Concept plans for Happy Valley Reservoir revealed

Saturday 17 April 2021
Concept plans for Happy Valley Reservoir revealed


South Australians can now have their first look at the vision for what Happy Valley Reservoir will look like when it’s opened for recreational access by the end of the year with new concept plans unveiled as part of a community-led master plan.

For the first time in more than 120 years, kayaking, fishing, bike riding, walking and picnicking will be available at the reservoir in Adelaide’s south – less than half an hour from the CBD.

The master plan reveals two kayak launch areas to be built as well as more than 20 kilometres of trails at the reservoir which will also form part of South Australia’s newest national park – Glenthorne.

Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs said the reservoir will be open in December in time to become a must-do activity during the summer school holidays.

“Happy Valley Reservoir Reserve will combine adventure, family fun and environmental preservation for a wonderful nature experience in the heart of the metropolitan area, and I can’t wait to open the gates this summer,” Minister Speirs said.

“Today I am excited to release the Happy Valley Reservoir Master Plan which has been put together with the help of the local community, environmental and recreation group representatives.

“Every day, members of the local community tell me how excited they are about future access to this beautiful location that has been closed to them for too long, I’m looking forward to delivering this project and know they’ll be turning out in droves to enjoy the new Happy Valley Reservoir.

“The Marshall Liberal Government’s landmark Opening up our Reservoirs policy has already seen six reservoirs across the state opened or upgraded for recreational activities and Happy Valley could be the best one yet.

“Opening up reservoirs across South Australia has proven to be an outstanding success, increasing visitor numbers, bolstering regional economies and creating local jobs.”

The first phase of the concept plan will see two accessible kayak launch areas built, more than 20 kilometres of trails looping around the entire reserve and across the dam wall established, new visitor facilities including two internal car parking areas with trailer and kayak drop-off facilities, picnic settings and shelters, as well as habitat areas and native vegetation education nodes.

All of these activities will be enabled while the safety and quality of the working drinking water reservoir is protected, with a $26 million upgrade of SA Water’s Happy Valley Water Treatment Plant to incorporate state-of-the-art ultraviolet disinfection facilities.

Construction of new visitor facilities will get underway in the coming weeks and will include car park access points designed to ensure the safe flow of traffic around the site, as well as multiple pedestrian gates. To view the Happy Valley Reservoir Master Plan and for more information about South Australia’s reservoirs head to

Bundaleer, Myponga, South Para and Warren reservoir reserves are open for fishing, kayaking, walking, and cycling. Hope Valley Reservoir Reserve is open for land-based activities including walking, running, cycling, and picnicking