With a capacity of almost three gigalitres, Hope Valley Reservoir stores water transferred from Gorge Weir on the River Torrens. Inflowing water collected by the weir is being diverted via an aqueduct and a pipeline to the reservoir. Its level has been kept the same with the release of water into the river from two larger upstream reservoirs as required.
Completed in 1873, the reservoir is now the centrepiece to Hope Valley Reservoir Reserve which has recently been opened for public access at the end of last year. This is the first metropolitan reservoir reserve to be opened to the public in South Australia. It provides approximately five kilometres of walking and cycling trails including an opportunity to cross the 800-metre dam wall. Two lookout shelters along the wall serve as places to just sit back and enjoy great views of the reservoir especially the view across the water to the hills which is simply stunning. A number of wildlife and birds also call the reservoir home.
For those wanting to pack a picnic basket, some picnic tables are available within the forested areas of the reserve. Alternatively, you could pack a blanket or a couple of chairs as well. The forest beneath the wall is rather pleasant and has a path meandering through it. The park in the forest adjacent the O-Bahn Busway is quite spacious with a trail linking directly into its bikeway. This makes riding your bike to the reservoir such a breeze. However, if you do prefer to drive, there is car parking at the entrance off Lyons Road. Toilets are also conveniently located next to the car park.
Hope Valley Reservoir Reserve is open daily from 7:30am to 8pm during the summer months but closes earlier at 5pm over winter. Exceptions are Christmas Day and Total Fire Ban Days when its gates will be closed.