Upper Yarra Reservoir (Reefton)

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Distance: 2.1 km
Gradient: 5%
Elevation gain: 109 metres
Terrain: State Park
Surface: Rough
Here is a link to the Strava segment here:
Here is a link to the alternative climb:
The Upper Yarra Reservoir is located 96km’s east of Melbourne, and is the major water supplier for the Yarra Valley and Melbourne.  It is also a beautiful nature spot, with picnicking, camping and hiking available.  The Reservoir has a capacity of 200,000 megalitres, and took 10 years to build between 1947 – 1957.  The road approaching the Reservoir is a dead end road, and even though it is in a very popular area for cyclists to ride (the Reefton Spur).  Riders rarely will make the detour to see what is down the road.  There are two lookouts which can make for separate climbs, each offering their own challenges, with the view at the top one of the best you’ll get in the whole of the Yarra Valley.


Image taken by Mick Stanic; courtesy of Flickr


All up it’s a little over 4km’s from the Reefton Spur turnoff to the top of the climb, and given the views is more than worth the detour the next time you’re there.
Upper Yarra Reservoir
If I were a Real Estate agent, I would sell the road surface as “an interesting challenge”.  You can easily do it on a Road Bike, however the road isn’t in the greatest of conditions in parts, and expect it to be bumpy in some sections.
There are no line markings, and there are several hairpin turns that you should keep an eye out for cars cutting the corner.  Its quite a peaceful location, and its pretty easy to hear the sound of a car around.
The Upper Yarra Reservoir Park is a great location for camping (fees apply). Bookings are essential; call Parks Victoria on 13 1963 or book online.Facilities

  • BBQ & picnic are available
  • Toilets
  • The wet weather hall provides sheltered seating, electric barbecues and hot water.
  • Be self-sufficient with drinking water.Hikes
  • The Brimbonga Walking Track takes you to a viewing platform of the reservoirs outlet basin
  • The Fern Gully self-guided trail loops through a forest with tall eucalypt and a dense forest.  Keep an eye out for
  • Be sure to keep a look out for the abundance of wildlife in the park.  There are a number of species including Rosellas, King Parrots and LyrebirdsDogs are allowed in the park but must be kept on a leash at all times.  Please note that dogs are not permitted along the forested Fern Gully Walking Trail
Upper Yarra Reservoir
Opening Hours:

The park is open every day of the year. Automated gates open at 8:30 am and close at 5:00 pm from April to October and 6:00 pm from November to March.


Woods Point Road

Reefton 3799

Victoria, Australia. View Map

The Upper Yarra Reservoir is in a Bush Fire Prone area and caution should be taken on days of Total Fire Ban.  Check the CFA Website and monitor the governments emergency response website for fire warnings.

Upper Yarra Reservoir

History of the Upper Yarra Reservoir

In 1946 the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works approved the construction of the Upper Yarra Reservoir.  This is now the third largest of Melbourne’s water storage reservoirs. It has a capacity of 200,000 megalitres.

Construction began in 1949 with and the Reservoir was not completed until 1957.  The reservoir is filled by water from the surrounding forested catchments. It also receives water diverted by an underground connecting tunnel from the mighty Thomson Reservoir.

This reservoir channels water from underground pipelines to the Silvan Reservoir in the Dandenong Ranges and from there to reservoirs all over Melbourne.

Upper Yarra Reservoir
Upper Yarra Reservoir in winter

Upper Yarra Reservoir

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3 thoughts on “Upper Yarra Reservoir (Reefton)

    Touring « The Dandenong Ranges said:
    June 6, 2015 at 3:02 am

    […] Upper Yarra Reservoir                     Reefton                                 Various                 6                                   4 […]

    The Yarra Valley « The Dandenong Ranges said:
    September 15, 2015 at 8:23 am

    […] Upper Yarra Reservoir                                         Reefton                                   Various                        6                                4 […]

    Ryan said:
    May 5, 2018 at 5:39 am

    Are you allowed to kayak and fish in the reservoir?

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