Lake Sambell is an ornamental lake on the outskirts of Beechworth in north-east Victoria. It has two designated beaches for swimming
on the western shore which provide easy entry into the water. Like many lakes in the area, this hole was originally created by
past gold mining activities. The local shire has made Lake Sambell a focal point for passive recreation in Beechworth and it is
well populated by joggers and evening strollers walking laps around the lake. There is also a playground and a Chinese garden at the lake,
plus a caravan park if you want to stay overnight.
The lake was drawn down for a few years for safety reasons, because of a leak detected in the dam wall. The good news is that new dam wall
was completed in August 2015, so swimming conditions are expected to improve as the lake refills. Apparently
there is also an old swimming pool near the caravan park, but with the water drawn down when I visited, it was out of action.
This swimming hole did not make it into my top 50 in Victoria at the time of my last visit, but I may revise that now that
the new dam wall has been constructed. Three great swimming holes close to Lake Sambell
did make it into my top 50. If you want to know where they are, grab a copy of the guide to
Freshwater Swimming Holes in Victoria.
Essential Information Before You Go:
Lake Sambell Reserve, McConville Ave, Beechworth, 290 km (approx. 3.5 hr drive) north east of the Melbourne CBD
Coming from Wangaratta along the Beechworth-Wangaratta Rd (Ford St), turn right into Camp St
then left into McConville Ave. Continue alongside the lake until you reach the car park near the playground, which
is where the best swimming beach is.
Public toilets, playground, car park, picnic tables, rubbish bins, sheltered bbqs, Chinese gardens, caravan park, walking trails
Maximum water depth:
Greater than 2 metres
Minimum swimming proficiency required:
Prohibitions including whether you can bring your dog:
No camping, no RVs, no glass containers, no alcohol from sunset to sunrise, dogs must be on leash
Shade available out of the water
Indigo Shire Council
Camping is available at the caravan park
on the edge of the lake. Alternatively, you can try
accommodation in Beechworth
Nearby attractions: Woolshed Falls
Before you head out, make sure to read the
swimming safety information.
The marker indicates the approximate location of the car park nearest to the swimming beach at the lake.
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.
Here's what one visitor to Lake Sambell had to say about this swimming hole:
"Our family and friends have been visiting the lake for 15 years, spending a lot of time floating, swimming, cycling, walking and bird watching.
The lake is a draw card."
- H.Rodgers, Australia, 12/2/2014
If you have swum at Lake Sambell, particularly since the completion of the new dam wall, I would love to hear about your experiences.
© 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.