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Overview

Lakes & waterways

The winding rivers and waterways are the lifeblood of Victoria's diverse natural landscapes and serve as a backdrop to some of the Melbourne's iconic attractions. Whether you're looking for meandering streams, lakeside beaches and riverside parks or lagoons that serve as wildlife refuges, there's much to explore.

Riverside destinations

Walk along the Yarra River and view some of Melbourne's most famous landmarks, including the MCG, Federation Square, Flinders Street Station and the botanic gardens, as well as some of the city's most scenic parklands.

Making up the border between Victoria and New South Wales, the mighty Murray River welcomes golfers, fisher folk and boating enthusiasts alike. Spend the day at one of its famous sandy beaches, ride a paddle steamer, or observe its diverse, native wildlife.

Lake getaways

Victoria's aquatic jewels are the Gippsland Lakes, which consists of four main lakes alongside a network of smaller lakes, marshes and lagoons. Spend a day or two where the waterways meet the ocean at Lakes Entrance and Ninety Mile Beach. Kerang, the Lakes District of Victoria, is a great spot to set a picnic or catch some native bird watching. For a camp out under the stars, hit the lush Lake Eildon National Park, or for more adventure, visit Lake Hume to experience the thrills and spills of water sports.

Wetlands

Victoria has 10 wetland sites on the List of Wetlands of International Importance (commonly called the Ramsar Convention).

These sites are covered by fresh or salt water and support diverse vegetation, bird and wildlife and include:

  • Port Phillip Bay and Bellarine Peninsula
  • Western District Lakes
  • Lake Albacutya
  • Hattah Lakes
  • Gunbower Island
  • Kerang Lakes
  • Barmah Forest
  • Gippsland Lakes
  • Corner Inlet
  • Western Port

Highlights

Lakes & waterways

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Lakes & waterways

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Lakeside

Lakes & waterways

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Lake Bellfield

Cool off in summertime, enjoy a picnic on the shore, or cast a line for redfin at Lake Bellfield.

Lake Nagambie

Swim, sail, paddle or fish in the pristine waters of Lake Nagambi or stroll across Goulburn Weir.

Lake Hindmarsh Reserve

Lake Hindmarsh is Victoria's largest freshwater lake an extremely popular spot for holiday makers,...

Lake Wendouree

Join visitors and locals alike for lakeside activities and water sports at this ever-popular spot.

Lake Victoria

Lake Victoria is a captivating place that embodies both Aboriginal and military history in addition...

Gippsland Lakes

Experience the largest inland network of waterways in Australia, the Gippsland Lakes.

Victoria Park Lake

Victoria Park Lake in the heart of the city of Shepparton is a tranquil, picturesque area popular...

Lake Wartook

Paddle out or cast a line in this haven surrounded by the mountains of the Grampians National Park.

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Waterfalls

Lakes & waterways

More waterfalls

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Where the rivers run

Lakes & waterways

Yarra Bend Park

Yarra Bend Park is the largest area of natural bushland near the heart of Melbourne. The park...

Goulburn River

Explore Victoria's longest river, which flows from the High Country up to the Murray River.

Patterson River

Patterson River, the gateway to Port Phillip, is a thriving canal system of the Patterson Lakes...

Rufus River

It was Charles Sturt who named the Rufus River, apparently in honour of his 'friend McLeahy's red...

Snowy River National Park

Set out on your Snowy River adventure, taking in lush forests, towering gorges and waterfalls.

Mitchell River National Park

Mitchell River National Park has impressive river scenery, serene rainforest gullies, rugged...

The Murray River

Traverse the region from end to end and delight in the activity and diversity found along the way.

Yarra River

Board one of the many river craft at Southgate or Princes Walk or travel along the Yarra in your...

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Across Victoria

Lakes & waterways

Grampians

Discover the serene inland lakes and sparkling waterways of the spectacular Grampians region.

Great Ocean Road

Head to the Great Ocean Road region from Lake Elizabeth and waterfalls in the Otways to the Glenelg.

Gippsland

Experience the largest inland network of waterways in Australia, the Gippsland Lakes.

The Murray

Traverse the region from end to end and delight in the activity and diversity found along the way.

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Outdoor activities

Walking and hiking

Pack a picnic, map and camera and discover Victoria on foot on walking trails close to Melbourne or within easy driving distance of the city.

Outdoor activities

Fishing

Fish Victoria and cast a line on the bay, an empty beach, river or inlet, head out to sea or fly-fish for trout in a mountain stream or alpine lake.

Outdoor activities

Water sports

Set sail for a day on Victoria's waterways - explore an underwater shipwreck, swim at a calm Murray River beach, or waterski around Gippsland Lakes.

Nature & wildlife

Beaches and coastlines

Drag yourself away from the Great Ocean Road with its dramatic rock sculptures and soaring views, and discover more of Victoria's stunning coastline.