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|Lake Eildon National Park|
|Nearest town or city||Eildon|
|Established||4 June 1997|
|Area||277.5 km2 (107.1 sq mi)|
|Managing authorities||Parks Victoria|
|Website||Lake Eildon National Park|
|See also||Protected areas of Victoria|
The Lake Eildon National Park is a national park in the Central Highlands region of Victoria, Australia. The 27,750-hectare (68,600-acre) national park is set in the northern foothills of the Central Highlands, approximately 111 kilometres (69 mi) northeast of Melbourne and abuts the shores of Lake Eildon.
The Goulburn River Valley supported a population of hundreds of members of the Aboriginal Australian group known as the Taungurung people. Cultural sites belonging to these people would have been flooded with the creation of Lake Eildon.
The park includes a number of mine shafts related to Victoria's gold rush of the 1860s. The park also contains relics from early pastoral use.
In the 1950s, the Victorian Government purchased farming properties along the Goulburn and Delatite rivers for the construction of Lake Eildon to provide irrigation water for the Goulburn Valley. An area of 2,670 hectares (6,600 acres) that wasn't flooded was declared Fraser National Park in 1957. An area of 24,000 hectares (59,000 acres) of state forest adjacent to the lake was reserved as Eildon State Park in 1980 to protect the catchment of Lake Eildon. In 1997, the two parks were combined to create Lake Eildon National Park.
The park is mountainous, with peaks up to 900 metres (3,000 ft), and includes the edge of the Cerberean Caldera, a Supervolcano around 27 kilometres (17 mi) across which was active around 380 million years ago. The caldera is evident in a few places as granite outcrops. It is thought that the Cerberean Caldera underwent a super eruption 374 Mya, which in turn would have contributed to the Late Devonian extinction event.
The national park contains many shallow gold diggings, shafts and adits.
The most notable in the Fraser block are those of Italian Gully, originally worked in the 1870's and then again in the 1930's.
Flora and Fauna
The park's vegetation is generally dry, open eucalypt forest with areas of riparian forest and montane forest. Main eucalypt species are stringybarks, peppermints, Red Box and Candlebark with areas of Mountain Ash and Blue Gum.
The park's known native fauna includes 34 species of mammals, 89 birds, 17 reptiles, 10 amphibians, and three freshwater fish. Threatened fauna recorded in the park include the Brush-tailed Phascogale and Spotted Tree-Frog. Eastern Grey Kangaroos are very common in the park's camping places
After being hunted to extinction for their skins, in 1967 25 Koalas were reintroduced to the park from Phillip Island and released in the Devils Cove area.
Sambar Deer are also found throughout the park.
There are numerous cultural sites in the National Park, demonstrating the areas past use for grazing and mining.
One of these is Stone's Outstation, located on Station Creek near Aird Inlet.
Lake Eildon National Park is non-contiguous and consists of five 'blocks' merged together in June 1997 to create a single national park. They are:
From the former Eildon State Park:
- Enterprise - located in the centre of Lake Eildon itself.
- Jamieson - located on the eastern side of the national park adjacent to the township of Jamieson.
- Jerusalem - located on the southern of the national park, named for Jerusalem Creek. It contains Jerusalem Creek camping area with pit toilets as well as O’Toole Flat and Taylors Creek which are nominally designated for deer hunters.
From the former Fraser National Park:
- Fraser - located on the western side of the national park, named for the former park. It is the most developed and contains three camping areas; Lakeside, Candlebark and Devil Cove, all of which feature flushing toilets, hot showers, drinking water and gas BBQs.
- Wappan - located on the north west side. It is the least developed with no public vehicle access.
Most visitors use the park as a base for water-based activities on Lake Eildon, such as power boating and water ski-ing. Deer hunting is permitted in season in some sections of the park.
Mountaineer Inlet Boat Camp has no vehicle access and is for use for boaters and hikers only.
- Lake Eildon National Park Management Plan (PDF) (PDF). Government of Victoria. July 1997. p. 3. ISBN 0-7306-6611-5. Retrieved 20 August 2014.
- "Lake Eildon National Park: Visitor Guide" (PDF). Parks Victoria (PDF). Government of Victoria. December 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 December 2014. Retrieved 20 August 2014.
- Clemens, J. D.; Birch, W. D. (2012). Assembly of a zoned volcanic magma chamber from multiple magma batches: The Cerberean Cauldron, Marysville Igneous Complex, Australia. pp. 272–288. Retrieved 4 October 2019.
- Ron Turner (2011). The History of Fraser National Park.
- Department Of Natural Resources & Environment (1999). Historic Gold Mining Sites In The North East Region Of Victoria.
- Parks Vic"Lake Eildon National Park Visitor Guide" (PDF (requires download)). Parks Vic. 2019. Retrieved 7 July 2022.