South of Emerald is the Cardinia Reservoir and dam. The reservoir is part of Melbourne’s water supply but also offers park lands with bush walks, playgrounds, picnic and barbecue facilities and the chance to see the plentiful wild kangaroos that are found there.
The wall is 1,542 metres long and 86 metres high, with the reservoir covering an area of almost 1,300 hectares . Built to augment Melbourne’s water supply it was completed in 1973 and receives flows from the Silvan Reservoir. It supplies southern and south-eastern Melbourne suburbs, and the Mornington Peninsula.
Just north of the Reservoir itself is the Aura Vale lake (Henly’s Picnic Area). The lake is a drainage lake for residential runoff to divert it from entering the main reservoir and Melbourne’s water supply. The lake is a popular picnic area and used for water sports, i.e. sailboarding and canoeing and for other small non-powered boats. Swimming, however, is not permitted.