Recreation

Recreation

Coronavirus (COVID-19) information

Fishing and boating are now permitted at Goulburn-Murray Water’s storage facilities, however authorities are reminding Victorians that these activities are subject to physical distancing to help keep people safe.

GMW storages where fishing and boating is permitted include: Lake Eildon, Lake Mulwala, Yarrawonga Weir, Torrumbarry Weir, Lake Nillahcootie, Kangaroo Lake, Lake Charm, Lake Hume, Lake Buffalo, Greens Lake, Waranga Basin, Lake William Hovell, Lake Nillahcootie, Nagambie Waterways, Lake Eppalock, Lake Buffalo, Cairn Curran Reservoir, Tullaroop Reservoir, Lake Boga and Laanecoorie Reservoir.

Fishing is permitted at Mildura Weir, Kow Swamp, Goulburn Weir, Newlyn Reservoir and Hepburns Lagoon (kayaks, canoes and boats with electric motors allowed at Hepburns).

From 11:59pm on 31 May, a maximum of 20 people can meet outdoors for outdoor group sport and exercise activities (including fishing, hiking, hunting, prospecting and diving on public land), provided you can keep your distance (at least 1.5m apart) and the activities are not competitive.

Playgrounds at GMW’s storages are now open, with up to 20 people able to use them. Please remember to maintain appropriate social distancing and hygiene practices.

Caravan parks and camping grounds

From 11:59pm on 31 May, you can stay at a caravan park, provided there are private facilities available (e.g. cabins) and there is no use of communal areas like shared bathrooms and kitchens. Greens Lake will be open for camping and overnight stays. Accommodation with no facilities to share, e.g. back country camping, is allowed.

Accommodation which requires use of communal areas, such as shared bathrooms and kitchens, remains subject to current restrictions and you cannot stay there.

Houseboats

Houseboats are now allowed back on the water for recreational use, and overnight stays are also permitted from 11:59pm on 31 May. This includes commercial hire and drive houseboats.

Staying at private residences, such as houseboats, is allowed, subject to private gatherings limits of 20 people per household, including members of that household.

Those taking their houseboats out are being reminded to adhere to social distancing guidelines and the maximum number of people allowed on the boat. This includes at the marina.

GMW remains committed to the Victorian Government’s efforts to keep Victorians safe and our water storage facilities will continue to be monitored.

More information about travel and camping can be found at the Department of Health and Human Services website.

 

LINKS

Water Smarts

Water Storages

The main purpose of GMW’s lakes, dams and reservoirs is to capture, store and release water to customers but they are also great places to visit for recreation. 

Many of our lakes, dams and reservoirs have fantastic recreation infrastructure like parks, playgrounds, boat ramps and camping facilities that make them the perfect place to stay and play. 

GMW actively works with local clubs and organisations at lakes, dams and reservoirs to develop joint plans to support recreational and tourism development opportunities that will increase enjoyment of the waterways without adversely impacting on lake operations, water qualities, environmental values, or community safety.

The GMW By-law No. 1-2013 – Recreational Areas governs GMW’s development and management of public access and recreational use of its managed land and waterways.

Water levels

At all water levels visitors need to be conscious of potential hazards and consider their own safety and the safety of other users.

Water levels either high or low can prompt increased safety requirements and changes to access for recreational areas and waterways. 

Safety information and alerts will be signposted at public areas and boat ramps, and available on our website under News.

Guidelines for safe boating

When visiting be sure to stay safe at all times by following the rules for safe boating including following speed restrictions and keep a lookout for submerged trees and other hazards.

  • On Victorian inland waters a 5 knot speed limit applies to boat operators and PWC operators within:
    • 50m of the water’s edge (unless stated by notice)
    • 50m of another vessel
    • 50m of any fixed or floating structure in or on the water
    • 50m of swimmers 
    • 100m of a diver's flag bouy or vessel
  • Don’t drink and boat
    • Zero blood alcohol concentration applies for operators under 21 years of age and supervisors
    • 0.05 blood alcohol limit applies for 21 years of age and over
  • Maintain a good look out and operate at a safe speed. 
  • Ensure you have the right safety equipment for all persons onboard including correctly fitted PFDs.
  • Do not load your boat beyond its passenger carrying capacity
  • Carry enough Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) for passenger carrying capacity of the boat
  • You must wear the appropriate PFD for your vessel type at all times when operating on your own
  • You and your passengers must wear the appropriate PFD for your vessel type in times of heightened danger, i.e. when operating in adverse weather and waterway conditions
  • You must wear the appropriate PFD for your vessel type when in an open area of a recreational vessel that is underway.
  • All masters operating a powered recreational vessel on Victorian waters require a marine licence and must carry it at all times.
  • The Marine Safety Act requires the owner of a recreational powered vessel (one equipped with an engine that is capable of being used for propulsion) to register the vessel.
  • Carry the minimum safety equipment required for your class of vessel under the Marine Safety Act.
  • A person must not operate a recreational vessel (including personal water crafts) or hire and drive vessel at a speed or in a manner which is dangerous to the public, birds and marine animals.

More information

For more information about the rules at particular waterways, visit Transport Safety Victoria’s  interactive waterway map.

For more information about staying safe on the water, go to our Water Smarts page.