At a Glance

  • Open 1 May to 1 November, 9am - 3.30pm on weekdays, 9am - 5pm on weekends. Closed outside this period, on Total Fire Ban Days and for operational activity (gates will be closed).
  • Car parking available
  • Fishing, permit required
  • Fees apply for permits
  • Picnicking
  • Barbeque available
  • Bird watching
  • No dogs

Activities and facilities

Check the conditions of access ahead of your visit.


Fishing is available from the reservoir’s shoreline. To fish at Beetaloo Reservoir you need a current fishing permit.


The sheltered picnic area with barbeque facilities is also popular.

Dogs are not welcome at reservoir reserves as they can carry harmful organisms that can easily contaminate the water and they pose a threat to local native birds and wildlife. Assistance animals are accepted.

Click map below for a print-friendly version.

What sets Beetaloo Reservoir apart

Capacity: 3.2 gigalitres (one gigalitre is one billion litres), enough to fill more than 1,500 Olympic swimming pools

Constructed: 1886-1890

Beetaloo is South Australia’s smallest reservoir yet at the time it was built it was the largest concrete dam in the southern hemisphere.

That was back in the 1880s and it was built to provide a stable water supply for the Yorke Peninsula, where farmers had struggled with inconsistent rainfall and poor water quality from their local wells.

In the 1870s, typhoid outbreaks were common in Moonta, Kadina and Wallaroo. Water tanks were thought to be the solution but they became contaminated easily and didn’t hold enough water to supply the towns, so the reservoir at Beetaloo was built.

Initially designed with a single water main to provide the towns of Kadina and Wallaroo, the scope was expanded to multiple water mains across the Yorke Peninsula and up to Port Pirie. This provided a water supply to these areas in response to severe drought which occurred during construction of the reservoir.

Little known fact about Beetaloo Reservoir

The dam design and materials used were so different from other dams constructed at the time that the available machinery was not suitable and the Waterworks Department designed and built their own machinery fit for purpose to build Beetaloo.

Water quality

Beetaloo Reservoir is one of 16 across South Australia.

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.

Beetaloo is a contingency supply reservoir.