Thursday, June 4, 2015



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:

European settlement led to many of the wetlands being drained for land reclamation to take advantage of the fertile soil for farming enterprises, and for expansion of parks and recreation areas.  Lake Monger and Herdsman Lake are the last two major wetlands remaining close to the city.  The City of Perth itself sits on an area of reclaimed wetlands.  It is thought that between 49% and 80% of the wetlands on the coastal plain have been drained filled or cleared since 1832.

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.


  1. Hari OM
    What a stunningly beautiful spot...amongst so many such spots! Thanks again Mimsie! YAM xx

    1. It is indeed Yam and one I remember so well when we lived 'north of the river". We only see it now if we happen to be heading north on the Mitchell Freeway which is not very often these days. xx

  2. Another very pretty spot. Yamini is right.
    Thank you.

    1. It is wonderful, particularly for the people of the surrounding suburbs.
      I am glad you are enjoying seeing some of our pretty parks.

  3. My son and his family lived in Wembley for about 4 years before going to Florida, USA. It was in Lake Monger that my grandson learnt to ride a bike, starting out on a three wheeler trike then graduating to a two wheeler with trainer wheels until he could be a 'big boy' and fly free with two wheels alone. How he loved Lake Monger with its bike paths and stunning views. And how I miss him and his mum and dad.
    My daughter and I passed Lake Monger yesterday on our way to IKEA and we both said how lucky we were to live in a place that had such magnificent parklands. Those early planners left us some marvellous heirlooms for our pleasure.

    1. So you would have good memories of Lake Monger. I can imagine it is hard to have family living so far away. I have a granddaughter living in the US now and wonder shall I ever see her again.
      I wonder do you remember the huge rubbish tip adjacent to the lake years ago. We used to take rubbish there when we lived in North Perth back in the 1950/60s.
      We certainly are fortunate that we have these beautiful areas in and around our city.