7 September 2023

NCA tests the waters for a 'commercial floating sauna' on Lake Burley Griffin

| Lizzie Waymouth
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Lake Burley Griffin

A number of locations on Lake Burley Griffin have already been proposed for the floating sauna. Photo: The Little Burley Market.

Floating saunas can be found around the world, from Helsinki and Stockholm to Seattle and Vancouver, and the National Capital Authority (NCA) wants Canberra to be next on that list.

The NCA has today (7 September) issued a request for a proposal for a ‘commercial floating sauna’ on Lake Burley Griffin.

According to Austender, the NCA engaged a contractor to conduct a heritage impact assessment for floating sauna locations on the lake earlier this year at a cost of just over $16,000.

The location hasn’t been confirmed yet, but a number of potential spots have already been proposed, including Acacia Inlet and Yarralumla Beach.

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The NCA says the proposal would “breathe new life into the lake” and offer a memorable experience for both sauna lovers and adventure seekers.

“Floating saunas combine the relaxation and wellness aspects of saunas with the extraordinary experience of being afloat on water.

“One of their primary advantages is the stunning, ever-changing scenery they provide, offering picturesque views of natural landscapes, waterways, and skylines,” the NCA said.

“Notable examples include the rolling hills enveloping the National Capital and the serene expanse of Lake Burley Griffin’s waters. This immersive setting enhances the overall sauna experience, creating an atmosphere of serenity and visual splendour.”

outdoor sauna

What would a floating sauna on the lake look like? Photo: File.

However, the announcement of the project received some criticism on social media, with critics saying the NCA should focus on improving Canberra’s essential infrastructure instead.

Community advocacy group Greater Canberra said it was “ridiculous that the NCA can afford $16k for heritage assessments on floating saunas but can’t stump up the money for proper pedestrian crossings in the national triangle”.

While Dr Amy Jelacic, who has presented evidence to the Joint Standing Committee on the National Capital and External Territories inquiry into fostering and promoting the significance of Australia’s national capital, said: “Honestly egregious that time and money is spent on weird projects like this and the seaplanes while basic things like signage and footpaths aren’t addressed.”

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The initial licence agreement is for three years, but there is the opportunity to extend the term by a further two years.

Proposals must be submitted to the NCA by 2 pm on 6 October 2023 via Austender. For more information, visit the NCA website or email licences@nca.gov.au.

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I hope they do it, looks fun

Floating lake saunas proposal is very similiar to the proposal to have a european style beach club on Bondi Beach. The sauna idea is blissful and also won’t be egalitarian. There is another glitz, non sauna fit or fit users needing urgent cardiovascular rescue. Land based onsens dispersed by the lake please = more accessible with faster cardi rescue help. While new and exciting ideas are presented, why not have a EB BoatNats on the Lake. They would be quiet except for the ripple splashes. Mass audience local and visitors. It would be a huge financial input for the local economy.

A floating Sauna! Of all the hair brained and ludicrous ideas. Surely NCA could be more forward thinking than that. It would be a navigational hazard for the sea planes. LOL

A floating Sauna! Of all the hair brained and ludicrous ideas. Surely NCA could be more forward thinking than that.

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