|What We Do|
The Park and its natural surroundings are a place of interest for families and groups wanting to participate in activities such as platypus tours, fishing, learning about commercial aquaculture techniques, nocturnal tours, camping and dining at the Smokehouse Café.
If you are touring the region, please consider Tarzali Lakes as a worthy stopover that will provide something of interest and enjoyment for everyone.
The Park has often hosted special events and ceremonies such as weddings, birthday and Christmas parties, staff functions and community fundraisers.
We are open daily from 10am to 5pm 7 days a week and look forward to your company.
With over 750,000 fish on hand, you are guaranteed to be able to buy the freshest tasting fish on the Tablelands. We are able to cater for small orders from those passing by to commercial wholesale orders. In the case of larger orders please contact us in advance so we have adequate time to prepare and to ensure the utmost freshness of your order.
Nestled on the shores of our largest lake, the Smokehouse Café provides a varied menu of fresh fish and authentic Thai flavoured cuisine. Sit back, unwind and take in the views while enjoying our tasty creations.
Being family orientated, our children’s menu provides healthy value for money meals.
With capacity to seat 50 guests, the Smokehouse Café is also BYO licensed and makes an ideal setting for you and your guest party to enjoy.
The reputation of our handcrafted in-house smoked specialties is gaining momentum as more customers sample our classic and exotic Australian bush flavoured treats. Our award winning smokehouse recipes, created by Dave Hoffman, are a collection of exciting tastes utilizing many native Tableland bush flavours that are abundant throughout the region. Dave has established a bush tucker plantation featuring lemon myrtle, Davidson plum, Atherton oak and many varieties of lily-pillies all thriving in our tropical climate.
Vacuum packed ready to eat portions can be purchased at the Smokehouse Café.
Restaurant, retail and wholesale seafood outlet orders are welcome. Please contact us for more information.
At Tarzali lakes, we have embarked on a project to beautify our ponds with various species of tropical water lilies. This project is in its infancy and with time, should lead to commercial water lily production.
Tarzali Lakes has a commercial aquaculture license that covers 3.75 hectares of productive grow out area. The current farm capacity is 75 ton of fish product with ample room for expansion. The farm has a 140 megalitre annual water license which can be drawn from permanent streams that run through the property.
Barramundi is an aboriginal word meaning “large-scaled river fish”, that has gained a reputation as one of Australia’s finest eating fish. Belonging to the Giant Perch family, barramundi are similar in general appearance to freshwater perches and freshwater grunters.
Barramundi are warm water fish, being found naturally in tropical coastal waters and freshwaters in Northern Australia.
Barramundi are a voracious predator that can grow up to a weight of 60kg and are prized by anglers. Tarzali Lakes is host to a growing number of sport fishing sized specimens, particularly in our big game fish lake.
A big favourite at our Smokehouse Cafe is our classic barramundi and chips. Visitors are tempted by our home smoked barramundi fillets, whole fish and wings. These smoked and fresh products are also available for delivery to your door.
Jade Perch (Barcoo Grunter)
The Queensland Jade Perch, locally grown at Tarzali Lakes, is an outstanding cholesterol free table fish. It has been found by CSIRO scientists to have extremely high omega-3 fatty acid content, approximately 6 times higher than that of Atlantic salmon. It could even be the highest of any fish. Omega-3 is considered as the heart helper - preventing blood clots and high blood pressure. It also boasts an exceptional recovery rate of white flesh to body weight.
The Jade Perch derives its name from the jade colour along its dorsal area.
The discovery of the above qualities has led the management of Tarzali lakes to maintain high production levels of this species.
Our Jade Perch is hand fed and free ranged in chemical free mountain spring water with no chemicals or hormones used. They are fed on a specially designed vegetarian diet to keep the fish in a lean condition.
These high quality remarkable fish can be delivered fresh to your door. They are purged and packed to the highest standards. They are available from 350g up to 600g (Plate size or bigger)
Our fish is HACCP and Safe Foods QLD Approved. Accreditation # S 200106
Redclaw (Cherax Quadricarinatus)
Redclaw is a species of freshwater crayfish native tyo tropical Queensland and the Northern Territory.
Harvesting: Redclaw are attracted to running water and are harvested commercially using flow traps. Recreational fishers use opera house pots.
Reproduction: Females carry eggs under their tails for 8 to 12 weeks. After hatching the young remain with their mother until they can fend for themselves.
Redclaw are scavengers similar to prawns, eating dead and decaying matter. They tend to take up residence in waterholes in areas with high decaying matter. They can grow up to 1kg in the wild but are commercially harvested from 80 to 250 grams. The male is easily recognised due to his red fold on the out side of his front claws.
A must at the Smokehouse Café is our signature Redclaw Tom Yum Soup and also feel free to enjoy our fresh Redclaw Feast. Our smokehouse master Dave Hoffman, is proud of his popular smoked redclaw which tend to leave Tarzali Lakes at great speed as they are snatched by the a-fish-ionados!!!
At Tarzali Lakes we specialise in Longfin Eels (Anguilla reinhardtii), a subtropical species that is distributed from northern Queensland down through to the north-eastern tip of Tasmania. Some of our eels are naturally occurring on our property.
Our juvenile eels are destined for overseas markets, in particular China. Of course, we reserve for our local customers some of our best stock as live fresh or in-house smoked.
Eels have been regarded as mysterious creatures since ancient times, and numerous theories have been put forward over the years about how they breed and what their movements are. Their exact life history is still a point of debate among scientists. As yet, none have been bred to full size in captivity. Eels are catadromous (that is, they live in freshwater but migrate to saltwater for reproduction). They spawn in the Coral Sea waters at depths greater than 300 metres. Each female can produce 5-10 million pelagic eggs, which are carried to the continental shelf by ocean currents where they develop into -glass eels which are toothless and unpigmented. The glass eels move into estuaries with the assistance of currents and tides and after one to three years grow into elvers as they develop pigmentation. As elvers they then continue the migration into lakes and rivers and other accessible water bodies.
Male eels longer than 0.5m are rare. Females up to 1m long are common and occasionally they may reach lengths of 1.5m and weights of up to 4kg. Exceptionally large specimens have been recorded weighing up to 8kg.
The Art of Eel Farming - Audio
Tarzali Lakes has endeavoured to embrace a non-conformist attitude to aquaculture production. We have managed to promote a symbiotic relationship within our pond ecology. Our natural and eco friendly fish farming techniques have allowed for the proliferation of natural aquatic micro organisms in our ponds such as zooplankton, macro braakii and rotifers.
The expansion of the Aquaculture Centre’s pond infrastructure has led to an increase in the number of tropical freshwater crayfish (redclaw) and prawns. These have played an important role in improving the natural balance of our lakes. As bottom feeders, they play a role in the ponds’ ecosystem, feeding on waste and other debris.
Also benefiting from this increase has been the native platypus population that feed on the juvenile redclaw and prawns. This allows Tarzali Lakes to offer the only guaranteed platypus sighting tours on the Tablelands.
By correctly managing our fish stocks and feeding regimes, we have been able to reduce the quantity of food added to the ponds by approximately 75% while maintaining commercially acceptable growth levels. These efficiencies are also aided by the production of our own food formula and cultivating sufficient levels of plankton. A combination of these efforts reduces our operational costs, add to the overall water quality and most importantly maintain the health and vitality of our stock.
Also, by encouraging various birds of prey such as the Sea Eagles and the Goss Hawks, we have achieved a natural barrier surrounding our farm that is relatively free from prolific fish eaters such as the Cormorants and Whitetail Rats. In fact, the Sea Eagles with the aid of the various Hawks, rule the sky. These birds are a good indicator of the health of our fish population and can alert us to any fish related problems that may arise. They are nature’s own health barometer and aerial janitors.