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Blue Lake, Plenty Gorge
Swimming Hole Heaven in Melbourne


 
An impressive quarry wall overlooks a largely unappealing bush swim in water typically more green than blue. I know it is lauded as a popular swimming hole, but I would only swim here as a last resort in the cooler months of the year, when the suspended algae is not as prevalent in the water. Blue Lake, Plenty Gorge Above: Overlooking the green Blue Lake at Plenty Gorge from the clifftop (Order this image)

If you decide you would like to swim here, there is a little peninsula at the southern end of the lake that provides the easiest entry into the water, and a place to set down your gear. This swim has the advantage of being largely protected from the wind by the quarry wall and that it is surrounded by bush. Inflatables are popular in the deep water. The disadvantages are however the long steep walk down the hill from the nearest car park (which can leave you puffing on the way back up), and the combination of poor visibility and poor water quality in the water. The lake has no substantial local catchment, so the water tends to stagnate. The more the water warms up in summer, the greener it becomes. Blue Lake, Plenty Gorge Above: Blue Lake from the southern end of the lake (Order this image)

The northern end is more difficult to access because of the vegetation and lack of space on the bank, and has the hazard of submerged logs. Blue Lake, Plenty Gorge Above: The northern end of Blue Lake (Order this image)

A visit to Blue Lake is not all bad, as the walk through the bush is pleasant, as is the view of the quarry wall and the view from the clifftop viewing platform.

This swimming hole did not make it into my top 50 in Victoria for the reasons outlined above. Whilst I do not like being negative about swims that others seem to enjoy, I am not recommending you swim here. Parks Victoria concurs with multiple signs on site that swimming is not advised. If you want to swim in the outdoors around Melbourne, why not try some of my other swims which did make it into the top 50 of my guide to Freshwater Swimming Holes in Victoria.
Other Information Before You Go:
Location: Plenty Gorge Park, off Goldsworthy Lane, Plenty, 30 km north-west of the Melbourne CBD.
Latitude: -37.669494 Longitude: 145.086378
Getting there: The access roads to the eastern side of the park where Blue Lake is located are accessible from Yan Yean Road, which is off the Greensborough Bypass. A GPS or map is recommended as there are a few turns involved, but Goldsworthy Lane is off Memorial Drive. Once you enter the park, head towards the car park at the Yellow Gum recreation area. From there it is a 600 metre walk along a well defined path past the picnic area and viewing platform, down to the water.
Facilities: No facilities at the lake. The Yellow Gum recreation area, 600 metres up the hill, has a car park, open field, toilets, public bbqs, covered and uncovered picnic tables, viewing platform.
Entrance fee: None
Water temperature: Cool to mild
Water clarity: Clear
Under foot: Rock with a mixture of silt and gravel

Maximum water depth: Greater than 2 metres
Minimum swimming proficiency required: Experienced
Prohibitions including whether you can bring your dog: No dogs, no cats, no pets, no motorbikes, no camping, no firearms, no drones without a permit, no horses, no fires.
Sun shade: Limited to no shade in the water. Shade available out of the water
Opening times: Always open except for park closures for safety reasons during extreme weather
Wheelchair access: Wheelchair accessible toilets, but no wheelchair accessible paths down to the water
Accommodation Options: Camping is not permitted at the Yellow Gum Recreation Area or at Blue Lake. If you want to stay overnight in the area near this swim, there are serviced apartments at Quest Bundoora, on the south-western edge of the Plenty Gorge Park, which provides easy access by foot to the parklands, but it is still a drive around to the other side of the park where Blue Lake is located. Booking your accommodation via these links may result in a commission (at no additional cost to the price of the linked item) to swimmingholeheaven.com that helps maintain and enhance this website.
Managing authority: Parks Victoria
Nearby attractions: Explore the rest of the Plenty Gorge Park or for a swim try Laughing Waters in Eltham, 15 km to the south east.
Before you head out, make sure to read the swimming safety information and check with the managing authority for any current change of conditions. Specific to this site, the managing authority states that swimming is not advised and that there are submerged objects, submerged rocks, deep water, cold water, no lifesaving service, and cliff edges.
Locality Map:
The marker indicates the approximate location of the car park at the Yellow Gum recreation area. If the map is not zoomed in locally, as can sometimes occur when loading, simply click or tap on "View Larger Map" below.
View Larger Map
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