Sugarloaf Reservoir Park, located in the spectacular Christmas Hills, offers visitors a unique opportunity for bush walking, picnicking, bird watching, sightseeing, sailing and shoreline fishing.
Things to Do
Have a picnic at Ironbark Ridge or Saddle Dam Picnic Areas overlooking the reservoir.
Try shoreline fishing for rainbow trout, brown trout, redfin, roach or European carp.
See the eastern grey kangaroos or black-tailed wallabies which live throughout the park.
Take a walk along one of the tracks in and around the park including the lronbark, Chris Phillips and Sugarloaf Walking Tracks.
Sugarloaf Reservoir Park has picnic tables, toilets and hot water facilities.
Ironbark Ridge picnic area has two double hotplate gas BBQ's in the new shelter. Wood BBQ's are still provided (with wood supplied) and Saddle Dam picnic area has no barbecue facilities. Park visitors are encouraged to bring along their own portable gas barbecue as an alternative to the facilities provided (except on days of total fire ban).
Disabled toilets are located at Saddle Dam Picnic area.
Fish cleaning areas and facilities are also provided.
The information centre lookout is situated near the dam wall. Sailing at Sugarloaf is an enjoyable and exhilarating recreational pursuit. Visitors are permitted to launch appropriate water craft from the Sugarloaf Sailing and Boating Club only. Launching facilities are available to visitors on Sundays and public holidays by calling the club on (03) 9730 1885. A launching fee may be charged.
If you are keen to walk the entire 18km main Sugarloaf Walking Track you must contact the ranger to register on (03) 9844 2659. Please keep to the tracks and comply with park closing times.
Baby changing facilities.
Be self-sufficient with drinking water. Carry it in and/or know how to make untreated water safe for drinking.
Sugarloaf Reservoir was developed during the late 1970's to help supplement Melbourne's domestic water supply. Unlike many other Reservoirs, which draw their water directly from protected forested catchments, Sugarloaf is fed by the Maroondah Aqueduct and the Yarra River. Upon leaving the Reservoir, water is thoroughly treated at the Winneke Water Treatment Plant to World Health Organisation Guidelines, before reaching Melbourne's domestic water supply.
Currently much of the park is grassland. Remnant pockets of dry open-forest communities can be seen along the walking tracks. Regeneration programs initiated by park staff have encouraged the regrowth of indigenous vegetation. Prior to the development of the reservoir, large areas of the catchment were cleared for agricultural activities.
Looking After the Park
Take your rubbish with you.
Dogs and other pets are not permitted in the park.
All native plants and animals are protected.
Leave the park as you find it.
Sailboards, canoes, kayaks, keel boats and/or craft with cabins, cooking or toilet facilities are not permitted.
Shore fishing is only allowed in specially designated areas during park hours. Please make sure you have a Victorian Amateur Fishing Licence.
Do not use burley or clean fish in the Reservoir. Dispose of all rubbish, entrails and unwanted fish in the bins provided.
Swimming is not permitted.
How to Get There
Access is from Simpson Road via Eltham - Yarra Glen Road, Christmas Hills.
The park is open every day of the year. Gates open at 8.30 AM and will close at 7.00 PM for the duration of the fire season. The park closes at 5.00 PM all other times outside of daylight savings.
There are two picnic areas near the reservoir; Ridge Picnic Area and Saddle Dam Picnic Area. The Ridge area is much more attractive and larger than the Saddle Dam area. Access is via Simpson Road or Ridge Road. There is no access from the south via Ashmore Road.
Both picnic areas have plenty of BBQs, shelters and toilets. There is an easy 40 minute walk from the Ridge area to the dam wall and back with seats regularly spaced along the way. On this walk we saw more than 20 kangaroos.
Above the water treatment plant is an elevated building with views over the dam and treatment plant. The building which was covered in cobwebs, and seems like a nature reserve in itself for creepy crawlies, has information panels which are quite interesting for the kids. It is possible to fish but swimming is strictly prohibited.