With Happy Valley Reservoir Reserve now open to the public, we thought we would set aside a day and take the hour-long drive there to check it out. Although only 20 kilometres from the CBD, the reserve is quite a hike if you happen to live on the other side of town. However, it does provide a beautiful nature space for both families and individuals to escape to.
There is a 11-kilometre Shoreline Loop trail along the water's edge and through open grassy areas and a pine forest. Walk, run or cycle - the choice is yours - just be mindful of the steep hills. If that's a concern, other easier loops are available too and, from the dam wall, you'll get spectacular views of the reservoir.
Walking on the dam wall
For those interested in kayaking, the launch pontoon and shoreline beach launch area in the southern and western sides of the reserve will be your starting point. There are more than 110 hectares of water and shoreline to explore. Fishing is also allowed, with a permit, of course. And, once you've made your booking, you can fish either from the shoreline or from a kayak.
Launching the kayaks
After all the adventure, I reckon it's time to sit back, relax and enjoy a picnic. You are welcome to avail yourself of the barbecues and shelters onsite. Vehicle entry to the reserve is via Chandlers Hill Road and accessible parking can be found in both carparks.
Lastly, in case you're wondering, water from the reservoir is treated before being supplied to consumers. Its water treatment plant can be seen from the water.
One of the picnic shelters in the background
If you live in the northern suburbs, why not check out the nearby Hope Valley, South Para and Warren reservoir reserves too. They are all worth a visit.