Poolburn dam was built in 1931 as an irrigation supply for Ida Valley farmers. The Poolburn Dam is often referred to as the Poolburn Reserve. Access to the area can be from either Omakau or Oturehua on the tar sealed Ida Valley Road.
Today the dam is a popular fishing spot after brown and rainbow trout were released there. Poolburn’s recent claim to fame comes from the Lord of the Rings trilogy, where the dam became the mythical city of Rohan.