At a Glance

  • Open 7.30am - 5pm (standard time), 7.30am - 8pm (daylight saving time). Closed on Total Fire Ban Days and for operational activity (gates will be closed).

    Dam wall and adjacent visitor area closed until early October 2022. Lookout and trail network remain open.
  • Accessible car park
  • Lookout
  • Dam wall access (closed until early October 2022)
  • Hiking/running
  • Picnicking
  • Wildlife and birdwatching
  • Accessible toilets
  • No dogs

Activities and facilities

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

There is currently no public access to the dam wall and adjacent visitor area at Mount Bold Reservoir Reserve. This is to enable SA Water to safely use heavy equipment and machinery on site, as part of continuing investigative works for a planned dam safety upgrade.

At this stage, we expect to reopen this area in mid-August 2022.

All other public areas of Mount Bold will remain open during this time, including the lookout and trail network, with access via the Saddle Bags Road gate on the southern side of the reserve.

You can also still go to other reservoir reserves open around the state to enjoy, explore and preserve – visit here for more details.


Lookout

Mount Bold’s new viewing platform and lookout showcases panoramic views across the dam wall and over the Mount Lofty Ranges. It’s the prime stop for a glorious snap and to take in the ambience of this wonderful space.

The existing lookout area near the dam wall is open from 9am - 4pm.


Walking/running

More than 13km of trails let you explore the southern section of the reserve on foot.

The Grade 2 lookout trail is unsealed, 1.4km return and takes you up gentle hills to a viewing platform.

The two Grade 5 hiking trails weave through a pine plantation and native vegetation, with sweeping views over the water, and with very steep and difficult hills they are suitable for experienced bushwalkers. The 5km Forest Loop takes you back to the car park, whereas the 9km Wedgetail Trail connects with the Kidman and Heysen walking trails, and the Onkaparinga National Park and Willunga Basin Trail for a more rigorous hiking experience.


Navigate the reserve with the free Avenza app

Download the Mount Bold Reservoir Reserve map


Picnicking

Pack a picnic basket complete with a blanket or chairs so you can sit back, relax and enjoy the lookout’s spectacular view.


Wildlife and birdwatching

Take some time and see if you can spot some of the 160 native animals calling Mount Bold home, including the Southern Brown Bandicoot.


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 Mount Bold Avenza map here.

Click map below for a print-friendly version.

A map showing the Mount Bold Reserve, accessed from Mount Bold Road. The reservoir features parking at the entrance, toilets and a great look out spot.

You can check current reservoir levels at SA Water's website.

What sets Mount Bold Reservoir apart

Capacity: 46.4 gigalitres (one gigalitre is one billion litres), that’s enough to fill the Adelaide Oval with water more than 93 times

Constructed: 1932-1938

The dam at Mount Bold was built to increase the water supply for the Adelaide metropolitan area as it grew in the years following the end of World War One. Millbrook Reservoir had been completed in 1918 and just 13 years later its supplies were no longer sufficient to support Adelaide’s growing population.

When it was finished in 1937, Mount Bold was South Australia’s first major reservoir built on-stream rather than diverting water into it from other sources.

Little known fact about Mount Bold Reservoir

Between 1938 and 1961, Mount Bold also supplied its own electricity through a small hydro-electric plant.

Water quality

Mount Bold Reservoir is one of 16 across the state that help supply water to more than 1.7 million South Australians.

Water in the reservoir is released as required to maintain an adequate level at the Clarendon Weir and, from there, water is diverted to Happy Valley where it is treated and supplied to homes and businesses across metropolitan Adelaide.

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.