Constructed lakes & canals

Lake Hugh Muntz

The Gold Coast has the largest constructed canal network in the southern hemisphere. We have 135 constructed lakes and more than 400 kilometres of canals.

These lakes and canals are vibrant living waterways that react to changes in the environment. The health of these waterways can be impacted by natural events and human activities.

Environmental management

Keeping these waterways in good condition assists their vitally important role as buffers against flooding. They also help to reduce the impacts of major floods on surrounding and downstream areas. The volume of stormwater that pours into the waterways is directly related to increases in water levels and any major flooding.

Lakes and canals retain and treat stormwater. This includes runoff from roads, gardens, and roofs, which is often untreated. For this reason, we limit interference with the natural features and do not remove reeds or other fringing vegetation unless necessary.

Canals maintenance

Canals provide areas of water traffic, such as boats, and we have a program to maintain these waterways throughout the city.

We conduct some cleaning and maintenance of lakes and canals to ensure that the water flows are not blocked and that these aquatic environments are preserved. The objective of maintenance activities is to reduce such things as human impacts – litter, introduced pest species such as Salvinia – and to maintain infrastructure. It also involves the dredging on canal banks to restore desired profiles.

Some constructed lakes require specific management:

If you have any queries regarding your canal area, please call 07 5667 5974.

Safety in lakes and canals

We recommend Gold Coast residents and visitors swim only at patrolled beaches, dedicated swimming enclosures and public swimming pools. Other recreational activities that involve your body having significant contact with water should also take place close to patrolled areas.

Dangerous aquatic organisms like stingrays, jellyfish, catfish, stonefish, sharks, algae and other microorganisms can also be found in these environments.

Further information regarding lakes and canals can be obtained by contacting us on 1300 GOLDCOAST (1300 465 326) or 07 5582 8211.