At a Glance

  • Open 8.30am - 5pm (standard time), 8.30am - 6pm (daylight saving time). Closed on Total Fire Ban Days and for operational activity (gates will be closed).
  • Accessible car park
  • Lookout
  • Picnicking
  • Dam wall access and lookout
  • Accessible toilets
  • No dogs
  • Wildlife and birdwatching
  • Nature playground

Activities and facilities

To prepare for 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. There is an accessible ramp leading down to our Whisper Stations and access across the dam wall.


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

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

Free offline maps

Use the free Avenza app to navigate around the reservoir reserve, record your GPS tracks or enjoy other features. Download the map to your mobile device and you can access it even without mobile coverage.

Download the Barossa Avenza map here.

Click map below for a print-friendly version.

A map showing the Barossa Reservoir Reserve. Public access via Whispering Wall Road, with picnic and bird watching activities permitted.

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.