* For tens of thousands of years prior to European settlement the Wiradjuri Aboriginal people occupied this land.

* The Dam was built as part of the grand scheme to provide regular water to the dry, but fertile, lands of the Riverina. The scheme aimed to provide water to lands now known as the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area.

* The scheme was largely the result of the vision of an Irish immigrant, Samuel McCaughey, who, by the 1860s, was buying up land in the Riverina and planning schemes to irrigate it with the waters from the Murrumbidgee.

* In 1899 McCaughey purchased property on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River near Yanco and built a dam and a number of channels so he could conserve water and increase the land's productivity.

* By 1906 the New South Wales government had established a Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works and was taking submissions from people eager to build dams along the Murrumbidgee River.

* Work began in 1909 on a dam at Barren Jack.

* When the dam was being built the new Riverina towns of Leeton and Griffith developed as service centres for the extensive irrigation of the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area.

* By 1912 the dam was beginning to fill and it had sufficient water to supply irrigation needs downstream.

* The dam was officially completed and opened in 1928.

* The dam was enlarged in 1957.

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Visitor Information

There is good information available at Burrinjuck Waters Holiday and Recreation Park, 2373 Burrinjuck Road, Burrinjuck, tel: (02) 6227 8114. See http://inlandwaters.com.au/item/burrinjuck-waters/ for rates.

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Accommodation

Burrinjuck Waters Holiday and Recreation Park, 2373 Burrinjuck Road, Burrinjuck, tel: (02) 6227 8114. See http://inlandwaters.com.au/item/burrinjuck-waters/ for rates.

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Eating

There is a kiosk/general store at the camping area.

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Useful Websites

There is a useful website - http://inlandwaters.com.au/item/burrinjuck-waters - which provides information about the park facilities.

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