Hundreds of kayakers have taken to the water of Myponga Reservoir for the first time today, marking the beginning of on-water access and another milestone in the Marshall Liberal Government’s plan to open up the state’s reservoirs – just in time for Easter and school holidays.

More than 75,000 people have visited Myponga Reservoir since it was opened to the public in April 2019 providing a significant economic boost to the region and creating jobs with new businesses starting up as a result.

Premier Steven Marshall said on-water access at Myponga Reservoir will encourage even more visitors to the Fleurieu Peninsula especially in the lead up to the holiday period.

“We’re proud to be delivering this hugely popular commitment to open up our reservoirs, and on-water access at Myponga is the next exciting step,” Premier Marshall said.

“Opening up reservoirs across South Australia has proven to be an outstanding success, bolstering regional economies, backing business and creating local jobs.

“The establishment of vibrant café Valley of Yore in recent months is testament to the positive impact the opening of Myponga Reservoir has had on the local community and its economy.”

Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs said today’s introduction of on-water activities at Myponga made it one of the state’s most scenic adventure locations with 250 hectares of water for kayaking and fishing, as well as a six-kilometre trail network for running, walking and cycling.

“The jewel in the crown of our Opening up our Reservoirs policy, Myponga was the very first reservoir we opened up to the public almost two years ago and I’m thrilled to see the evolution of this space and to be able to add kayaking and on-water fishing to the recreational opportunities on offer,” Minister Speirs said.

“South Australians have been asking for more green open spaces – particularly on the Fleurieu Peninsula – and activating them is encouraging tourism and creating local jobs in the region. We’ve already seen tens of thousands of people visit Myponga Reservoir since it first opened and with kayaking now available, I expect even more people to visit.

“The opening of the reservoir has transformed Myponga from a drive through town, to a must-visit destination and offering action-based activities like kayaking and fishing will encourage people to stay longer.

“With Easter and school holidays just around the corner it’s a perfect opportunity to get out and explore one of our reservoirs whether it’s here at Myponga, South Para near the Barossa or Hope Valley in metropolitan Adelaide.

“For far too long under the former Labor Government these sites were unnecessarily locked away and I am afraid if they were to be re-elected they would bring the padlocks back out.”

Co-Owner of the Valley of Yore café Holly Wyatt said the increase in visitors drawn by the reservoir reserve gave confidence to open the business in January.

“When we moved to Myponga we were drawn to the natural beauty of the reservoir. We also saw the opportunity to offer a local haven for locally roasted coffee, quality food and an inspiring place to rest, reflect and connect after exploring the trails,” Holly said.

“It was encouraging to witness a steady increase of people's engagement in Myponga since the reserve opened in April 2019 and we’re expecting an even greater swell of visitors as the activity offering increases – we look forward to welcoming them in after their adventures.”

A major component of enabling on-water access included upgrading SA Water’s Myponga Water Treatment Plant to incorporate ultraviolet disinfection facilities to safeguard drinking water quality.

“A recent $4.5 million investment to upgrade the adjacent water treatment plant with state-of-the-art ultraviolet disinfection capabilities has allowed on-water access without compromising the high standard of safe, clean drinking water for Fleurieu residents,” Minister Speirs said.

Construction of the new facilities were completed in September 2020 with commissioning, testing and proving successfully demonstrating the effect of additional treatment on protecting our water quality.

More information about recreational access at South Australia’s reservoir reserves – including conditions of entry – can be found at www.reservoirs.sa.gov.au.

Bundaleer, South Para and Warren reservoir reserves are open for fishing, kayaking, walking, and cycling.

Hope Valley Reservoir Reserve is open for land-based activities including walking, running, cycling, and picnicking.

Happy Valley Reservoir Reserve will offer kayaking, fishing, walking, and cycling opportunities by the end of this year.