Lake Nillahcootie

Recreational Facilities

Large Grassed Area Car Parking Boat Ramp Fishing BBQ Toilets

Facts & Figures

Name Lake Nillahcootie
Stream Broken River
Year of Completion 1967
Construction Earth and Rockfill
Full Supply Level 264.5 m AHD
Capacity 40,400 ML
Area Submerged 530 ha
Main Embankment Length 791 m
Main Embankment Height 34 m
Hydro-electric Generation nil MW

News and Announcements

Duck hunting 2015

Duck hunting is only permitted in some areas of this storage during the 2015 duck hunting season. Hunting is prohibited around public recreational areas and around storage assets.

The 2015 duck hunting season opens on Saturday 21 March and closes Monday 8 June. We encourage all hunters and visitors to act safely during this time.

Our water storages are used by many people for a range of activities. It is important that all visitors, including hunters, consider other members of the public and the environment, by acting in a safe and responsible manner with awareness of duck hunting prohibited areas.

To view a map showing duck hunting prohibited areas around Lake Nillahcootie please click on this map.

For information on recreational facilities and boating guidelines at Lake Nillahcootie please click on this map.

Information on duck hunting regulations is available from the Game Management Authority by phoning 136 186 or on the Game Management Authority web site.

Urgent issues relating to the misuse of firearms should be referred to Victoria Police by dialling 000.


Lake Nillahcootie is situated on the Broken River in north-eastern Victoria, 36km south of Benalla.  The name Nillahcootie is of Indian origin and reputedly means ‘Blue House'.

Lake NillahcootieHistory

The storage was built in 1967 by the Rural Water Commission as part of a program to assure water supply in northern Victoria.  


Lake Nillahcootie was constructed to harness the flows of the Broken River to meet irrigation, domestic and stock, and urban water supply requirements.

In previous years when Lake Nillahcootie was assured of filling to capacity, water could be released in accordance with a target volume determined for filling Lake Mokoan. This operation optimised water harvesting between the two storages and would normally occur during winter and spring months. With the decommissioning of Lake Mokoan, this is no longer required.

The main spillway at Lake Nillahcootie features a unique Gothic arch-shaped crest that allows the discharge of 117,000 ML/d - equivalent to the volume of an Olympic-size swimming pool passing the spillway every two seconds.

The storage also features a secondary spillway that is operated only during severe floods. It uses the ‘fuse plug' principle, in which a section of earthen embankment within the secondary spillway (the fuse plug) has been designed so that at a predetermined flood level it will be eroded away and increase the discharge through the spillway.

Image Library

Nillahcootie Image Library A collection of photographs of Nillahcootie Water Storage.


Land and On-Water Management Plan

The Lake Nillahcootie Land and On-Water Management Plan provides a strategic approach to management of land and on-water issues at Lake Nillahcootie and was completed in March 2011. The Plan was developed in consultation with community, lake users, local government and other agencies.  The intent of the Plan is to set out a program of simple strategies and actions to better manage the increasing pressures on the important values of the lake and its foreshore; including community awareness and involvement, recreation, public access and safe use, environmental and cultural heritage and public land management.  G-MW will coordinate the implementation of the Plan over a 5 year period.

Nillahcootie Cover   Download a copy of the Plan here (PDF - 1.66 Mb)

Recreation and Tourism at Lake Nillahcootie

Facilities Available

Large Grassed Area Large Grassed Area
Car Parking Car Parking
Boat Ramp Boat Ramp
Fishing Fishing
Toilets Toilets
Please observe all signs and directions around our storages for information on recreational activities. Refer to the Land and On-Water Management Plan (if provided above) for detailed information on the facilities available.

Further Information

Lake Nillahcootie is a popular place for fishing, swimming and boating.  It also has excellent picnic facilities and an attractive lawn area near the dam.  Access to the Lake foreshore is restricted as most of the land is privately leased.  Camping is not permitted around the foreshore of the lake.  Picnic and boating areas are open to the public from 8.00am to sunset daily.

Boats can be launched from the main boat ramp. Click on the link below for a boating map of the lake.

Visitors are advised to be aware of the dangers associated with low water levels and exercise caution.


Lake Nillahcootie Recreation Guide, Map and Fact Sheet 

Lake Nillahcootie storage brochure thumbnail          Lake Nillahcootie map thumbnail          Lake Nillahcootie Fact Sheet