Lake Monger is a large urban wetland on the Swan Coastal Plain in suburban Perth, Western Australia nestled between the suburbs of Leederville, Wembley and Glendalough. Less than 5 kilometres from the city of Perth and situated alongside the Mitchell Freeway, it runs approximately north-west to south-east towards the Swan River and consists of 70 hectares of mainly open shallow water with an island of 1.3 hectares in the south-west corner. The 110 hectares of the lake and the surrounding parklands are known as Lake Monger Reserve.
The lake is used extensively for recreation and is a major tourist attraction with up to 12,000 visitors per week. Activities include bird watching an exercise.
A 3.5km paved walking/cycling track encircles the lake which takes about 30 minutes to traverse on foot. Ample car parking, playground equipment and barbecue facilities are also provided.
Name: The indigenous Australian Noongar people of the area called it Lake Galup, Lake Kalup or Kelermulu. After European settlement, it became known as either Large Lake or Triangle Lake (based on its roughly triangular shape) before being named Monger's Lake in 1831. In April 1932 it was changed to its current name of Lake Monger.
Pre-European History: Little is known about the use of the lake by the Noongars prior to the British settlement other than the area was known to be within the area inhabited by those people. Given its geographical features, it could havve been used regularly as a significant camping and hunting site with black swans and other wildfowl as well as turtles, frogs, gilgies and mudfish hunted as food.
Associated with the lake is the Wagyl, part of Noongar mythology, The myth describes the track of a serpent being who, in his journey toward the sea, deviated from his route and emerged from the ground which gives rise to Lake Monger.
The lake and a significant part of the reserve are registered with the Department of Indigenous Affairs as an Aboriginal heritage site of historical significance to the Aboriginal people.
History since 1832: The lake was originally part of a series of freshwater wetlands running north from the Swan River along the coastal plain for approximately 50 km. Lake Monger was grouped with the Georgiana Lake, Lake Sutherland and Herdsman Lake and together the area made up what was known as the "The Great Lakes District".
The Lake Monger jetty, promenade and pavillion ca 1914:
A reed island was constructed in the 1960s to provide a summer refuge for birds. 38 species of birds have been sighted including black swans, cormorants, spoon bills and pelicans. The lake also supports long-necked turtles, large skinks, and two species of frog. Fish common to the lake are all introduced species including gold fish, carp, mosquito fish and English perch.