Whether they’ve got water in them or are just a salty plain, lakes are opportunities not just for our wildlife but for all of us.
They’ve been used for land and water speed records and they’ve been used for sculptures.
You’ll find lakes where you can sit and watch birdlife, you’ll find lakes you can walk around and you’ll find lakes you didn’t know existed all over Western Australia.
I think all of us have enjoyed a lake at one time or another. Whether it’s been for the peace and quiet, a sweaty run or watching wildlife from a bird hide or a kayak, our lakes are found throughout our metropolitan area and Western Australia.
Some are well known, like Champion Lakes, Lake Monger, Lake Joondalup, Herdsman Lake and Black Diamond Lake. They are iconic attractions but there are many others you should experience and thanks to a caller last week who mentioned Lake Lescenaultia, that’s why we decided to make this weekends Hidden Treasure all about lakes.
- Lake Dumbleyung: I think the first lake I heard about was this one. Famous for Donald Campbells 1964 world speed water record in the hydroplane boat called the Bluebird.
- Lake Magic: If you’re out for a surf at Wave Rock near Hyden, head just about a kilometre away and discover WA’s own circular version of the Dead Sea.
- Lake Leschenaultia: under an hour away from Perth towards Chidlow in the east. You can hire canoes for much of the year and there’s a good walking train and barbeque facilities.
- Lake Ballard: Home of the largest outdoor art gallery on Earth and also an art loving population of flies who will keep you company as you walk from statue to statue.
- The Spectacles: We spoke about these wetland lakes when we discovered Kwinana last year. The Spectacles Wetlands is named for its aerial view which shows two circular lakes joined by a narrow drain, making it look like a pair of spectacles. The Spectacles is 360 hectares and part of the wider Beeliar Regional Park and has great Noongar interpretative signage along a 5km heritage walk trail and explains the perspective and special importance of the area to Noongar Elder Joe Walley. As well as the Aboriginal Heritage Walk Trail, there’s a boardwalk over the wetlands which feature a paperbark forest and lead you to the Biara Lookout which is the perfect location to sit quietly and watch the lakes resident birdlife.
- Lake Richmond: Now this is my big hidden treasure for this show. We’ve talked about Lake Clifton and it’s fish burgers and thrombolites but did you know that down at Rockingham there’s a lake that is a world heritage site, is one of our deepest and mysterious lakes, and is home to an ancient population of thrombolites which can be viewed from an elevated walkway.
- Lake Gwelup: Lake Gwelup featured in our story last year on Karrinyup and Gwelup and this is one of the best lakes in Perth to view the rainbow bee-eater which flies down from Papua New Guinea and Indonesia to make a love nest in the surrounding trees. If this tree is rocking, don’t bother knocking!
- Lake Jackadder: This is in Woodlands just behind the Innaloo Cinemas and one of my favourite lakes because it’s got a regular turnout each weekend of remote-control sailors who are members of the Perth Radio Sailing Club. They squint and have lopsided Greek fisherman’s hats and toggle their controls to race each other around marker buoys in the lake.
- Mary Carroll Park: A bit like The Spectacles in Kwinana, this two-lake system is in the heart of the Gosnells area. It’s a Bush Forever Site and you can join a local volunteer group who do community awareness, weed control and rehabilitation.
- Goegrup Lake and Yalbanberup Pool: This is part of the Serpentine River and accessible from Mandjoogoordap Drive and it’s about where the Kwinana Freeway becomes the Forrest Highway. Great for kayakers and there’s lots of little tributary canals and streams that branch off from each of these lakes.
- Smiths Lake formerly known as Three Island Lake and even more formerly as Danjanberup. It’s my little hidden treasure for this show. It’s one of Perth’s smallest lakes and is the remnant of a much bigger long lost lake.
Lakes are hidden treasures because there’s likely one close to where you live that you’ve never walked around or has wildlife you’ve never seen or activities you didn’t know about.
Whether it’s a lake in our goldfields or a lake in our suburbs, they are more than a blue shape on your street map, they are opportunities to explore and have adventures or just sit quietly and watch the life of your local lake.