Lake Richmond


Lake Richmond
Lake Richmond panorama, March 2020.jpg
Lake Richmond from the look out tower
Lake Richmond is located in Western Australia
Lake Richmond
Lake Richmond
LocationRockingham, Western Australia
Coordinates32°17′10″S 115°42′54″E / 32.286°S 115.715°E / -32.286; 115.715Coordinates: 32°17′10″S 115°42′54″E / 32.286°S 115.715°E / -32.286; 115.715
Basin countriesAustralia
Designated30 June 2017
Reference no.18483

Lake Richmond (Aboriginal Australian name: Naragebup) is a freshwater lake in Rockingham, Western Australia. It is approximately 1,000 m × 600 m (3,300 ft × 2,000 ft), with an area of 40 ha (99 acres), and is 15 m (49 ft) deep in the centre. It is believed to be named after the London borough.[1] It is part of Rockingham Lakes Regional Park.


The lake is less than 1 km (0.62 mi) from the coast,[2] having separated from the ocean at Cockburn Sound within the last 4,000 years.[3][1]

The shallow waters within about 15 metres (49 ft)[3][1] of the edges of the lake are home to thrombolites, estimated to be about six million years old.[2][4] The internal structure of the thrombolites is believed to be unique in the world.[3][1]

In 1996, the Western Australian Museum concluded that structures on the lake were likely to be tidal weirs constructed by pre-colonial Indigenous Australians for use as fish traps. They were given preliminary protection under the Aboriginal Heritage Act and the Djeran Fish Festival was subsequently organised as a celebration. However, the Department of Indigenous Affairs later concluded that they were not Aboriginal sites, following a review of aerial photographs and claims by a local resident that he had built the structures between the early 1960s and early 1980s.[5]

Before 1960, the lake's salinity was 2000–3500 mg/L.[a] In the 1960s it was used as part of an urban drainage scheme; the Water Board constructed inlet and outlet drains. Subsequently the salinity level dropped to 300–400 mg/L.[6][1]

A boardwalk extends approximately 115 m (377 ft)[b] into the lake.[2][4]

Water birds that inhabit the area include the Australian pelican, black swan, Australian shelduck, musk duck, white-faced heron and common greenshank.[4] The lake is home to the Swan River goby (Pseudogobius olorum), eastern mosquitofish, sea mullet, goldfish and yabbies.[6][7]

The lake was used as a source of fresh water by the local indigenous Noongar people, as well as the settlers of the Swan River Colony.[2][1]

The 10th Light Horse Regiment had a camp near the lake during the war years.[1]

In 2017, the lake was given a permanent entry on the State Register of Heritage Places.[8] It also listed on the WA Register of Aboriginal Sites, as RAS #15974.[1]


  1. ^ less than 10% of seawater, which is typically around 35,000 mg/L.
  2. ^ Measured on Google Maps' satellite view, 16 August 2017.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Register of Heritage Places Assessment Documentation: Lake Richmond, Rockingham, Heritage Council of Western Australia, 30 June 2017, retrieved 16 August 2017
  2. ^ a b c d Wynne, Emma (15 August 2017). "Lake Richmond's multi-million-year history can be found just beneath the surface". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
  3. ^ a b c "Thrombolite (microbial) community of coastal freshwater lakes of the Swan Coastal Plain (Lake Richmond)". Commonwealth of Australia, Department of the Environment and Energy. Archived from the original on 16 August 2017. Retrieved 4 April 2020.
  4. ^ a b c "Lake Richmond". Parks and Wildlife Service, Western Australia. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
  5. ^ Randolph, Peter (2004). "Lake Richmond 'fish traps'?". World Archaeology. 36 (4): 502–506.
  6. ^ a b Ecoscape (2009). Lake Richmond Management Plan 2008 (PDF) (Report). City of Rockingham. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 September 2018. Retrieved 4 April 2020.
  7. ^ Rose, Tom; Morgan, David; Gill, Howard (22 July 2004). Lake Richmond Fish Survey (PDF) (Report). Perth: Murdoch University. Archived (PDF) from the original on 21 April 2019. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
  8. ^ "Lake Richmond". InHerit. Heritage Council of Western Australia. Retrieved 16 August 2017.