59 years of summer antics

HISTORY: The Naracoorte Swimming Lake is a go-to for locals. Photo: Supplied
HISTORY: The Naracoorte Swimming Lake is a go-to for locals. Photo: Supplied

The Naracoorte Swimming Lake is a go-to destination during the summer - but just how much do you know about it's history?

The lake was first opened by Governor Sir Eric Bastyn on November 2, 1961, and took three years for it to come to fruition.

Since 1961, the lake has received many upgrades to improve the level of service and safety to the community.

In the 1970s flood lighting was added, and 24 years later surrounding parklands were irrigated.

In 1995 the lake was closed due to health concerns, and the council took serious measures to ensure the community's safety for the following summer.

The water was chlorinated and fencing around the border was added. Council introduced lifeguards who patrolled the lake during peak hours.

The lake was upgraded a few times over the next decade.

A pump shed with new bore and pumps was installed, the entire floor was concreted and the water inlet was adjusted to above ground and a walkway to the pontoon was added.

There were no major upgrades for the next six years, but vandalism became more frequent which prompted council to install security cameras around the perimeter.

From 2012 to 2016 the switchboard was upgraded, a new shade sail was added in the South East corner of the lake, an artificial turn beneath the shade sail was installed, the changerooms were upgraded and an engineering assessment of the lake walls was undertaken.

The lake has been a popular place for vandals to strike in the past.

However, the Naracoorte Lucindale Council is hoping that with the new security cameras which were installed last year, there will be no further instances this season or at the end of the year.

Each year, the lake is filled and treated ready for the summer swimming season.

It also serves as not just a place to have a quick dip, but is where VACSWIM and the popular Taskforce 72 Scale Model Ship Association shows off their miniature vehicles.

Traditionally the lake is not open to swimmers until the first day of summer.

However given the extreme weather conditions over the past couple of years, the gates have opened early.

This year, the lake will remain open until March 31.

It is fully fenced, has plenty of shade and lawn, an onsite canteen, a playground, barbecue and toilets.

The lake has been an enjoyable place for families to visit in the summer, and it remains as an iconic tourist destination.

For more details on the Naracoorte Swimming Lake, visit the Naracoorte Lucindale Council website.