If you’re thinking about kayaking Enoggera Reservoir, it’s a great idea! We always have a wonderful time there and feel grateful to have such a serene natural spot close to Brisbane. If you don’t own a kayak, you can easily rent one. I’ve noted below some information and tips to help you plan your activity, and what to look for when you’re on the water!

Distance: 7 km
Time: 2 hours
Difficulty: easy
Access: easy if you have wheels

Disclaimer: the kayaking time and difficulty are based on our experience. We’re skilled kayakers with a good level of fitness. However, we like to stop to watch birds and take photos. Before you go, always check the park alerts and notes, and the weather forecast. Things may have changed since our visit. The distance and time can vary with the weather conditions, paddlers’ performance and the type of kayaks you have. You can see the one-person model of our inflatable kayak here*.

Dozens of kayaks stored next to paddling launching area at Enoggera Reservoir

Why we like kayaking Enoggera Reservoir so much

Enoggera Reservoir is a serene location where you quickly feel far away from the city. Once you embark on your kayak journey, you’ll leave behind the crowds of families on the shore and enter a quiet natural environment. Although you may spot a few kayaks or SUPs in the area, you’ll likely be alone in no time, even on a Sunday afternoon. It’s conveniently located close to Brisbane, less than a half-hour drive from Brisbane CBD, making it a perfect last-minute getaway for the afternoon.

Enoggera Reservoir is exclusively reserved for non-motorised watercrafts, so it’s very calm without the disturbance of motor vessels or their noise. You don’t have to worry about what’s coming around you when you’re paddling, making it easy to relax on the tranquil waters of the reservoir.

Lastly, and maybe it’s the most important part for us, we always see wildlife when we paddle Enoggera Reservoir. It’s always entertaining! Check out the pics at the end of the article to see all the birds and other animals we spotted.

Kayak going into a narrower part of Enoggera Reservoir

Where to go kayaking on Enoggera Reservoir?

Enoggera Reservoir is at the bottom of D’Aguilar National Park, about half an hour by car from Brisbane CBD. Don’t put Enoggera Reservoir in GoogleMaps as it won’t take you to the right spot for kayaking. Instead, enter Walkabout Discovery Centre. You can drive to the lowest car park to find the unloading area for your kayaks before looking for a spot to park your car.

The parking can be full during weekends. During our visits, we noticed it gets busier around lunchtime and early in the afternoon.

Access to the launch area

There’s an unloading area in the car park at the start of the path to go down to the reservoir. So if the first car park is full, you still won’t have to carry your kayak for too long. From there, there’s a very clear path with signage all the way to the launch area, approximately 200 meters further down the path. It’s not the easiest access if you have to carry your kayak (especially on the way back up), so bring your wheels if it’s an option. It’s a gravelled path, so it’s not ideal for the small wheels of our kayak bag, but it still works fine.

Man pulling a suitcase with an inflatable kayak to go down to Enoggera Reservoir

The launch area is just next to the swimming area. There’s a big grassy space for people to gather with friends or have a picnic. It’s also perfect for inflating kayaks and SUPs.

Unauthorised zones

You’ll find a few maps of the area on the signs at the car park and near the Reservoir. It’s always good to familiarise yourself with the area and the potential unauthorised zones for kayaking. At Enoggera Reservoir, you’re not allowed to go close to the dam.

Kayaking time and distance at Enoggera Reservoir

We did 7 km in two hours in total to go to the end of the Enoggera Reservoir and back. You can of course choose your paddle time and turn around when you’ve had enough!

Tips when kayaking Enoggera Reservoir

Kayak in the middle of Enoggera Resevoir

Check the reservoir opening time

Enoggera reservoir is usually open every day from 5.30 am to 6.30 pm (September-April) and 6 am to 5.30 pm (May-August).

But they may close it following heavy rainfalls, for example, or if there’s any danger. So it’s always a good idea to check if it’s open before you drive there, and keep in mind the closing time while you’re paddling.

Equipment to take with you

In addition to your kayaking equipment, I recommend taking:

  • Shoes (or thongs) – the path to go down to the kayak launch area has many small rocks.
  • Snacks and water – there’s nothing near the launch area (but you may find food and drinks at the visitor centre/cafe in the car park).
  • Rubbish bag – you’ll have to take your rubbish home.
  • A camera with a zoom – you’ll want to take photos of the beautiful birds (make sure you keep it safe and dry in a waterproof bag).
Blue and orange azure kingfisher on a log taken while kayaking Enoggera Reservoir
Azure Kingfisher while kayaking Enoggera Reservoir

Use the visitor centre facilities

There are no toilets or facilities at the launch area. So take precautions while you’re still in the car park and go to the visitor centre area to find toilets.

You should always stay far away from water bodies when you need to go to the toilets in nature as it can pollute them. It’s even more important to respect this rule at Enoggera Reservoir as many visitors come here every weekend. Plus, although it’s been decommissioned as a water supply source since 2003, it remains an important clean water source for Brisbane in case of a drought.

If you need to hire a kayak to explore Enoggera Reservoir

Are you thinking of buying an inflatable kayak? We love how we can now explore more places easily since we got one. Check out my tips on how to choose an inflatable kayak and the most important questions to answer first. You can see the single model of the inflatable kayak we chose here*.

It’s possible to hire a kayak just next to the launch area. They always seem to have plenty available, but if you’re in a group, I recommend booking in advance. Keep in mind that although they stay open until 5 pm, you won’t be able to hire a kayak or a SUP after 3 pm.

What animals are at Enoggera Dam

Animals at Enoggera Reservoir: cormorant, an egret and two turtles sitting on the yellow buoys that mark the limit of the swimming area at Enoggera Reservoir.
Cormorant, egret and turtles at the swimming area at Enoggera Reservoir

You don’t have to go far to see animals at Enoggera Dam. We once spotted turtles, cormorants and an egret all together on the buoys of the swimming area! And you’ll get to see even more if you go hiking or kayaking.

As we leave the dam behind us, we always spot cockatoos flying around, often quite high, but we can hear them as if they were next to us. At the end of the reservoir, it becomes narrow and starts looking like a river. There, it’s even more interesting for wildlife spotting. I really love the change of scenery too.

In the narrower arm of the reservoir, we spotted beautiful azure kingfishers, red-backed fairywren, an eagle, many turtles and even a goanna swimming.

Do you like kayaking at Enoggera Reservoir? Share your experience in the comments below!

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Eloise is the creator and writer of MyFavouriteEscapes.com. She writes about her experiences exploring exotic destinations and finding hidden gems closer to home. Her goal is to share tips and stories to inspire and encourage others to go on their own adventures. She loves outdoor and nature-based activities like scuba diving, hiking, kayaking, and sailing. She grew up in France and has lived in England and Turkey before calling Australia home for the past decade. So let's get ready for another adventure!

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