Aroona Dam (Leigh Creek) Paddling Trail

Discover this gem in the desert and enjoy a short paddle around Aroona Dam near Leigh Creek

Paddle overview : Aroona Dam Paddling Trail

(Via Ajax Achilles Lake)

Region Flinders Ranges and Outback
Nearest Town Leigh Creek (560k from Adelaide) View in google map
Distance 5k loop
Paddle Time Allow 2 hours
Difficulty Easy
Facilities Secure car parking; camping facilities including showers and toilets also available.
Conditions Visit BOM for weather conditions
Conditions Dam, inland waters
Parking Near Dam wall (GPS 30.5851 S 138.3603 E)

Trail Notes

Aroona Dam is about 6k south of the town along a dirt track. This track is rough but you do not need a 4WD to navigate it. 

The dam is a picturesque oasis in the desert surrounded by hills and fringed by trees with an abundance of wildlife. Indeed nature abounds with wallabies, swans, kangaroos and even turtles, all attracted by the water in this arid area.

The Dam has been stocked with Murray Cod and Callop. A permit is required to fish here.
It is an attractive dam to paddle around and view the wildlife.
Read about its history and construction below under Points of Interest below.
It is a fascinating find in such an arid region.

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Caution

Always check weather and wind conditions before embarking (see Meteye)

Trail 42

Facilities

picnicParkingToilets

Toilet and picnic area

Points of interest

Aroona Dam

  1. Aroona Dam consists of a concrete gravity dam of a height of 24 metres and a width of 236 metres which holds back a lake of a volume of 7,500 megalitres and which extends for a distance about 3.5 km to the east of the dam wall.

The origin of its name is not mentioned in sources. However, the word ‘Aroona’ is listed in the official government place name gazetteer as the name of some geographic features either adjoining the dam or located within its extent. A mountain, Mount Aroona, is located in the ridge on the north side of the dam’s lake. A former water feature is now located “under the waters of the Aroona Dam” is named as the Aroona Waterhole as well as having the Adnyamathanha name of Arrunha Awi.

It was designed and built by the Electricity Trust of South Australia from 1952 to 1957 by damming the Arrunha Creek (also known as Aroona Creek in one source and as Scott Creek in another source) and using a labour force consisting mainly of immigrants engaged by contract for two-years and which peaked at a maximum of 160 men. Two shifts were scheduled during the winter months while concrete pouring was not conducted between November and March due to “extreme heat.”

Its original purpose was to supply the original town of Leigh Creek and the Leigh Creek Coalfield which was relying on artesian water from Sliding Creek located about 45 km south-east of the current town of Leigh Creek. In 2004, it was reported as storing and supplying water to “Leigh Creek, Copley and Lyndhurst, the coalfield and several neighbouring pastoral properties” and this was being augmented in respect to Leigh Creek by water from a flooded mine at Sliding Rock. However, in late 2016, it was advised that “water from Aroona dam will not be used for the town water supply” and that artesian water treated in a reverse osmosis desalination plant located near the Leigh Creek township would be used.

In 1995, it and adjoining land covering an area of 43 square kilometres were declared as a sanctuary under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972 known as the Aroona Sanctuary.
(an extract from Wikipedia)

  1. Aroona Dam has also featured in TripAdvisor with a number of visitors stumbling across this ‘gem’ of a place, an ‘unexpected’ lake set in beautiful hills and a place of ‘respite from the desert’. 

Information about Aroona Dam Sanctuary (‘Aroona Dam Sanctuary – a vision splendid (PDF)’) has also been published by the SA Department for Environment and Heritage. The information featured here is very useful for visitors wanting to explore and experience this northern area of the Flinders Ranges and see how the area has been brought back to nature.

Show us your photos on Instagram: #aroonadam

These views 👌👌
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Before the rain storm ⛈
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#southaustralia #roadtrip #travelyourroad #drivingholidays #caravanholidays #outbacksouthaustralia australia #abcmyphoto #dirtroads #ruggedcountry #droughtsandfloodingrains #desertcountry #thisisaustralia #leighcreek #aroonadam
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Aroona Dam, built by the Electricity Trust of South Australia circa 1957.⠀

Part of the Flinders Ranges, mid-north South Australia.⠀

The dam supplies the town of Leigh Creek with fresh water and is home to the Yellow-Footed Rock Wallaby.⠀

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#dji #djiphantom #djiphantom4pro #djip4p #drone #skypixel #australianphotographer #oodnadattatrack #melbournephotographer #outbacktravel #outback #australia #southaustralia #aerialphotography #leighcreek #ranges #dronephotography #dronestagram #skyview #ig_australia #agameoftones #landscape_captures #aroonadam #aroona #flindersranges
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Today we went exploring in the desert 🌵
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holycow_batman .
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#southaustralia #aussielife #australia #flindersranges #leighcreek #aroonadam #aussiewinter #exploreaustralia #exploretheoutback #outbackaustralia #outback #views #lovewhereyoulive #fiancee #lovewins #traveler #travelgram #wanderlust #canadianinaustralia
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This spot in Aroona Sanctuary has changed completely because of floods, but it's great to have this photo of what it used to look like.
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#aroonasanctuary #aroonadam #leighcreek #flindersranges #flindersrangesandoutback #aussie_images #aussiephotos #southaustraliapictures #southaustralianphotography #ichoosesa #landscape_nightscape #seesouthaustralia #duesouthaustralia discover_australia #earthpix #seesouthaustralia #duesouthaustralia #seeaustralia #abcadelaide #abcmyphoto #glamadelaide #southaustraliavibes #naturallymajestic #naturallyuntouched #naturallybreathtaking #raaofsa
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Perfect views 👌😍
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#leighcreek #aroonadam #southaustralia #australia #aussielife #exploretheoutback #exploreaustralia #outbackaustralia #outback #winter #aussiewinter #instadaily #view #adventures #adventureisoutthere #lovinglife #lovewhereyoulive #damviews #traveler #travelgram #wanderlust #canadianinaustralia
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Well what a trip! Thank you kyle.pfitzner for doing most of the driving and getting us there and back safe. We saw some pretty amazing places. So good to be home with our fur baby. 🐶 #Aroonadam #finketrip2018 #akubrahats ...

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Water, it’s such an exciting sight out here #aroonadam #leighcreek #flindersranges #travellingoz #seesouthaustralia #inlovewiththeoutback #goddessofpiesintheoutback ...

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Leigh Creek Patrols keeping a watchful eye over the beautiful Aroona Dam. #leighcreek #aroonadam #police #onpatrol #copsaretops #community #sapol #sapolfarnorth #gocountry outbackcop_tiff ...

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Aroona Dam ...

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Tree submerged in water. ...

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Trip to Simpson Desert.
Camp on night .
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Aroona Dam, part of the Flinders Ranges, mid-north South Australia. Supplies the town of Leigh Creek with fresh water and is home to the Yellow-Footed Rock Wallaby. ...

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SAFETY

Read this safety information page
before your paddling trip.

INFORMATION

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Paddling Trails South Australia.

TRAILS

View the Paddling trail regions
within South Australia

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Trails Flinders Ranges and Outback Aroona Dam (Leigh Creek) Paddling Trail

Paddling Trail South Australia has range of Paddling Trails to suit different abilities. These are easy to access kayak and canoe trails through the Adelaide, Fleurieu Peninsula, Riverland, Murray River and the Coorong.