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 home 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 also offer a public hall, Anglican and Catholic churches, a general store.
Giant Sand Dune Slide
A 33-metre thrill-seeking ride down Yambuk's sand dunes!
Climb the steps to the top of the slide for panoramic views along the coastline and out to Lady Julia Percy Island.
Lake Yambuk contains an extensive wetland system formed from the meeting of the Shaw and Eumeralla Rivers. The wetlands comprise freshwater meadows and semi-permanent saline marshes, which have extensive areas of reeds and salt marsh communities fringing the edges.
The Lake Yambuk estuary and wetlands are listed under the Directory of Important Wetlands for their flora and fauna value. Lake Yambuk provides important habitat for many bird species including the threatened Lewin’s Rail and the endangered Orange Bellied Parrot. The threatened Dwarf Galaxias breed within the Lake Yambuk estuaries.
Great fishing spots are hard to find and local secrets, such as Lake Yambuk is one of those local treasures.
An estuary fed by the Shaw and Eumeralla Rivers and surrounded by sand dunes, sand and mud bottom. Boat and bank fishing are possible throughout the year. The lake also provides 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. A popular fishing lake, there is a boat ramp and wharf. Surf fishing can be conducted from the ocean beach.
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.
Viewed from Yambuk, Lady Julia Percy Island, known as Deen Maar to the local aboriginal people is a place of special significance.
Formed some seven million years ago, the island is much older than other volcanoes in the region, and is also unusual in being built 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 one of four Australian fur seal breeding colonies in Victoria and, with an estimated 27,000 seals, is the largest such colony in Australia.
Where to Stay in Yambuk
Lakeview House Port Fairy
Lakeview House is known for its generous and luxurious spaces, with three ample living areas, a large gourmet kitchen, and expansive outdoor areas.
Yambuk Caravan Park
Yambuk Caravan Park is set on Yambuk Lake and is open year round for campers in tents, caravans or motor homes.