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Lake Burley Griffin is the man-made lake that surrounds Canberra – the Capital of Australia and it is named after Walter Burley Griffin – an American Architect who in 1911 won the competition to design Canberra, as his design placed the Lake as an inaugural part of Canberra.

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Due to both the Great Depression and World War II, the completion of Lake Burley Griffin did not occur till 1963 with its official inauguration on 17th October, 1964.

It is 11 kms long and has various depths – with its average being 4 metres to its deepest being 18 metres and its widest point measures just over 1 km.

Excavation was started in 1960 with the removal of vegetation from the Molonglo River as well as ensuring that the depth of the Lake would allow boat keel clearance. There was also a Soil Conservation Program created that included the installation of bed load traps to reduce earth loss, and to counter loss of groundwater, drainage blankets were used.

There are two bridges that span the Lake – the 1st of which constructed began in 1961 being the Kings Avenue Bridge, which was opened 10th March, 1962 and the 2nd of which construction started in 1962 being the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge which opened in 1963.

With the Lake being a centre piece for Canberra, the foreshores also house a history of information which includes:-

The Lake also offers a range of activities for young and old, both in and out of the water:-

  • BBQ’s
  • Canoeing
  • Cycle Paths
  • Fishing
  • Parks
  • Picnic
  • Tables
  • Sailing
  • Swimming – (fenced in areas)
  • Toilets
  • Walking Tracks
  • Water Skiing
  • Windsurfing

During the Australian Summer Months – December – February the Lake is used for the swim leg of Triathlons. Commonwealth Park on the foreshore of the Lake is home to both the Annual Flower Festival – Floriade - and the Canberra Festival - and on New Year’s Eve fireworks are set off around the Lake.

Lake  Burley Griffin

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