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Lake Sambell, Beechworth
Swimming Hole Heaven in Victoria

Lake Sambell is an ornamental lake on the outskirts of Beechworth in north-east Victoria. It has two designated beaches for swimming on the western shore which provide easy entry into the water. Like many lakes in the area, this hole was originally created by past gold mining activities. The local shire has made Lake Sambell a focal point for passive recreation in Beechworth and it is well populated by joggers and evening strollers walking laps around the lake. There is also a playground and a Chinese garden at the lake, plus a caravan park if you want to stay overnight. Swimming in Lake Sambell in Beechworth Above: Lake Sambell (Order this image)

The lake was drawn down for a few years for safety reasons, because of a leak detected in the dam wall. The water was well below capacity when I last visited in 2014, so swimming conditions were not great. However, the good news is that the new dam wall was completed in August 2015, and the main swimming beach now includes hand rails into the water, and a swimming pontoon tethered offshore. I am looking forward to visiting again to see the updated swimming facilities.

This swimming hole did not make it into my top 50 in Victoria at the time of my last visit, but I may revise that now that the new dam wall has been constructed. Three great swimming holes close to Lake Sambell did make it into my top 50. If you want to know where they are, grab a copy of the guide to Freshwater Swimming Holes in Victoria.
Other Information Before You Go:
Location: Lake Sambell Reserve, McConville Ave, Beechworth, 290 km (approx. 3.5 hr drive) north east of the Melbourne CBD
Latitude:-36.358788 Longitude:146.695003
Getting there: Coming from Wangaratta along the Beechworth-Wangaratta Rd (Ford St), turn right into Camp St then left into McConville Ave. Continue alongside the lake until you reach the car park near the playground, which is where the best swimming beach is.
Facilities: Public toilets, playground, car park, picnic tables, rubbish bins, sheltered bbqs, Chinese gardens, caravan park, walking trails
Entrance fee: None
Water temperature: Mild
Water clarity: Cloudy
Under foot: Sand, mud
Maximum water depth: Greater than 2 metres
Minimum swimming proficiency required: Beginners
Prohibitions including whether you can bring your dog: No camping, no RVs, no glass containers, no alcohol from sunset to sunrise, dogs must be on leash
Sun shade: Shade available out of the water

Opening times: Always open
Wheelchair access: Yes
Accommodation Options: If you want to stay overnight in the area near this swim, you can try the following options. All distances below are by foot to the nearest point on the lake.
Nearby accommodation:Distance from swim:
Lakeside Chalet 50 m
Lake Sambell Caravan Park 50 m
Cherry Blossom Cottage 100 m
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: Indigo Shire Council
Nearby attractions: Woolshed Falls
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 car park nearest to the swimming beach at the 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's what one visitor to Lake Sambell had to say about this swimming hole:

"Our family and friends have been visiting the lake for 15 years, spending a lot of time floating, swimming, cycling, walking and bird watching. The lake is a draw card." - H.Rodgers, Australia, 12/2/2014

If you have swum at Lake Sambell, particularly since the completion of the new dam wall, I would love to hear about your experiences. All fields are required if you would like your comments published on this website.

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