Four Mile Beach (VIC9397)

Beach trip report

General Location Lake Hindmarsh, Inland Western Victoria
Aboriginal Tribe/Language Group Gromiluk tribe
Access to beach Four Mile Beach Campsite
Beach Classification Non tidal, inland freshwater lake
Start Date/Time 4 May 2017 17:46
Start Location (inc Lat/Log) S36° 06.850’ E141° 56.871’
End Date/Time 4 May 2017 18:03
End Location (inc Lat/Log) S36° 07.847’ E141° 55.383’
Mode of Travel Bike then following morning drive
Distance Travelled 5.4km
Location of Sand Sample (lat/Long) S36° 07.836’ E141° 55.914’

This beach is one of only two inland beaches in my project. Four Mile Beach is on the southern shoreline of Lake Hindmarsh, which is the biggest freshwater lake in Victoria.

The lake is 22 km north of Dimboola, just west of Jeparit on the Nhill–Jeparit Rd. The area around the lake is the traditional country of the Gromiluk, a branch of the Wotjobaluk people. Explorer Edward Eyre camped at Lake Hindmarsh in 1838 while searching for an overland route from Melbourne to Adelaide and named the lake after the then governor of South Australia, John Hindmarsh. For many years up until the 1960 the lake supported a thriving commercial fishing industry and was also used for waterskiing. For the next 30 years the Lake nearly completely dried up. In 2011 major flooding refilled the lake which now provides abundance of birdlife.

We arrived at Four Mile Beach Camping Ground around 16:30 having driven up from Port Campbell, which is on the Great Ocean Road. We set up camp, with the sun creeping very close to the horizon, I took the chance and decided to ride the beach that evening. Joanne driving the D-Max with my parents as passengers and using her 4WD training skills navigated through the bush behind the beach to as close as we could get to the eastern end. With very little daylight left, I quickly unhitched the bike from the back of the D-Max and bashed a path through 200 metres of saltbush scrub to the very eastern end. It quickly became apparent that this approach was probably not our best decision that day, as I soon discovered there was a well-used and easy 4WD track along the beach itself and this track also led back to our campsite. So to everyone’s surprise, I cycles the beach and was back at camp for dinner just before last light.

At the eastern end, there was a splendid wetland area that was home to a large flock of pelicans and other aquatic bird life. I decided to return early the next morning with the whole crew, Joanne my mum and dad to do a spot of bird watching.

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