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Swimming Holes in Western Victoria

These swimming holes are all located in Western Victoria, including spots in the Otways and the Grampians. This area has some of the best waterfalls to swim under, as well as several swimming holes with a history of swimming dating back to the late 19th and early 20th century. Feel free to browse the online version, which includes some (but not all) of my favourite spots. If you are looking for more you can order the full guide for a curated list of my top 50 swimming holes in Victoria.
Select Your Swimming Hole in Western Victoria:
Click or tap on the title or photo of each swimming spot below to find your next swimming adventure in Western Victoria, or alternatively search by map. Swim safe, have fun and remember that no matter how cold the water is, it's alright once you're in! Freshwater Swimming Holes in Victoria - Lake Daylesford Lake Daylesford is a popular family picnic spot and has wonderfully calm and clear water to swim in. This is a long frequented swimming spot, with change rooms built lakeside back in the 1940s to cater for the high demand. This swim comes with mineral springs to boot… Freshwater Swimming Holes in Victoria - Expedition Pass Reservoir This former rural water supply reservoir in the Castlemaine Diggings National Heritage Park gets deep quickly away from the shore, but the water is clear and after getting past the reeds, there is plenty of room out on the water if you have something to float on … Freshwater Swimming Holes in Victoria - Lake Fyans Lake Fyans has two main swimming beaches with gently sloping, sandy shores and oodles of warm tea coloured water, all set against the backdrop of the southern Grampians mountain range. Swim out to the inflated rubber ring and take in the view… Freshwater Swimming Holes in Victoria - Green Lake, Horsham Green Lake is one of four lakes dotted along the Western Hwy east of Horsham in Western Victoria. The lake has a sandy beach several hundred metres long and newly constructed, sheltered barbecue facilities… Freshwater Swimming Holes in Victoria - Green Hill Lake, Ararat Green Hill Lake is a lake of contrasts for swimmers and can quickly change, but when the lake is full, it offers a refreshing swim to break your travels along the Western Highway at one of two swimming beaches… Freshwater Swimming Holes in Victoria - Lake Lonsdale, near Stawell If you love relatively isolated, lakeside bush camping experiences, this could be a swim for you, provided that you can time your visit to occur at a time when lake levels are not obscuring submerged vegetation… Freshwater Swimming Holes in Victoria - Lerderderg Gorge The Lerderderg River runs at its best in the springtime and early summer, delivering two great swimming spots on the western fringe of Melbourne. Visit the gorge before the river typically dries up in late summer or early autumn…
Freshwater Swimming Holes in Victoria - Pykes Creek Reservoir Swimmer's Cove is the designated swimming area at Pykes Creek Reservoir, west of Melbourne. Noisy jetskis and a history of algal blooms mean that you have to pick the right time for a swim here. Alternatively just enjoy a picnic at the lake's edge… Freshwater Swimming Holes in Victoria - St George's Lake, Creswick St George's Lake in Creswick (near Ballarat), Victoria, was recently refurbished with a new beach for swimming and couple of barbecues and picnic tables. A tranquil spot with clear, deep water with a backdrop of pine forest and native bush… Freshwater Swimming Holes in Victoria - Taylors Lake, Horsham Taylors Lake is one of four lakes dotted along the Western Hwy east of Horsham in Western Victoria. Of the four lakes (Taylors, Green, Pine and Dock Lakes), it is probably the pick of the bunch for swimming. Water availability and water quality can be poor when it gets dry… Freshwater Swimming Holes in Victoria - The Blowhole, Hepburn Springs The window for swimming at The Blowhole is slim, so timing is all important if you want the pool to be not too turbulent, not too dry, but just right for a dip. Step into the pool as the tunnel trickles slowly overhead at the site of this gold mining relic… Freshwater Swimming Holes in Victoria - Turpins Falls, Kyneton Turpins Falls is a large billabong with a high rock wall on three sides. The pool itself is larger than an Olympic swimming pool, and archives show that it was home to the Turpins Falls swimming club back in the 1930s before municipal swimming pools came into vogue… Freshwater Swimming Holes in Victoria - Vaughan Springs Part of a bold vision for a public health tourism venture in the first half of the 20th century, this complex includes a river pool formed by a wall across the upper Loddon River, and an adjoining toddler pool that fills when the river is high… Freshwater Swimming Holes in Victoria - Venus Baths, Halls Gap This series of weathered holes in a rock shelf along Stony Creek provide some waist deep bathing relief from the heat of the Grampians, and the possibility for a short slide into the water. The water can become stagnant, so read here to know when to visit this spot… Freshwater Swimming Holes in Victoria - Needles Beach in Werribee Gorge Deep in the heart of Werribee Gorge, the bushwalk to this little beach is strenuous but spectacular in one of the few genuinely wild places close to Melbourne. The needles rock formation towers over the swimming hole with steep gorge walls on all sides…
Historical (but now defunct) Swimming Holes:
Click or tap on the title or photo of each swimming spot to explore some of the oft-forgotten history of outdoor swimming in Western Victoria. These are from a time before Olympic swimming pools came into vogue and the rise of the nanny state took over. Freshwater Swimming Holes in Victoria - Hepburn Pool, Hepburn Springs This heritage listed pool makes the most of its environment, nestled in a gully with rock surrounds. You can still visit the pool to envy those who have swum here, but getting into the water has been prohibited since the mid-2000s due to a public liability insurance issue… Freshwater Swimming Holes in Victoria - MacKenzie Falls A wonderfully refreshing, deep pool at the base of these powerful and highly reliable falls, I was lucky enough to swim here before swimming was banned in response to some drownings in 2004. It was one of my favourite swimming holes in western Victoria before the change in regulations… Freshwater Swimming Holes in Victoria - Marriner's Falls This little grotto tucked away in the Otways is a truly beautiful spot for some shallow water play. Unfortunately falling gum trees have led Parks Victoria to close the access track permanently, so it's only accessible to bush bashers now… Freshwater Swimming Holes in Victoria - The Nook, Sunbury The Nook in Sunbury was home to a local swimming club and annual Easter swimming carnival in the early 20th century. Today it still has a rope swing over the water, but water quality and visibility are poor, so swimming is no longer recommended… Freshwater Swimming Holes in Victoria - Trentham Falls Trentham Falls was a surprisingly cold swim at the base of towering basalt columns over which Victoria's tallest vertical drop waterfall flows. It was awkward getting in, but once you were floating on your back, the view of the rock panorama was rewarding… Freshwater Swimming Holes in Victoria - Welshman's Reef Cairn Curran Reservoir has three designated swimming areas at Welshmans Reef (near Newstead), Tower Bay and Woolshed Bay (near the dam wall). Welshmans Reef was historically the best pick of the three because of its swimming pontoon, which was anchored offshore…
Other Swimming Spots:
To find other swimming spots in and around western Victoria, order a copy of the Guide to Freshwater Swimming Holes in Victoria, which includes more of my favourite swimming holes plus additional information about some of the ones that I've shared online. Alternatively there are several swimming holes in and around Melbourne, north east Victoria and Gippsland that you can visit in an afternoon or day trip. If you know of a swimming hole in western Victoria that you think I should visit, suggest a site. Waterfall Seasons of Victoria - The Waterfall Guide My companion website Waterfall Seasons of Australia lists all of the waterfalls that I have visited during my search for swimming holes. You can swim at some of them, but most are just for viewing and admiring. Great for a day trip when it's too chilly to get into the water. Regional Victoria Splash Parks, Shallow Beaches, Lakes and Streams My companion website Ankle Deep Water lists shallow water recreation areas that I have come across during my search for swimming holes including splash parks, splash pads, shallow entry lakes, rivers and beaches. These are for splashing about or cooling down without having to fully commit to a swim, and most are suitable for inexperienced swimmers (under supervision), so they can be a great option if you have a young family.

Before you head out, make sure to read the swimming safety information.

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