Lake Leschenaultia is a man-made lake situated in the country town of Chidlow, 50 minutes drive from Perth City. The lake was created by the W.A Government Railway to provide water to the steam engines that had come up the hill from John Forrest National Park and were journeying on to Northam, York or stations further east.
Lake Leschenaultia is the perfect place for a family day trip. The calm waters of the lake teamed with it’s sandy beaches make it the ideal spot for small children to paddle in.
For the older family members, you could choose to swim out to the pontoon off the main beach or hire a canoe and take a tour around the lake. Canoe hire is available most weekdays 10am – 3pm and weekends and public holidays 10am until gates closed. There are 19 canoes available to hire from the canoe shed at the far end of the main beach. Fees are $13 per 30 mins or $20 per hour.
If you have a wheelchair user in your group they don’t have to miss out on the water fun. An All-terrain Aquatic wheelchair is available to hire from the Lake Office (08 9572 4248). The wheelchair is suitable for submerging and can be wheeled right into the lake.
If you enjoy walking there is a 3km walking trail around the lake where you might meet the resident wildlife which includes Kangaroos, echidnas, possums and numerous species of native birds. My children took great delight in feeding their picnic to the ducks that paid them a visit whilst they were paddling in the lake.
As a family, we enjoyed spending the day getting in touch with nature. There is a low-lying bridge crossing a winter stream that runs from the lake. We had great fun collecting sticks and then playing poo-sticks on the bridge. It brought back memories of my own childhood.
There is an abundance of picnic tables and BBQ’s dotted around the lake. Even on a busy day, I should imagine that you would be able to find the perfect spot. If you have brought along your snags you have a choice of using one of the free gas BBQs or the more rustic wood-fired ones as long as you have remembered to BYO your own wood.
If you are planning a large gathering at Lake Leschenaultia you can hire shelters and lawn areas from Mundaring council. Shelters are charged at $50 for the day and Lawn areas $110 for half a day.
Situated in the car park, opposite Reflections Café is a sand-based playground. It isn’t a great playground for toddlers as there isn’t easy access the to the main platform of the playframe for people with little legs. We kept having to lift out our toddler onto the climbing frame so she could enjoy the slide. The playground is not fenced in and it is located in the carpark so you need to keep a close eye on little people.
Reflections Cafe offers lake views and overlooks the playground and is open every weekend, public holiday and school holidays from 10am to 3pm. On weekends opens from 8am for breakfast. A full fry-up will set you back $16.95. The cafe offers some good value dine-in options from 11am – 2pm which include Fish & Chips $13.50 or Vegetarian Quiche & Salad $13.50. They also have a wide range of take-away options from the kiosk.
If you fancy spending longer at Lake Leschenaultia there is a campsite situated close to the lake. The site has 23 sites approximately 6mx6m. There are 22 powered sites and 1 large non-powered site that can accommodate up to 40 people.
Lake Leschaultia is really a gem of a place to visit and I encourage you to go and discover it for yourself.
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Jennie McNichol is the co-founder of Buggybuddys. She moved to Perth in 2010 after 11 years of living in London, working in television for the BBC. She is the mother of two daughters aged 10 and 8 and loves the family-friendly lifestyle that Perth has to offer.
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