The 6 Largest Lakes in New South Wales

There are six states and two territories in Australia. The state of New South Wales is located in the southeast and covers 312,528 square miles. The area is home to stunning coastal cities, immaculate beaches, the untamed Blue Mountains, outback villages, rainforests, and Sydney, Australia’s well-known and vibrant city. New South Wales has an incredible number of inland beautiful lakes in addition to its limitless kilometers of coastline shoreline.

Continue reading to learn about New South Wales’s six biggest lakes. Please take note that we selected landlocked lakes for this list instead of coastal lagoons or estuaries of the Coral and Tasman Seas.

1: Lake Burrendong — 89 Square Kilometers (34 Square Miles)

The Macquarie, Cudgegong, and Meroo Creeks feed Lake Burrendong, an artificial reservoir. Lake Burrendong State Park, which is surrounded by bushland, is a well-liked location for hiking, fishing, kayaking, water skiing, camping, and swimming. The park has a lot of attractions, like a skate park, a children’s playground, a swimming pool, and places to sleep with tents. Anglers can also anticipate catching redfin, Murray cod, catfish, and yellow belly due to the abundance of fish in the lake.

Sadly, the lake is vulnerable to dry spells. Water levels dropped in 2019 as a result of the drought. The town that had been inundated to create the reservoir started to show signs of erosion when the lake level dropped to such an extent. Aside from an ancient boiler, other objects that could be seen emerging from the receding waves were old fence posts and steps that led nowhere. But the low water was only transitory, and the lake is now almost full again.

2: Lake Victoria — 122 Square Kilometers (47 Square Miles)

This tiny lake is a naturally formed area close to the boundary of South Australia. The lake aids in controlling the River Murray’s salinity and flow. When lake levels were low in 1994, the area was determined to have a rich history. Indigenous artifacts, including as grindstones, campsites, stone tools, burial sites, and many more, were discovered by archaeologists. For thousands of years, the lake was unquestionably significant to the Aboriginal people.

The issue of the missing aircraft and the two airmen from the Royal Australian Air Force is an intriguing enigma surrounding Lake Victoria. The lake served as a training site for the Air Force during World War II. Six people died as a result of an accident caused by the training exercises. Two airmen and their aircraft are still missing, most likely somewhere in the lake bed.

On the lake, boating and fishing are prohibited. Nonetheless, anglers frequent the adjacent Rufus River, where Murray cod is a frequent catch.

3: Lake Eucumbene — 145 Square Kilometers (56 Square Miles)

With a surface size of 145 square kilometers (56 square miles), Lake Eucumbene is the biggest artificial lake in South New Wales. Nine times as much can be held in Lake Eucumbene as in Sydney Harbor. The lowest point is 33 meters, or 108 feet.

As part of the Snowy Mountains Scheme, the lake was built in the 1950s by damming the Eucumbene River. Furthermore, this was one of the biggest engineering achievements in Australian history and a massive hydroelectricity and irrigation project.

Today, Lake Eucumbene provides an abundance of outdoor activities, including as swimming, boating, kayaking, water skiing, and trout fishing, along with its stunning natural beauty. There are rainbow and brown trout stocked in the lake. In the neighborhood, observing birds is another well-liked activity. You might witness a variety of animals, such as wedge-tailed eagles, pelicans, and black swans.

4: Lake George – 150 Square Kilometers (58 Square Miles)

Lake George is referred to as the enigmatic disappearing lake. Visitors may be taken aback by its disappearing act, but there’s a scientific explanation behind the occurrence. Since the lake is an endorheic basin, no rivers or creeks emerge from it. Rain refills the dry basin, turning it into a lovely lake. It becomes totally dry as water evaporates or seeps beneath the surface.When the water recedes, sheep graze around the lake.

As of 2023, the lake does retain water, and it should continue to do so for the remainder of the year, according to local news. Future rainfall totals will determine whether or not the water stays. When the waters were high, fishermen used to stock the lake with fish. In the middle of the 1800s, nevertheless, this proved to be a catastrophe. Murray cod were added to the lake by a nearby farmer. The fish multiplied rapidly until the lake dried up, eradicating the fish population.

Today, visitors love having picnics close by and stopping at Weereewa Lookout to gaze over the lake bed. Wine produced from grapes grown along the lake’s edge is available from a local winery.

5: Menindee Lakes — 457 Square Kilometers (176 Square Miles)

Nine broad, shallow lakes make up the Menindee Lakes system, which is replenished by the Darling River during floods. Lake Wetherell, Lake Pamamaroo, Lake Menindee, and Lake Cawndilla are the four principal lakes. The system is the second-largest lake in New South Wales, with a total surface area of 457 kilometers (176 square miles).

The lakes used to be ephemeral, which meant that if there wasn’t enough rain, they may occasionally dry up. The lakes are utilized to store water nowadays. Three and a half times as much water can be stored there as in Sydney Harbour when they are full. At the lakes, fishing is a well-liked pastime. Common species caught are Murray cod, silver perch, catfish, and European carp. Other activities along the banks include jet skis, sailing, swimming, canoeing, and camping.

Encircling Lake Cawndille, the Kinchenga National Park is a portion of Menindee Lake. Today, guests can explore the ancient woolshed and shearer’s quarters at the location of the former Kinchega Station, as well as the homestead remains. The ancient woolshed saw the shearing of at least six million sheep for nearly a century.

6: Garnpung Lake — 542 Square Kilometers (209 Square Miles)

The largest lake in New South Wales is called Willandra Lakes, and it’s in the far southwest of the state; nonetheless, don’t expect water sports there. There was a lot of water in the lake millions of years ago. But it hasn’t been wet in more than 10,000 years.Surprisingly, Google Maps hasn’t kept up with the desolate environment. On Google, a blue representation of Garnpung Lake will appear when you search for it.

Located in the Willandra Lakes Region of Mungo National Park, this site is among the most important archeological sites on Earth. In 2007, the Australian National Heritage List was expanded to include the Willandra Lakes Region. There is a lot of evidence of prehistoric life in the area. Remains of the 40,000-year-old Mungo Lady and Mungo Man were discovered here. Visitors can now take a tour of the region and drive across the lake bed, which had held glistening blue waters, as well as through the arid desert terrain.

Overview of the Six Largest Lakes in New South Wales

Lake Size Top Activities
Garnpung Lake 542 Square Kilometers Hiking, camping, guided tours, self-guided tours
Menindee Lakes 457 Square Kilometers Sailing, swimming, fishing, canoeing, jet skies, camping
Lake George 150 Square Kilometers Visit the Weereewa Lookout, picnic, or tour a winery
Lake Eucumbene 145 Square Kilometers Trout fishing, boating, kayaking, water skiing, swimming
Lake Victoria 122 Square Kilometers Picnicking, viewpoint overlooking the lake
Lake Burrendong 89 Square Kilometeres Camping, watersports, hiking, fishing