Cardinia Reservoir Park is the perfect setting for a picnic, barbecue or stroll along the reservoir wall or one of the tracks. The park contains three picnic areas each with its own wonderful views of the surrounding bushland and open lawns. There are two reservoir viewing areas offering spectacular views over the water and surrounding district. Whether you’ve come for a family get-together, bike ride, walk or to see kangaroos, you are sure to find a special area that meets your needs.
How to get there
Cardinia Reservoir can be accessed from Wellington Rd (Melway 126 C11) or Red Hill Rd (Melway 210 G4). A one-way road loops around the main areas of the park.
Observation Car Park
On entering the park the road rises to the observation car park for a view over the expanse of the Cardinia Reservoir. There is a car park to the right with two disabled car parks on the right at the far end. This is a vantage point only and not worth getting out of the car with a wheelchair. There are no curb cuts and all roads from here lead down fairly steeply. The pedestrian crossing to the lower car park has deep culverts on either side of the road. If you intend on doing the dam wall walk, park in the next or lower, Lookout Car park
Lookout Car Park
Just down the hill is the lookout car park. The entrance is at the bottom and two disabled spots are available on the left near the information sign. Both of these spots are 3.8 metres in width. Access to the dam wall walk is via the car park entrance, a distance of 40 metres. There are no curb cuts and the road has a gradient of 1 in 16.
The information board is not accessible as there is no curb cut allowing access to it.
Dam Wall Walk
The Dam Wall Walk offers a great view over the expanse of the Cardinia Reservoir. It can be accessed from the Lookout Car park at the main entrance end and by the Spillway Car park at the southern end. The path is sealed, wide, smooth and level making it an easy traverse. The entry at both ends is a metre wide. The posted time for the walk is one hour return.
Spillway Car Park
The Spillway Car park is at the southern end of the wall and affords another great view across the Cardinia Reservoir. In misty weather this car park provides great photographic opportunities. There are two disabled parking bays here nearest the wall and information sign. As with the rest of the parks these bays are 4 metres wide. Access is available here to the dam wall walk. The car park and access trails are sealed.
Kangaroo Flat Picnic Area
The park has three picnic areas all equipped with wood fired BBQs. A supply of wood is located at each picnic area. No solid fuel BBQs other than those provided may be used in the park.
There are no designated car parks at Kangaroo Flat. A rounded curb exists at the entrance to the picnic area. There are no accessible picnic tables.
There are no toilet facilities available at this picnic spot. The nearest toilets, including accessible facilities are at Crystal Brook.
Crystal Brook Picnic Area
The Crystal Brook Picnic Area is the best equipped for the disabled visitor. As you enter the car park there is one disabled parking spot near the toilet facility which is 4.6 metres wide and one more about half way down the car park, which is 3.3 metres wide.
The picnic facilities and playground are below the car park and require descent via ramps at both car park locations. Both of these ramps are wide and well surfaced. The one in the middle of the car park is asphalt, has a gradient of 1 in 13 with a level rest area half way down. The total length of the ramp is 28 metres. The ramp near the toilet block is a hard gravel surface with a gradient of approximately 1 in 14. This ramp gives access to the playground and the messmate trail. Picnic tables are available both out on the grassy areas and in the woodland setting. Wood fired BBQs are available. Both the BBQ’s and wood bins are at an accessible height. As with the tables at Kangaroo Flat there are no picnic tables that cater for a wheelchair.
There is an excellent toilet facility adjacent to the car park that has full disabled facilities. The toilet block does not require the descent into the picnic ground. The path is 25 metres in length at an approximate gradient of 1 in 50.
The Messmate Trail is accessible via the Crystal Brook Picnic Area. A kilometre or so of this trail is wide relatively flat and affords an opportunity to view Kangaroos grazing in the early morning or late afternoon. It also offers the access to the grasslands for families. Once the path turns to gravel it crossed at bridge at the end of the grassy valley and becomes steep.
Duffy’s Lookout Picnic Area
Duffy’s Lookout picnic area is accessed from a separate entrance to the park further down Duffy’s Road. This picnic area has two disabled car parking spots, both 3.6 metres in width. There is one curb cut in this park that leads down to the toilet block that has good disabled facilities and a baby change table. The path down to the toilet block, however, is steep. The path length is 45 metres with 25 metres of it at a gradient of approximately 1 in 10. The same path continues to the upper picnic ground with an equally steep ascent to the relatively level picnic area. A path leads directly to the picnic area from in front of the disabled parking bays but there is no curb cut to allow access to it and it is blocked altogether by any cars using the disabled bays.
The picnic tables in this park are concrete construction and have one chair missing to allow a wheelchair up to the table.
There are also two wooden accessible picnic tables in the lower picnic pavilion.
There is a second picnic area on the lower side of the car park. There is no curb cut to gain access from the car park and the surfaced paths in this section are extremely narrow. The path continues right through to the Crystal Brook area but is not suitable for wheelchairs.
Aura Vale Lake
Aura Vale Lake is approximately 2 kilometres further towards Emerald on Wellington Road. The main access area is the Henley Picnic Park.
Two designated disabled parking bays are available next to the toilet block and change room. Both spots are 3.6 metres wide.
There is a unisex accessible facility. It contains a toilet with side grab bars as well as a change room with a fixed seat.
The picnic tables provided are standard tables, they do not have an accessible end or side.
The paths down to the lake edge are sealed paths of a gentle gradient giving access to the waters edge. Curb cuts are not provided out of the car park onto the pathways.