"Lake Eildon National Park" Eildon by leffe3

Eildon Travel Guide: 2 reviews and 11 photos

The daming of the Goulbourn and Delatite rivers 105 kms north-east of Melbourne in the 1950s created Lake Eildon, Victoria's largest water storage reservoir. The small town of Eildon evolved in the shadow of the dam wall as the centre for those working on the dam (which is currently being increased in size).

With a shoreline of more than 400kms and a water capacity five times that of Sydney Harbour, this little doozy is enormous and has now become the major inland water sports destination in Victoria along with houseboat holidays and trekking in the shoreline Lake Eildon National Park.

The town of Eildon itself is nothing to write home about (nor for that matter is Bonnie Doon at the northern tip of the lake) - it's simply a service town for holiday makers, dam workers and park keepers. It's about location and access.

The lake itself is popular for water sports - water skiing, angling, simply messing about on boats. There are a number of boat ramps dotted round the shoreline, although due to acute water shortage, some of these ramps are stranded several metres from the water's edge! As a flooded valley, the true size of the lake is impossible to recognise unless seen from above - not only does it have 400kms+ of shoreline, but headlands, secluded coves, slivers of waterways etc create not one expanse of water but many. Water levels also vary in different parts of the lake - the main expanse may be fairly deep but there are times when the arm of the lake reaching Bonnie Doon may be completely empty. THe net result is that the shoreline is gradually retreating - which can leave great (if muddy or hardened) 'beaches' for access to the water, but is also exposing previously submerged constructions.

Water is always a premium at Lake Eildon. As a flooded reservoir, at the the shallow shorelines, dead gum trees majestically protrude out of the water. But there is also the many walking tracks in the park and it's a great place to go swimming - there are many easy access points to the water's edge throughout. Bonnie Doon in the north is an excellent spot for swimming (although in extreme drought situations, the water may have retreated a considerable way out here. As recently as May 2003, water capacity had reached an alarming record low of only 6%, where Bonnie Doon levels were so low that you could almost walk across from one side to the other). Intense rain/snow falls followed in the winter of 2003, so that by November levels were at 43%

  • Last visit to Eildon: Dec 2005
  • Intro Updated Jan 24, 2006
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leffe3

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