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).
  • Car parking available
  • Fishing available, permit required
  • Walking/running
  • Cycling
  • Picnicking
  • Lookout
  • Wildlife and birdwatching
  • Kayaking/canoeing
  • No dogs

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 reserve's public area or on the water from a canoe or kayak.


The 3.3km (approx.) loop track on the south east side of the reservoir takes you through open plains, forested areas and native vegetation. The unsealed trail is suitable for walking and running.

An additional 3km of new walking trails has recently been added to the reserve's total network, unlocking access to an additional 140 hectares of the site.


The unsealed trail at Myponga is a shared-use path for both cyclists and walkers. Please be considerate of other trail users.


Choose your experience with a kayak or canoe, from a short meander to a full day's kayaking adventure exploring the 250 hectares of water surrounded by stunning landscapes.

During the warmer months when the reservoir's level can be low, bring a trolley to get your kayak or canoe to the water's edge more easily.


There are several picnic tables along the trail and of course you’re welcome to pack a picnic basket complete with a blanket or chairs so you can sit back, relax and enjoy the view.


The lookout above the Myponga dam wall on the western side of the reservoir is the prime stop for a stunning view of the reservoir, the dam wall and its spillway.

Wildlife and birdwatching

Take some time and see if you can spot some of the special species that call Myponga home. More than 120 bird species live in the area including some that enjoy life by the water and others that can be found inland. You can also watch for native animals, lizards and listen for frogs.

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.

Blue-green algae

Algae occur naturally in reservoirs and occasionally algal blooms can occur. This is more likely in the warmer months of the year, and they are not always visible.

Regular testing is undertaken as part of SA Water’s routine water quality monitoring. During a blue-green algal bloom, water treatment is adjusted to ensure the continued supply of safe, clean drinking water for customers.

Some blue-green algae produce toxins which can be harmful to humans and animals. Contact with the untreated water in the reservoir when high levels of blue-green algae are present can be harmful to your health.

When blue-green algae levels are extreme, reservoirs are closed to all activities that involve contact with the water, including fishing and kayaking/canoeing.

Signage on site will be updated and specific access and closure details are available on each reservoir page on this site.

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.

Myponga Reservoir map

What sets Myponga Reservoir apart

Capacity: 27.6 gigalitres (there are one billion litres in a gigalitre), that’s enough to fill more than 55 Adelaide Ovals with water

Built: 1958-1962

Myponga Reservoir was built at a time of rapid economic expansion in South Australia. This reservoir, along with the raising of the Mount Bold Dam wall (also completed in 1962) increased the state’s storage capacity by 10 million gallons (45.46 million litres) supporting population growth and the expansion of industry in Adelaide’s south.

The idea of constructing a dam at Myponga River was investigated as early as 1930, but plans were delayed in favour of building Mount Bold Dam first.

In planning the project, a model was constructed in the hydraulics lab at the Adelaide University to determine the best design of the spillway to manage flood conditions.

The construction camp included:

  • three permanent buildings
  • six weatherboard buildings to house 12 single working men
  • a recreation room
  • a mess room
  • a bathroom and laundry building
  • an administration building
  • three garages.

Apart from the three permanent buildings, the others were dismantled and removed once the reservoir was built.

Find out how much water is currently stored in the reservoir.

Myponga Reservoir mystery

Two roads lie under the reservoir: the original Myponga Yankalilla main road and the Lovely Valley road. New roads were constructed to replace these, one taking you across the reservoir to the south of Myponga, and the other taking you across the dam wall on the western side of the reservoir. Also under the water is the site of the Lovely Valley School which was open from 1865 until 1869.

Water quality

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

Water from the reservoir is treated at the Myponga Water Treatment Plant before it is supplied to customers living on the Fleurieu Peninsula.

Treating drinking water before it’s supplied to people’s 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.