Hinze Dam may be the Gold Coast’s chief water catchment but, with its stunning hinterland setting, state of the art information centre and onsite View Cafe, wall walk, picnic grounds, pathways, secluded fishing coves and mountain bike trail it is also a great destination for tourists, day trippers and locals.
The dam, of which the first stage was constructed in 1975, takes its name from the pioneering farming family of Carl and Johanna Hinze, who from 1882 farmed corn, potato and pumpkin here as well as planting an orange orchard and being grandparents to corrupt National Party Minister for Everything Russ Hinze. A sole mango tree is all that remains as a reminder of those times near the café. Similarly, the small settlement that was Advancetown, containing the original Advancetown Hotel, a pioneer slab hut, school and houses, has long since disappeared to a watery grave at the bottom of the dam.
To reach Hinze Dam, take the Advancetown Road, which leads to a lower carpark and spill way or forks to the right, leading to the upper car park which is adjacent to the info centre and café complex.
Ultra modern View Café, perched up on one side of the dam wall next to the info centre, is a gorgeous destination unto itself, or makes a great starting or finishing point before exploring the surrounds.
Settle into a seat on the terrace or in the conceptual dining room which juts out over the water, and enjoy a Toby’s Estate coffee and piece of cake or, on weekends, an all day breakfast (open from 8am Saturdays and Sundays) . Otherwise the menu involves the usual faves like nachos, nachos, salads, club sandwiches, pies or soup, with the odd special like Asian glazed Atlantic salmon on wasabi mash or garlic prawns.
From the café there’s the option of checking out the grounds below via a series of short circuitous pathways which wind their way to the dam’s edge via landscaped gardens, where a couple of giant concrete and timber structures create the sense of viewing the dam through a framed picture.
Otherwise take the scenic stroll along the top of the dam wall – this path also doubles as part of a mountain bike trail that will be the official Commonwealth Games race route.
Need to know: View Cafe is open Mon-fri 9-5 and Sat-Sun 8-5.
100-120 Advancetown Rd
Visitor Info Centre
Mon-Sat 8.30-5, Sun 10-4