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Blue Rock Lake, Willow Grove
Swimming Hole Heaven in Victoria

Of the two designated swimming areas at Blue Rock Lake, the one at the boat ramp and picnic area west of Willow Grove is by far superior. Here you can walk across lawn right up to the water's edge, then step down onto the bed of reasonably smooth gravel and continue wading carefree out into the water. Take in the mountain views to the north or catch the early morning mist on the water for your swim. The designated swimming area at Blue Rock Lake Above: The designated swimming area at Blue Rock Lake (Order this image)

The designated swimming area is about 50 metres wide, with no fishing or boating in this area. The hills to the south are bare and barren, so if you are doing laps up and down, do your breastroke heading north to take in the views, and keep your head down when heading south. In front of this swimming area is a large lawn with picnic tables, barbecue facilities and toilets, as well as a car park within sight of the water.

If you are coming with a boat as well, the ramp is a couple of hundred metres to the north of the swimming area. You can also combine your swim with a walk around part of the lake via the Blue Rock Lake walking track that heads all the way back to Willow Grove along the foreshore. The designated swimming area at Blue Rock Lake Above: The lawn and picnic facilities at the designated swimming area (Order this image)

The other picnic area near the dam wall, east of Willow Grove, is still ok for swimming, but the bank in this area is a bit eroded and there are large bluestones scattered in the water that you have to negotiate when wading out to deeper water. The facilities are similar, but you have to park further away from the water, often at the top of a steep hill, so lugging your picnic and swimming gear is a bit harder. Head here only if the western picnic area is full.

Here is a video of my swim at Blue Rock Lake on a wonderfully calm morning, with beautiful sunshine piercing through a light mist on the water.

Other Information Before You Go:
Location: Old Tanjil Rd, Blue Rock Lake Recreation Area, Willow Grove, 140 km (approx. 90 min drive) east of the Melbourne CBD
Latitude:-38.061085 Longitude:146.177475
Getting there: From the Princes Hwy (M1) at Trafalgar head north along the Willow Grove Road (C463) to Willow Grove. At Willow Grove, turn left along the C465 (also called Willow Grove Road) for 700 metres then right into Old Tanjil Road. After 400 metres, veer right into the car park in front of the swimming area.
Facilities: Public toilets with change rooms, car parking, drinking fountain, lawn, sheltered barbecues, picnic tables, rotunda, walking trail
Entrance fee: None
Water temperature: Mild
Water clarity: Clear
Under foot: Gravel

Maximum water depth: Greater than 2 metres
Minimum swimming proficiency required: Beginners
Prohibitions including whether you can bring your dog: No camping, no horses, no fires, dogs must be on a leash, take your rubbish home with you as there are no bins, no fishing in the swimming area. No cars or trail bikes allowed on the Blue Rock Lake walking track.
Sun shade: Limited shade available on the foreshore. No shade available in the water or along the walking track.
Opening times: Designated as 8am to 8pm on the managing authority's website, but there were no signs or gates restricting opening times on site when I visited
Wheelchair access: None. The lawn area could be wheelchair accessible as the slope is not overly steep, but there are no designated wheelchair accessible paths or toilets. The managing authority states on its website that the picnic area is wheelchair accessible, but on site it didn't look obvious to me.
Accommodation Options: Camping is not permitted around the lake. If you want to stay overnight in the area near this swim, you can try the following options, with Trafalgar being the nearest town centre. All distances below are by road, not as the crow flies.
Nearby accommodation:Distance from swim:
Short Stays Trafalgar 19 km
Moe Parklands Motel 22 km
Brigadoon Cottages 23 km
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: Southern Rural Water
Nearby attractions: Lake Narracan, just over 20 km to the south-west.
Before you head out, make sure to read the swimming safety information and check with the managing authority for any current change of conditions.
Locality Map:
The marker indicates the approximate location of the picnic area at Blue Rock Lake. If the map is not zoomed in locally, as can occur with some browsers, simply click or tap on "View Larger Map" below.
View Larger Map
Here is one comment from a Gippsland resident:

"Hiya, have just been swimming out at Blue Rock, your description was pretty good - thanks." - Lu from Churchill, Victoria, 1/1/2019.

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