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Published June 13th 2018
Here's five great lakes to check out across Victoria
Victoria has some beautiful lakes and waterways, that are ideal for boating, and swimming, or just enjoying the view. Most of these are within a few hours of Melbourne and make an enjoyable day trip or overnighter.
Lake Elizabeth is just under two hours drive from Melbourne, heading south-west toward The Otways. Parks Victoria encourage visitors to: "...discover its inspiring beauty with heavily timbered flanks and calm waters punctuated by the trunks of dead trees, drowned when the valley was flooded more than 50 years ago" (Parks Victoria Website). The nearest town is Forrest (about 15 minutes drive from the lake). For more information on lakeside activities click here. There is a Lake Elizabeth campground, but Forrest also has several places to stay, like the quaint guesthouse at 16 Grant Street.
Lake Hindmarsh is in the Wimmera about 400 kilometres north-west of Melbourne and is a large freshwater lake. The nearest town is Jeparit in the South, and Rainbow to the North. If you approach the lake from the south, you'll come across the Wimmera Mallee Pioneers Museum at 5371 Dimboola-Rainbow Road in Jeparit. The Museum exhibits old farm machinery in the beautiful historical buildings on site. They are open daily (but only in the afternoon on weekends). There are accommodation options like Nhill Oasis Motel, or Victoria Hotel at Dimboola which are both about 30 minutes drive from the lake.
Lake Nillahcootie is 36 kilometres south of Benalla and 25 kilometres north of Mansfield (about two and a half hours drive north-west from Melbourne) and a great place to picnic and swim. Boating areas are open from 8am to sunset, and a map for boating is here. Click for more detail on kayaking. There are many places to stay within a short drive, including The Delatite Hotel at 85 High Street in Mansfield, which also has a bistro and a bar; and the Comfort Inn at 48 Bridge Street west in Benalla.
The view across Lake Nillahcootie. Credits:https://www.g-mwater.com.au/
Lake Eildon is three and a half hours north-west of Melbourne. Boating, waterskiing and picnics are favourite pastimes in this area. Houseboats are also available for hire and most are fully equipped with kitchens, bedrooms, and creature comforts - this is a great holiday option with friends. If you are on more of a budget, there are camping areas at Fraser and O'Toole Flat. For motels, Mansfield is a short drive from the northern section of the National Park, and Eildon has some good value and family-friendly cabins at Eildon Riverside Holiday Park.
Beautiful Lake Eildon. Credits: Wikipedia, user: Micah Powell
Lake Corangamite "is the is the largest permanent salt-water lake in Australia, with a surveyed area of over 23,000 hectares" (Colac Otway site). It is home to a range of rare fauna and flora species and surrounded by rocky areas and wetlands. The whole Corangamite Shire is worth exploring by car, and Colac provides the nearest shops and accommodation. The Otway Gate Motel at 52-56 Murray Street East, and Colac Mid-City Motor Inn (289 Murray Street) both provide affordable and comfortable rooms for visitors to the area.