Karangi Dam is located about 15km west of Coffs Harbour CBD and can hold up to 5,600 megalitres of water (one Olympic swimming pool holds 1 megalitre.)
The dam was built in 1980 to service the residents of Coffs Harbour, Sawtell and the coastal strip north of Coffs Harbour, including Woolgoolga. It was originally designed to store 2,200 Megalitres (1 Megalitre equals 1 million litres) of water pumped from Cochranes Pool on the Orara River.
Due to a growing population and water demand in this region, in 1988, the Department of Public Works & Services raised the dam by adding a 1.5 metre high Labyrinth Weir to the existing spillway & an extra 1 metre to the top of the dam. This increased the capacity to 2,630 megalitres.
After many years of water restrictions it was decided to raise Karangi Dam a further 10 metres in 1994, as an emergency measure, until a Regional Water Supply Scheme was finalised. Raising the dam increased it's capacity to the current day 5,600 megalitres.
The purpose of Karangi Dam is to store sufficient water so that:
- During high flow periods the dam is filled from the Orara River or the Nymboida River.
- In dry periods, when there is low flow in the Orara River or the Nymboida River, stored water will be supplied from the dam. This is to protect the river ecology.
- When the water from the Orara River or Nymboida River becomes excessively dirty (turbid) during flood times, water need not be pumped.
To get to Karangi Dam
From Coffs Harbour:
1. Drive west along Coramba Road to Karangi.
2. Turn left onto Upper Orara Road at the Karangi shop "T" intersection.
3. Travel along Upper Orara Road until you see the Karangi Dam gates on the left hand side (approximately 2.3km).
4.Turn left through the Karangi Dam gates and follow the road to the parking area at the top of the Dam wall.
Rules for visitors
Karangi Dam is the major storage for drinking water for all residents from Corindi Beach to Sawtell. You can assist in protecting the quality of our drinking water by observing these measures during your visit:
- NO lighting of fires
- NO camping
- NO fishing
- NO swimming
- NO boating
- NO pets
- please do NOT feed the wildlife
- please use rubbish bins provided or take your rubbish with you (no-one likes to visit a littered site)
- please consider neighbours and residents in the surrounding areas during your visit to Karangi Dam, including when travelling to and from the facility.
Karangi Water Treatment Plant
The Karangi Water Treatment Plant is not open to the public.
Guided tours for school, community and technical groups can be booked by contacting Council using the contact details on this page.
Upper Orara Road, Karangi 2450 View Map