The middle and upper reaches of the Tambo River produce some fantastic sandy beaches for swimming and this spot is no exception.
It has everything that you expect from this river including a section of shallow, fast flowing water for water play and large
banks of coarse sand and pebbles that provide easy access to the water and a resting place in between swims. This swimming hole has two
other advantages, namely the deep hole about 100 metres downstream of the bridge, and the easy access from the Lakes Entrance bypass road
that runs through Bruthen.
Above: The main pool at the Tambo River swimming hole near Bruthen
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With a range of depths and currents, this place is as adventurous or as relaxed as you want it to be.
The current in the shallower sections of the river is quite swift. On my most recent visit I saw a few teenagers hanging on
to the underside of the bridge, using their upper body strength to hold on whilst the fast flowing water rushed over their shoulders.
If you are floating or boogie boarding between the bridge and the main hole, make sure you take a look at the position of the submerged
rocks just before the main pool entrance, so that you can steer to avoid them.
Above: The shallow, fast flowing riffles and the free parking on the stone beds
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The current is less swift in the main pool, particularly closest to the northern bank. With a greater depth here you can swim
50-60 metre laps. It is also a good spot for snorkelling around or diving from the rocks on the southern side. For those looking
for a more relaxed time, you can just sit yourself down in the water, as several people were doing on my visit. Note that when you
get out of the water, the beach is quite gritty, and the coarse sand sticks to anything wet, so a hand towel might come in handy for
brushing this sand off your feet before settling down on your towel. Out of the water, the sunlight reflects brightly off the sand
bank and in the absence of trees there, the heat can be searing, so bring your sunglasses and don't expect to stay out of the water
This swimming hole is relatively well known by locals. On a hot summer's day there are usually a couple of cars here at any
given time, so it doesn't feel isolated, despite the bush outlook. If the main pool happens to be crowded, there is another beach with
a sizeable pool of water just around the corner, roughly 300 metres downstream of the main pool. There is reasonable access to this
downstream swimming hole along the northern bank of the river.
Other Information Before You Go:
Evans Track, 6 km north of Bruthen, or 310 km (approx. 3.5 hr drive) east of the Melbourne CBD
From Bairnsdale, follow the Princes Hwy (A1) over the river and then head north at the roundabout
along the Great Alpine Road (B500) to Bruthen. At Bruthen turn left at the continuation of the Great Alpine Road and
follow it north for 6 km. Evans Track is a hairpin bend just before the road crosses Ramrod Creek. Evans Track is
not signposted. Follow the track (2WD suitable at the time of my visit) 150 metres down to the Tambo River.
If you see a sign that says "Ed's Abode" then you've gone too far, so do a u-turn and come back to the bridge. You can
park on the left hand side just before the bridge, or if you have a 4WD, you can drive out onto the river bed.
Pebbles, coarse sand
Maximum water depth:
Greater than 2 metres
Minimum swimming proficiency required:
Prohibitions including whether you can bring your dog:
No prohibitions stated on site. Dogs permitted.
Limited to no shade in or out of the water.
There is no camping along the private land either side of the river. If you are staying overnight in the area, you can try
accommodation in and around Bruthen
6 km to the south.
East Gippsland Shire Council
Nearby attractions: Metung Splash Park
, 30 km to the south.
Before you head out, make sure to read the
swimming safety information
and check with the managing authority for any current change of conditions.
The marker indicates the approximate location of the deep pool for swimming in the Tambo River.
If you would like to leave a comment about this swimming spot, please fill in the comment box below. I'm particularly interested in your
experiences after visiting, and any changes in swimming conditions. All fields are required if you would like your comments published on this website.
© Brad Neal 2019. All rights reserved.