Your Lake Eildon experience can start well before you get to the houseboat. Your boat pick up time is around 2.00pm so why not leave a bit early, make the most of the first day of your trip and spend some time enjoying what the Upper Goulburn area has to offer. (All of these recommended locations are boat trailer friendly)
Most people coming from the Eastern side of Melbourne will go through Healesville where you will find plenty of great cafés, gift shops and activities from the Healesville Sanctuary to the fantastic crazy maze. After only a short drive you will be in amongst the Yarra Valley wineries with some of the world's best wines ripe for the picking direct from the cellar door.
The Black Spur itself is one of those magical drives that feels like you are in the middle of an ancient forest straight out of Lord of the Rings. There are some nice picnic spots and walking tracks to enjoy and plenty of fresh air to breathe in.
Marysville is a short drive off the main road and is definitely worth a visit. The rebuilding efforts after the devastating fires in 2009 are well and truly under way and in true Aussie style many of the shops have set up in portable buildings and temporary premises that although are not the original historic buildings that used to be a highlight, are still very quaint and reek of our renowned "never give up" attitude. We encourage you to support this amazing town and feel the power of the up-lifting community spirit that is so evident.
Our first compulsory stop is Buxton where the Upper Goulburn officially begins. A major challenge awaits you at the historic Igloo Roadhouse where the famous Buxton Burger will fill even the most ravenous appetite. You can sit down in front of the fire place or grab a take away burger and keep going; either way if you can finish the Buxton Burger then for once your stomach is bigger than your eyes! Our houseboat customers receive a special deal from the Igloo Roadhouse. Book your houseboat holiday today.
A little further on is a must visit winery called Buxton Ridge where the Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc are to die for! Katie and Michael are lovely people and are open weekends and public holidays or by appointment. Spend some time enjoying a fabulous tasting plate filled with local produce and a glass of wine sitting in a fantastic setting overlooking the vineyard and the cathedral ranges – or amongst the wine barrels, weather dependent, in the Buxton Ridge cellar and your whole day will change. Our houseboat customers enjoy a great deal at the Buxton Ridge winery. Book your houseboat holiday today.
Butters Café is an alternative dining option in Buxton, particularly if you want to taste the best coffee this side of Melbourne. Butters not only make a great coffee but also sell the Great Divide Coffee range along with other local produce. You may as well go shopping along the way and enjoy quality fresh food while on the houseboat, instead of the normal processed supermarket stuff, after all any holiday should be a holistic experience. Butters are open for lunch and dinner and offer superb homemade tucker in a beautiful setting. Our houseboat customers receive a special deal from Butters Café. Book your houseboat holiday today.
All roads lead to Thornton
Not is all as it seems in leafy Thornton. What appears to be a tiny little town that could be missed in a blink is actually the hub of the Upper Goulburn region and offers a surprising array of activities and "must do "options on the way to Lake Eildon.
Firstly make sure you leave room in the esky for all of your meat and fish requirements, The famous Thornton Butchers and Deli offers arguably the best quality products from basic sausages through to venison, all the roasts, prepared BBQ options and heaps more homemade, smoked and local produce. The prices are way cheaper than you would normally pay and they do offer our houseboat customers a special discount on all meat items. Book your houseboat holiday today.
The Eildon Trout Farm is just a few k's out of town and depending on your fishing prowess could well be the best chance you will have of catching a fish during your trip. They supply all of the gear or you can bring your own and there is a choice of bait, lure or fly fishing. This is a perfect hour with the kids and best of all you get to keep the catch for dinner. If you don't want to actually catch your own there is a great selection of gourmet foods on offer including: Smoked trout, Salmon, Pate's, cheeses, local wines and marinated olives. Thornton is definitely the best place to fill your picnic basket! Our house boat customers receive a special deal on produce or fishing sessions. Book your houseboat holiday today.
Another must do is the Goulburn Valley Fly Fishing Centre . Don't worry if you are not into fishing, these guys are world renowned for their expertise and just by dropping in and saying hello to these self confessed crusty old tragic's it is highly likely that you will be tempted anyway. The amazing display of intricate fishing fly's and the general ambiance of the facility is worth a look, they have a great range of warm clothing and specialist fishing gear and can arrange lessons for everyone from beginners to experts.
If you have any energy left, explore the beautiful countryside on horseback. Rubicon Valley Horse Riding is a short drive from Thornton on the way from Buxton and have access to one of the districts most noted properties, this award winning experience is usually about two hours but can be tailored to suit rides for all levels of expertise including full day or overnight options. Either way this is a very memorable way to spend time with the kids or to relax in a truly breathtaking setting. Our houseboat customers receive a great deal on horse riding adventures. Book your houseboat holiday today.
Don't ask us why Snob's Creek is called Snob's Creek but it is always tempting to put on a silly upper crust accent and pretend to be socially superior when passing through. Or you can make this a leg stretching stop over by visiting the Snobs Creek Falls in the Rubicon State Forest; it is about a 20 minute diversion and well worth the effort for the stunning scenery, awesome amount of water pushing over the falls and the freshest of fresh air. The Falls offer spectacular views as they drop more than 100 meters over a series of rocky outcrops. The pristine waters of Snobs Creek are an important supply to the Snobs Creek Fish Hatchery six kilometers below. If you are towing a trailer you will have to drive past the falls car park a few extra corners to turn around.
The Snobs Creek Estate Winery is also an easy stop over for that last couple of bottles before you head for the houseboat.
The first thing you see when you approach Eildon township is the pondage, cross the pondage and at the roundabout go right into Eildon Road, follow the road for 2.7klms and the signs to Eildon Harbour. Keep left onto Sugarloaf Road, follow this until you see the bright yellow sign on the water side that says Lake Eildon Private Marina & Houseboat hire. You then turn right into the marina. Follow the road around past the restaurant ‘Aqua’ for 700m to the houseboat hire dock. There is a boom gate that you will require a pin number for. This is changed monthly, so please speak with our office prior to your hire to confirm this months entry pin. Book your houseboat holiday today.