Toorourrong Reservoir

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Toorourrong Dam
Toorourrong Reservoir is located in Victoria
Toorourrong Reservoir
Location of the Toorourrong Reservoir in Victoria
Country Australia
Location Whittlesea, Victoria
Coordinates 37°28′19″S 145°09′25″E / 37.47194°S 145.15694°E / -37.47194; 145.15694Coordinates: 37°28′19″S 145°09′25″E / 37.47194°S 145.15694°E / -37.47194; 145.15694
Purpose Potable water supply
Status Operational
Operator(s) Melbourne Water
Dam and spillways
  • Plenty River
  • Diverted flows from the Wallaby and Silver Creeks
Creates Toorourrong Reservoir

Toorourrong Reservoir is a small water supply reservoir located on the southern slopes of the Great Dividing Range approximately 40 kilometres (25 mi) north of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The reservoir is formed by the Toorourrong Dam across the Plenty River, and an interbasin transfer. The dam is operated by Melbourne Water and the reservoir forms part of the Melbourne water supply system. Water from the Toorourrong Reservoir flows by aqueduct to the Yan Yean Reservoir.


The reservoir is formed by an earthen embankment dam across the eastern branch of the Plenty River below the junction with Jacks Creek. The system was constructed in 1883–1885 as an extension of the Yan Yean water system. Water is diverted from Wallaby and Silver Creeks, part of the Murray–Darling basin on the northern side of the Great Dividing Range — via the open, granite-lined Wallaby Aqueduct — across the Great Dividing Range just east of Mount Disappointment, then into Jacks Creek and into the reservoir. The reservoir acts as a settling basin before the water travels 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) down the Clearwater Channel to Yan Yean.[1][2][3][4] The reservoir catchments are within the Wallaby Creek section of the Kinglake National Park.[5]

Point Coordinates
(links to map & photo sources)
Silver Creek Weir 37°21′22″S 145°12′35″E / 37.356171°S 145.209854°E / -37.356171; 145.209854 (Silver Creek Weir) Start of the Wallaby Aqueduct
Wallaby Creek Weir 37°24′16″S 145°14′48″E / 37.404495°S 145.246650°E / -37.404495; 145.246650 (Wallaby Creek Weir)
End of Wallaby Aqueduct 37°27′09″S 145°12′18″E / 37.452469°S 145.205060°E / -37.452469; 145.205060 (End of Wallaby Aqueduct) Crossing the Great Dividing Range
The Cascades 37°27′07″S 145°12′07″E / 37.452015°S 145.201932°E / -37.452015; 145.201932 (The Cascades) Granite cascade taking water from aqueduct to Jacks Creek
Jacks Creek 37°27′52″S 145°10′58″E / 37.464468°S 145.182865°E / -37.464468; 145.182865 (Jacks Creek)
Toorourrong Reservoir 37°28′32″S 145°09′08″E / 37.475430°S 145.152296°E / -37.475430; 145.152296 (Toorourrong Reservoir)


The Yan Yean Reservoir, completed in 1857, was Melbourne's first water supply system. In 1879 low dam levels showed that further water sources were necessary to meet increased demand by a growing population.[6] The Wallaby Creek aqueduct was constructed in 1882–1883 to divert water via an interbasin transfer from Wallaby Creek via Jacks Creek and the Plenty River to Yan Yean.[7] The reservoir was constructed in 1883–1885 and linked to Yan Yean by the Clearwater Channel aqueduct, and the Wallaby Creek aqueduct was extended north to harvest Silver Creek.[8] Public Works Department engineer William Thwaites designed most of these works.[9] As water quality in the lower Plenty River had deteriorated, the intake from the river at Yan Yean Reservoir was closed and all water supply was drawn from the closed forest catchments via Toorourrong.[6]

The reservoir and associated works are listed on the Victorian Heritage Register.[3]

Toorourrong Reservoir Park[edit]

Below the dam wall is the 12-hectare (30-acre) Toorourrong Reservoir Park. The park and surrounding forest were burned in the 2009 Victorian bushfires.[10][11] The park is currently closed and is scheduled to re-open in mid-late 2015.[12]

In 2011, the City of Whittlesea’s Bushfires Memorial Working Group selected Toorourrong Reservoir as a site for a memorial to remember the impact of the Victorian bushfires on the local community.[11]

There is a platypus watching hide overlooking the reservoir. The Australian Platypus Conservatory was based at the reservoir from 1996 to 2007 and at that time the area supported approximately 30 platypus. The effect of the 2009 fires on the platypus is not currently known.[13]


  1. ^ Ritchie, E. G. (October 1934). "Melbourne's Water Supply Undertaking". Journal of Institution of Engineers Australia (PDF). 6: 379–382. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 April 2011. 
  2. ^ Heselev, Tony (August 2004). "Watertight Goal" (PDF). The Source (PDF). Melbourne Water (31): 8–9. Retrieved 22 April 2011. 
  3. ^ a b "Toorourrong Reservoir, Victorian Heritage Register (VHR) Number H2128". Victorian Heritage Database. Heritage Victoria. 
  4. ^ Context Pty Ltd (31 October 2007). "Victorian Water Supply Heritage Study, Volume 1: Thematic Environmental History". Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 April 2011. 
  5. ^ "Wallaby Creek designated water supply catchment area, Kinglake National Park, Management Plan" (PDF) (PDF). Parks Victoria. August 1998. ISBN 0-7311-3191-6. Retrieved 21 February 2011. 
  6. ^ a b "Melbourne Water Supply". The Argus. National Library of Australia. 17 January 1888. p. 5. Retrieved 23 April 2011. 
  7. ^ "The Wallaby Creek Aqueduct". The Argus. National Library of Australia. 17 August 1883. p. 9. Retrieved 23 April 2011. 
  8. ^ "The Water Supply Board". The Argus. National Library of Australia. 27 February 1884. p. 10. Retrieved 23 April 2011. 
  9. ^ La Nauze, Robert (2011). Engineer to Marvellous Melbourne, The Life and Times of William Thwaites. Australian Scholarly Publishing. 
  10. ^ "Toorourrong Reservoir Park - Master Plan - Background Paper" (PDF) (PDF). Parks Victoria. May 2011. Retrieved 9 October 2011. 
  11. ^ a b "Have your say on Toorourrong Reservoir Park". Parks Victoria. 4 October 2011. Retrieved 9 October 2011. 
  12. ^ "Toorourrong Reservoir Park". Parks Victoria. Retrieved 2015-01-23. 
  13. ^ "Toorourrong Bushfire Destruction" (PDF). Ripples (PDF). Australian Platypus Conservatory. May 2009. p. 4. Retrieved 22 April 2011. 

External links[edit]