Barossa Dam, South Para River, 1903-


The Barossa Dam was among the first true arch dams of concrete construction built in the world. At the time of its construction it was the largest arch dam in Australia being almost double the height and three times the shell volume of the then existing large dams.

The methods employed in the concrete mix design, the automatic batch weighing of concrete ingredients, and concrete quality control during construction were unique.

The dam demonstrated that construction of slender concrete arch walls of large size was both feasible and cost effective and aroused interest in the engineering world including both the United States of America and the United Kingdom.

The Barossa Dam became a landmark in dam construction in both Australia and the world. After 100 years of service the dam wall remains in excellent condition and is evidence of the success of a bold design and the quality of its construction. Its accidental acoustic properties which enable conversations to be clearly heard from one side to the other have earned it the name of the "Whispering Wall" and helped make it a popular tourist destination.


Marker Type

  • NEL: National Engineering Landmark (to 2008)