Bordered by Sydney Road, Newlands Road and Gaffney Street, Coburg Lake reserve is one of the best Parks in the northern suburbs of Melbourne. With its series of serpentine pathways lined with mature trees, centered around a lake formed by building a weir in the Merry Creek – this reserve is perfect for picnic, jogging, children’s day out or to stroll in solitude.
History of Lake Reserve
In 1910, Coburg council put forward a proposal for a reserve in Coburg which can be availed as a pleasure resort and picnic ground. The picturesque bend of the Merri Creek beside the Pentridge Prison was secured for the purpose. The 17 acres of land purchased from private parties in 1912 for the purpose and 3.5 acres of adjoining Government land and the creek formed the land area for the reserve. A weir was constructed in 1915 to form a lake. The project was designed by M.A.Murray Pullar, the town surveyor.
Once the lake was formed, swimmers were attracted to the Lake Reserve. In 1918, Coburg Amateur Lifesaving and Swimming Club was formed. It won the Life Saving Championship of Victoria in 1941. Diving boards, a landing place and steps were built in 1929. The council also erected toilets, a dressing shed, boat house, diving tower and kiosk.
Wading pools for both adults and children were built in 1929. They were filled with fresh water piped from Yan Yean Reservoir. Drownings were frequent occurrence on those days.
In the 1950’s the quality of water in the wading pools came into question and water needed to be replaced every second day. Swimming in the lake was banned in 1958, as a result of pollution up stream. Boating and other sailing crafts then used the lake until the late 60’s. The Wading pools were finally filled with soil in the 70’s.
A memorial avenue of 164 trees were planted on 30th August 1919 to commemorate soldiers from Brunswick and Coburg, who had died in World War I. Later plaques were placed on each tree bearing the names of the fallen soldiers. These plaques have gradually disappeared over the years. Three types of trees lined the main walkways on the southern side of the reserve. Dutch Elms lined the two main intersecting paths, known as the “Cross of Honour”. Monterey Cypress lined the Western and southern avenues and Plane trees lined the northern and eastern avenues.
In 1990 a memorial rock and brass sign was unveiled by the Coburg historical society in conjunction with Pasco vale RSL, Coburg RSL and the Coburg City Council.
Address: Cnr Gaffney St & Murray Rd, Coburg North, Victoria 3058
Facilities at the Park
The park has Children’s Play area, Drinking water tap, BBQ, Picnic Table and Toilets
Open 24 Hours
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