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Lake Sambell, Beechworth
Freshwater Swimming Holes in Victoria


 
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. Swimming in Lake Sambell in Beechworth 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:
Location: Lake Sambell Reserve, McConville Ave, Beechworth, 290 km (approx. 3.5 hr drive) north east of the Melbourne CBD
Latitude:-36.358788 Longitude:146.695003
Getting there: 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.
Facilities: Public toilets, playground, car park, picnic tables, rubbish bins, sheltered bbqs, Chinese gardens, caravan park, walking trails
Entrance fee: None
Water temperature: Mild
Water clarity: Cloudy
Under foot: Sand, mud
Maximum water depth: Greater than 2 metres
Minimum swimming proficiency required: Beginners
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
Sun shade: Shade available out of the water
Opening times: Always open
Wheelchair access: Yes
Accommodation Options: Camping is available at the caravan park on the edge of the lake. Alternatively, you can try accommodation in Beechworth.
Managing authority: Indigo Shire Council
Nearby attractions: Woolshed Falls
Before you head out, make sure to read the swimming safety information.
Locality Map:
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.
Comments:
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.

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