For the first time in 120 years the gates at Happy Valley Reservoir have been unlocked with visitors now able to enjoy a range of land and water-based recreational activities such as kayaking, fishing, cycling, hiking and picnicking.
Happy Valley Reservoir now features a 20-kilometre trail network for walking, running and bike riding, 110 hectares of water for kayaking and fishing, as well as new amenities such as two kayak launch areas, on-site car parking, barbecues, picnic shelters, a boardwalk jetty and lookout offering stunning views over the water.
More than 1,000 catch-ready Murray Cod have been released into the reservoir to ensure there is a quality fishing experience from day one and a ‘Golden Fish’ competition has also been launched with lucky anglers now vying for $900 worth of prizes thanks to local business How’s YA Tackle.
A community event on Saturday was held to celebrate the new access with thousands of people taking part in guided nature walks, kayaking lessons, geocaching and tree planting.
The opening of Happy Valley Reservoir comes fresh off the heels of Adelaide becoming the world’s second National Park City after London.
Premier Steven Marshall said today’s opening was the jewel in the crown of the State Government’s incredibly popular Opening up our Reservoirs program.
“Unlocking the gates to Happy Valley Reservoir is the centrepiece of our landmark initiative and affirms our commitment to activating new green, open spaces for the benefit of South Australian communities and future generations,” Premier Marshall said.
“Happy Valley Reservoir will form part of the Glenthorne National Park precinct which we are transforming into an environmental and recreational hub in the middle of Adelaide’s southern suburbs.
“This is part of my government’s record investment in parks to boost conservation, improve the visitor experience, create jobs and build on Adelaide’s reputation as the third most liveable city in the world.”
Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs said the local community have played a critical role in helping shape the vision for Happy Valley Reservoir.
“We have worked with the local community throughout the past year to help shape recreational access and after more than 120 years locked away behind gates it’s pleasing to see their desire to use this space come to fruition,” Minister Speirs said.
“Opening up South Australia’s reservoirs has generated a tremendous multiplier effect for local regions by delivering social and economic benefits, and we’re ecstatic to make Happy Valley the ninth reservoir to be transformed under our policy.
“Happy Valley Reservoir will be a key part of the Glenthorne National Park precinct adding more green, open space in the southern suburbs to be enjoyed by generations to come.
“Today, I am particularly excited to launch our ‘Golden Fish’ competition which sees the State Government partner with an excited local business to offer visiting anglers a chance to win prizes by catching one of the five tagged Murray Cod which we have stocked in the reservoir.
“Murray Cod are prized among recreational fishers and catching one can be a challenging and exhilarating experience and this competition will encourage even more people to drop a line at Happy Valley Reservoir.
“It’s already been more than two years since we first opened Myponga Reservoir to the public and since this time there’s been 300,000 visitors across our reservoirs proving just how incredibly popular this initiative has been.”
Member for Davenport Steve Murray said the local community has come out in droves to be among the first to walk the trails and get out on the water.
“Local residents have been knocking on the door to explore Happy Valley for years, and as the local member, it’s truly exciting to join our community in opening this beautiful space for the first time in its 120-year history,” Mr Murray said.
“This will transform Happy Valley into a must-visit outdoor adventure destination for all ages in the heart of the southern suburbs.”
Constructed in 1897 and holding a water capacity of 12.6 billion litres, the Happy Valley Reservoir provides safe, clean drinking water to SA Water customers throughout the majority of metropolitan Adelaide.
For more information about recreational access at South Australia’s reservoirs – including conditions of entry and how to purchase a fishing permit – head to www.reservoirs.sa.gov.au.
Bundaleer, Happy Valley, Myponga, South Para and Warren reservoir reserves are open for fishing, kayaking, walking, and cycling. Beetaloo Reservoir Reserve is open for fishing and picnicking. Hope Valley, Mount Bold, Little Para and Barossa reservoir reserves are open for land-based activities including walking, running, and picnicking.