How does the whispering wall work?

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 09/19/2020

Reading time: 3 mins

The stunning region of the Barossa Valley is best known for its endless variety of winery spots and award-winning restaurants.

But a hidden gem in this beautiful valley is the Whispering Wall, found in the Barossa Reservoir region just outside of Williamstown. A perfect spot to visit in between your winery hopping adventure.

What is the Whispering Wall?

More than 100 years old, the Whispering Wall was originally built to provide a back-up water supply to the nearby town known as Gawler. Before the dam, the settlers had been using water from the South Para River, but unfortunately, the water was not clean enough, resulting in the dam to be built at the Yettie Creek Gorge. It took three years to build, starting in 1900 and finishing up in 1903. Rising to the equivalent of nine storeys, it was once the tallest dam in the entire country. However, the main feature which has put this attraction on the map is its unique “whispering” ability.

The Music of the Whispering Wall

The whispering ability is its uncanny feature of broadcasting one person’s voice from one side of the dam to the other, with even the slightest whisper able to be heard. This feature was discovered when the dam was first built, and a manager caught the builders badmouthing him from the other side of the dam. Visitors come to this dam for this incredible feature, with groups splitting up and having full conversations 140 metres away!

How it occurs

This feature occurs due to the parabola effect. Which is where the wall forms one part of a perfect circle, causing the soundwaves to jump from one end to the other easily.

Things to do at the Whispering Wall

The first thing you should do at the whispering wall is to marvel at the views, with this region offering spectacular sights of the entire Barossa region. After taking as many photos of you would like, you can join in on the whispering conversations, waiting in line for your turn to talk across the dam! While you are at it, you can enjoy seeing the native species roaming the area, with this particular spot being perfect for birdwatching. The trees as well are truly beautiful to see, with the whispering wall’s bushland a protected area due to the collection of native species such as pink gums and pine trees dotted about!

Related article: What Makes the Whispering Wall in the Barossa Valley So Special?

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.