Yeldulknie Reservoir

Where is it?: Yeldulknie Reservoir is c. 6km ENE of Cleve on Eyre Peninsula.

Property summary: Total area c. 55 hectares. Hundred of Mann – Allotment 1 (Deposited Plan No. 33953).

Landscape Management Region: Eyre

History: On 10 April 19111 in the The Advertiser and The State Government Gazette on 20 April2 (also on 27 April and 4, 11 and 18 May 1911) tenders were called for constructing a concrete dam, earthen embankment, and other works at Yeldulknie Creek, Hundred of Mann, Eyre’s Peninsula. On 25 May 1911 (and also 1 June)3 the closing date for the tender was extended from 23 May until 6 June 1911. The successful tenderers Messrs. Lewis and Reid began construction works in September 19114 . On 5 November 1912 in the House of Assembly, “Mr. Mosely stated that the reservoir at Yeldulknie had been practically finished, and, a large quantity of water was already conserved there.5

The Yeldulknie Scheme was the first large water conservation and distribution network on the Eyre Peninsula and was constructed to supply Arno Bay and Cowell farming areas with reticulated water. The scheme comprised three small gravity reservoirs – Yeldulknie, Ullabidinie and Ulbana, formed by weirs constructed on three intermittently flowing streams of the same names.

The Yeldulknie Weir was completed in 1912 and supplied water to Arno Bay and the surrounding farming area. Cleve did not receive this reticulated supply as the system relied on gravity. In 1928 the system was connected to the Tod Reservoir Trunk Main as the scheme was incapable of meeting growing demand. In November 1954, the district was linked with the Uley Wanilla water scheme which provided an assured water supply to the area. Although the Reservoir remains, the Engineering and Water Supply Department relinquished its interest in the scheme when the water supply proved to be unreliable.


Habitat: The habitat around the reservoir is mostly open ground apart from the north-west where there is a substantial area of Drooping Sheoak (Allocasuarina stricta) with scattered Southern Cypress Pine (Callitris gracilis).

Total Species Recorded to Date: 72 (non-passerines 34, passerines 38)

Common Species: Hoary-headed Grebe, Singing Honeyeater, Grey Teal, Willie Wagtail

Less Common Species: Pink-eared Duck, Diamond Firetail, Hardhead, Spotted Pardalote

More information: Walking SA


 1 Public Works Office, Adelaide, April 10, 1911. The Advertiser LIII (16,399): 2. (9 May 1911) 

 2 Public Works Office, Adelaide, April 19, 1911. The South Australian Government Gazette. 16: 696. (20 April 1911).  

 3 Public Works Office, Adelaide, May 23, 1911. The South Australian Government Gazette. 21: 1019. (25 May 1911). 

 4 Water for the Settlers. The Daily Herald. 2 (48): 4. (27 September 1911). 

 5 The Parliament. House of Assembly. Tuesday, November 5. Yeldulknie Reservoir. The Advertiser LIII (16,399): 2. (6 November 1912) 

Updated: 19/07/2022

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