Toby Simmons Dec 30, 2020

Donuts. Many, many donuts. That is, days where we’ve had zero new cases of ‘rona. And whether you’ve celebrated by heading out to your local bakery and eating a literal donut or you’re just happy that you can now leave the house again, it’s definitely a win in our book.

With the ‘ring of steel’ now lifted between Melbourne and regional Victoria, if you’ve got a boat and have been itching to take it out all this time, but need a bit of inspiration regarding your destination, you’ve come to the right place. To celebrate our new-found freedom, we’ve put together a list of places for you to hitch up the boat and journey to that you’re sure to absolutely love. And now, perhaps more than ever before, it’s important that we support local businesses so each of the following boating spots can be found somewhere in lovely Victoria.


Day trips ahoy


Herring Island


Found right in the heart of Melbourne, Herring Island is accessible by boat only and can be found in the Yarra River (it’s the only island in the Yarra) in the South Yarra area. There you’ll find facilities including picnic spots complete with shelters - it is Melbourne, after all - and barbecues. Activities include bird-watching as well as walking tracks and more. It really is a fantastic (and very close) day trip opportunity.


Chinaman Island


We know: Asian-American is the preferred nomenclature, Dude. But we didn’t name the island! Around 65 kilometres southeast of Melbourne (just 4 clicks past French Island), Chinaman Island - located in Victoria’s Western Port - has an abundance of things to see and do including water activities like snorkelling as well as bushwalking and more. Depending on your schedule and when you launch in the morning, sunrises and sunsets there are pretty unforgettable and if possible, we highly recommend experiencing one or the other - both if you can!


Wonderful weekends


Lake Mulwala


The man-made reservoir of Lake Mulwala in Yarrawonga can be found 260 kilometres (3.5 hours’ or so drive) north of Melbourne, right on the VIC/NSW border. There are plenty of launching options around, and if you’re a keen water skier or wakeboarder you’ll love the calm, still water you get in the morning before too many other boats are out making things choppy.

There’s also plenty of fish in there for you to try your luck with including the mighty Murray Cod and Golden Perch, or if you prefer just relaxing on your boat with your feet up, you’re sure to love the lake’s serene surroundings.

There are endless camping and other accommodation options around Yarrawonga too, so whether you’re happy with the bare essentials or would rather something more indulgent, you’re covered.


Lake Eppalock


Near Bendigo on the Campaspe River - about 120 k’s north of Melbourne - you’ll find Lake Eppalock. Yes, this is a rather popular and well-known destination for boating enthusiasts, but right now because of the travel restrictions between states it’s the perfect time to get there while it’s not too busy. Offering a total of 9 boat ramps (goodbye, long launch wait!) as well as four caravan/holiday park options and numerous campgrounds, it’s somewhat of a Victorian boating mecca.

Activities on the water include water skiing, wakeboarding, swimming, fishing and chugging around at your own leisure. If you feel like taking a break from the boat there are lots of walking tracks and picnic spots to be found, or you can make your way into town for a shop or look around.


Week-away holidays


Gippsland Lakes


Make your way 250 kilometres southeast from Melbourne’s CBD to get to the Gippsland Lakes. As one of the largest tidal waterways in Australia stretching from Sale to Lakes Entrance, you can imagine there’s a heck of a lot to get out and explore on your boat. While it’s difficult to do so, if you do eventually get a bit tired of cruising around checking everything out there are plenty of water activities to do like fishing, swimming, canoeing and kayaking - just to name a few! You’ll find loads of boat ramps in and around the area plus more jetties than you could ever imagine for mooring.

We can’t recommend the Captains Cove Resort in Paynesville enough if you have a bit of cash to splash, or for the more budget-conscious the NRMA Bairnsdale Riverside Holiday Park ticks all the boxes nicely.


Lake Eildon


When you have a waterway as expansive as Lake Eildon, its busy-ness doesn’t actually come into play unless you decide to launch in the busier spots like the Bonnie Doon main boat ramp or Gough’s Bay - and you can easily escape all the people by cruising off for a few minutes.

Side note - at what other time can you sing the ‘We’re goin’ to Bonnie Doon’ song from The Castle the whole way from Melbourne?

Anyway, back to it. Lake Eildon provides a load of opportunities for a good day out including water skiing and wakeboarding as well as jet skiing, fishing (Golden Perch, Murray Cod, Trout and more), mooring up on a protruding treetop and enjoying a nice cold beverage enjoying the rolling hills that surround you and plenty more.

Camping spots, holiday parks and more glamorous accommodation options litter the 500-kilometre shoreline stretching from Bonnie Doon to Jamieson and back, and there are several town options for re-upping your supplies including Mansfield, Bonnie Doon, Jamieson and more.


Finance a brand new boat today


Current boat a little too old and barnacle-covered for your liking? Or maybe you’ve never owned one and this article has sold you on the idea. Whatever the case may be, Stratton Finance is here to provide professional assistance to help you secure the best boat finance possible.

After 20-plus years in the industry, we’ve been able to grow our network of lenders exponentially which means that when you deal with us, you have instant access to all of these lenders and their countless finance packages. So whatever your situation, you can bet we’ll be able to find a solution that works for you. Use our handy finance quote tool now and discover - in under 60 seconds - just how low you could be paying each month for a brand new boat of your own.

If you have any questions or would like to speak with one of the Stratton Finance team directly, feel free to get in touch with us today either by calling 1300 955 600 or, if you’d prefer, sending us an online enquiry to which you’ll hear a response ASAP.

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