Whispering wall: Barossa reservoir

This vast, gray arc of concrete has turned into an unlikely tourist attraction, with visitors chatting with each other from opposite ends of the dam.

1 Star, yawn2 Stars, OK3 Stars, interesting4 Stars, worth a detour5 Stars, worth a journey
(2 Votes, average 5.00)

It’s unbelievably fun to whisper across this parabolic dam and hear others across the way.

revett2016, TripAdvisor

This is the largest whispering wall I know of, as it’s 140 meters long. What happens is that the sound hugs the inside of the concrete wall and is transported with surprising loudness to the other side of the dam. Do you know of a bigger whispering wall? Please comment below.

It’s worth not fast forwarding this, because you get a sense of how far the sound travels.
How sound hugs the wall in a whispering gallery amd keeps close to the curved wall.


Info from the Barossa visitor centre.

Photo credit

Scott Davis, CC BY-SA 3.0

Hamilton Mausoleum

This mausoleum once held the World record for the room with the ‘longest echo’

1 Star, yawn2 Stars, OK3 Stars, interesting4 Stars, worth a detour5 Stars, worth a journey
(3 Votes, average 4.00)

During the World record attempt, it took 15s for the booming reverberation caused by slamming one of the grand doors shut, to die to silence. When I visited the first floor chapel it was certainly very reverberant. It’s like being in a large church or cathedral, impressive but there are more reverberant spaces in the World. The reverberation time at frequencies imporant for speech has been measured at about 9 seconds. A guided tour around the chapel is worth taking because you can then enjoy some of the tales about the colourful Duke and his descendents. The very reverberant space attracts musicians from around the world to perform and record.

Cupola and test loudspeaker
Looking up at cupola with test loudspeaker in foreground

A less well known acoustic phenomenon in the chapel is the whispering walls in the cylindrical alcoves. If you and a friend stand at opposite sides, you can whisper to each other by talking into the wall.


Close to Glasgow, book a tour organised by Low Parks Museum and Hamilton Mausoleum.