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Avon Dam

Home > Wollongong > Day Trips | Escape the City | Free | Outdoor | Places of Interest
by Gypsy Rose (subscribe)
I am a travel writer and photographer with a passion for the great outdoors and food! I love travelling and discovering hidden gems... experience the journey on Instragram! @gypsy_compass
Published November 16th 2017
Explore the third & largest water supply dam in NSW
There is something unique about Avon Dam, being the third and largest of four supply dams built as part of the development of the Upper Nepean Water Supply Scheme, seventy-two metres high, 223 metres in length and consisting a 10.5km lake. But, it is the spectacular well-proportioned structure of its Egyptian-style architectural character, with its tranquil native bushland surroundings, that really make Avon Dam quite unique!

The tranquil Avon Dam offers breathtaking views.


Located approximately 100-kilometres south of Sydney, Avon Dam was constructed between 1921 and 1927 and features a curved dam wall, which was built using cyclopean masonry, which consisted of sandstone blocks and sandstone concrete. Avon Dam also includes a range of ancillary structures to the overall site.

The scenic drive to Avon Dam.


The grounds around Avon Dam are considered aesthetic and social value; with its ornamental ponds, grottoes, and rustic picnic structures, particularly incorporating various Egyptian Revival, and it's scenic landscape, making it perfect to spend a day here exploring, learning and relaxing.

The views to the Dam.


Avon Dam will certainly make you feel like you have stepped back in time, with its massive stone gateways guarding the entrance to the dam wall and the grounds resembling an Egyptian oasis!

The massive and impressive Egyptian architecture.


Avon Dam shows a masterpiece of engineering with its rugged terrain and the tranquil lake backdrop. Even though its architectural flourishes may not be as elaborate as its cousin dam, Cordeaux, it certainly is impressive with the massive sandstone masonry.



The lookout of the dam wall can be seen from the top of the picnic area, you can also drive or walk above the concrete spillway to the lower carpark near the dam wall. A walk across the dam offers impressive views of the lake upstream, gorge downstream and the dam wall.

There are no shortages of picturesque views at the Dam


From the lower carpark near the dam wall, the flat pathway to a viewing area offers views of the serpentine spillway and more views of the lake.

Informative plaque at the impressive sandstone Dam wall.


This makes a great day out and perfect escape from the city, with miles of winding scenic roadway, rugged terrain, deep gorges and ridges you have to traverse to get to Avon Dam, all making the trip to the Dam even more impressive.

There are a number of walking paths offering breathtaking views as well as vantage points which offer observations of the dam and tranquillity with the surrounding nature and its rugged country.



There are first-class picnic areas, with the top level offering a large lawn area, four electric barbecues, plenty of picnic tables, sink with hot water, covered areas, and a modern children's playground.



The middle and lower levels feature lawns, picnic tables, benches, barbecues and offerings of intimate surroundings, sheltered areas and toilets.



Avon Dam is an ideal family outing and a great day out for all interests and ages. Be sure to escape the city and have a great day out at Avon Dam!



Top 5 attractions to do and see at Avon Dam

1. Take a photo under one of the massive stone gateways at either end of the dam wall. The gates were inspired by the popularity of all things Egyptian, by the discoveries of King Tutankhamen's tomb in 1922!

View of the walking path above the Dam.


2. Walk across the dam- it is a 223-metre walk to the other end. Do not forget to take a pause and admire the beauty from 72-metres high!

Picnics with awe-inspiring views can also be enjoyed at the walking path.


3. History buffs will feel like they have stepped back in time with the reminders of the dam's glory days with its beautiful gardens and features of an Egyptian revival landscape.



4. Soak up the views from the elevated paths, and the dam wall offers fantastic views of the lake and its surrounding natural bushland. Look out for the jagged teeth of the serpentine spillway.

Glimpses of Avon Dam can be seen from the walking path near the Dam.


5. Take the time out and enjoy a relaxing picnic with wonderful natural surroundings. There are plenty of picnic facilities to enjoy.
Getting here:

The scenic walking path near the Dam


From Sydney CBD or surrounds- take the M5 south from Sydney, then F5 heading towards Canberra for about one-hour. Take the Bargo Exit and follow signs.

The stairs to the walking path and lookouts.


From Wollongong or surrounds- Take the freeway north towards Sydney, then take the Picton exit turnoff, follow until you come to the F5; turn left towards Goulburn, then take the left Bargo exit, follow signs.

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Why? A perfect day out with the family.
When: All year round: 10am-5pm - Weekends & Daylight savings: 10am-7pm
Where: Avon Dam, Avon Dam Rd, Bargo
Cost: Free
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