At a Glance

  • Opens 8am to 5pm (standard time); 8am to 6pm (daylight saving hours). Closed Good Friday. Closed on Christmas Day, Total Fire Ban Days and for operational activity (gates will be closed).
  • Car parking available
  • Lookout
  • Picnicking
  • Dam wall
  • Free

Activities and facilities

Ahead of your visit, please check the conditions of access.

Sight seeing

A unique feature of the reservoir is the unusual acoustic phenomenon created by the shape and location of the dam wall. Sounds and voices, even a whisper, carry from one end of the wall to the other, hence its name, the Whispering Wall.

Picnicking

There are wheelchair accessible picnic areas as well as public toilets and car parking area.

Click map below for a print-friendly version.

What sets Barossa Reservoir apart

Capacity: 4.4 gigalitres (one gigalitre is one billion litres), which would fill 2,200 Olympic swimming pools

Constructed: 1899-1902

The reservoir wall is curved against the pressure of the water, a new approach to dam building at the turn of the twentieth century. At 94 feet it was the highest arched-concrete dam in Australia, generating interest from overseas, including the Institution of Civil Engineers in London.

It supplies drinking water to homes and businesses in the Gawler area which, before the dam was built, sourced water from a well in the South Para River. By 1897 the water quality from this well was contaminated from nearby cesspools and a new source was needed. The pumping station built over the original well at the southern end of Murray Street in Gawler still stands. The building is heritage listed.

Little known fact about Barossa Reservoir

There are many disused mine shafts around the reservoir reserve – but they’re not in the publicly accessible areas.

Water quality

Barossa Reservoir is one of 16 across the state that help supply water to more than 1.7 million South Australians.

Water from Barossa Reservoir is treated by SA Water onsite at the Barossa Water Treatment Plant before being supplied to 85,000 customers.

Treating drinking water before it’s supplied to homes, businesses, schools, hospitals and more, is important to make sure it is clean and safe to drink straight from the tap. You can learn how SA Water treats water and maintains the quality its customers value and rely upon.