Karalee Dam

Karalee Dam

Karalee Dam is a natural rock formation that was adapted to maximise the catchment, delivery and storage of rainwater which was essential to railway development in the Goldfields region.

This spectacular natural reservoir is now a popular picnic spot and was listed on the State’s Register of Heritage Places in 2001. The site includes a caravan dump point and large camping grounds with fire pits for cooking.

Please be mindful of the burning periods in the Shire when camping at Karalee Dam.

  • Bushwalking tracks
  • Picnic & BBQ facilities
  • Wildflowers & Wildlife


Karalee Dam was constructed to provide water for slow steam trains on their way to Kalgoorlie. The site was chosen mainly because of its granite outcrop – with rain, the outcrop becomes a natural catchment area.

Constructed between 1896 and 1897, its capacity is 10.6 million gallons (just over 48 million litres). The dam is 1487ft above sea level and 25ft in depth. Retaining walls of granite slab, all cut from the top of the rock and laid by hand, surround the enormous rock catchment. This enables the water to flow off the rock into the dam via a large semi-circular aqueduct of steel which was hand riveted at each joint. This structure is still in very good condition considering its age and exposure to natural harsh elements over the years.

It is well worth the journey to reflect upon the unbelievable manual labour and horse power involved in this construction.

How to get there: Karalee Dam is located off the Great Eastern Highway 50km east of Southern Cross, heading towards Kalgoorlie (18 km past Yellowdine Roadhouse). Turn left at the 418 peg and continue on gravel for 4.2kms.

Address: Karalee Rocks, Yellowdine WA 6426

Note: this is not an all-weather track. Drive with care.

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Image copyright. The Shire of Yilgarn
Tags: Places of Interest, Things To Do
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