Down by the Water

Dear Friends,

As you know I’m a big fan of water sports and I fancy myself as a future Olympian, so it was a big thrill for me to visit Lake Wendouree in Ballarat, Victoria.

The lake was the venue of the rowing and canoeing events in the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games and continues to play host to sailors to this day.

The site of the lake was originally a swamp and the first settler in the area, William Yuille, camped there in the Autumn of 1838. Many Aborigines were also camped there and when he asked a woman for the name of the swamp she replied, in the local dialect, “wendaaree” meaning “go away”. He didn’t take the hint and gave the swamp the name Wendouree. From 1851 the swamp was dammed, and with dredging and a pipeline laid to ensure a constant water level this beautiful lake was developed.

Today Lake Wendouree is a haven for walkers and runners, birdwatchers and fishermen, and children at play. It’s well known for the black swans which live in the wetland area, and it’s also well known that they become a tad cranky if you don’t have any bread to feed to them. I’d been forewarned and came armed with a supply, but when it ran out this swan wasn’t too happy.

This gave me the perfect excuse to leave and find some refreshment of my own. At The Boatshed Restaurant I sat on the deck enjoying the view and planning a day out on the water in the near future.

I need to do some rowing practice,




  1. I didn’t know Lake Wendouree hosted the Olympics, how exciting! Oh, the things you teach me, Justin!

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