Lake Eildon and Goulburn Valley – Vineyards and Houseboats


View of Lake Eildon. Goulburn Valley water supply for vineyards and orchards.

Goulburn Valley Vineyards and Lake Eildon

Driving through the Goulburn Valley, eventually we arrived at Lake  Eildon, a very pretty area and a huge storage dam for the Goulburn Valley water supply. The dam is on the Goulburn River. This area is  a very important wine and fruit-growing region in Victoria. Vines and more vines! Vineyards producing good quality wines – Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Marsanne, Verdelho, Shiraz, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon. So many to choose. All the favorite stone fruits are also grown in this region, apricots, nectarines, peaches, and plums etc. Vineyards and orchards are nearly all irrigated from Lake Eildon storage.

About Lake Eildon

  • Originally  known as Sugarloaf Reservoir; constructed between 1915 and 1929.
  • Storage capacity of  Reservoir  modified in 1925 and again in 1935;
  • Storage increased to 377,000ML, to meet growing demand for water in Goulburn Valley.
  • Storage capacity considered limited if drought conditions prevail.
  • Feasibility study undertaken 1951.
  • Enlargement of existing dam site completed 1955, dam renamed Lake Eildon.
  • Lake capacity increased to 3,334,158ML, six times the size of Sydney Harbor.
  • Lake Eildon has 540 km of shoreline.
Lake Eildon view from the lookout

Lake Eildon view from the lookout

Barbeque and fishing- beautiful Lake Eildon

Arriving at Lake Eildon around lunch time; note the women set up the food and started the barbecue while the men went fishing? Wouldn’t you know it?  A very nice picnic area provided undercover with tables, seating and nice clean barbeques, easy to lite, easy to clean, and easy to cook on.

Lake Eildon fishing pier has wheelchair access,lake views upstream-downstream.

Lake Eildon fishing pier has wheelchair access,lake views upstream-downstream.

It was a great spot for a picnic and a bit of fishing. A handy fishing pier with wheelchair access; there is fishing along the river banks; seating along the bank to sit and enjoy the view. Lake Eildon  is a beautiful area, very picturesque.

Fly fisherman beyond the bridge, water-sports and houseboats on Lake Eildon.

Fly fisherman beyond the bridge, water-sports and houseboats on Lake Eildon.

Fishing and Houseboats

Past the bridge we spotted two fly fisherman. On the opposite bank people were fishing too. Apparently there is fishing all year round at the lake. A variety of fish such as brown trout, rainbow trout, red-fin, perch and Murray cod to name a few species, are an attraction for anglers at Lake Eildon.

Lake Eildon is open to fishing boats, motor boats, water ski-ing etc. It has three main boat ramps available on the ‘Eildon side’ of the lake. Houseboats are for hire at designated Marinas.

Boating and houseboats became very popular after the dam enlargement in 1955. Now, there are over 700 houseboats on Lake Eildon, would you believe! The houseboats range from standard houseboats with basic facilities, up to spacious two-story luxury houseboats for hire.

Fishing trails - Eildon Dam - fishing, water sports, boating, houseboats

Fishing trails – Eildon Dam – fishing, water sports, boating, houseboats

At Eildon Visitor Information Center in Main Street you will find an early example of the houseboat “Mimi Jane”. It is interesting to compare the “Mimi Jane” with the sleek style of present day houseboats. What a difference!

Steak and sausages

Steak and sausages were well cooked by this time. The aroma of barbequed steaks lured the fisherman back to camp; alas, they returned empty-handed.  We all enjoyed the  barbecue and a  pleasant afternoon at Lake Eildon. The menfolk fished for an hour or so after lunch. Walking along the river bank admiring the view, I could see golden wattle trees coming into full bloom. It would be a glorious sight  in a few days against the backdrop of the lake and purple mountains.

Lake Eildon fishing trails at the Pondage, water sports,fishing,boating,houseboats.

Lake Eildon fishing trails at the Pondage, water sports,fishing,boating,houseboats.

Vineyards and Houseboats

It had been a lovely day. This would make great weekend trip. Take a day to enjoy wine at the vineyards in the Yarra Valley. An overnight stay would be nice as there is plenty of good accommodation available in the region. Complete the journey next day with a visit to Lake Eildon. A picnic at the Lake, a spot of fishing, so much fun in such a beautiful spot. Not forgetting the houseboats, a few days on a houseboat in such an idyllic place would be so relaxing, perhaps one should make this trip a very long weekend. All this, and only 90k from Melbourne city.

Returning to Melbourne via  Alexandria, Yea and Seymour (340), came across this truck crawling along the highway with hazard lights flashing, thought it was on fire at first sight; smoke pouring out of its chimney stack. We  slowed to see if the driver needed any help, but he signaled us to go on, so perhaps it wasn’t as bad as it looked.  It actually looked pretty scary!  Hope the man got home safely.

Truck in trouble. Returning from picturesque Lake Eildon-fishing-houseboats

Truck in trouble. Returning from picturesque Lake Eildon-fishing-houseboats

Melbourne sunshine – a rare pleasure in winter

Melbourne turned on the sunshine for my last weekend in Doreen. After three weeks of gloomy weather it was so nice to see the sun and take in the Yarra Valley, Goulburn Valley, vineyards, wineries, and picturesque Lake Eildon. Now back to tropical north Queensland….

Recommended reading:

DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Australia
Step by Step Melbourne


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Comments

  1. So far I only visited Adelaide in Australia and it was fun. As soon as I get the time I would love to return and actually tour the entire Australia. The scenery looks awesome and there is a alot off places to visit.

  2. That looks like such a beautiful area. I would love to go kayaking on Lake Eildon. Next time I visit Australia, I’ll check it out.

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