Copperlode Dam

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Copperlode Dam
Location 11km southwest of Cairns
Coordinates 16°58′48″S 145°40′26″E / 16.9799°S 145.674°E / -16.9799; 145.674Coordinates: 16°58′48″S 145°40′26″E / 16.9799°S 145.674°E / -16.9799; 145.674
Type reservoir
Basin countries Australia

Copperlode Dam or Lake Morris is a fresh water reservoir dam servicing the city of Cairns, Queensland, Australia. The dam is located in the range immediately west of the city.


Originally Cairns' water needs were met with water drawn from Freshwater Creek and Behana Creek. It was evident to even the earliest settlers that a larger source of water would need to be secured as Cairns grew.

With this in mind, one of the city's engineers, F Morris, explored the Lamb Range to the west of the city to find a place to build a dam. In 1935 he found a site at Copperlode falls, near the headwaters of Freshwater Creek, that he thought would be suitable. Many years later, after a series of surveys confirmed the site's suitability, the State Government approved the site for construction of an earth and rock fill dam.

The State Government originally set aside A$3 million for the dam, but by the time the dam was completed on March 25, 1976, the total cost had risen to approximately $6.5 million. The reservoir holds 45,000 megalitres of water (in comparison to Lake Tinaroo's 407,000 megalitres).

The reservoir is named "Lake Morris" after the city engineer who discovered its site, but the dam itself is named after the waterfalls it replaced - Copperlode Falls.

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