Swimming at Lake Fyans, Western Victoria
Freshwater Swimming Holes in Australia

 
There are two main swimming beaches at Lake Fyans, both with gently sloping, sandy shorelines and oodles of wonderfully warm, tea coloured water. The best of the two beaches is at the back of the Lake Fyans Holiday Park on the western side of the lake, because it has extensive soft, clean sand under foot, as well as a panoramic view of the southern Grampians mountain range as the backdrop for your swim. It also has better facilities. Swimming in Lake Fyans near the Grampians Above: The amazing shades of amber when sun hits the water, looking towards the beach at the holiday park.

Lake Fyans is a swimming venue that is suitable for all ages. I witnessed toddlers jumping around recklessly in the warm shallows, teenagers swimming out to the inflated rubber ring, groups of men and women sitting half-submerged in the water for a chat, and grey nomads reclining on their camping chairs with their feet in the water, watching the sun disappear behind the Grampians at dusk.
The best features here for swimming are the sand, which I measured as extending out at least 100 metres and to a depth where I could no longer touch the bottom, and the amazing clarity of the water. This made it very easy to walk and run around in the water with confidence, because you could readily see any obstacles. These included the occasional spiny rush plant and the odd piece of floating lake weed, which can drift in when the wind is blowing towards the beach. The water itself, which is predominantly sourced from the pristine water catchments in the Grampians, is lightly tea coloured due to natural tannins. Bring a pair of googles or a snorkelling mask to observe the amazing amber colours under the water when the sun strikes through the water and down onto the golden sandy bed. Swimming in Lake Fyans near the Grampians Above: The rubber ring permanently hitched to a pole, about 100 metres offshore from the beach at the holiday park. PS - check out the guy on the lilo in the background!

There is a nominal entry fee of a few dollars for day visitors if you are swimming at the back of the holiday park, where you can park your car directly behind the beach. You pay at reception and then they let you through the boom gates. Entry allows visitors to use the toilets and other facilities at the holiday park, with the exception of the pool, which is reserved for those staying overnight. If you are staying at the holiday park, you can literally walk out of your cabin or camping spot and in less than twenty strides be on the beach.

The alternative beach at Lake Fyans is known as Kelleys Beach, which you can find along the south-western side of the lake. This beach was still popular, but had more pebbles scattered in amongst the sand, was without the view of the Grampians and the facilities were a simple run-down toilet block. There also seemed to be more motor boat traffic here on my visit. The best swimming spot along Kelleys Beach is next to the angling club, but I also saw people swimming further to the north, near the Scout camp, where there was a lot more woody debris in the water. During my visit in early 2017, there was a sign indicating that the public toilets next to the angling club were about to be upgraded.

I visited the lake when it was sitting at 82% of its full supply level and was perfect for swimming. The lake is maintained at a good level for swimming most of the time due to its status as a town water supply reservoir, but conditions can deteriorate during drought at very low lake levels. Check the managing authority's website (GWMWater) for up to date lake level information if you are heading here in a drought year.

Below is a video that I took when visiting both the holiday park beach and Kelleys Beach in a January when the lake was relatively full.

Essential Information Before You Go:
Location: The holiday park beach is on Mokepilly Road, Lake Fyans, 17 km by road east of Halls Gap and 250 km (approx. 3 hr) drive west of the Melbourne CBD. Kelleys Beach is on Kelleys Beach Road.
Latitude:-37.142938 Longitude:142.633737
Getting there: From Melbourne head out along the Western Fwy (A8) to Ararat, then take the Ararat-Halls Gap Road (C222) to Pomonal. From Pomonal follow the signs to Lake Fyans along the Pomonal Road (C221). At the Mokepilly Road turnoff, head right to go to the holiday park (along Mokepilly Road), and left to Kelleys Beach (along Tunnel Road and then Kelleys Beach Road). The end of the road to Kelleys Beach was dirt, but suitable for 2WD at the time of my visit.
Facilities: At the holiday park beach: picnic tables, car park, boat ramp. Within the holiday park are toilets (across the road from the beach), kiosk, shaded playground, coin operated barbecues, games room, tennis courts, bistro (open on designated nights) available to day visitors. At Kelleys Beach: toilets, car park
Entrance fee: A notional fee for day visitors ($3 per vehicle at the time of my visit) or more if you are using the boat ramp. Entry to Kelleys Beach is free.
Water temperature: Warm to mild
Water clarity: Clear
Under foot: Sand
Maximum water depth: Greater than 2 metres
Minimum swimming proficiency required: Beginners
Prohibitions including whether you can bring your dog: At the holiday park beach: No boats in the swimming area, no dogs, no cars or fires on the beach. At Kelleys Beach: no dogs, no horses, no camping, no fires, no motorbikes, take rubbish with you. Infringements at Kelleys Beach carry a $2000 fine. Duck shooting during duck shooting season only. Waterskiing, boating, jetskiing and fishing are permitted outside of the designated swimming areas.
Sun shade: Shade available out of the water, but best to bring a sun shelter.
Opening times: The holiday park beach reception to provide access in and out is open 8am to 8pm. Kelleys Beach is always open.
Wheelchair access: No
Managing authority: Grampians Wimmera Mallee Water manages the lake, Northern Grampians Shire Council manages the boating, and Lake Fyans Holiday Park manages the facilities at the holiday park.
Accommodation Options: Lake Fyans Holiday Park has camping, caravans and cabins within a stone's throw of the water. Camping is not permitted outside of the holiday park.
Nearby attractions: Lake Lonsdale
Before you head out, make sure to read the swimming safety information. Specific to this site, don't walk around bare feet under the flowering gums at either beach, because the little flower pods that have fallen on the ground have a pointy stem that sticks into your feet. There is also the occasional bull ant around the base of the trees. To avoid both of these hazards, bring a sun shade and set it up near the water's edge.
Locality Map:
The marker indicates the location of the beach at the holiday park.
Change of Conditions:
I am not currently aware of any change of conditions reported at this site by the managing authority, or by swimmers on this website. If you are visiting this spot and have any further updates on any change of conditions, let me know via the comment form below.
Comments:
If you would like to leave a comment about this swimming hole, please fill in the comment box below. I'm particularly interested in your experiences after visiting, and any changes in swimming conditions.

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© Brad Neal 2016. All rights reserved. This work is not to be sampled, copied, modified, adapted or reused for commercial purposes without the written consent of the author.