Yarra Ranges

Heritage Database
Mt Evelyn Water Supply System


114 Birmingham Road, MOUNT EVELYN VIC 3796 - Property No S05829

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Statement of Significance

The remains of the Mt. Evelyn Water Supply System, the water race which provided Lilydale's original water supply from 1905-1915, has high local significance. The construction of the water race has scientific significance as part of the engineering history of Yarra Ranges Shire. The water race and reservoir remains have significance, too, as part of a walking track through bush and fern gullies which lead to the Cascades, a popular beauty spot since the 1880s. The Reservoir, which remained in use until the 1930s, is being transformed into a wetland area.


The Mt Evelyn water supply system consists of a series of elements including: the water take-off point at the Cascades and weir, the water race alignments, the Birmingham Road reservoir, Quinn Reserve. Within Quinn Reserve are the Horseshoe Falls, a clay bank dug out to install a waterwheel on the Olinda Creek as part of the Cave Hill tramway system (see also Place 120), which became a popular swimming spot in the 1920s and 30s.

The water race is an important surviving feature, now filled in and serving as a walking track. Quinn Reserve, which is bounded in part by the water race, is an important area of remnant bushland containing stringybarks and gums. The reservoir at Birmingham Road was not inspected.

In 1998 a new path was cut down to the Horseshoe Falls, and in 1999 the Reservoir was cleared of rubbish and environmental weeds as a co-operative effort between the Friends of Water Race and Quinn Reserve, Shire of Yarra Ranges, Eastern Water and Birmingham School.

Within Quinn Reserve there is also said to be a Canoe Tree.

Physical Conditions: Varies

Integrity: Altered

(Build 107 (35372) / 25/04/15 ) Terms and Conditions