Start Point: Dam Access Rd, Masonmill
Distance: 6 kms
Duration: 1.5 – 2 hours
The Victoria Reservoir Walk is a 6km historic loop around the old and new Victoria Dam in Korung National Park.
The first 800m of this trail is along a bitumen road and is a little dull, so take this as an opportunity to warm up those legs. As you reach the car park and the interpretive sign about black cockatoos you head left along a gravel trail and enter Jarrah/Marri forest lined with lush grass trees. Before long you will reach a bench seat with perfect views of the city and Swan Coastal Plain, definitely a great spot to sit and take in the fresh air of the hills!
It isn’t long before you start to see the bright blue water of Victoria Reservoir peeking through the trees and as you near the edge of the hills you will be amazed by the views of the Victoria Dam and Reservoir. A large wooden viewing platform is perfectly situated to allow you to take in the views of both the new and old Victoria Dam, the surrounding hills of Korung National Park, the valley, and in the distance – Perth city!
As you head down the wooden stair case, you’ll find a small wooden pergola near the water’s edge, another great spot to stop and take in the views of this man-made lake. From here, you will head down the road to the old Victoria Dam (follow the ‘to Bickley Reservoir signs’).
Side note: There is a toilet block located in the lower car park between the new and old dams, approximately a 100m detour from the trail.
The Old Victoria Dam was Perth’s first public water supply scheme and was constructed at a time when settlement still relied on public wells and rainwater tanks. The increased population of Perth and unreliable rainfall caused water shortages which lead to water borne diseases. In 1891, after 2 years of manual labour, the 220m long Victoria Dam was opened. In 1990, the wall of the original Victoria Dam was partly demolished to allow overflow from a larger capacity dam built 300m upstream. In 1991 the new Victoria Dam was opened.
After getting your dose of history from the old structure and nearby interpretive signs you will carry on along the trail and aside the valley. In Winter the water would flow nicely along here and the gentle sounds of water cascading down the rocks could be heard. Marri trees and White Gums make up a lot of the scenery for this part of the trail and as you near the old wooden bridge you will start to notice the magical Karri Hazel line the trail. The old wooden bridge was restored in 1988 so is perfectly safe and as you’ll see there is a new concrete bridge that is now used right next to it.
The old wooden bridge is in a perfectly shaded spot, so would be idyllic to stop here and “smell the roses”. From the bridge, you head up a rocky trail to the right which takes you slightly uphill and along-side a valley with plenty of granite outcrops and boulders peeking through the trees! The bird life through this section is phenomenal and as you hike along you’ll be serenaded by birds calls coming from all directions! The last stretch of this loop turns off onto the Kattamordo Heritage Trail and leads you back to the start point. This last section is along a narrow windy trail amongst the trees.
The family friendly Victoria Reservoir Walk will take you about 1.5-2hrs to complete. It is certainly a diverse little loop with many different landscapes, features and history to keep you very engaged.