Bush swimming at Briagolong

Bush swimming at Briagolong

One of the great things about living in Gippsland is that you can go swimming anywhere from the mountains to the sea. Being such a big area as Gippsland is, most parts will have their own little swimming holes that are popular with locals and others who have discovered these gems. Today I am going to introduce you to two of my favourite freshwater swimming holes in Gippsland. Surprisingly enough they are both located in Briagolong just out of Maffra. Even more surprising is that they are located on the same creek just a few kilometers from each other.

Briagolong is located 20 kilometres from Maffra and 270 kilometres east of Melbourne. Briagolong is more of a village than a town. 1 pub, bakery, cafe, shop and an art gallery make up Briagolong. This small town has a rather eclectic feel about it. The community is based around the local pub.  The pub is popular with travellers heading into the high country especially towards Dargo. Expect to see cowboy hats, check shirts and RM Williams stickers adorning the utes parked outside.

These 2 great freshwater swimming spots in Braigolong are known as the Quarries Reserve and the Blue Pools Reserve. They are both located on the Freestone Creek in the foothills of the Great Dividing Range. The Freestone Creek runs off Lees Creek in the mountains and meets up with the Avon River near Stratford.

The Quarries Reserve Briagolong

The Freestone Creek Australia
One of the swimming area’s at the Quarries. Water levels were down the day i captured this image

The Quarries Reserve is located 2.6km from Briagolong on the Freestone Creek Road. You wind your way down into the Quarries on a sealed road with speed humps. What opens up before your eyes is a bush setting with giant gum trees rising up, birds chirping and the sounds of the creek running.  The Quarries reserve is wedged between the elevated road and the Freestone Creek. 

The Reserve is split into 2 sections. At one end is a shed with fireplaces and a playground for the kids. The shed has a picnic table inside for limited seating. At the other end of the reserve is the camping area. This area has a few firepits, picnic table and an exposed shelter to sit and eat under. There are toilets available on site with cold showers.

Access to the Freestone Creek is available all along the reserve. The main swimming area is located near the shed and the playground area. Here you will find a nice water hole with clear running water. Camping at the Quarries reserve is $10 a night payable at the local store in Briagolong. One thing you must remember is that the Reserve is a carry in, carry out park. what you take in you must take out with you. Talk about a budget family getaway for a few nights! 

The Blue Pools Briagolong

The Blue Pools Briagolong is also located on Free Stone Creek Road. It is a bit further along from the Quarries at around 8.5km from Briagolong.  The Blue Pools consists of two separate car parks, free camping area and the Blue Pools swimming hole. Get all your camping gear HERE

The Blue Pools is a popular free canoeing Gippsland site. You will find plenty of space, picnic tables, fire pits and 1 toilet. Yes, just 1 single cubicle for use. The campground is dirty and dusty just to be warned with very little grass and again it is a carry in, carry out site.

Walking path at the Blue Pools
The Path leading from the car park to the swimming area at the Blue Pools

The Briagolong Blue Pools swimming area is large much larger than the Quarries. As a kid, we used to enjoy jumping off the high rocks into the water at the gorge of the Blue Pools. It used to seem so high with the water so far away. In reality, the jump was about 3.5 meters. The kids of today have taken to using ropes to swing of the trees into the water. The Blue Pools is like a bay of sorts. There is a semi-circle of sand and rocks that ring the water with a tiny creek flowing to the side as the hills rise directly up  creating a gorge

The Blue Pools Briagolong Gippsland Australia
Swimming area of the of the Blue Pools

The water at Blue Pools gets deep very quick. So be a good swimmer or be prepared at the least. There are some amazing bush walks that start off from the car park. The Bluff walk is short but leads off on a steep rise to the top of the gorge. The Peregrine Lookout is a little more serious. The circuit from Blue Pool to the Peregrine lookout takes about an hour return. 
The lookout is aptly names after the Peregrine Falcon. The Falcon nests nearby from September to December each year 

Drone picture of the Blue Pools
The Blue Pools from way above

Insiders Tip: On the road between the Quarries and the Blue Pools is another swimming spot. It is virtually unknown to many. There is no facilities, there is no car park. Its called the Blue Mark. You may see a faint blue circle on a tree and dirt shoulder on the side of the road. There is a narrow bush track that winds its way down the hill to the Blue Mark. The Blue Mark is another quality swimming spot on the Freestone Creek

Looking for something to do this weekend? If the weather is hot get in the car and visit these two great Gippsland Freshwater swimming spots.

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Blue Pools Briagolong
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Marley Point on Lake Wellington

Marley Point on Lake Wellington

Marley Point is one of those family-friendly, laid back, easily accessible spots on the Gippsland Lakes that is well worth a visit. Be it a day trip, camping or just for a swim in Lake Wellington.

Marley Point is best known as the location for the Marley Point overnight Yacht Race. The Marlay Point Overnight Race has been running on the Gippsland Lakes since 1969. The race is regarded as Australia’s premier race for portable yachts. Over the years more than 4000 boats and 11,000 sailors have participated in the race. The Marley Point Yacht Race is held every year over the labour day long weekend.

Places to go in Gippsland – Marley Point

Today at Marley Point you will find the Yacht Club building, a BBQ shed, boat ramp and a free camping site.

The free camping site at Marley Point is right on the banks of Lake Wellington. You can set up your tent, caravan or camper right between some big Cypress trees. This is one of the best places in Gippsland for free camping. The Cypress trees provide great shelter from the sun in summer and the weather in winter. There are toilet facilities at Marley Point Gippsland. You will find a partially enclosed BBQ area with an open fireplace and bench seat inside. There is only 1 free electric bbq for use. There are wooden picnic tables spread along the Marley Point foreshore area.

Swimming at Marley Point is excellent for kids and adults alike. The sandy shallow waters of Lake Wellington are calm and safe for everyone. You will find you can walk out into the lake more than 50 meters and the water would not be over your head, that’s how shallow it is.

Things to take swimming at Marley Point. Click on our recommendations!

For fishing, there is a jetty and the sandy banks to fish off. Being a freshwater lake the best baits will be the worm if your chasing bream. A little easier to catch is the European carp. For this fish, you will only need corn or bread on your hook. You may have to wade out into Lake Wellington a little to cast if you want to catch some of the bigger fish. Fishing at Marley point is one of the easiest things to do in Gippsland with kids.

Visit Gippsland today for fishing at Marley Point

What I need for fishing at Marley Point. Click for our recommendations ⇓

Boating in Lake Wellington via Marley Point is very accessible via a boat ramp and adjoining jetty to tie up on. You often see people launching fishing boats from the point. People head into the middle of the lake, into the Mclennan straights or up into the mouth of the Avon River which drains into Lake Wellington.

How to get to Marley Point: Marley Point is very easy to access once you get to Sale in Gippsland Australia. Follow the A1 Princess Highway through Sale towards to Stratford. 3.4 kilometres out of Sale turn right onto Bengworden Road. Follow Bengworden road for 11 kilometres before turning right onto Marley Point Road.  Travel 3.6 kilometres and you will arrive on the banks of Lake Wellington at Marley Point. Marley Point is a bit of the Gippsland tourist attractions radar but its certainly worth a visit.

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About the author

Mark Wyld is a Gippsland native having lived here all his life. Mark and his family get out in Gippsland as much as possible exploring different destinations. Having worked and lived in this area for over 40 years i have considerable knowledge of the region. follow me on facebook


Timbarra free camping

Timbarra free camping


Timbarra State Forest

23 kilometres north-west of Buchan, 81km from Lakes Entrance. Turn towards Buchan off the Bairnsdale Nowa Nowa Road. Turn at the Timbarra sign and take Nunnett Rd and turn onto Timbarra Rd.

The road into the camping ground is sealed for the majority of the way before turning into a gravel road. The gravel section was of good quality when we visited as we were able to easily take a Holden Commoadore into Timbarra caming areas


Firepits, Picnic tables and bush toilets.

Timbarra Camp Site

Things to do at Timbarra:

  • 4 wheel driving
  • Horse Riding
  • Swimming
  • Fishing
  • Hunting
  • Motor Biking
  • Mountain Biking and more.

Wildlife is abundant in the area. There is a few Goannas in the area that you may see in the trees if you look close enough. Kangaroos, wombats and possums can be seen during the late evening and early mornings.

Additional Information:

Campfires are permitted, but there are a few rules that need to be followed. The fire is in a fireplace or trench 30 cm deep. The fire pits provided are regulation and are the only areas that fires are allowed on the site. The fire pit is no more than 1 square metre and 3 metres around the fire is cleared.
The fire cannot be left unattended and must be put out before you leave. Collect only fallen wood for fires or bring your own. The cutting down trees or damaging standing vegetation is not permitted.

There are no bins, so all rubbish is carried in and carry out.

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Timbarra is located in far East Gippsland Australia. Its in a state forest wilderness area. Free camping, fire pits and toilets are available. Go swimming, walking, fishing and many more outdoor activities. #Buchan #Gippsland #Australia #camping #freecamping #familytravel #outdoors