It’s all smiles at Happy Valley Reservoir

More than 50,000 people have visited Happy Valley Reservoir in less than a month since it opened for recreational access, in yet another sign of the incredible popularity of the Marshall Liberal Government’s historic Opening up our Reservoirs program.

This takes overall visitor numbers to South Australian reservoirs since the program started at Myponga Reservoir in April 2019 to more than 400,000.

Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs said for the first time in 120 years the gates at Happy Valley Reservoir were unlocked on 11 December, 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 and lookout offering stunning views over the water,” Minister Speirs said.

“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 vying for $900 worth of prizes thanks to local business How’s YA Tackle.

“To have 50,000 people visit Happy Valley Reservoir in less than a month is an incredible result and shows just how popular this new recreational and environmental haven just south of the CBD is.

“People continue to ask me why this wonderful place has been locked up for more than 120 years and I am just thrilled we’ve finally been able to let people in behind the fences.

“Happy Valley Reservoir is now 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.

“Adelaide has been recognised as the third most liveable city in the world as well as recently becoming the world’s second National Park City and it’s projects such as this that will continue to enhance this reputation.

“This is why the Marshall Liberal Government is investing record amounts of funding towards our parks to boost conservation, improve the visitor experience and boost the economy.”

Member for Davenport Steve Murray said the local community played a key role in the planning process ahead of the opening of Happy Valley Reservoir.

“We worked closely with the local community through a community reference group over the past year to help shape the recreational access available and it’s pleasing to see this vision realised,” Mr Murray said.

“The opening of the reservoir at Happy Valley has brought enormous social and economic benefits to the area with a boost to house prices in neighbouring suburbs and local businesses reporting an increase in trade since 11 December.

“This has transformed 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

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.

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