A SWIM AT THE TRONOH DREDGE HOLE
A swim it is! So you all pile into the car and head down the Great Alpine Road, under a canopy of trees, to Harrietville’s Tronoh Dredge Hole.
Entering Harrietville, you pass a shaded park straddling the East Branch of the Ovens River as it meanders down from the mountains carving out the valley toward Myrtleford. The mountains are all around like a big hug. You see some pubs and cafes, but today you’re following Pete-the-local’s advice and going for the best vanilla slice ever eaten by a MasterChef judge. It’s the reason you've come to Harrietville; there were plenty of other places you could have gone for a swim. The lady at the accommodation desk had rattled them off for you:
The Bright River Pool near the Splash Park, Porepunkah Riverside Park, Myrtleford’s Rotary Park or Nimmo Bridge, Lake Catani, Lake Buffalo, The Pondage in Mount Beauty, or The Rockpool, or (for the more adventurous ) The Gorge, (… speed up, you’re running out of breath) the 25m indoor heated swimming pools in Bright and Myrtleford, or the Olympic sized outdoor pool in Mount Beauty. Phwar!
You pull-up at the Harrietville Bakery. It’s small, but big on deliciousness: pies, sausage rolls, real pretzels, coffee and – the best vanilla slice! You stock up and head to The Dredge Hole.
Birdsong fills the air as you get out of the car and then, wow – what a gem! The waterhole is large, round and deep with a small jetty. Native bush has reclaimed the land around the old mining hole, making it the picture of serenity; it’s hard to believe it was once the largest gold mining dredge in the southern hemisphere.
You walk to the jetty and dip your toe in. It’s fresh, very fresh. A woman dangles her feet in the water as she watches her children swim. A man is fishing on the opposite bank.
“Day for it!” she smiles. You agree and ask her if she’s going for a swim.
“No, not today. I’ve just had the most amazing aromatherapy massage and the oils smell so lovely, I don’t ever want them to wear off,” she laughs.
“My husband took the kids mountain biking and I had other ideas,” she says with a cheeky smile.
Mountain biking! Massages! There’s so much you hadn’t considered doing.
The others have found a picnic table under a shady tree and are ‘ooohing’ and ‘aaahing’ over their vanilla slice. The delicately crisp pastry cracks between your teeth revealing the smooth, creamy vanilla filling beneath. The MasterChef judge was right.
Satiated, you all jump in the water. Your skin tingles with refreshing coolness. Could this day get any better? Well, yes, it could. Where to next?
Choose your next adventure, or scroll down for more swimming spots
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