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Warragamba Dam

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by Anne Dignam (subscribe)
I am a amateur freelance writer from Sydney. My passion is Aboriginal history, Australia and its unusual places. My aim is to share my knowledge to better your experience. Thank you
Published May 25th 2014
Australia's largest concrete dam
Warragamba Dam Visitor Centre Lookout

On the outskirts of Penrith, near Silverdale and Wallacia is Sydney's water supply Warragamba Dam, part of the Wollondilly Shire.

Welcome to Warragamba

There are 2 ways of viewing the Dam. The first may I suggest be at Eighteenth Street, Warragamba turn right passing the shops and taking a left steep road down pass the Warragamba Workers Club, to the end of the road. There is little signposting and it's far from accurate as we found out.

View from Eighteenth Street Spillway Lookout

This gated section closes at 5pm and you have a wonderful view of Warragamba Dam from the southern end, viewing the spillages and barrels and runoffs when they open their gates to release logs or excess water. There are stations explaining what has happened since Warragamba's creation of the Dam in 1960.

Top of dam wall and in the trees to the right is the Spillway Lookout

Warragamba Dam is the largest concrete dam in Australia holding 80% of Sydney's drinking water. Sydney Catchment Authority took control of Warragamba Dam in 1999 in order to supply clean and cleansed water to Sydney, Blue Mts and Southern Highlands of NSW. Auxiliary spillways and major changes have been made since SCA have taken over responsibility of the Dam.

A massive water tower

Heading to the Visitors Centre, which closes at 4pm, was a bit tricky; there is little to no signposting, after many wrong turns and so close yet so far frustrated moments, may I suggest you keep on the main road, keeping the shops to your right, this will lead you past this water tower and down to some automatic gates at Haviland Park. Here you may park your car and enjoy the park or visit the Centre. No cameras are allowed in the centre.

Larner Johnson Valve these pumps run the dam

There are large value and pump machinery outside the centre with stations explaining the values operation.

Dam Valves

The first thing I noticed were the massive changes since I was last here 30 years ago as a child. You can no longer walk the dam wall, but I believe in the next year or two this maybe a possibility.

Haviland Park, is a large park where you can picnic, relax or walk and there is a Visitors Centre, with 2 look down points. Inside the Visitors Centre a large window overlooking the dam for those cold winter days, so you can stay warm. The centre is "information overload" so don't be in a rush while here. We arrived late afternoon with the sun shining across the water which was blinding and unfortunately we couldn't see the beauty of the river system beyond the dam.

Lake Burragorang and blinding afternoon sun

Lake Burragorang, was once, strongly connected with the Gundungarra people who lived here before it was flooded and became Warragamba Dam. Learn about the aboriginal dreamtime stories and many interactive and interesting facts of the creation of the dam.

A wonderful day out for all and a great venue for a large group. Later in the year I believe a few more areas will be opened, so keep a lookout for small changes.

Warragamba Dam wall

Well worth the drive and please watch for kangaroos in the area around dusk. Warragamba shops are the only available food outlets near the dam and there are a few playground areas scattered around the area for children.

Warragamba Dam

Warragamba Visitor Centre Map

Spillway Lookout Map
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Why? Australia's largest concrete dam
When: Everyday till 4pm
Where: Warragamba Dam
Cost: Free
Your Comment
thanks for the update on the dam...went 20 years ago and can see from your pics they have really done so much to make the place a great family place to go
by josmi (score: 1|44) 1847 days ago
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