Lake Wendouree

Lake Wendouree at sunset with a swan in the foreground

About Lake Wendouree

Lake Wendouree has been a community destination for the more than 150 years.

Located in central Ballarat next to the Ballarat Botanical Gardens and near Victoria Park, Lake Wendouree offers a wide range of attractions and recreational activities both on and off the water.

Facilities include the six-kilometre Steve Moneghetti running and walking track, cycling trails, playgrounds and excellent picnic and BBQ facilities. The lake offers opportunities for fishing, sailing and rowing. The world-class 2000 metre rowing course hosted rowing events at the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games and remains a venue for school, club and high-level rowing and sailing competitions.


  • Public toilets
  • BBQs
  • Playgrounds
  • Restaurants
  • Water pursuits including fishing
  • Rowing course
  • 6km walking track
  • Home of rowing in the 1956 Olympics

Rowing regatta regulations

City of Ballarat as the declared waterway manager for Lake Wendouree, makes the following declaration under section 203(3) of the Marine Safety Act 2010 (Vic). 

For the purposes of boating activity conducted by Rowing Victoria, persons and vessels involved in the Rowing Victoria Regattas on Lake Wendouree, as detailed in Table 1, are exempt from the following requirements: 

State Rules made under the Marine Act 1988 

1. Clause 2(c) – must not exceed 5 knots within 50 metres of another vessel; 
2. Clause 3(a) – must not exceed 5 knots within 50 metres of the waters’ edge. 

Waterway Rules made under the Marine Safety Act 2010 / Marine Act 1988 

3. Clause 42.1 of Schedule 42 – 5 knot speed restriction for all the waters of Lake Wendouree for vessels equipped with engines used for propulsion

Subject to the conditions detailed below:

Masters of rescue vessels must ensure they comply with the gazetted waterway rules and Marine Safety Act 2010 in respect to minimum speed and distance requirements, unless otherwise undertaking a rescue operation to retrieve persons in distress, provide for their initial medical or other needs and deliver them to a place of safety on shore.

  • Masters of competing vessels are only exempt from item 1 for the duration of the events. 
  • Masters of marshal/umpire vessels are only exempt from items 1 and 3 when following competing vessels in a race or at the conclusion of a race when returning to the start line for the next race and must not exceed the speed of a competing rowing vessel. 
  • Occupants of powered vessels used in conjunction with the event must wear a personal flotation device at all times during the event. 
  • The event is operating under the auspices of Rowing Victoria, including the Rowing Victoria Safety Management Plan, which meets the criteria of Clause 3 of the Exemption Notice made under the Marine Regulations 1999 in respect of the exemption for rowing vessels to not carry or wear a personal flotation device. 
  • The above exemptions apply for the dates, times and events detailed in Table 1, to the persons and vessels participating in the Rowing Victoria events within the exclusion zone waters on the whole of Lake Wendouree, provided the stated safety controls and undertakings detailed in the application form and associated documentation are adhered to. 


Table 1: 2020-21 regatta dates




13 February 2021 

Head of the School Boys Regatta 

6am to 6pm 

19 February 2021 

Head of the Lake 

6am to 6pm 

27 February 2021 

RV Junior State Boys Championships 

6am to 6pm 

27 March 2021 

Ballarat Masters Regatta

6am to 12pm 

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