Life & Style

The Reservoir on The Hill

132 years of history reopens its doors

After sealing the doors shut almost 50 years ago, one of Australia's oldest reservoirs is preparing to reopen, giving the people of Newcastle a chance to view this engineering marvel for themselves.

The discreet Brown Street entry makes for an unexpected access point. Before you descend the recently installed steel staircase, one of the few additions made to the reservoir, adjust your eyes and try to imagine two million litres of water sloshing around you.

The grand internal stone archways and 32 stunning four metre high brick columns are what made it possible for the City to store fresh, clean water and deliver it straight into thousands of homes.

Built before Newcastle had electricity or a train line to Sydney, the engineering of the reservoir was ahead of its time and remarkably only a little retouching was required to prepare the site for visitors.

Minister for Natural Resources, Lands and Water Kevin Humphries said, "Opening the reservoir to the public would unlock an important part of Newcastle’s history".

“The reservoir is the first underground reservoir of its age to be opened to the public. Being inside the reservoir is an extraordinary experience and I am delighted Hunter Water has decided to share it with the community.”

Hunter Water’s Managing Director Kim Wood said, “In addition to allowing the public to climb down into the belly of the reservoir, the tour will include a history of the Hunter’s original water supply and reveal a glimpse of life in the late 1800's.”

To check out The Reservoir for yourself Click Here.

The Reservoir on The Hill