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Four Secret Swimming Holes around Melbourne
Swimming Hole Heaven in Victoria

Want to know a secret spot for a swim in one of Melbourne's rivers and lakes? Here are some lesser known swimming spots in and around Melbourne, where you have a better chance of a bit of water to yourself.

Within the Melbourne metropolitan area, Laughing Waters is tucked away at the end of a few dirt roads on the Eltham side of the Yarra River. There are several deep pools available for swimming and a tiny beach, with a rock outcrop that juts out into the river. You can read more here about Laughing Waters for swimmers including how to access important water quality warnings for the Yarra River. The main pool in the Yarra River at Laughing Waters Above: The main pool in the Yarra River at Laughing Waters (Order this image)

Bring a pair of sturdy shoes and hike 3 km up the Lerderderg Gorge from the MacKenzie's Flat picnic area to take a swim in Grahams Dam. It's a relatively flat walk, rising only occasionally up the side of the gorge and away from the river. If you weren't looking for it, you could easily walk past the dam wall, which is now only a collection of shin deep stones and logs.

The water is much deeper on the outside of the bend immediately upstream of the dam wall. You can read more here about Grahams Dam for swimmers including how a video of the obstacles you have to cross to get there and how to best prepare for the walk. The Lerderderg River upstream of Grahams Dam Above: The Lerderderg River upstream of Grahams Dam (Order this image)

An unofficial skinny dipping location can be found in the Yarra River at Bourchiers Road in Kangaroo Ground. It's not on the State's list of gazetted nude bathing areas, so you still run the risk of arrest from the authorities, but at least you are likely to find like minded swimmers. You can read more here about Bourchiers Road for swimmers, including more details about the potential legal risks involved. Popular skinny dipping venue in the Yarra Above: The high sediment load reducing visibility in the water at Bourchiers Road (Order this image)

Pykes Creek Reservoir has the elusive Swimmers Cove. It is marked on the recreational zone maps of the lake, which you can find on signs around the lake, however the cove itself is not signposted, so you can readily drive past it. The number of signs stating that "swimming is not advised" far outnumber the references to the cove, which is another reason why relatively few people know about this spot. You can read here about Pykes Creek Reservoir for swimmers including some of the pitfalls of this swimming area. The pebbled entry to swimmers cove Above: If there were signposts to swimmers cove, this is where they would point to Swimmer's Cove (Order this image)

If you want to discover more secret swimming holes, you can find out here about other swimming holes in Melbourne, or further afield across Victoria in the Guide to Freshwater Swimming Holes in Victoria.

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

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