Lake Eildon is Victoria's inland waterway Mecca for boating. With over 540 km's of shoreline, ranging from Bonnie Doon at the Northern end to Jamieson 63 km's away (by water) in the Southern region, the lake caters for a vast variety of boats.
There are 760 permanent houseboats moored on Lake Eildon. Speedboats, fishing boats, personal watercraft (power skis) and canoes are frequent users of our lake. Trailer sailers are occasional visitors but the sometimes gusty conditions are not ideal.
CHECK IT'S OK TO SWIM
Unfortunately many people drown in Victoria's inland waterways. Tragedy can be avoided if you check it is safe before you enter the water. The best way to check is to ask someone who knows the area; a shopkeeper, caravan park owner or someone who lives nearby. They are most likely to know the dangers and direct you to a safe swimming spot. Remember to enter the water carefully. Every year people are paralysed diving into shallow water in rivers and lakes. Always enter the water feet first.
RIVER SAFETY TIPS
River currents are often stronger than they appear. You can throw in a twig to check how fast the river is flowing.
Remember, the current is stronger around the outside of a bend in the river. If you are caught in a current, float on your back and travel downstream feet first to protect your head from impact with any objects. Angle your travel towards shore. Submerged objects can be very dangerous. Keep watch for trees, branches, rocks and rubbish. Always remember to enter the water feet first.
Remember, river conditions can change rapidly due to heavy rainfall or the release of water from storage areas. An area that is safe in the morning can be dangerous in the afternoon. Take care on riverbanks. They are often slippery, and can even crumble away resulting in someone accidentally falling into the water.
Lakes Safety Tips Cold water in lakes can be lethal. It is often much colder beneath the surface than you think. Suddenly getting into cold water can cause distress, shock and lack of mobility. If you feel cold, get out of the water straight away.
The bottom of lakes and rivers can be soft, uneven and changeable. Beware of submerged objects. Enter the water feet first.
Large lakes and rivers may look calm, but remember wind will cause choppy waves that make it dangerous to swim. Floating toys are great fun to play with. Take care on windy days when you can be easily blown away from shore. Boating on Inland Water Seek up-to-date local knowledge, particularly if you are going boating, as conditions of rivers and lakes may be affected by low water levels.
Take extreme caution and operate your vessel at a safe speed taking into account the low water levels. Tree stumps and other previously submerged objects can present a hazard to the safe operation of boats - particularly those operating at speed. It is the responsibility of the boat operator to operate at a safe speed.
There are three main boat ramps available on the ‘Eildon side’ of the lake, they are:
Eildon Alliance Boat Ramp at Point Dethridge (off the Wall near the spillway), is approx 2Km Nth/East of the township. This is a ‘user pays area’ ($2 per 24hrs), currently with 2 concrete ramps down to a lake level of 26% and excellent gravel ramps down to 5% of capacity. The volunteer committee of management have recently been granted $102,500 from Marine Safety Victoria to build a Third Concrete Ramp and associated access road and trailer parking – this, almost $130,000 project, should be completed by June 2009.
Jerusalem Creek Boat Ramp at Jerusalem Creek situated approx 7 Km east of the township. This ramp is concrete down to 9% of capacity.
The Lakeside Boat Ramp adjacent to the Lakeside Camping Area in Lake Eildon National Park (formerly Fraser National Park) situated approx 20Km West of the township. This ramp is concrete down to 10% of capacity.
Public boat launch ramps are also available, Goughs Bay, Howqua and Bonnie Doon. Launch ramps are also at the "Fraser" area of Lake Eildon National Park.
The Jerusalem Creek ramp is operational to 31 Metres below full supply of the lake, and "Fraserot; to 28M below full supply.
Fuel is available at Jerusalem Creek, Lake Eildon Marina, Howqua, Peppin Point, Lakeside Caravan Park (Bonnie Doon), and the Lake Eildon Country Club (Ford Inlet).
Lakeside shops are available Jerusalem Creek, Peppin Point and Howqua. A Lakeside restaurant can be found at the Macs Cove Howqua. With normal water levels, hotels can be reached by boat at both Jamieson and Bonnie Doon.
Digital phones drop 'in and out' but cover possibly 60% of the lake. It may be necessary to travel for signal.
Vary from mirror finish (ideal ski conditions) to, 1/2 metre waves. Fogs occur during winter months, and with it very busy during the summer season, it is not only wise, but a requirement to understand and comply with boating regulations.
PRIVATE BOAT CLUBS
Private boat clubs at Eildon are the Eildon Boat Club at Anderson inlet , Lake Eildon Marina , and the Darlingford Boat Club at Jerusalem Creek. Members enjoy an active social calendar, club facilities and moorings for houseboats.