Lake Buffalo Recreation Guide


Things to do


Lake Buffalo is a great spot to throw in a line, and Redfin, Golden Perch, Brown and Rainbow Trout, Murray Cod and River Blackfish can all be found. Try using yabbies, worms and crickets as bait.

Macquarie perch (Maccas) are present, but can’t be caught or targeted by recreational fishers from any waterway in Victoria, giving wild populations the best chance to re-establish.

Inadvertently caught Maccas must be returned to the water quickly and safely.

For more information on the Victorian Fisheries Authority’s efforts to recover Macquarie perch, visit

For the latest information on fishing in Victoria, contact Fisheries Victoria on 136 186, and don’t forget your Recreational Fishing Licence!


Camping is not allowed on the foreshore of the lake but there are a range of accommodation options through out the region.

Find out more on the Visit Myrtleford website or the Parks Victoria website.


Lake Buffalo is a popular spot for boating and a range of water sports. 

Boats can be launched from the main boat ramp near the dam wall (see map). The Marshalls Ridge boat ramp is opened seasonally depending on the water level of the lake.

A 5 knot speed limit applies at any level within 50 metres of the water's edge; other vessels, navigation aids, swimmers and fixed or floating structures; and within 100 metres of vessels displaying a dive flag.

Keep a lookout at all times for hazards and other vessels.

Refer to the Victorian Recreational Boating Safety Handbook at the transport Victoria website.

Water levels

GMW's customers use the water in our storages to produce food and fibre, supply towns and businesses, and protect and improve waterway health.

Visitors need to be conscious of potential hazards and consider their own safety and the safety of other users at all times. Water levels (high or low) can prompt increased safety measures, and changes to access for recreational areas and boating.

Safety information and  alerts will be signposted at public areas and boat ramps.

Find out more about  current water level information.

Blue-Green algae

At times, the level of blue-green algae in storages can exceed safe limits. When this happens you should avoid direct contact with the water as the algae can cause;

  • skin rashes
  • itchiness
  • sore eyes, ears and nose
  • nausea.

If unsafe levels occur, warning signs will be positioned at major recreational areas.

Online Blue-green algae warnings are available or by calling the 24 hour GMW blue-green algae hotline on (03) 5826 3785.

About Lake Buffalo

Lake Buffalo location in map of Victoria

Lake Buffalo is on the picturesque Buffalo River, 20 km south of Myrtleford and just over 300 km north of Melbourne. 

The lake lies at the foot of Mount Buffalo National Park with the rocky outcrops of the mountain clearly visible. A popular place for waterskiing, boating, fishing and kayaking. Lake Buffalo offers an array of recreational opportunities and is a fantastic place for a picnic with family and friends.

Today it supplies irrigation and stock and domestic water to entitlement holders from surrounding towns, supporting an array of agricultural activities including dairy, cropping, nuts, berries wine grapes and more.

Lake Buffalo is one of 23 lakes, dams and reservoirs managed by GMW to capture, store and deliver 70% of Victoria's stored water across the region.


Lake Buffalo has facilities to suit every visitor, including fishing, boating and picnic amenities.

Marshalls Ridge Recreational Area on the western side, accessible from Buffalo River Road, and the main recreation area on the north eastern lake fringe each offer a public boat launching area (see Boating), picnic facilities and public toilets. 

The lake is surrounded by bushwalking, birdwatching and hiking areas, as well as plenty of four-wheel drive tracks. If you're a cyclist, there's a number of cycling trails around the lake which are child-friendly or through the cool alpine valleys.


GMW’s lakes, dams and reservoirs are ideal places for events. Find out more about hosting an event at one of our storages.

Don't forget your Water Smarts

Caring for Lake Buffalo

Lake Buffalo is a beautiful natural resource. You can help care for the lake so it can be enjoyed now and into the future.

  • camping and campfires are prohibited in GMW reserves and on foreshore and lakebed areas
  • electric barbecues are available at some reserves (see map below)
  • refer to your local council for landfill services and consider the environment when disposing of your litter. Penalties apply for illegal dumping of rubbish
  • don’t take plants from the foreshore, or bring any in
  • don’t feed the animals or wildlife, or interfere with their habitats
  • boat wash can cause erosion, keep to 5 knots within 50 metres of the water’s edge
  • vehicles and trail bikes are only allowed on public roads within the reserve
  • all vehicles and trail bikes must be registered and users must be licenced
  • keep the waterway healthy by not using soap, toothpaste or detergent in the lake
  • dogs must be on a lead and/or under control at all times and aren’t allowed in the lake. Please clean up after your pets.

Review GMW’s recreational by-law 

Staying safe

Local boating rules are posted at all public boat ramps.

  1. Launching and retrieving vessels must occur from the designated boat ramp/s.
  2. To avoid congestion, complete any preparation prior to launching, or when returning from the water, away from the ramp.
  3. Parking is only permitted in designated areas.
  4. Ensure all safety equipment is on the vessel and operational, and that lifejackets are always worn.
  5. Be aware and comply with all waterway vessel operating zones.
  6. Always keep a lookout for waterway hazards and operate your vessel in line with weather and waterway conditions.
  7. Ensure no one is in or on the vessel when moving to and from the ramp.
  8. Shade structures are not permitted within 50 metres of either side of boat ramps.
  9. Stay clear of dam infrastructure.

Facilities Map

 Detailed map of the facilities at Lake Buffalo

Please Remember

  • No campling or fires allowed on GMW foreshore land.
  • Confine vehicles and motor bikes to formed public roads.
  • Take your rubbish home.