Tambo River at Ramrod Creek
Freshwater Swimming Holes in Victoria


 
The middle and upper reaches of the Tambo River produce some fantastic sandy beaches for swimming and this spot is no exception. It has everything that you expect from this river including a section of shallow, fast flowing water for water play and large banks of coarse sand and pebbles that provide easy access to the water and a resting place in between swims. This swimming hole has two other advantages, namely the deep hole about 100 metres downstream of the bridge, and the easy access from the Lakes Entrance bypass road that runs through Bruthen. Swimming in the Tambo River at Ramrod Creek near Bruthen Above: The main pool at the Tambo River swimming hole near Bruthen

With a range of depths and currents, this place is as adventurous or as relaxed as you want it to be. The current in the shallower sections of the river is quite swift. On my most recent visit I saw a few teenagers hanging on to the underside of the bridge, using their upper body strength to hold on whilst the fast flowing water rushed over their shoulders.
If you are floating or boogie boarding between the bridge and the main hole, make sure you take a look at the position of the submerged rocks just before the main pool entrance, so that you can steer to avoid them. Swimming in the Tambo River at Ramrod Creek near Bruthen Above: The shallow, fast flowing riffles and the free parking on the stone beds

The current is less swift in the main pool, particularly closest to the northern bank. With a greater depth here you can swim 50-60 metre laps. It is also a good spot for snorkelling around or diving from the rocks on the southern side. For those looking for a more relaxed time, you can just sit yourself down in the water, as several people were doing on my visit. Note that when you get out of the water, the beach is quite gritty, and the coarse sand sticks to anything wet, so a hand towel might come in handy for brushing this sand off your feet before settling down on your towel. Out of the water, the sunlight reflects brightly off the sand bank and in the absence of trees there, the heat can be searing, so bring your sunglasses and don't expect to stay out of the water too long.

This swimming hole is relatively well known by locals. On a hot summer's day there are usually a couple of cars here at any given time, so it doesn't feel isolated, despite the bush outlook. If the main pool happens to be crowded, there is another beach with a sizeable pool of water just around the corner, roughly 300 metres downstream of the main pool. There is reasonable access to this downstream swimming hole along the northern bank of the river.
Essential Information Before You Go:
Location: Evans Track, 6 km north of Bruthen, or 310 km (approx. 3.5 hr drive) east of the Melbourne CBD
Latitude:-37.672336 Longitude:147.869697
Getting there: From Bairnsdale, follow the Princes Hwy (A1) over the river and then head north at the roundabout along the Great Alpine Road (B500) to Bruthen. At Bruthen turn left at the continuation of the Great Alpine Road and follow it north for 6 km. Evans Track is a hairpin bend just before the road crosses Ramrod Creek. Evans Track is not signposted. Follow the track (2WD suitable at the time of my visit) 150 metres down to the Tambo River. If you see a sign that says "Ed's Abode" then you've gone too far, so do a u-turn and come back to the bridge. You can park on the left hand side just before the bridge, or if you have a 4WD, you can drive out onto the river bed.
Facilities: None
Entrance fee: None
Water temperature: Mild
Water clarity: Clear
Under foot: Pebbles, coarse sand
Maximum water depth: Greater than 2 metres
Minimum swimming proficiency required: Experienced
Prohibitions including whether you can bring your dog: No prohibitions stated on site. Dogs permitted.
Sun shade: Limited to no shade in or out of the water.
Opening times: Always open
Wheelchair access: None
Accommodation Options: There is no camping along the private land either side of the river. If you are staying overnight in the area, you can try accommodation in and around Bruthen, 6 km to the south.
Managing authority: East Gippsland Shire Council
Nearby attractions: Metung Splash Park, 30 km to the south.
Before you head out, make sure to read the swimming safety information.
Locality Map:
The marker indicates the approximate location of the deep pool for swimming in the Tambo River.
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 swimming spot and have any further updates on any change of conditions, let me know via the comment form below.
Comments:
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