UPDATE 14 July 2020 COVID-19: For the latest information, please see https://www.parks.vic.gov.au/get-into-nature/safety-in-nature/covid-19-u...
Tucked away in Christmas Hills, Sugarloaf is a tranquil setting for a picnic or a stroll near the reservoir shores, offering wonderful views across the water. Some of the more popular things to do at Sugarloaf is fishing, sailing, walking and picnicking.
For the more energetic, there is a 15km walk that circumnavigates the reservoir or the shorter Ironbark and Chris Phillips Walk.
Visitors will see the eastern grey kangaroos and black-tailed wallabies that live throughout the park. If you lucky enough you may even see an echidna on waddling through the bush on or one of the walking tracks
Sugarloaf Reservoir was developed by Melbourne Water during the late 1970s to help supplement Melbourne’s domestic water supply. Unlike many other reservoirs, which draw their water directly from protected forested catchments, Sugarloaf is fed by the Maroondah Aqueduct and Yarra River via the Sugarloaf pipeline. Upon leaving the reservoir, water is treated at the Winneke Water Treatment, before distribution to Melbourne.
The park is open every day of the year. Gates open at 8.30am and close at 5.00pm daily and 7.00pm during daylight saving.
Of the two main picnic areas at Sugarloaf Reservoir Park, Saddle Dam picnic area is the more accessible. The ground is flatter and designated accessible parking, picnic settings and toilets are provided. The paths around the picnic areas are generally good. The longer walking track around the reservoir and down to the water's edge is steep and unsealed.
Length: 15 kilometres
Time: 4.5 hours
Grade: Moderate, includes some steep sections, and track condition varies
Track: Moderate, undulating trail
Start/Finish: Ridge Picnic Area or Saddle Dam Picnic Area
Nearby: Yarra Glen, Kangaroo Ground
The Circuit track follows the waterline for the most part. Track markers (posts or orange triangles nailed to trees) help you navigate the trail. It is recommended that walkers undertaking the circuit walk notify Parks Victoria on 13 1963. Much of the Park is grassland, however walkers can also see remnant pockets of dry open-forest, with new regeneration areas.
Keep and eye out for the spectacular Wedge Tailed Eagle also know as Bunjil the eagle to the Indigeneous Wurindjeri people.
Keen anglers and families can try their hand at shoreline fishing in designated areas during park hours. Regular species caught include Rainbow and Brown Trout, Redfin or European Carp. Use only lures or artificial bait and don't forget you will need a Recreational Fishing Licence.