Sugarloaf Reservoir is one hour northeast of Melbourne and is one of nine dams providing the city with drinking water. You can hike around the whole dam which is what I did today…
Map below indicates location of Sugarloaf Reservoir (in bold). Many of Melbourne’s dams are in the northeast.
I parked my car in the Ridge Picnic Area in the reservoir’s northwestern corner, wandered down towards the water and began hiking clockwise.
This sign was misleading. I clocked up 16.6km with my “detours” so unsure about “18km”. Additional scenic routes?
As Sugarloaf Reservoir is a water supply in use, some sections are off-limit. Reserved for Melbourne Water. The track first followed the fench line.
Tall grass appeared when the track diverted.
My early 8am start ensured plenty of kangaroos and wallabies around, given the proximity to water. I saw perhaps 50 of them this morning. However, around 10am, they had all disappeared.
Across this bay is Sugarloaf Sailing Club and to the right is my destination for today’s first break.
Which is here. Tranquil spot for a morning cuppa.
Right behind me was a closed cafe. I assume that it belonged to the sailing club up behind.
Moving on and I stumbled onto bones. These three bones were all I saw. An ex kangaroo/wallaby?
A note about the orange posts or arrow trail markings. The most visible and most frequent markers I’ve encountered for some time. From one marker, you always saw the next post or arrow, sometimes both. Although this arrow on the wooden post had succumbed to the elements.
My hiking poles have nothing to do with trail markings… Pure “decoration”…
Here, the trail turned right out from the picture. I’m guessing here, but are these tracks up the hill created by kangaroos or wallabies?
Today’s hike was mostly flat. Only a gradual ascension up a lone hill on the reservoir’s eastern side. With a view. Perfect for today’s second cuppa break while checking out Melbourne’s skyline from a distance. And nobody else around…
More great views overlooking Sugarloaf Reservoir.
Here is a “Rota-loo”. The sign says that’s the name for these composting toilets. Great “business” support halfways into the hike.
The trail descended, it got gloomier and this bay looked brilliant in the grey.
Given the reservoir’s use as drinking water, hiking was nowhere permitted along the shoreline. Walk here but not closer to the water.
Plenty of these signs around so every visitor gets the message.
Every post needs one selfie. Unsure what the area behind me was for. No dam here.
My map had marked a bench here. Apparently, this was the bench. One expected more…
I arrived at Saddle Dam Picnic Area after passing these 4 hikers… Not sure what distance they will walk, but possibly not too far…
Saddle Dam Picnic Area looked awful. Noisy, crowded, plenty of cars, picnics and BBQs. I bypassed it… Behind it started the shorter of Sugarloaf Reservoir’s two dam walls.
Driving allowed in both directions and a sidewalk for pedestrians. Between the two dam walls, there is a pumping station and also Winneke Treatment Plant. And the Southern Lookout.
I entered the “lookout” and left immediately after taking this photo. Regarding “lookouts”, this was bad. Glassed in, with nothing whatsoever inside, an empty shell, limited views. Why bother?
Water leaving Winneke Treatment Plant, with a muddy pool in the foreground. The pump house behind the trees.
I walked across the longer dam wall and looked back, water on the left.
Views back across the water. Pumphouse to the left and the longer dam wall to the right.
I had almost completed my circuit now (refer below). Although, here where the above photo is taken, was a picnic table. Providing the perfect setting for my earlyish lunch. So while I’m eating, check out this board.
I returned to my car moments later. Now, Ridge Picnic Area was busy busy. When I arrived, I saw 2 other cars in the parking area. Although, today was Australia Day (26 January) so many likely slept in to have BBQ picnics later.
Today was close to perfect for hiking. Cool not cold, little wind, overcast and no rain or drizzle whatsoever. A fantastic and scenic hike close to Melbourne. Serene and tranquil. The hike took less than 4.5 hours with 3 breaks. And it was even more enjoyable than Lysterfield Lake Park.
I shall return.