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Stratford upon Avon
Swimming Hole Heaven in Victoria

The Avon River at Stratford meanders through wide pebbly beaches either side of the Princes Hwy. On your way between Melbourne and Bairnsdale, the riffles catch your eye from the bridge above as they glisten in the sunlight. The river is a moderately popular swimming spot, and when I last passed through here, I watched a family drive up to the edge of the water in their 4WD and unload the kids for a splash in a shallow, fast flowing section of the river. Swimming in the Avon River at Stratford Above: The view of the riffles looking upstream (Order this image)

To get to the river, turn right into the Apex Park on the eastern side of the Princes Hwy bridge and park in the playground car park. You can drive down to the river, but unless you have a 4WD, chances are you will get stuck in the loose pebbles, so it is safer to just walk down.

The water quality at this swimming spot can sometimes be poor. One one occasion when I visited there was a stench of horse poo and the water had both an odour and a green tinge along its length, possibly the effects of upstream agriculture promoting algal growth in the water. Water quality is generally better during spring, when natural flows in the river are higher. Swimming in the Avon River at Stratford Above: The pebbled entry into the water (Order this image)

The Apex Park also has an artists trail plus a very cool kids adventure castle with its own Excalibur sword locked into a giant stone. I couldn't pull it out, but maybe you will be the chosen one.
Other Information Before You Go:
Location: Apex Park, McMillan St, Stratford, 230 km (approx. 2.5 hr drive) east of the Melbourne CBD
Latitude:-37.971745 Longitude:147.076666
Getting there: From the Princes Hwy, park in the Apex Park on the eastern side of the bridge crossing the Avon River. Walk down to the river along the dirt road running from the park to under the bridge.
Facilities: Public toilets, playground, artists trail, car park, bmx track, bbqs
Entrance fee: None
Water temperature: Mild
Water clarity: Cloudy

Under foot: Pebbles
Maximum water depth: Less than 1 metre
Minimum swimming proficiency required: Beginners (under supervision, in the shallow pools away from the main current)
Prohibitions including whether you can bring your dog: No prohibitions specified on site
Sun shade: Shade available out of the water (under the bridge)
Opening times: Always open
Wheelchair access: None to the river. Toilets are wheelchair accessible.
Accommodation Options: Camping is not available alongside the river at Stratford. If you want to stay overnight in the area near this swim you can try the following options beyond Stratford. All distances below are by road, not as the crow flies.
Nearby accommodation option:Distance from swim:
Maffra Motor Inn 11 km
Comfort Inn Sale 15 km
Happy Days 19 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: Shire of Wellington
Nearby attractions: The Apex Park including the Excalibur sword
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 this swimming spot. You can park in the Apex Park and walk to the river. 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
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