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lake eildon

Victoria’s most popular inland waterway!

140kms North East of Melbourne

Lake Eildon is located In the upper catchment of the Goulburn River, immediately below the junction with the Delatite River

Of Shoreline
1 kms

or 13,840 hectares!

Mega Litres

that’s 6 times more capacity then Sydney Harbour

The area began back in the 1860’s after gold was discovered and the small town of Darlingford (named after Sir Charles Darling, Governor of Victoria), near the junction of the Big and Goulburn Rivers came into being.

Darlingford was later submerged in the 1920s, when Sugarloaf Dam was built on the Goulburn River between Mounts Sugarloaf and Pinniger. Remains of the town still exist under the waters of Lake Eildon today and during the early 2000s it was reported that a drought resulted in the tops of some of the town’s buildings protruding from their watery grave.

Sugarloaf Reservoir construction commenced in 1915 and was finally completed in 1929. It was in commission for less than a year when it was deemed to small and it was modified in 1929, and again in 1935 to increase the storage capacity, however it was still limited in its capacity to meet the growing demand for water in the Goulburn Valley and to protect farmers during drought years.

In 1951, the ‘Big Eildon Project’ began to enlarge the storage to its present capacity (3,334,158 ML) which is six times the size of Sydney Harbour.  

During the construction nearly 4000 workers and their families were housed in the shanty township of Eildon which was constructed between 1950-1952. 

As the reservoir began to fill, the fishing camps moved to its shores and boats began to appear on the Lake and it was in 1950 that 25 founding members formed Lake Eildon Boat Club, find out more about our Club’s history by following the links below or go direct to our Club History page.


and their families were housed in the shanty town of Eildon during the construction.

Lake officially opened

by then Premier Sir Henry Bolte & Eildon Boat Club Members participated in the formal proceedings!

Lake Eildon's link with Scotland

The name Eildon was derived from a Scottish settler called Archibald Thom, who named his property 'Eildon Station' in the 1840’s because the area from Darlingford to Thornton reminded him of his wife’s birthplace, the Eildon Hills near Abbotsford in Scotland.​

Eildon Hills Scotland

Then Premier, the Honourable Sir Henry Bolte officially opened the dam on the 19th of October 1956, marking an end to works that had changed the district and Eildon Boat Club Members were formally invited to participate in the first ever sail past on the Lake! You can find out more about Sail Past on the Lake by visiting our Club History Pages.

The authorities at the time recognised the fact that Lake Eildon had great potential as a recreational area and made provisions for boating, fishing and picnicking facilities around the shores of the lake.

On completion of the dam, the works area was purchased by the Masonite company for the manufacture of wallboard but closed a few years later. These buildings are now occupied by businesses associated with the building and maintenance of the current houseboat fleet on Lake Eildon.

Today Lake Eildon is Victoria’s most popular inland waterway for Recreational Boating Activities and Lake Eildon National Park abuts a large percentage of the Lake providing habitat for wildlife including kangaroos, wombats and bird life.  Water sports such as skiing, wakeboarding, jet skis and kayaking are all popular on the Lake as well as fishing and of course houseboating!

Our Club has a long history on the Lake dating back to 1950, use the links below to find out more about our Club’s history and the history of Sail Past.