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Wynn Vale Dam

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by Graeme Fanning (subscribe)
I'm a tour guide who is passionate about South Australia and love to showcase to locals and visitors. Visit my facebook page at
Published June 6th 2017
Damn the chores, enjoy a unique wetland site
Wynn Vale Dam

A surprise package awaits up at Wynn Vale in the form of a 100 megaliltre dam which incorporates nowadays an extensive wetland area for all to enjoy.

You have to keep reminding yourself that you are still in suburbia as Wynn Vale is located just under 20 kms north-east of the centre of the city of Adelaide, about a 30 minute drive away.

Wynn Vale Dam
Serene Environment - Source: Graeme Fanning

Background and History

Wynn Vale, the suburb was originally part of what was known as Modbury Estate, a winery owned by S Wynn and Company.

The vineyards were planted with white grapes, which were used for making sherries and quality dry white wines.

As Adelaide's population continued to rapidly expand, this area and the adjacent Golden Grove were earmarked for development of housing estates, and in 1974 the South Australian Land Commission bought some 390 hectares of land in the region.

Finally in the 1980's Delfin and the South Australian Urban Land Trust were named as joint developers and construction began.

The Wynn Vale Dam was originally constructed by S Wynn and Company in 1962 so as to irrigate their vines as part of the Modbury Estate.

In 2009 the stormwater harvesting and treatment plant was built, the first of its kind in Australia, which now is able to clean, disinfect and store approximately 400 megalitres of stormwater per annum in fractured rock aquifers for use on the area's parks and reserves during the drier months.

Wynn Vale Dam
Amazing Flora

Recreational options

The first thing you notice upon arrival is the peace and tranquility the wetland reserve invokes. Despite being slap bang in the middle of well established urban development, you can soon immerse yourself in a pleasant haven that allows you to follow several options of walking trails around the dam, which takes around 20 minutes to complete the circuit.

In June 2012 interpretive signage was implemented around the site, providing information about the wetland area, including interactive activities for both school children and families visiting the dam.

Not only can you take a gentle stroll on the well provided pathways but you can also cycle around the edge of the dam.

One of the popular pastimes is to bring a picnic lunch, enjoying the serene atmosphere alongside the wetlands, watching the diverse varieties of wildlife that are attracted to these types of environments.

For example the ducks will be the most notable in their sheer number but you may be lucky to see other waterbirds such as swamphens, cormorants, egrets, herons and perhaps even spoonbills revelling in their habitat.

Looking closer, you should be able to find several species of frogs, fish, crustaceans and varying insects - in fact the wetlands are teeming with life.

For those of you interested in flora, there are some magnificent River Red gums close to the dam, as well as some huge willows and varying species of natives to almost lose yourself amongst.

Wynn Vale Dam
Peaceful Reflections

Community Garden

Perched on the edge of the wetlands lies a community garden, which was originally established in 1994 in conjunction with various community groups including local residents, the Local Council, Tea Tree Gully Community Health Services, and the South Australian Police Young Offenders Unit.

The entire garden has been planned on Permaculture and organic gardening principles and one half contains individual plots and the remainder communal, ornamental, native, herb and trial vegetable plots.

The garden is open to the public each Saturday between 10am - 12 pm and on hand are experienced community gardeners who can advise you on what might work in your own home garden, and how you can contribute to this great scheme.

Wynn Vale Dam
Eye catching scenery

Wynn Vale Dam Outdoor Education

An outdoor education package has been created and is linked to wetland education sources provided by the Natural Resources Management Board and is aimed at primary school aged children.

Teachers can download fact and activity sheets for students to really learn about wetland environments and how important they are in our society.

These downloadable materials are available on the City of Tea Tree Gully's website .

Wynn Vale Dam
The Fountain in the Dam


Locals who live nearby obviously would like to keep this a secret as they consider themselves fortunate to be amongst a unique locale.

However once you discover what Wynn Vale Dam has to offer, you'll definitely be packing up the car with a picnic lunch, perhaps the dog and the kids and spending a few hours in exile from the normal routine.

Cost is free and the wetlands are open seven days a week for access.

Wynn Vale Dam
Nature in all its glory
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Why? A place amongst suburbia to experience a wetland environment
When: Seven days a week
Phone: 08 8397 7444
Where: Park Lake Drive, Wynn Vale SA
Cost: Free
Your Comment
I thought I knew Adelaide pretty well....but this site is new to me.Must check it out in due course.Thanks Graeme.
by noelp (score: 3|1199) 2074 days ago
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