Wingecarribee Reservoir is about 10 kilometres south-east of Bowral on the Wingecarribee River. It’s unique for the ancient peat swamp immediately upstream of the reservoir, which is a habitat for several endangered species. The reservoir supplies the nearby towns of Bowral and Mittagong, and is part of the Shoalhaven Scheme which during drought also tops up Sydney and Illawarra water supplies. Goulburn can also be supplied with water from Wingecarribee Reservoir.
Part of the swamp collapsed during a storm in 1998, detaching large blocks of peat which now float in the reservoir, reducing the operating capacity by 9 billion litres of water. To protect the spillway from floating peat blocks, two new barriers were installed in the reservoir in 2012 – one in front of the spillway, and one further away in the reservoir.
The earth and rockfill dam was completed in 1974.
We visited the reservoir on 11 April 2021. It was very difficult to find and the instructions and map in the WaterNSW web site did not appear to be correct, or consistent. Apple Maps was no help either as it directed us onto a private road locked by a gate. We finally found it off Kangaloon Road. The picnic area is quite small, but located close to the spillway. Incidentally, the spillway is in operation, but it was difficult to get a good photo of it.