Up in the peaceful high country, 24 km east of Warburton, lies the popular Upper Yarra Reservoir Park - the upper most point of the Yarra River accessible to the public. The carefully maintained gardens and picnic grounds, encompassed by eucalypt bushland and spectacular scenery, makes visiting Upper Yarra Reservoir Park a memorable experience.
Things to Do
- Follow the beautiful Fern Gully self-guided trail as it loops through tall eucalypt forest with a dense sheltered ferny understorey.
- Keep a look out for the abundant wildlife in the area, including rosellas, king parrots and maybe a lyrebird.
- See McVeigh's Water Wheel which once drove the generator to supply power to the old McVeigh's Hotel (the site of which now lies beneath the water of the reservoir). It has been restored and is operating in the picnic area.
- Enjoy breathtaking views of the reservoir and the surrounding catchment from the park's two lookout areas.
- Take a stroll along the Brimbonga Walking Track to the viewing platform and watch water flow through the reservoir's outlet basin as it begins its journey to Melbourne.
- Have a picnic or barbecue in the attractive and peaceful gardens of Upper Yarra Reservoir Park. Wood barbecues and hot water facilities are provided throughout the park.
- The wet weather hall provides sheltered seating, electric barbecues and hot water. This hall once served as a mess room for the dam construction team.
- Upper Yarra provides access for groups with special needs. Most paths are ramped and wheelchair access is provided to toilets. The park ranger will be happy to provide further assistance if required.
- Baby change facilities.
- Be self-sufficient with drinking water.
Upper Yarra Reservoir Park is a great location for camping, fees apply. Bookings are essential. For bookings call Parks Victoria on 13 1963 or book online.
Upper Yarra Reservoir is the third largest of Melbourne's water storage reservoirs. It has a capacity of 200,000 megalitres (200,000,000,000 litres). The dam wall is 90 metres high, 610 metres long and was completed in 1957.
Upper Yarra Reservoir is filled by water from the surrounding forested catchment. It also receives water diverted by an underground connecting tunnel from the mighty Thomson Reservoir. Water from Upper Yarra then travels via open channel aqueducts and underground pipelines to Silvan Reservoir and from there to reservoirs all over Melbourne.
The catchment is protected so that the highest possible water quality and quantity is maintained. It is also home to a number of rare and significant plants and animals, including Victoria's faunal emblem - the Leadbeater's Possum.
Discover Upper Yarra Reservoir Park's nightlife on a spotlight forest walk. At dusk join your experienced local guide who knows the hiding places of animals such as Greater Gliders, Sugar Gliders, wombats, Swamp Wallabies, possums, bats, Samba Deer, owls, fish and kookaburras. Night walks are available throughout the year, weather permitting.
Upper Yarra Reservoir Park has a vast range of indigenous eucalypt species which include Manna Gum, Grey Gum, Messmate, Peppermint, Silvertop, Stringybark and Candlbark Gum, species of Wattle Silver and smaller understorey species Cinnamon and Myrtle Wattle, Prickly Currant bush, Common Ground-fern and Rough Tree-fern. There are many other indigenous species including grevilleas and banksias. The park also has West Australian Flowering Gums and numerous exotic species such as pinoaks, English oaks, Italian poplars, white poplars, golden elm, European ash, also coniferous trees such as Douglas Firs, California Redwoods, Golden Monterey Cypress and Himalayan Cedar and Colorado Spruce.
Looking After the Park
- Take your rubbish with you.
- Dogs are allowed throughout the park except along the forested Fern Gully Walking Trail and must be kept on a leash at all times.
- No fires, including barbecues, may be lit on days of Total Fire Ban.
- All native plants and animals are protected.
- Leave the park as you find it.
- There are strict catchment controls to ensure water is protected and water yield is maintained. These controls prohibit public entry to some areas.
- Campers should comply with signs which indicate areas where entry is not permitted.
- Fishing is not permitted in the reservoir or aqueduct.
- No entry into the forested catchment areas.
How to Get There
Upper Yarra Reservoir Park is located off Woods Point Road about 24 kilometres east of Warburton.
The park is open every day of the year. Gates open at 8:30 AM and close to vehicles at 5:00 PM from April to October and 6:00 PM from November to March (during daylight savings).
Free access although camping fees apply.