Toorourrong Reservoir is a scenic reservoir park located on Melbourne's outer north east fringe. Nestled at the base of Mount Disappointment, it is ideal for picnics and those who are nature lovers or history enthusiasts.
Things to Do
- Enjoy the spacious picnic areas beneath native and exotic trees. The park has large rotundas within the extensive grassed areas and a lily pond.
- Take a walk along the path that follows the top of the reservoir embankment and view the numerous species of water birds that inhabit this reservoir.
- The reservoir park comprises approximately 12 hectares of wooded and grassed picnic grounds.
- There are shelters, toilets and disabled facilities.
- Wood and gas barbecues are provided. There are designated areas for portable solid fuelled and gas barbecues.
- Baby change facilities.
- Be self-sufficient with drinking water.
Toorourrong Reservoir is a vital link in the water supply for Melbourne's north western suburbs. Its principal function is to allow silt to settle out prior to water being diverted via an aqueduct to the Yan Yean Reservoir. The aqueduct is constructed from granite and, further downstream, bluestone.
The reservoir has been in use since 1885, not long after Melbourne first experienced water shortages. It's likely that the name comes from the East Kulin 'Toururrong' meaning the "Laughing Jackass (called the bushman's timepiece)."
The years 1876 and 1877 were dry and in 1879, with water in Yan Yean Reservoir at a low level, it was decided to investigate the tributaries of the King Parrot Creek with the idea of diverting them into Yan Yean.
Wallaby and Silver creeks, north of the Great Dividing Range, were tapped to provide water in 1884. Off-take weirs were built and an open, granite-lined contour channel, the Wallaby Aqueduct, carried water across the Great Dividing Range just east of Mount Disappointment, then into Jacks Creek and finally Toorourrong Reservoir. The reservoir was to act as a settling basin before the water travelled nearly eight kilometres down the Clear Water Channel to Yan Yean and then into the distribution system. Until the Thomson Reservoir was built in 1984 this was the only Melbourne reservoir that drew water from north of the divide.
To ensure the quality of Melbourne's water, public access to the aqueduct and the reservoir is restricted.
There are a variety of bird species that frequent the reservoir and surrounding eucalypt forest. At different times of the year, Sulphur Crested Cockatoos, Galahs, Purple Swamp Hens, Long-beaked Corellas, Crimson Rosella and the quarrelsome White-winged Choughs may be seen.
Visitors are requested to observe the park speed limit as a mob of Eastern Grey Kangaroos frequent the park. They can often be seen resting in the shade and privacy of the wooded areas during the day and cross the road to graze the picnic areas in the mornings and evenings.
Toorourrong Reservoir Park has many different vegetation communities present. Red Stringybark, Long-leaf Box and Broad-leaf Peppermint dominate the hill near the park entrance. These trees like the hot, dry, north-facing slopes. At the right time of the year orchids and other colourful groundcovers are in flower.
Further down the slope, at the first rotunda, Yellow Box and Narrow-leaf Peppermint thrive on the wetter sedimentary and shallow alluvial soils. At the adjacent carparks the landscape is flat and the deep alluvial soils favour Swamp Gum, although the planted Blue Gums feature strongly too.
Looking After the Park
- All native plants and animals are protected.
- Please take rubbish with you.
- Fires are permitted only in constructed fireplaces and not at all on days of Total Fire Ban.
- Dogs must be kept on leads at all times.
- Permits are required for marquees and large group functions.
- Firearms are prohibited.
- Vehicles, including motor bikes, may only be used on formed open roads. Drivers must be licensed and vehicles registered and roadworthy.
- Wallaby Creek Designated Water Catchment is a major closed catchment for Melbourne's pure water supply so it is vital that everyone helps to ensure the prevention of pollution and fire.
Visitors must be aware that wildlife, such as kangaroos, snakes and wombats, inhabit this park. Feeding of wildlife is prohibited.
How to Get There
Toorourrong Reservoir Park is a four kilometre drive from Whittlesea along the Whittlesea – Yea Road, then turn off at Jacks Creek Road, which is just after Humevale Road.
Gates open at 9.00am daily. Closing times vary seasonally. 5.00pm mid winter through to 7.30pm mid summer. 131963 will have more details.
Yet to be reviewed.