What Makes the Whispering Wall in the Barossa Valley So Special?

The Barossa Valley is best-known for its connections to the wine industry, but it is also home to some impressive attractions, like the Whispering Wall. Set in the Barossa Reservoir, just outside of Williamstown in the Valley, this wall is over 110 years old and is unique because of its musical abilities.

Erected over three years between 1900 and 1903, the wall was intended to act as a back-up water supply for the ever-growing population of nearby Gawler. Some of the earlier settlers had been using water from the well in South Para River, but there were concerns that the water wasn’t clean enough, hence the decision to start building the wall on the site of the Yettie Creek Gorge.

Soaring 9-storeys skyward, the concave wall was, at one point in time, the highest dam in the country and continues to draw in visitors every year despite not holding that title anymore.

Today you can visit the wall from 9am-5pm and marvel at the acoustics that travel for one end to the other side. Located only 50 kilometres outside of the city of Adelaide, the Whispering Wall is a must visit attraction seen on the way to the Barossa Valley via the picturesque Adelaide Hills.

The Whispering Wall of the Barossa Valley

So why is the Whispering Wall so special?

For many, the wall speaks to them. Whispered words can be heard from the other end of the dam 140 metres away, despite the incredible distance. Try it for yourself – hold a conversation with someone from side to side and see how much you can hear.

How Does the Wall Work?

No, it’s not some magical feature. The whispers can be heard thanks to the parabola effect. The wall creates one part of a perfect circle, causing the soundwaves that hit it to bounce in a number of jumps to the other end – meaning sound travels really well.

Other Things to See at the Whispering Wall

As well as marveling at the incredible structure and its strange acoustic abilities, there are plenty of other things to see and do around the Whispering Wall. The entire area it is set in is now a protected area for a number of native species, including unique pink gums and pine trees. Aside from the plant life in the area, you can also see plenty of bird species – in fact, the Whispering Wall and its surrounds make the perfect place for bird watching.

If you’re in the Barossa Valley, make sure you set aside some time to visit this man-made wonder. Try out your whisper and see if you can be heard on the other side and keep your eyes peeled for some of Australia’s top native creatures that call the site home. The area surrounding the Whispering Wall is known as the Barossa Reservoir Park and many times you’ll be able to spot a kangaroo or maybe even a koala.

Barossa Reservoir Park

Wineries Around the Whispering Wall

The Adelaide wine country may be small compared to other regions in Australia, however, it producers a quarter of Australia’s wine. Travel 65 kilometres outside of Adelaide and you’ll find yourself in the picturesque area that was settled by German immigrants in 1842. The Barossa Farmers Market has a distinctly German vibe that opens every Saturday and features a range of artisan breads, German deli style meats, food and coffee.

In the region you’ll have 150 cellar doors to explore, but to hit that sweet spot, its recommended that you visit three wineries so you can really explore the wines in depth and have enough time for a winery lunch. The Barossa Valley boasts many wine varietals but is known for its punchy reds such as Shiraz. It’s also home to exciting gastronomical experiences that showcase the finest of local produce used in unique and innovative ways.

The Seppeltsfield Winery was originally intended to be a tobacco farm by Joseph and Johanna Seppelt but later generations moved their focus to winemaking. The demand for medicinal brandy in hospitals around Australia paved the way for Seppeltsfield to expand their business to the liquor industry, making gin and brandy, and selling it to the general public. The current owner, Warren Randall who worked for the company in the 1980s has made it his mission to stay true to the original values of the Seppeltsfield family.

Penfolds Winery began in 1844 by Dr Christopher and Mary Penfold. The vision and longevity of the winery can be attributed to Mary, who took on the duties of the winery after Christopher was needed in the medical field. In 1907, it became South Australia’s largest winery, thus beginning a legacy of being one of the most iconic and well-known household name in Australia. Chief winemaker Max Schubert is credited to making the famed Penfolds Grange in 1950.

Penfolds Winery

The village of Hahndorf is Australia’s oldest German settlement and today one of the top tourist attractions of Adelaide. The main street features quaint arts and crafts stores, speciality restaurants serving up German sausages, pretzels and sauerkraut. There’s also a cheese provedore as well as a delightful store selling traditional German pastries such as apple strudels. Tourists flock here in their thousands every year to have a taste of Europe in the heart of Adelaide, brought to the area by the 52 pioneering families that cultivated the land

Check out our range of Barossa Valley Wine Tours today!

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