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Eildon Hill Reservoir

Home > Brisbane > Cycling | Family | Outdoor | Walks
by Cris (subscribe)
I am an Organiser of the Group Hiking South East Qld and More on Meetup. Visit the website at https://www.meetup.com/HikingInSEQLDandMore/ is free to join all the activities posted on the hiking group.
Published March 28th 2021
Eildon Hill Reservoir sits at the summit of Eildon Hill, which is a strategic location for viewing the City, Moreton Bay, the Border Ranges, Cunningham's Gap, Taylor and D'Aguilar Range.

Recently a new lookout has been build as a project to improve the great places in the suburb, make them safer and connect them with the communities, family and friends. There are walking trails on the steep hill of the reservoir, which connect Windsor and Wilston suburbs.

Eildon Hill Reservoir in Windsor, Windsor, Historical Brisbane, Eildon Hill Reservoir Lookout, Turrbal people
View of Brisbane City from the Eildon Hill Lookout. Photo by Author.


On Constitution Rd, there is the turnoff to the road that takes you to the top of Eildon Hill. Turn into Hawdon Street and left through the gate. Generally, the gate to access the road is open, it may be closed at night. There is an informative sign at the entry of the road.

From Constitution Rd, you can also access Eildon Hill Reservoir via a staircase.

Eildon Hill Reservoir in Windsor, Windsor, Historical Brisbane, Eildon Hill Reservoir Lookout, Turrbal people
The staircase from Constitution Rd. Photo by Author.


Eildon Hill Reservoir in Windsor, Windsor, Historical Brisbane, Eildon Hill Reservoir Lookout, Turrbal people
The gate with the informative sign. Photo by Author.


From the sign: Early History

"The traditional owners of this land, the Turrbal-speaking people used the hills as a vantage point to view tribal movements and later, the activities of the white settlers.

The area became known as Eildon Hill, named after the hills near Melrose in the border country between England and Scotland. In legend, these ancient hills held caverns where King Arthur and his knights lay sleeping and from their peaks more than forty spots famed in history and song could be seen.

The hills and surrounding land were first purchased in 1859 in the name of Sarah Sophia Bartley, the wife of Nehemiah Bartley, colonial wanderer, merchant & author. Bartley bought much of the hilly land around Brisbane in early Crown Land Sales.

In 1882 Rev. George Wight purchased almost 17 acres of Bartlely's land, including the summit, to add to the 47 acres he had purchased in 1858, a Congregational minister & journalist had established a preaching station and meeting place in a slab hut. In 1863, he erected a residence "Eildon House" on the site which later became the Wilson Ophthalmic Hostel and a Youth Detention Centre. Much of Wight's extensive holding was subdivided and offered for sale, first as the Eildon Hill Estate in 1885, and the remainder as the Eildon Tower Estate in 1887. To attract sales a timber tower was erected on the estate to allow visitors to fully appreciate the extensive views from the hilltop
. [/I]"

Eildon Hill Reservoir in Windsor, Windsor, Historical Brisbane, Eildon Hill Reservoir Lookout, Turrbal people
Eildon Hill Reserve Windsor, from windsorhistorical.org.au


On Constitution Rd, there are steps to access the road to Eildon Hill Reservoir. It takes only a few minutes to get to the top of the hill.

Eildon Hill Reservoir in Windsor, Windsor, Historical Brisbane, Eildon Hill Reservoir Lookout, Turrbal people
The stairs which connect Constitution Rd and the road to Eildon Hill Reserve. Photo by Author.


Eildon Hill Reservoir in Windsor, Windsor, Historical Brisbane, Eildon Hill Reservoir Lookout, Turrbal people
The road to Eildon Hill has colourful walls. Photo by Author.


Eildon Hill Reservoir in Windsor, Windsor, Historical Brisbane, Eildon Hill Reservoir Lookout, Turrbal people
It is a short walk to the gate to the top of Eildon Hill Reservoir. Photo by Author.


Eildon Hill Reservoir in Windsor, Windsor, Historical Brisbane, Eildon Hill Reservoir Lookout, Turrbal people
A lookout overlooking Brisbane City is a new addition on Eildon Reserve. Photo by Author.


Eildon Hill Reservoir in Windsor, Windsor, Historical Brisbane, Eildon Hill Reservoir Lookout, Turrbal people
Photo by Author.


Eildon Hill Reservoir in Windsor, Windsor, Historical Brisbane, Eildon Hill Reservoir Lookout, Turrbal people
There are some huge agave plants on Eildon Hill. Photo by Author.


From the sign:

Construction of the Reservoir

"The Brisbane Board of Waterworks acquired over 10 acres of Wight's land on the hill in 1906. Closer development followed the construction of the rail line in 1899 and Windsor was declared a town in 1904. As the population increased, the drain on the water supply meant that, particularly in summer, water pressure was insufficient to meet household demands.

Detailed plans for a reservoir able to hole 5,380,000 gallons of water were completed in 1929. Construction commenced just as the Great Depression started. The project provided much-needed employment and support for families as the economy stalled.

The construction of the reservoir involved hard labour and great creative and technical achievements prior to the introduction of heavy earth moving equipment to Queensland.

Almost all of the concrete work and excavation was done by hand with only the assistance of a stream operated shovel with a small crane. All of the tall pre-stressed concrete piers, which hold up the roof of the tank, were poured on-site and lifted into position with the help of the steam crane.
"

Eildon Hill Reservoir in Windsor 1929, Windsor, Historical Brisbane, Eildon Hill Reservoir Lookout, Turrbal people
Eildon Hill Reservoir in Windsor 1929. Photo fromhttps://www.facebook.com/Lost.Brisbane/posts/3725307827580291

"The 'spoil' excavated after blasting was carried away by horse and dray or in large hoppers which moved along rail tracks around the rim of the hill. These hoppers were also pushed manually. Two men died in the course of its construction, and drays and horses were said to have capsized over the edge on a few occasions.

The original plans proposed that the roof would feature a lawn, bandstand and kiosk. None of these were implemented although a directional dial was added to the vents on the rooftop.
"

"Originally the twin peaks of Eildon Hill had no vegetation. The rock crust did not encourage tree growth, and it was not until sub-soil from the rock blasting was pushed over the edge could root growth take place. The steep slopes to the side of the hill were planted with introduced species to help stabilize the fill, and the yellow flowering coreopsis provided a spectacular display on the slopes in Spring.

In the earlier years, the hill became an adventure playground for the youngsters of the area. They hurtled down the roadway in billy carts, walked the huge pipes, and slid down the grassy slopes in homemade toboggan.
"

Eildon Hill Reservoir in Windsor, Windsor, Historical Brisbane, Eildon Hill Reservoir Lookout, Turrbal people
Vegetation at Eildon Hill Reservoir. Photo by Author.

Eildon Hill Reservoir in Windsor, Windsor, Historical Brisbane, Eildon Hill Reservoir Lookout, Turrbal people
Pink oleander plants are present. Photo by Author.


Eildon Hill Reservoir in Windsor, Windsor, Historical Brisbane, Eildon Hill Reservoir Lookout, Turrbal people
Agave flowers on the ground. Photo by Author.


Eildon Hill Reservoir in Windsor, Windsor, Historical Brisbane, Eildon Hill Reservoir Lookout, Turrbal people
A tower for communications on top of Eildon Hill. Photo by Author.


Today the hill is used by local residents for recreational walking, walking the dog, running and cycling.

The 360 degrees views are obstructed by tall trees, but here and there are some openings in the vegetation and it is possible to see far away on clear days.

There are also walking trails in the vegetation climbing up the steep hill.

Eildon Hill Reservoir in Windsor, Windsor, Historical Brisbane, Eildon Hill Reservoir Lookout, Turrbal people
Start of a trail on the Eildon Hill. Photo by Author.


Eildon Hill Reservoir in Windsor, Windsor, Historical Brisbane, Eildon Hill Reservoir Lookout, Turrbal people
Vent of the Reservoir. Photo by Author.


Eildon Hill Reservoir in Windsor, Windsor, Historical Brisbane, Eildon Hill Reservoir Lookout, Turrbal people
In the distance the Port of Brisbane's cranes. Photo by Author.
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Your Comment
What a spectacular view of the city and so accessible
by Gillian Ching (score: 3|2480) 21 days ago
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by Jane Wong on 17/03/2017
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