Lake Wendouree can only be described as a beautiful expanse of water. It covers a large area and is a focal point for the city. Until recently the lake had dried up but increased rainfall with the addition of recycled water has boosted the lakes level to around half. The council is also improving much of the foreshore making it even better to walk around and enjoy.
Originally a swamp (Black Swamp) providing water to the aborigines and local fauna including kangaroos. Lake Wendouree’s transformation into a lake was gradual following the needs of the white settling community. In the mid 1800s a dam was put across to supply Ballarat with water.
As the township grew so was the need for more water (times never change do they). Underground pipes supplied water to the lake from other water catchments to help supply it’s increased size and during drought of 1869 the depth was increased. The large gums were removed and replaced with English trees supplying the beautiful trees now seen while walking the lake.
Enough of the history. You can still take a ride on a paddlesteamer and trams still go around the lake. A walk around the lake is around 6 kms and the toilets are quite a way apart, so go before you walk. For those who like to run the lake has a running track called the Steve Moneghetti Running Born in Ballarat and still living there, Steve has set the pace around the track for others to aspire to (6 km lap of the lake in 16 minutes and 10 seconds set in 1992
if you must know). But if you’re like me and prefer a walk, start at the Lake Pavillion or the Boatshed Restaurant so you can finish there for a coffee and treat. You don’t have to kill yourself – just walk from one to the other.
Wendoree Parade, Ballarat VIC 3350 Open on Everyday