One of the best views of western Sydney and the Blue Mountains can be found on a hill located at the eastern side of the Prospect Reservoir.
The George Maunder Lookout has an upper and lower viewing area and is accessible from near the end of William Lawson Drive.
My wife and I visited on a Sunday and could only access both lookouts via foot — the access gate for vehicles was closed at the bottom of the hill. We also found the toilet facilities at both viewing platforms closed too. But the view was brilliant. If you’re willing to walk half a kilometre up the hill you’ll enjoy seeing the view that stretches across the reservoir, Western Sydney Parklands and out through to the Blue Mountains.
The Prospect Reservoir is open daily. 7am to 4:30pm on non-daylight saving days, 6am to 6:30pm during daylight saving. The reservoir was opened in 1888 and you’ll find plenty of history dotted around the area. The Prospect Valve Houses that were built in 1887 have been designated as Historic Engineering Markers — described as “excellent examples of colonial architecture.”
This reservoir stores water conveyed from Warragamba Dam and the Upper Nepean Dams. During high demand, water is used to pump into the main water supply. The facility is listed on the New South Wales State Heritage Register in 1999.
“When completed in 1888, this earth and clay-core embankment was the largest dam in Australia. It was the major component of the Upper Nepean Scheme devised by E O Moriarty, Engineer-InChief of the Public Workers Department, to guarantee Sydney’s water supply. Although the reservoir is no longer the principal component of the present system, it continues to supply Sydney with water.”
The Prospect History Cottage is located on n William Lawson Drive, off Reservoir Road, in Prospect. You’ll see it on the right hand side as you drive down to the dam. The local volunteers have assembled an amazing fact-based history of Prospect. You’ll come across some items from William Lawson’s old home, Veteran Hall. You’ll also find some photos and history about William’s son Nelson Lawson and his mansion Greystanes and the building of the Reservoir which was completed in 1888. Some good historic photographs and early maps of the region are on display. This museum is only open on the second and fourth Sundays of each month.
Near the dam you’ll come across some examples of the large piping that has been used over the years. Next to them, is Pincott’s Roller. Brothers George and Thomas Pincott arrived at Prospect from Ballarat with the roller on 9 April, 1883. They were the sons of Thomas Pincott, a convict who was transported from England to Tasmania for seven years, who later moved to the Ballarat goldfields.
A team of ten horses was used to transport the roller. The roller was made from volcanic stone and used during the construction of Prospect Reservoir.