Upper Yarra Reservoir Park
Popular with day-trippers and campers, Upper Yarra Reservoir Park offers natural wonders, historical sites and built facilities to enjoy getting into nature.
Take in the bushland through the gentle shaded walks beneath tall eucalypts and green fern gullies. See the remnants of the parks earlier use, when it was a small town constructed for the workers who built the dam between 1947 and 1957. The hall that once served as the mess room for the construction team is currently closed, however the shelter adjoining the hall is still open and is a sheltered spot for day visitors and campers, with tables, seating and electric barbecues. Wander to McVeigh's Picnic area for a pleasant picnic and see the historic 4.3m water wheel that powered the generator for the Contention gold mine and then later to McVeigh’s Hotel. Gas barbecues are available, picnic tables and a wheelchair-accessible rotunda.
The Fern Gully Track is a magical 500m circuit walk that takes 20 minutes return. Cross the Yarra at the pedestrian bridge near the campground and walk the circuit along a combination of walking track, boardwalk and stairs through a magnificent old growth eucalypt forest. Marvel at the size of the eucalypt trees and their supporting undergrowth. Keep an eye out for birds in the trees and animals scurrying on the ground and feel at one with this very special section of bush. Dogs are not permitted on this track.
For a 1.4km, meandering 1-hour walk, cross the Yarra River at the pedestrian bridge near McVeigh's Waterwheel and then follow the Yarra River to the secluded Batts Creek Point. Originally used to power a generator to run equipment in the Contention gold mine, this 4.3m historic water wheel also supplied power to McVeigh’s Hotel. Please note that the track terminates here, and return is via the same route. Dogs are also not permitted on this track.
If you're looking for a shorter stroll, the Brimbonga Walking Track might be just right. This 300m, 15-minute return stroll leaves from the car park and heads just to the east of the aqueduct to the viewing platform. Watch the water from the dam flow out of the reservoir's outlet basin into the aqueduct as it continues its journey to Melbourne. Please note, this viewing platform is at the bottom of the dam wall and only provides views of this outlet siphon, not of the Reservoir itself.
If you'd like to stay a little longer, book in for a spot at the spacious campground.
Things To Do
Camping in Upper Yarra Reservoir Park
Walking in Upper Yarra Reservoir Park
Lookouts in Upper Yarra Reservoir Park
Picnic in Upper Yarra Reservoir Park
Upper Yarra Reservoir ParkThis area is well known for its wildlife. Keep an eye out for:
Tours and adventure experiences in parks
One of the best ways you can get into nature is with a Licensed Tour Operator.
There are more than 400 Licensed Tour Operators across Victoria who are ready and waiting to help you experience and connect with Victoria’s spectacular parks and waterways.
Discover more than 60 different types of nature-based experiences including hiking, mountain biking, boating, four-wheel driving, indigenous culture tours, birdwatching, surfing, diving and so much more.
Licensed Tour Operators know all the best places to go and will plan and prepare your visit to ensure you are safe and can enjoy your nature-based adventure to the fullest.
How to get there
Upper Yarra Reservoir Park
Need to know
Upper Yarra Reservoir Park
Visiting a park can be more of a challenge for people with disabilities, however in Victoria there are a wide range of facilities to help people of all abilities enjoy our wonderful parks around the state.
Assistance dogs are welcome in Parks Victoria parks and reserves. Entry requirements apply for parks and reserves where dogs are normally prohibited, such as national parks.
To ensure that you and your companions stay safe, always remember that the natural environment can be unpredictable. Before you go, take a look at our safety tips and check our changed conditions and closures information for a great visit.
Please avoid accessing this trail on days of forecast Catastrophic Fire Danger or days with a high wind forecast as trees and branches can fall.
Please note that sections of the track are narrow, slippery and uneven, particularly when wet.
How we keep it special
The park is adjacent to major closed catchment for Melbourne's drinking water supply, therefore it is vital that everyone helps ensure the prevention of pollution and fire. Take notice of signs stating 'No Public Access'.
Take rubbish home with you for recycling or disposal.
Dogs must be kept on a lead at all times and are not permitted on the forest walks.
All native plants and animals are protected.
Fishing is not permitted in the reservoir or aqueduct.
Firearms and other weapons are not permitted.
Fires are permitted ONLY in the fireplaces provided. No fires may be lit on a day of Total Fire Ban.
Upper Yarra Reservoir Park is in the Central Total Fire Ban District.
Yarra Strategic Plan
Parks Victoria is proud to be a key partner in the implementation of the Yarra Strategic Plan, Burndap Birrarung burndap umarkoo. Delivering the plan is a Victorian Government commitment to protect our treasured Yarra River, Birrarung, and its parklands for future generations.