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Swimming Holes in Western Victoria
Your guide to the best swimming holes

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! Swimming Hole Heaven - 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… Swimming Hole Heaven - 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 … Swimming Hole Heaven - 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… Swimming Hole Heaven - 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… Swimming Hole Heaven - 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… Swimming Hole Heaven - 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… Swimming Hole Heaven - 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…
Swimming Hole Heaven - 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… Swimming Hole Heaven - Shaws Lake, Blackwood Set in a dry and thinly forested section of the Lerderderg State Park, this constructed dam will test your ability to keep your legs up while swimming. Warm on the surface, expect icy temperatures below your waist if you tread water… Swimming Hole Heaven - St George River Estuary, Lorne The St George River, located just outside of Lorne, meanders its way through a wide, flat sand bar on its way out to the ocean. Skip across this shallow river from one side to the other or just sit yourself down on the river bed and relax in the gentle current… Swimming Hole Heaven - 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… Swimming Hole Heaven - 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… Swimming Hole Heaven - 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… Swimming Hole Heaven - 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… Swimming Hole Heaven - 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… Swimming Hole Heaven - 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… Swimming Hole Heaven - 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. Swimming Hole Heaven - 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… Swimming Hole Heaven - 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…
Swimming Hole Heaven - 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… Swimming Hole Heaven - 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… Swimming Hole Heaven - 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… Swimming Hole Heaven - 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…
Free Splash Parks, Splash Pads and Water Features for Kids:
Click or tap on the title or photo of each free public splash park if you want to have some family fun in the water, but the kids are not quite proficient enough to venture into a swimming hole. Swimming Hole Heaven Splash Zone: Midlands Aquatic Playspace, North Ballarat This Ballarat splash park includes water features that are loosely garden themed, such as a sprinkling leaf, a squirting ladybird and a butterfly shower. It is concrete under foot, so bring the band-aids and avoid windy days… Swimming Hole Heaven Splash Zone: Sebastopol Aquatic Playspace, Ballarat This water play area south of the Ballarat city centre includes colourful spray hoops, tipping buckets and various sprinklers in a suburban park. It has a fence to stop runaways and is slightly more sheltered from the wind, but just as entertaining as Midlands…
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 Victoria 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.

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

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