Victoria has an abundance of lakes, ranging from small bodies of water in towns and suburbs, to huge lakes, either man-made or natural, covering hundreds of square kilometres.
The Gippsland Lakes are Australia's largest inland waterway. They consist of three main lakes - Lake Wellington, Lake Victoria and Lake King. Stretching between Sale, Bairnsdale and Lakes Entrance, the lakes are separated from the coast by the Ninety Mile Beach.
The Gippsland Lakes are popular for yacht enthusiasts and cruisers, due to their beautiful natural expanse and peaceful tranquillity. They are lined in certain areas by the Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park and The Lakes National Park which act as havens for hikers and adventurist visitors.
The lakes have small islands within them that visitors can reach by boat. The most popular of the islands to visit is Raymond Island which is connected by a vehicular ferry to the mainland at Paynesville. Keep your eyes peeled for the well-known koala colony on nearby Rotamah Island, which is also duly famous for its bird life.
The main holiday town in the area is Lakes Entrance which has grown to be a popular spot for visitors to the Gippsland region to relax and rewind. Lakes Entrance offers up the natural wonders of the surrounding state forest, the delightful scenery of Lake Tyers, and is the self-proclaimed "seafood" capital of Victoria, as this is where many trawlers loaded with fresh seafood dock to unload their wares.
As well as providing water to the city and surrounds, Melbourne's reservoirs also function as recreation reserves. Enjoy a picnic or BBQ at parks along the shoreline, with some reservoirs even permitting fishing and restricted use of watercraft.
Cardinia Reservoir is the largest reservoir in greater Melbourne, located near the city's south-eastern fringe at Emerald.
The Cardinia Reservoir Park features several picnic areas, native bushland and a walkway across the dam wall.
Maroondah Reservoir is located on the Watts River, to the north-east of Melbourne in the scenic Yarra Valley town of Healesville.
The Maroondah Reservoir Park can be found along the southern shoreline of the dam and has some interesting gardens with both native and exotic trees. Springtime is particularly colourful with rhododendrons and azaleas. The park includes picnic and BBQ areas, rotundas and a playground.
Also known as Exford Weir, this reservoir is located on the Werribee River between Bacchus Marsh and Melton. It provides an irrigation supply for farmland around Werribee.
There is a picnic area at the dam's southern wall with BBQ facilities and a playground.
- Melton Reservoir
Silvan Reservoir is located on the edge of the Dandenong Ranges National Park between Monbulk and Mount Evelyn.
The reservoir's park, can be found at the dam's northern wall and it includes landscaped picnic areas and lawns which are surrounded by eucalypt forests.
Sugarloaf Reservoir can be found in Melbourne's far north-east at Christmas Hills.
There are several parks located around the reservoir and a 15 kilometre walking trail that circumnavigates the dam. Boats can only be launched at the sailing club and they must be non-powered. Enjoy shoreline fishing for redfin or carp in designated areas.
Toorourrong Reservoir is located on Melbourne's north-eastern fringe near Whittlesea, on the Plenty River.
The scenic reservoir park offers many picnic areas and a number of short walks which pass through areas frequented by eastern grey kangaroos.
- Toorourrong Reservoir Park
Yan Yean Reservoir, located on Melbourne's north-eastern fringe, is the city's oldest reservoir, dating 1857.
The parkland at the reservoir include picnic and BBQ facilities, walking tracks and extensive wetlands with abundant birdlife.
Dartmouth Dam is Victoria's largest constructed lake and is a great spot for fishing and other water sports. Camping is permitted at designated areas around the lake.
- Lake Dartmouth
There is over 500 kilometres of shoreline, a large amount of which is surrounded by the Lake Eildon National Park. Enjoy the bush and picnic areas, stay at camping grounds, try a spot of fishing, take a boat out on the water, or spend a few days on a houseboat as you cruise around the huge expanse of this iconic lake.
When full, Lake Eildon holds 6 times the amount of water than all of Sydney Harbour.
Providing an irrigation source to surrounding farmland of Heyfield, Tinamba and Maffra, there is a recreation area around the dam wall and also at Sandy Point at the southern end of the lake.
- Lake Glenmaggie
Victoria's largest freshwater lake is located in the west of the state near Jeparit and Rainbow. It is a haven for waterbirds and is surrounded by a recreation reserve with several beaches, camping areas and boat ramps.
As the lake levels are highly seasonal, it can remain dry for years at a time.
- Lake Hindmarsh
Lake Hume straddles the state border with New South Wales on the Murray River east of Wodonga. It has over 370 kilometres of shoreline.
There are many recreation areas and reserves around the lake and popular activities include boating, fishing, walking and camping.
- Lake Hume
Lake Mulwala was created by the construction of the Yarrawonga Weir across the Murray River between Yarrawonga and Mulwala in 1939. This provided a valuable water storage which could be used by irrigators.
This large lake is a major tourist attraction in the area, and is a popular venue for boating, fishing and water skiing. There are large areas of foreshore parks and regular sightseeing cruises on the lake.
- Lake Mulwala / Yarrawonga Weir
Thomson Reservoir accounts for 60% of Melbourne's total water storage capacity. It is located on the edge of the Baw Baw National Park.
As well as providing water for Melbourne, it supports agriculture and hydroelectricity generation.
- Thomson Reservoir
The Upper Yarra Reservoir is located within the Yarra Ranges National Park, north-east of Warburton.
There are well-maintained gardens and picnic areas surrounded by native bush. Camping is permitted and there are several short walks which feature lookouts over the reservoir.
Victoria's water supplies are managed by water corporations. View current water levels at major lakes, dams, reservoirs and weirs in Victoria.