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Fitzroy Falls Reservoir A hidden gem on the Highlands

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Status Open to Public
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Visit the Dam

Facilities

  • Children's playground
  • Drinking water
  • Barbecues
  • Interpretive signs
  • Parking
  • Toilets
  • Hot Water
  • Disabled toilets
  • Picnic tables
  • Picnic shelters

Fitzroy Falls Reservoir is about 20 kilometres south-east of Bowral on the Yarrunga Creek upstream of Fitzroy Falls. The reservoir is popular for land-based recreational fishing.

Lookout points

Recreation area

Limited views of the reservoir are available from the picnic grounds.

Fishing area

Views of the reservoir are available from the land-based fishing area.

Things to do

Large Group notifictaion image and link

Opening hours

Reservoir grounds

Open 24 hours a day, all year round
Entry is free

Directions

View in Maps

Fitzroy Falls Reservoir is about 140 kilometres drive from Sydney. From Sydney, follow the Hume Highway (F5) south towards Goulburn and take the Mittagong to Bowral turn-off. Take the Nowra Road towards Kangaroo Valley. The reservoir is about 20 kilometres south-east of Bowral. The recreation area is off the Nowra-Moss Vale Road. The reservoir's fishing area is off Myra Vale Road.

Facilities

  • Children's playground
  • Drinking water
  • Barbecues
  • Interpretive signs
  • Parking
  • Toilets
  • Hot Water
  • Disabled toilets
  • Picnic tables
  • Picnic shelters

Fishing

  • Toilets
  • Walking Tracks
  • Information Signs
  • Parking

Restrictions

Restrictions are in place to protect our water supply and ensure that everyone has an enjoyable and safe visit - with penalties up to $44,000 applying:

  • No wood, charcoal or solid fuel barbecues. Penalties of up to $5,500 apply
  • Portable gas barbecues are permitted (except during total fire bans)
  • No camping
  • No dogs, horses or other pets
  • No model aircraft or drones
  • No access allowed to restricted and Special Areas
  • No watercraft
  • No swimming
  • No smoking within 10 metres of children's playgrounds and four metres of shelters, toilets and public buildings
  • Keep to vehicle speed limits and be aware of pedestrians
  •  

Recreation Areas at WaterNSW dams will be closed on ALL Total Fire Ban days.

The Fitzroy Falls experience

Top 3 things to see and do

1. Enjoy the land-based fishing

Try your luck fishing for trout and bass in the reservoir. Land-based fishing is available from designated areas on the eastern foreshore. Refer to map for details.

2. Take a break and enjoy a picnic

The picnic area is a great spot to take a break from your car journey. Stretch your legs and enjoy the peaceful surroundings. Or throw down a rug and enjoy a picnic. Facilities include electric barbecues, picnic shelters and tables, drinking water, children's playground and toilets.

3. Visit nearby Bendeela Recreation Area, Tallowa Dam, Morton National Park and Fitzroy Falls Visitor Centre

Enjoy the recreational activities available nearby - camping, canoeing, swimming and fishing at Bendeela Recreation Area, and canoeing, swimming and fishing at Tallowa Dam. Head further south to explore the lush escarpment country of the Southern Highlands between Robertson and Nowra, including spectacular Fitzroy Falls, NPWS Visitor Centre and Morton National Park.

Dam Summary

14
Metres High
Length: 1,530 metres
Size of lake:
5.2 km 2
9.95 gl total operating capacity
Catchment: 31 square kilometres

Facts & History

Located about 140 kilometres south of Sydney, Fitzroy Falls Reservoir is on Yarrunga Creek upstream of Fitzroy Falls and about 20 kilometres south-east of Bowral. It consists of four separate earth and rockfill embankments, completed in 1974 as part of the Shoalhaven Scheme.

Why the Shoalhaven Scheme was built

Plans for a water supply in the Shoalhaven first arose at the end of World War I, but it was not until 1968 that the Water Board consulted the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Authority about the longer-term water needs of Sydney and the south coast. There was concern that Warragamba Dam, which had opened only eight years earlier, might not be enough to meet Sydney's water supply needs by the mid-1970s.

The advice was to proceed with the Shoalhaven Scheme. Construction of Tallowa Dam began in 1971 and was completed in 1976. Construction also commenced on reservoirs on the coastal range above Fitzroy Falls, and on the Upper Wingecarribee River. Fitzroy Falls and Wingecarribee reservoirs were completed in 1974.

Water from Tallowa Dam, and Fitzroy Falls and Wingecarribee reservoirs, is now used to supply local communities and supplement Sydney and Illawarra water supplies. Power generation involves regular exchange of stored waters between Lake Yarrunga, Bendeela Pondage and Fitzroy Falls Reservoir.

How the Shoalhaven Scheme works

The Shoalhaven Scheme is unique in Sydney's water supply, designed as a dual-purpose water transfer and hydro-electric power generation scheme.

Water pumped from the Shoalhaven Scheme is mostly collected from the Tallowa Dam catchment of 5,750 square kilometres. Wingecarribee and Fitzroy Falls reservoirs have relatively small catchment areas totalling only 70 square kilometres.

Water from the Shoalhaven Scheme provides water to the local Southern Highlands and Goulburn communities. It can also be fed into Warragamba Dam and the Upper Nepean dams to top-up the Sydney and Illawarra water supplies.

From Wingecarribee Reservoir, water can be released into the Wingecarribee River, which flows into the Wollondilly River and Lake Burragorang to feed the main Sydney supply system via Warragamba Dam. Water can also be released from Wingecarribee Reservoir via canals and pipelines (collectively known as Glenquarry Cut) into the Nepean River which flows into Nepean Dam. From there, it can be transferred to Sydney via the Upper Canal or to the Illawarra region via the Nepean-Avon tunnel to Avon Dam.

As well as supplementing water supply, the Shoalhaven Scheme also supplies water to local communities. Wingecarribee Reservoir supplies Bowral and Mittagong via Wingecarribee Shire Council's water filtration plant next to the reservoir. Goulburn can also be supplied with water from Wingecarribee Reservoir in drought times. Kangaroo Valley township is supplied from Shoalhaven City Council's treatment plant, which draws water from Bendeela Pondage. Water is also released from Tallowa Dam into the Shoalhaven River so that Shoalhaven City Council can extract water from the river to supply Nowra.

The Shoalhaven Scheme hydro-electric power generation involves pumping water up the system between Lake Yarrunga and Fitzroy Falls Reservoir using off-peak electricity. Some of that water is then released back down the system to generate electricity during periods of peak demand. The power is fed into the state-wide transmission grid through the Canberra-Dapto transmission line.

61.0
Monday 19 November
-0.5
1,574,616 ML
2,581,850 ML
11,104 ML
1,587 ML
-11,906 ML
Monday 19 November
47.0
Fitzroy Falls Reservoir
Shoalhaven
Monday 19 November
4,680
9,950
7,140
1,490
6,392
-2,460
3,190
-1,712
71.8
15.0
64.2
-24.7
32.1
-17.2