I can’t say I’m a Paddleboard Pro yet, but I’ve had enough experiences on top of a SUP board to know when I’ve got it easy………AND heading off on a journey across Lake Morris (Copperlode Dam) definitely ranks as one of the ‘cruisiest’ adventures I’ve had on a paddleboard yet. Here’s 5 reasons SUPing and kayaking on Lake Morris rocks and why it should be on your Cairns ‘things to do’ list ……
You are literally the only ones when you venture out on the water at Lake Morris. The Lake was dammed over 30 years ago for the sole purposes of supplying drinking water to the people of Cairns. For the last 15 years NOBODY has been allowed to access the lake for ‘recreational’ purposes.
Cut to Copperlode Dam Fish & Kayak – to ensure the quality of the water remains the same the Cairns City Council has opened it up to one operator and allowed only them to hire out SUP boards and kayaks, and offer fishing tours on the lake.
AND before you get too excited, that doesn’t mean that you can bring your own paddleboard/kayak and ‘pop’ it into the lake. The council wishes to protect the quality of the water and doesn’t want any waterborne weeds/plants etc being transferred into the dam via foreign vessels.
For peace of mind, knowing that there was NO other watercraft ‘zooming’ around nearby was a BIG plus for the Mumma Bear in me. I am always supa-alert when we are out on the water on a kayak, particularly as you sit so low in the water and other motorized vessels always seem to be moving so fast. Being the only ones out there definitely made our adventure more relaxing and enjoyable.
There are plenty of bays and islands in Copperlode Dam to lose yourself and from the seat of your kayak its very easy to get confused by all the greenery. Thankfully Copperlode Fish and Kayak provide you with a waterproof map and a few tips on where to go.
Fortunately we didn’t get too lost on our journey and managed to find a secluded creek for a quick dip (you’re not supposed to swim in the lake due to council restrictions). A packed lunch and some treats provided further incentive for the kids to keep on paddling and later we found the perfect grassy bank to pull up for a picnic.
It’s amazing that you can be only 30-minutes from Cairns CBD and yet find yourself in this type of wilderness.
Rainforest literally spills off the surrounding ranges and fringes the shoreline when the dam is full. The rocky crag of Lambs Head dominates the mountain ranges and Sea Eagles and Ospreys are easy to spy soaring above.
If you’re particularly lucky you might spot a cassowary by the lake’s shore and high up amongst the clouds you may even notice a light aircraft – I can guarantee that it will be the only vehicle noise in this part of the world!
There’s something about getting away from the humidity of the coast and seeking rainforest (and altitude) that helps you literally ‘cool’ down. Just the drive up the range, as it winds in and out of the stunning views across Cairns and out to the Great Barrier Reef, will help put you into ‘chill’ mode.
When you make it to your final destination, Lake Morris, you can easily feel the drop in temperature – its at least a few degrees lower than the coast – and trust me, at the height of the wet season this is a very good thing.
If you don’t opt to go paddling on the water, the decking at the top of the dam wall offers a great place to pull up a seat & enjoy the views. I know I’m contemplating bringing a laptop up to this spot and setting up office with the to ‘die for’ views.
As a stand alone picnic and barbecue spot Copperlode Dam really rocks. There are free BBQ’s with their own BBQ scraper attached, plenty of benches with a view, grassy open spaces and a playground for the littlies. You really can’t go wrong bringing your family, and others up to this spot for a picnic with a difference (click to READ More –> Free Things to do in Cairns for Families – Explore Copperlode Dam).
The good news is that if you opt for the Copperlode Fish & Kayak family package a BBQ lunch can be organised into the deal. After a big paddle on the Lake you’ll feel that you’ve deserved a hearty cook up to help refuel your body.
Good Things to Know:
What now?? Check out some other SUP adventures around TNQ:
Would a SUP adventure at Copperlode Dam make it onto your Cairns things to do list? What other activities have you enjoyed with your family around Cairns?