The Lake

Dumbleyung Lake

Dumbleyung Lake, also widely known as Lake Dumbleyung, is a salt lake in Western Australia. It is located at 33°20′00″S 117°39′00″E, in the Great Southern region of Western Australia.


A Sunday picnic at the lake in 1923 near the white rocks at the beginning of Bairstow Drive. Image sourced by Beth Bartram from the Battye Library.

The explorers Henry Landor and Henry Maxwell Lefroy are usually credited with the discovery of Dumbleyung Lake, although it appears to have been shown on a map in 1839 with the name Kondening Lake. Grazing leases around the lake were first granted to George Kersley in 1875.
Dumbleyung Lake received world recognition when Donald Campbell broke the world water speed record on it on 31 December 1964, travelling at 276.33 mph (444.71 km/h) in his boat Bluebird K7. A granite memorial to Campbell can be seen at Pussy Cat Hill, a prominent feature and vantage point to view the entire lake area.
In recent times, the increased soil salination has made the area unsuitable for grazing. Today the lake is mainly used for aquatic recreation. Despite the extreme salinity of the lake, it provides a habitat for many varieties of water birds, and since 1963 has been protected by the Dumbleyung Lake Nature Reserve.
The lake is recognised as a DIWA wetland as it is a drought refuge for waterbirds and a moulting area for the Australian Shelduck.

Source: Wikipedia

The Monument

At precisely 3.43pm on the 31st December each year light passes through the granite and travels across the brass plaque on the ground below.

At precisely 3.43pm on the 31st December each year light passes through the granite and travels across the brass plaque on the ground below.


Information about the Lake

Lake Dumbleyung is 13km in length, 6.5 km in width, has a perimeter of 42 km, an area of 5200ha (52 square kilometres) and a capacity of 200GL.

The catchment area of the lake covers 7790 km2.

Lake Dumbleyung is fringed by dead trees, samphire, and saltbush.

Casuarina obesa ( Swamp Sheoak) and Eucalyptus species and sledges surround the fringe belt.

Flat topped Yates and Salmon Gums grow above the high water mark.

The lake supports and is an important refuge to a range of bird species including the White-faced heron,

Black Swan, Eurasian coot, Pink-eared duck, Grey Teal and Australian Shelduck.

The lake is fed primarily by the Coblinine River system.

Mean annual inflow is 38.1 gl

Water overflows to the west into the Blackwood River system-this has occurred only 3 times in the last 100 years.

Lake Dumbleyung is a popular recreational area with activities including canoeing, water-sking and yachting when water levels are adequate.

 Some More Interesting Dumbleyung Lake facts

DSS (Dumbleyung Short Stories book)

Information collated by B.Bartram.


1872  Very wet winter lake full

1913  7 inches and no longer could drays cart wheat across the lake to Nippering.

1918 or 1919 The yacht club started (Jan 1918 DSS Pg 232) – lake at highest level for 40 yrs

1929 Bathing boxes on edge of lake

1933 Lake was full and all sorts of sporting activities occurred.Peter Kosta drowned (Pg 62 DSS)

1943 or 1944 – Lake bone dry- (Pg 61 DSS)

1945-6 Very wet years and the lake overflowed

Feb  1955 Big flood -lake overflowed -Feb 10th it rained continuously for 10 days (Pg 63 DSS)

1964 Donald Campbell set World Water Speed record

Oct 1967 – First meeting of reformed Lake Dyg sailing club (Pg 232 DSS)

1968 – Head of the Lake race being staged by the newly formed Lake Dumbleyung Sailing Club

April 1969 – Underwater diving team employed to cut trees for more suitable launching site – present day yacht club – 8-10 feet water.

1974 Big rainfall

November 1978 – Lake dry.

1982-3 Wettest seedings ever- lot of crops didn’t get planted (Jan 82 – 7 inches – filled to halfway – In 1983 filled to brim)

September 1986 – Terry Ward caught two bream in lake with nets.

Bream released earlier to see if they would breed. (picture of Sam Ward with bream in DSS Pg 65)

1984  Water in lake for 20 yr Campbell celebration (Pg 234 DSS)

1993  5 inches in March

2005 Winter rains half filling the lake

2006 Swim across the lake from ski club to yacht club

2014 January- Lake dry

If you can add to these or have more detail we would love to hear from you.