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Lake Buffalo, Myrtleford
Swimming Hole Heaven in Victoria


 
There are two designated swimming areas at Lake Buffalo, but which one is best for swimming? As you reach Lake Buffalo, first you will encounter the main recreation area on the eastern shore of the lake. The facilities here are great, including a boat ramp, barbecues, picnic tables and toilets, so it is the preferred swimming location if you think you will need these facilities. Entry to the water is gradual and you can swim quite long distances once away from the shore, with a view of the dam wall and the surrounding hills. However, the swimming area is bounded by weeds at either end, and whilst the water is crystal clear, the silt on the lake bed here is easily disturbed, and clouds the water quickly in the shallows. I personally only swim here on days when the alternative swimming area is closed. The swimming area at the Lake Buffalo boat ramp Above: The designated swimming area on the eastern shore of Lake Buffalo (Order this image, prints or gifts)

For a quieter and more relaxing swim, drive across the dam wall and up to the Marshall's Ridge Recreation Area on the western shore of the lake. The swimming area here is similar to that at the main boat ramp, but is weed free, with better views of the surrounding mountains.
The water is clean and shallow close to the shore, with excellent visibility most of the time. Best of all, it feels fresh, but because the lake is relatively shallow and the water has had a little bit of time to warm up in the sun, it is not ice cold like the surrounding rivers. At Marshall's Ridge you can park your car about 20 metres from the water, with a lawn leading down to the water's edge. Note that Marshall's Ridge can be closed over winter and on previous visits has not re-opened until late spring. The shoreline at the Lake Buffalo boat ramp Above: The shoreline near the boat ramp on the eastern shore of Lake Buffalo (Order this image, prints or gifts)

Boating and fishing are also permitted at the lake.
Essential Information Before You Go:
Location: Buffalo River Rd, 25km south of Myrtleford and 320 km (approx. 4 hr drive) north east of the Melbourne CBD
Latitude:-36.726362 Longitude:146.656862
Getting there: Take the Ovens Valley Hwy to Myrtleford and then follow the signs to Lake Buffalo in the direction of Dandongadale.
Entrance fee: None
Water temperature: Mild
Water clarity: Clear
Under foot: Pebbles and sand
Sun shade: Shade available out of the water

Opening times: The swimming area on the eastern shore is always open. Marshall's Ridge can be closed over winter until late spring.
Facilities, maximum water depth, minimum swimming proficiency required, and prohibitions including whether you can bring your dog: Order the full guide
Wheelchair access: Area is generally flat and open. Boat ramp could provide access to the water.
Accommodation Options: There is no camping around the lake at Lake Buffalo. If you are planning to stay overnight in the area, one of the closest spots is Buffalo River Homestead along the start of the road to out to Lake Buffalo, or for more options you can try accommodation in Myrtleford, which is the nearest town to Lake Buffalo.
Managing authority: Parks Victoria
Nearby attractions: Mt Buffalo National Park, noting however that the main road access to the park is on the other side of Mount Buffalo, about a 45 minute drive away.
Before you head out, make sure to read the swimming safety information.
Locality Map:
The marker indicates the approximate location of the Marshalls Ridge Picnic Area.
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.
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