Yambuk is a relaxed rural area just a short 10 minute drive west from the historic township of Port Fairy.
There have been several suggestions as to the meaning of the word Yambuk. These include red kangaroo, full moon, big water, or ell lake and it is certainly believed to be a word from the dialect of the local Aboriginal people. The Aboriginal people of Yambuk enjoyed a rich and varied diet with shellfish in abundance from the sea and river estuary. The first European settles came to the area in the early 1840’s and over time they established productive grazing properties and built large stone homes to replace their first wattle and duab shelters.
Amongst the earliest pioneers of the Yambuk district was Annie Baxter Dawbin who recorded her life at Yambuk in Journals. These have been published and give a wonderful insight into the life of pioneering families at that time. One of the loveliest old buildings in the area is the Yambuk Inn. This small hotel was built in 1871 and is listed on the Victorian historic buildings registers, Yambuk’s public hall, Anglican and Catholic churches, are also buildings of significance. The tranquil Yambuk Lake is an ideal place to catch a fish, watch the bird life, take a beach walk or have a family picnic.
The lake is part of an extensive wetland system formed from the meeting of the Shaw and Eumeralla Rivers. The barrier estuary system is periodically closed to the sea by a sand bar. The wetlands comprise of freshwater meadows and semi permanent saline marshes, which have extensive areas of reeds and salt marsh communities fringing the edges.
Lake Yambuk estuary and wetlands are listed under the Directory of Important Wetlands for their flora and fauna value. The lake provides an important habitat for many bird species including the threatened Lewin’s Rail, Dwarf Galaxias and the endangered Orange Bellied Parrot.
Great fishing spots are hard to find and local secrets, such as Lake Yambuk and Yambuk beach are one of those treasures.
An estuary fed by the Shaw and Eumeralla Rivers and surrounded by sand dunes. The lake provides a small wharf and boat access to the lower reaches of the inflowing rivers. Most common angling fish are black bream, yellow eye mullet, Australian salmon, estuary perch. Popular baits are shrimp, crab, sandworms, minnow, white bait and clickers.
If surf fishing is of interest, Yambuk beach is great spot to fish. Drop in a line and enjoy a low fuss day with the sand between your toes.
Climbing the steps to the top of the 33- metre giant beach slide at Yambuk Lake rewards you with panoramic coast and ocean views. But that’s only half the fun. The real joy is whirling down the slide, through the sand dunes. Bring a picnic, dangle a line in the lake and BBQ some snags, all within reach of toilet and parking facilities.
The Crags Coastal Reserve provides panoramic views along the coast and over weathered limestone outcrops and ledges. The rocky cliffs protect small bays and are rich in wildlife including a Silver Gull breeding site on the eastern most island.
Deen Maar (Lady Julia Percy) Island was formed some seven million years ago, the island is much older than other volcanoes in the region, and was formed by both submarine and terrestrial eruptions. It is Australia’s only off-shore volcano and the only large basalt island off the coast of western Victoria. The island is home to one of four Australian fur seal breeding colonies in Victoria and with an estimated 27,000 seals, is the largest colony in Australia. Click here for more information.
Just to the west of Yambuk is Codrington, not a town or village but a farming area which is now the site of a new type of farm — a wind farm. Victoria’s first wind farm was built here in 2001. Originally 14 turbines, there are now 34 turbines to provide clean, green energy for Victoria. Tours of the wind farm by groups can be arranged however the towers are easily sighted from the Princes Highway.
The Park is a hidden gem, renowned for its spectacular views across the lake to oceanside or sweeping views of rural pastoral grazing and wetlands. Explore Yambuk Lake Caravan Park.
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Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the Great Ocean Road region the Wadawurrung, Eastern Maar & Gunditjmara. We pay our respects to their Elders, past, present and emerging. We recognise and respect their unique cultural heritage and the connection to their traditional lands. We commit to building genuine and lasting partnerships that recognise, embrace and support the spirit of reconciliation, working towards self-determination, equity of outcomes and an equal voice for Australia’s first people.