Maroondah Reservoir Park


Maroondah Reservoir Park

Maroondah Reservoir Park is part of an Aboriginal cultural landscape in the traditional Country of the Wurundjeri Peoples. Parks Victoria respects the deep and continuing connection that Wurundjeri Traditional Owners have to these lands and waters, and we recognise their ongoing role in caring for Country.

The impressive 41-metre high dam wall offers a scenic lookout over formal gardens, forested slopes and the broad, peaceful reservoir lake. Construction on this grand piece of engineering took place from 1920-1927, and the Maroondah catchment is still an important source of Melbourne’s water. You can still see the historic valve houses in the gardens, built in a classical domed style.

The gardens were created gradually after the completion of the wall, and include a sundial and the stone-paved Rose Stairway lined with rose bushes and Golden Pencil Pines. The gardens feature towering native eucalypts as well as many exotic deciduous trees with beautiful Autumn colours.

Picnic in the park amongst the old eucalypt stands or the exotic trees and play in the open grass areas. The park features six rotundas, one shelter, six barbecues (gas and electric) as well as picnic tables scattered around the gardens, perfect for visitors to barbecue or just sit and enjoy the scenery. If you're looking for a quieter spot, head for the area near the Watt's River Rotunda in Hendersons Picnic Area.

There are a number of easy and moderate walks around the park. Take a short walk through the forest on the Maroondah Forest Track. If you would like a longer walk you can then follow the Henderson’s Hill Track up the slope for another 1.4km. From here you can choose to extend your walk to Donnellys Weir in Yarra Ranges National Park.

If cycling is more your thing, ride your bike across the dam wall to Donnellys Weir and then challenge yourself to ride up to Mount St Leonard along the start of the Bicentennial National Trail.

Walk to the bottom of the dam wall to observe the grandeur of the wall from below and then climb the Rose Steps (or walk the circular track to avoid the stairs) and walk across the top of the dam wall to view the expansive reservoir and parkland.

When the dam overflows across the spillway once or twice a year, the Falls Lookout provides a spectacular view of the waterfall. Water can also cascade over the lower rockface when Melbourne Water intermittently release water from the dam via the lower outlet.

The spillway waterfall is spectacular when it is running. Keep an eye out on the Parks Victoria Facebook page and Twitter, but if the Melbourne Water dam levels website says the dam is 100% full then there's a good chance water is flowing into the spillway and over the waterfall.

Things To Do

The spillway waterfall in Maroondah Reservoir Park

The Falls Lookout

With a view towards the dam's spillway, this lookout is the perfect place to observe the spectacular waterfall that occurs when the dam intermittently overflows over the spillway. You can walk over the spillway via the pedestrian bridge at the top of the dam wall and watch the water flow below. A smaller cascade at the bottom of the waterfall can be seen when Melbourne Water undertake dam releases.
A Rotunda at Maroondah Reservoir Park

Have a picnic or barbecue

Sit under the old-growth eucalyptus of Henderson's Picnic Area, enjoy lunch amongst the exotic trees of the Top Carpark Picnic Area or set up your blanket at the base of the towering dam wall at the Rose Steps Picnic Area.
The view from the water's edge at the Maroondah Reservoir.

Dog walking

Take your dog for a walk on a lead through the open parkland. However, there are no dogs allowed on the forest walking tracks to the north of the Watts River, or on the Dam Wall itself.

Maroondah Reservoir Park

The tree collection at Maroondah Reservoir Park offers a large number and range of species and some outstanding individual specimens. There are old stands of Manna Gum and Swamp Gum in Hendersons Picnic Area. Many unusual or exotic trees are found throughout the park, including the Smooth-barked Apple, Strawberry Tree, Cypress Pine, Cedar, Upright Monterey Cypress, Smooth Arizona Cypress, Spruce, Himalayan Pine, Golden Pencil Pine, Cottonwood, Douglas Fir, and Californian Redwood along with the deciduous Ash, Maple, Cannonball Tree, Birch, Liquidamber, Cork Oak, Lombardy Poplar and Elm. Many of these exotic trees were planted in the late 1920s. There are also a number of unusual palms, including the Canary Island Date Plum and Chinese Windmill Palm. Keep an eye out for the Autumn blooms of the Fried Egg Tree.

Expect to see Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, King Parrot, Corellas, Kookaburras, Ibis and Rosellas playing in the trees. Other birds seen intermittently include Grey Fantail, Wedge-tailed Eagle, Forest Kingfisher, Spotted Pardalote, Eastern Spinebill, White-faced Heron and the Southern Boobook (owl). Keep an eye out for:

Crimson Rosella

Tours and adventure experiences in parks

One of the best ways you can get into nature is with a Licensed Tour Operator.

There are more than 400 Licensed Tour Operators across Victoria who are ready and waiting to help you experience and connect with Victoria’s spectacular parks and waterways.

Discover more than 60 different types of nature-based experiences including hiking, mountain biking, boating, four-wheel driving, indigenous culture tours, birdwatching, surfing, diving and so much more. 

Licensed Tour Operators know all the best places to go and will plan and prepare your visit to ensure you are safe and can enjoy your nature-based adventure to the fullest.

Find a Licensed Tour Operator

How to get there

Maroondah Reservoir Park

Maroondah Reservoir Park is about 65km east of Melbourne. The entry gate is on the Maroondah Highway, 3km east of Healesville.

When to go

The longer, brighter days of Summer offer good picnic and walking weather.

Need to know

Maroondah Reservoir Park

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