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


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


Author's Epilogue

And so we come to the end of our journey, which started 100 years ago ago and ended in 2013!

Why have I produced this work?


I have been interested in the Warburton district for many decades!


I was introduced to the town in September 1951 on a school-holiday day bus trip arranged by the YMCA here in Melbourne, which was one of many excursions available to boys aged 10 to 13, who were members of the YMCA Boys’ Club. '

We were taken to the summit of snow-covered Mt Donna Buang, climbed the Lookout Tower, built a snowman, and then had some free time back in the town before the drive back to Melbourne.

I had just bought a Kodak 620 Box Brownie Camera, and the very first photos I took at Warburton were on that camera, which is still in good working order, some 62 years later!

It was to be six years later, in 1957, before I visited Warburton again. By that time, I was working in the PMG’s Dept as a Trainee Technician, and with a mate I went to Warby by train and spent the day there wandering around the town and the River.

In 1959 I got my driver's licence and bought a car, a 1948 Ford Anglia Tourer and in 1960 I took my family to Warby, on the way through to a trip to the Upper Yarra Reservoir.

In the mid-1960s I was involved in a Bushwalking Club and did some day hikes to the Warby region.

I never returned to Warby until 2005, when I completed a series of shorter hikes which included Mt Boobyalla, Mt Donna Buang, Mt Victoria, Ben Cairn, Mt Littlejoe and the Big Pat’s Creek region.

In mid-2006, the first sector of the O’Shannassy Aqueduct Trail was opened, and in the years until the present I completed most of the Trail.

In the years since the early 2000s, I have travelled extensively throughout the Yarra Ranges National Park.

During my travels in the Warby area, I had come across artefacts and remains of early sawmilling activity and water systems, and this present Project brings together many heritage, contemporary maps and drawings, with personal photographs and videos, depicting the evolution and development of the O'Shannassy System.


During 2012, I made many trips to Warburton, researching the O'Dhannassy System, original mill sites, tramway alignments and logging inclines, identifying their locations, and what is there now! Several of the small concrete timber tramway bridges across the O’Shannassy Aqueduct survive, which can be inspected along the O’Shannassy Aqueduct Trail.

Enjoy your journey in time and space as you wander along the OShannassy Aqueduct Trail!

Comments and feedback from readers would be appreciated!

Bob Padula

January 2013

Mont Albert, Melbourne

1951 - YMCA Bus trip to Warburton - my friend Andrew on the main bridge

1951 - The YMCA bus trip to Warburton - the Lookout Tower at Mt Donna Buang

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