Lake Wendouree


Swimming is not allowed in Lake Wendouree unless approved as an element of an event endorsed by Council, Department of Health and the Environment Protection Authority.  

Lake Wendouree has been a major social destination for residents for the past 150 years.

The Lake has a surface area of 220 hectars, circumference of 6 km and capacity of 3,860 megalitres. 

Lake Wendouree is situated in the centre of Ballarat and offers a wide range of attractions and recreational activities including the Ballarat Botanical Gardens, Steve Moneghetti walking and running track, cycling trails, bird watching, indigenous playground and excellent picnic and BBQ facilities. 

Lake Wendouree protocols

Car Parking
Vehicles are only permitted to be within the roadways and constructed car parking bays around the lake. Vehicles will only be allowed on the foreshore and grassed area of the reserve with a permit.
Special arrangements will be made in relation to events conducted under issued permit conditions.

Boat Sheds
Boat sheds are only allowed to be built subject to the appropriate planning approvals. They can be utilised as storage facilities for aquatic sporting equipment.
Private boat sheds are not permitted to be used as premises for social gatherings and therefore are not permitted to have kitchens and toilets installed.
The larger clubrooms that have these facilities have gained the necessary permits and environmental controls to protect the lake.

Commercial Activities
Expressions of interest for Commercial Activites are advertised yearly for operation around Lake Wendouree.
All applications are assessed and approved by the Lake Wendouree and Botanical Gardens Advisory Committee.
The Lakes and Gardens Precinct is strictly a ‘no pegging zone’, unless approved by the City of Ballarat.

Fishing is a popular pastime enjoyed at Lake Wendouree, however you are required to hold a fishing licence unless you are under 14 years of age. Victorian licences can be obtained from the Department of Primary Industries Victoria.
Please ensure that you remove any hooks and lines after your fishing activities.

Swans, Ducks and waterbirds
These are protected native species. Visitors are asked not to feed water birds as it can make them sick, develop aggressive behavior and reduces their capacity to seek their natural food.

Consuming Alcohol

The consuming and possession of liquor between the hours of 10pm and 6am is prohibited. You must not consume liquor or have in your control any liquor other than in a sealed container.

However, this does not apply if you are attending a festival or special event where the City of Ballarat has granted a permit.

Organising an event
To conduct an event you will be required to fill out an application form and will require a permit to be issued. Please contact our customer service team.

Use of Rotundas and BBQ Facilities
Council generally does not provide exclusive use of the bbq’s and rotundas, and expects that they will be used as shared facilities for all visitors. Exceptions are made where specific events are conducted under permits by Council.

On The Water

Powered Vessels

There are no access or launching fees required to be paid at the boat ramps located at:

  • Opposite Forest Street
  • St Patrick’s Point
  • Yacht Club Precinct
  • Durham Point

You will find a limited number of trailer parking bays at these sites. Additional trailers should be parked within the parking areas on Wendouree Parade after launching.

All powered vessels must adhere to a 5-knot speed limit (which is walking pace). Exemptions apply only to boats utilised by the rowing coaches and event officials accompanying row boats.

All Marine Safety Regulations apply for Lake Wendouree.

All boat operators must hold a current boating licence.

Canoes, Kayaks and Sail Boards  (Also See Rowing)

These can be launched from the water’s edge, jetties and moorings around the foreshore, however vehicle access is restricted to the roadways and constructed car parking bays provided.
As the whole of the lake surface is shared use, please observe protocols for giving way to other vessels and users whilst also observing fishermen’s lines.
Due to the areas of deep sediments, submerged aquatic plants, rocks and sharp / slippery surfaces, please ensure you have adequate buoyancy vests and footwear on at all times.

There are regular sailing regattas and training programs conducted across the lake. These programs are based from the Ballarat Yacht Club and there are targeted areas of the lake that have been especially prepared for the sail boats so they have clearance of their keels. This is achieved through regular harvesting of the aquatic weeds. Other areas may be restrictive to sail boats.

Swimming is not allowed on Lake Wendouree due to the many hazards present. The only exception is events sanctioned by Council, EPA and Department of Health.