Centenary of the O'Shannassy Water Supply System - 1913 to 2013 - a Pictorial Heritage

The Present

1803 - Beginnings
1892 - Surrey Hills Reservoirs
1911 - Design and Construction
1911 - The O'Shannassy Weir
1914 - Maintenance and Operations
1923 - Bushfires, Landslips, and Floods
1924 - Modifications and Enlargements
1927 - Silvan Dam
1927 - Mt Evelyn Aqueduct
1928 - The O'Shannassy Reservoir
1929 - Upper Yarra Conduits
1931 - Silvan Inlet Aqueduct
1996 - Decommissioning
2006 - Pigging Project
2007 - O'Shannassy Aqueduct Trail - Overview
O'Shannassy Aqueduct Trail - Parrot Rd to Don Rd
O'Shannassy Aqueduct Trail - Don Road to Dee Rd
O'Shannassy Aqueduct Trail - Dee Rd to Sussex St
O'Shannassy Aqueduct Trail - Sussex St to Yuonga Rd
O'Shannassy Aqueduct Trail - Yuonga Rd to Donna Buang Rd
O'Shannassy Aqueduct Trail - Donna Buang Rd to Cement Creek Rd
O'Shannassy Aqueduct Trail - Cement Creek Rd to the Weir
The Present
The Author's Websites

Deer steps (2012)

Deer (2006)

The Present

Whilst the majority of the open channel aqueduct remains in place today (albeit in a dilapidated and largely overgrown state) the most obvious legacy of this amazing undertaking is the almost flat and very solid access road which was formed adjacent to the channel. This road forms the surface of the trail and remains in good condition today.

The O'Shannassy aqueduct trail is undoubtedly one of Victorias most spectacular and most appealing walking / riding routes.  Zig zagging its way along the side of the mountains, surrounded by dense forests and huge mountain trees, the trail offers spectacular views, fantastic photography opportunities and an amazing sense of peace, tranquillity and harmony with nature. 

The upper trail is now readily accessible by vehicle from several points, including Dee Road, Surrey Road and Yuonga Road.  Parks has provided signage and limited facilities and the trail  is becoming an increasingly popular destination for enthusiasts and familes alike. The almost level nature of the trail enhances its appeal to all ages and fitness levels, including the disabled. Further extensions to the trail and facilities are underway. 

The Mt Evelyn sections of the trail are particularly well used and, being now very close to well-developed residential areas, provide a very pleasant and popular destination for residents and visitors of all ages and backgrounds.  

Sadly, very little of the background to the aqueduct and its original purpose and story are known or appreciated today. Much of the knowledge and history pertaining to the aqueduct has been lost. Hopefully, this site will go some way to addressing that gap.

Typical gate to control flow of water into channel (2012)

Gratings over channel (early 1920s)

Detail of jointline, when channel was enlarged in 1924 (2012)

Melbourne water storage (2012)

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