1 December 2022

Lake George is full, here's what we should do with it

| John Coleman
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Yeah, don’t need a pump anymore. Photo: David Coleman.

When I was a kid, about three days ago, I thought Lake George was a scam.

Calling a plain a lake is like calling a casserole with pastry on top a pie. Or calling water nature’s cordial. Or calling a bag of trail mix and dried apricots a party bag. There might be reasons, but to a child’s uncomplicated mind – the kind of mind that picks an emperor without clothes – it is wrong.

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So imagine the joy all these years later to see that Lake George has finally come good. Recent rainfall has completely filled it for the first time in Generation Z’s lifetime, and even though I’m told it’s shallow, and not going to last, I’m not listening.

This is everything I had imagined on those road trips to Sydney.

I propose in celebration that we use it immediately. Here are some ideas.

1) Seaplane landing strip

Lake George

Lake George to Rose Bay anyone? Photo: Thomas Lucraft.

As we know, seaplanes doing the Canberra-to-Sydney hop are coming to land on Lake Burley Griffin’s West Basin next year. Or they might not be. There’s been some angst from lake groups who have indicated they don’t really want to kayak on a runway, and that they were here first.

But here’s the thing. Nothing was here first on Lake George. So why can’t seaplanes be first?

2) Fish ‘n’ chips and a jetty

Currently the Lake George rest area is an unexemplary toilet stop for those who could barely make it out of Canberra, and who couldn’t be persuaded to persist to Marulan by mostly true tales of tiger snakes in the toilet block.

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But now that it looks out over a proper lake, the pit stop could have a seafood restaurant with a jetty. I know what you’re about to say. There are no fish in Lake George. To which I’d point out that Snappers by the Lake doesn’t catch its seafood from Burley either. It’s still somehow an apt spot.

3) Rename it Lake Mahoney Griffin

No one knows who the eponymous George is, but we’re increasingly becoming aware of Marion Mahony Griffin, the romantic and creative partner of Walter Burley Griffin, and the impact she had on Canberra. It’s why, for example, a new entertainment venue by the lake has been called The Marion.

And why our new lake, close enough to Canberra to count, should be renamed Lake Mahony Griffin.

4) Jetskiing and motorboating


Would you head out of Canberra to jetski on Lake George? Photo: Yuriy Bogdanov.

It is illegal to jetski across Lake Burley Griffin. This is largely because if you’re sitting in Lennox Gardens on a Saturday afternoon, it is presumed you don’t want the serenity ripped up by the sound of a motor and a yelp. Except I actually do. Jetskis in flight are more impressive than Canberra’s natural environment.

Regardless, there can be no such consideration for Lake George. There are no neighbours except tiger snakes and the natural scenery is already despoiled by great turbines spinning their Mercedes logos.

The submerged fences might add a thrilling bit of peril too.

What else? A waterpark? A nude beach? A place to host Viking-style funerals? Submit your ideas in the comments.

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Rick Britain8:29 pm 02 Dec 22


Not sure the local windsurfers will want a sea plane or there.

We can’t do anything with it considering it is actually in NSW for starters, and the ACT has no say in the matter so why even bring it up?

Vinson1Bernie4:36 pm 01 Dec 22

I assume you are taking the piss -its not deep enough for safety and too remote I’m guessing for any of these ideas – would you start a seaplane service there knowing in 2 years it will probably be dry again…Didnt the RMC sailing group give up using it because it has its own micro climate in the middle of the lake which tragically killed some cadets in mid 50’s??

Not The Mama4:06 pm 01 Dec 22

Or… just leave it alone and enjoy the view.

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