At a Glance

  • The reservoir is open to the public 24 hours a day from 1 May to 1 November. The reservoir is closed outside this period, and on Total Fire Ban Days and for operational activity (gates will be closed).
  • Car parking
  • Fishing - permit required
  • Toilets
  • Picnicking
  • Barbeque
  • Wildlife and birdwatching
  • No dogs. Assistance animals are accepted.

Activities and facilities

To prepare for your visit, please check the conditions of access

With a fishing permit, you can drop a line in the from the shoreline in the fishing zone. The reservoir is stocked with Murray Cod, Golden Perch and Silver Perch. Fishing limits are detailed on PIRSA's website.


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.

Blue-green algae

Algae is a common occurrence in open water sources, including reservoirs and the River Murray, especially during warmer months of the year when conditions are favourable for growth.

SA Water samplers, operators and scientists actively monitor and test the source water and connecting water networks during these times and adjust treatment processes as needed. This ensures they continue to supply safe, clean drinking water to their customers.

Some blue-green algae species produce compounds which can be harmful to humans and animals. Contact with untreated water in a reservoir where algae are present can be harmful to your health.

When blue-green algae levels are increasing, and related water treatment or algal management activities are being conducted, the site will be closed to visitors until 1pm that day. There will be clear signage at the entrance and on this website page.

To find out more, read SA Health’s information about blue-green algae health impacts and how to avoid illness.

Click map below for a print-friendly version.

A map showing the Betaloo Reservoir Reserve. The southern end does not allow access to the water, with fishing permitted on the eastern edge. Parking is available at the entrance, with picnic facilities alongside the walking trail before reaching the reservoir.

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.