Travelling through Central Queensland is not complete unless you stop at Emerald and stay at the Lake Maraboon Holiday Village, a few minutes walk to the edge of Lake Maraboon, where we stayed a few days, in our own van and with the company of our friends we had adjoining sites, enjoying the abundant bird life, the company, watching the sunset over the dam and if you are lucky enough to have a fishing boat, or as we did, our friends owned a lovely little tinny and were kind enough to take us red claw fishing.
Lake Maraboon, is formed by Fairbairn Dam, an earth filled embankment dam across the Nogoa River has a catchment area of over 16,300 square kilometres and a capacity of over 1,300,000 ml. Built primarily for irrigation and flood mitigation purposes, its capacity is approximately 3 times larger than Sydney Harbour. Building started in 1968 and storage of water began in January 1972.
Being May it was quite cool both on and in the water and the boys had been out earlier to investigate the best spots to catch the yabbies. Apparently, at the time we were fishing for the yabbies, we were told that they were in plague porportions. Spending a couple of hours in the boat and visiting numerous locations, apparently the yabbies favourite habitats are around dead trees and logs in the water, we had caught more than enough to feed all of us for a couple of meals.
Why are the yabbies called red claw? There is hardly any colour in their claws when they are alive. But as they are boiled in water, or cooked in a pan, their claws start to turn the most amazing colour of red. The skin covering the flesh when cooked is also red.
Taking the yabbies back to shore, we cooked them in boiling water and then made yabby curry, coconut crumbed deep fried yabby and ate our full of them cold, fresh and with a lovely mayonnaise sauce.
Lake Maraboon is also known for excellent fishing, with baramundi, Mary River Cod, southern saratoga, bass and silver perch, making this beautiful piece of Queensland their home.
Emerald itself is a short drive from the Lake and with plenty of shopping options, the girls were kept busy.
Each morning we would grab our bikes and ride around the perimeter of the dam, across the dam wall and then head home with our appetites for breakfast sharpened by a forty minute ride.
A wonderful experience and hopefully another time we will be able to revisit Lake Maraboon. Another fantastic adventure from our Central Queensland road trip