Eildon is one of Australia’s most diverse, productive and popular waterways. It is also a massive piece of water that can be very daunting for anglers.
THE HISTORY OF LAKE EILDON
In the 1860s the town of Darlingford was founded (so named after the Governor Sir Charles Darling). It was close to the junction of the Goulburn and Big rivers, and people came from around the globe after gold was discovered. Darlingford had a small school, log gaol (jail), seven pubs, five police officers, shops and a post office. With the construction of Sugarloaf Reservoir, Darlingford itself was flooded and a new town began to grow; now known as Eildon.
The water commission constructed homes for workers but for quite some time many workers were still in tents. At the peak of construction there were over 4,000 people living in the town, a lot more than in 2013.
In 1954, eight shops including a bakery were built and run by locals.
In the surrounding areas there are three fabulous information centres; one in Mansfield, which takes care of the northern areas, one in Eildon right near the shopping village and one in Alexandra at Rotary Park. All of these facilities have plenty of information on things to do and places to see, from winery tours as well as some of the incredible bike tracks that go all around the local shires. There are some fantastic local eateries and produce from the valley for the foodies. There is simply too much to cover, so call in and see the friendly volunteer staff and see what this rich and beautiful area has to offer.
If angling isn’t the main skill or you don’t have the gear why not take the kids to a trout farm and try your luck. There are two trout farms located close by: Eildon Trout Farm and Buxton Trout Farm. Buxton has been lovingly restored after the tragic events of Black Saturday, which all but destroyed the place.
If it is boat hire you are interested in Eildon Outboard Services has a BOAB outlet with a couple of boat options available or you can use Lake Eildon Cruises. There are also plenty of houseboats on Eildon, which is a great way to experience this massive lake..
ON THE WATER
It would be safe to say that the southern end of the lake (Eildon area) has the pick of the boat ramps. The new floating pontoon at the Alliance boat ramp at the dam wall is the best option, although parking can be a problem during peak times and it costs $2 to launch. The other option in this area is the Jerusalem Creek public ramp. This is also a fantastic ramp and has plenty of close by parking, but does not have a pontoon to tie off on.
Down the southern end, in the Fraser National Park, there are several good concrete ramps and parking is also quite good there.
At the northern end of the lake, by far the best option is the ramp on Maintengoon Road (directly opposite the Bonnie Doon pub). At certain times of the year this ramp can be quite shallow so be wary of this with larger craft. There is also a good launching ramp at the Bonnie Doon Caravan Park.