The ACT boasts two major lakes, and 116 ponds and wetlands within its urban areas. These water areas provide a host of sporting and recreation opportunities for Canberrans. For the purposes of my A-Z challenge, I am going to focus on the two main lakes.
Lake Burley Griffin
Lake Burley Griffin is an artificial lake in the centre of Canberra. It was completed in 1963 after the Molonglo River (which ran between the city centre and Parliamentary Triangle) was dammed. The lake is named after Walter Burley Griffin, the American architect who won the competition to design the city of Canberra (see my “H is for History” post)
Griffin designed the lake with many geometric motifs, so that the axes of his design lined up with natural geographical landmarks in the area. The lake was formally inaugurated on 17 October 1964.
The lake is the approximate geographic centre of the city, and is the centrepiece of the capital in accordance with Griffin’s original designs. Numerous important institutions, such as the National Gallery, National Museum, National Library, Australian National University and the High Court were built on its shores. Its surrounds, consist mainly of parklands, and are popular with recreational users. Though swimming in the lake is uncommon, it is used for a wide variety of other activities, such as rowing, fishing, and sailing.
The lake is mostly an “ornamental” body of water that creates a beautiful centrepiece for the city. It has a length of 11 kilometres and an average depth of 4 metres. Its flow is regulated by nearby Scrivener Dam.
Lake Ginninderra is an artificial lake located on Ginninderra Creek in Canberra. It is adjacent to the Belconnen Town Centre. The lake was constructed in 1974 to collect stormwater discharge from the surrounding suburbs of Aranda, Macquarie, Cook, Bruce, Belconnen, McKellar, Giralang, Kaleen in the eastern areas of Belconnen.
The lake is home to much wildlife, such as the Black swan, moorhens, ducks and the Rakali. There are walking tracks, parkland and bicycle paths surrounding the lake, making it popular for recreation. There are a few swimming holes with man made beaches.
The lake has a surface area of 1.05 square kilometres and an average depth of 3.5 metres.