Just 45 minutes' drive from Hope Valley Reservoir you will find South Para Reservoir, the second-largest reservoir in the state. It has a capacity of more than 22,000 Olympic swimming pools and could fill Adelaide Oval 90 times over. Its construction was somewhat unique in that the workforce consisted of mainly European immigrants after World War II, inmates from Yatala Labour Prison and Adelaide's homeless men.
The reserve surrounding this reservoir in the Barossa is home to a range of activities designed for the outdoor enthusiasts. These include hiking, cycling, fishing and kayaking. Yes, that's right, you can actually kayak across the vast majority of the reservoir's body of water. Either a short meander or a full day's adventure, the choice is yours. From the launch point to the north-west peninsula will take you approximately 45 minutes while at least 3 hours is needed to go all the way until the old bridge. Remember also to factor in the time required to get back. Plus, in the warmer months, it might be handy to bring along a trolley to help launch your kayak as water levels could be low.
If you rather stay on dry ground, an extensive network of tracks is available for hiking and cycling. These paths would suit anyone with a moderate level of fitness. However, do be mindful of some rough and rocky surfaces along the trail. We chose to walk by its winding shores which rewarded us with stunning views of the reservoir. The total length of the shoreline is 5.6 kilometres. With a paid permit, you are also allowed to fish from the shoreline, or from your kayak if you prefer. The waters are stocked with golden perch and silver perch.
The car park
Public access to South Para Reservoir Reserve is via South Para Road near Williamstown. Although toilets can be found next to the car park, picnic facilities are only available at the south west peninsula and the south peninsula which are both approximately two kilometres away from the entrance.
There is a constant shortage of water, especially in Summer yet they are using the reservoirs as reserves and enforcing water restrictions. Some people grow edible fruit and vegetables....or would if they were allowed enough water to do so.
Beware of the SouthPara to Warren link trail the distance signed is just the link you still have to factor in the loop walks which you need to do to get to the link trail. This and some of the other trails were hastily launched during the first covid scare last year with no consideration to safety they lead to barbed wire fences,locked gates and impenatrable scrub. ( I believe there has been some work done on this) Also beware of idiots on motorbikes.