Lake Eildon
Freshwater Swimming Holes in Victoria


 
I visited this swimming spot on Pinniger Rd with a group of friends in the late 1980s and again in the early 2000s, but unfortunately it is now a relic of the past because when I visited in 2014 it was gone. It seems “they paved paradise and put up a parking lot”, in this case for boats launching from a newly constructed boat ramp. In the process, all of the towering pines that provided shade up to the water’s edge have been chopped down, half of the hill has been removed and in its place is a field of bitumen with nothing but the drone of 4WDs going back and forth, unloading and collecting noisy motorboats. It is a sober reminder that no swimming hole is permanent in this world. Swimming at Lake Eildon Above: A beautiful boat free vista from the former swimming spot on Pinniger Rd

The best way to swim in Lake Eildon is to hire a houseboat, when you are free to wander around the various arms of the lake to find a spot that suits. If you don't have a boat, swimming options are poor around Lake Eildon. Eildon pondage is off limits, Bonnie Doon is a barren wasteland, and the Fraser Camping Area is too shallow for swimming.
I suggest heading south to Jerusalem Creek and further east into the Lake Eildon National Park to get as far away from the boats as you can. As with most irrigation storages, best swimming occurs before Christmas when water levels are higher. Swimming here is best after a wet winter, when the lake is close to full.

Before you go, check out The Castle movie for the “Bonnie Doon song”, and Houseboat Horror (18+) set on Lake Eildon and one of the stupidest movies ever made due to its abrupt plot discontinuities.

This swimming hole did not make it into my top 50 in Victoria. The main reason being the bulldozers and steamrollers who covered it over with asphalt. One of my favourite swimming holes nearby did make it into the top 50, so if you are looking for a swimming hole in this area and want to try it out before it becomes roadworks, grab a copy of the guide to Freshwater Swimming Holes in Victoria.
Essential Information Before You Go:
Location: Pinniger Rd, Eildon, 140 km (approx 2 hr drive) north-east of the Melbourne CBD
Latitude:-37.223510 Longitude:145.931544
Getting there: From Melbourne head up the Hume Fwy, Maroondah or Melba Highways and turn off at the signs to Eildon. The dam wall is on Pinniger Rd, about 1 km north-east of the town. There is parking in the turning circle on the dam wall.
Facilities: Toilets, boat ramp, car park. The town of Eildon is a short drive from the dam wall.
Entrance fee: None
Water temperature: Mild
Water clarity: Clear
Under foot: Mud
Maximum water depth: Greater than 2 metres
Minimum swimming proficiency required: Not applicable as this swimming hole no longer exists
Prohibitions including whether you can bring your dog: No dogs in the Lake Eildon National Park. Dogs permitted at the Jerusalem Creek and Delatite Arm camping areas if on a lead. Fires and camping only permitted in designated camping areas.
Sun shade: Shade available out of the water
Opening times: Always open
Wheelchair access: No access to the water. Other areas around Lake Eildon, such as at the Fraser Camping Area, are likely to provide better access
Managing authority: Goulburn-Murray Water
Accommodation Options: Camping is available at various locations in Lake Eildon National Park, which is managed by Parks Victoria, as well as a caravan park in town, and houseboats for hire on the lake. If you are planning to stay overnight in the area you can also try accommodation in Eildon.
Nearby attractions: The rest of Lake Eildon, particularly if you have a houseboat
Before you head out, make sure to read the swimming safety information.
Locality Map:
The marker indicates the approximate location of this former swimming spot.
Comments:
If you can remember swimming here before the boat ramp was built, or if you have any other favourite swimming spots elsewhere around Lake Eildon, I would love to hear about it. Please fill in the comment box below.

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