I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been to Albert Park, but some how the lake alluded me. So I set out on an errand detouring with determination to walk by St Kilda’s lake.
The lake was once a swamp where the Wurundjeri peoples had held their corroborees before Europeans invaded. In the 1800s it was used for military training maneuvers, grazing and hunting. By the late 1800s, the lagoons were excavated to form the lake and fresh water from the Yarra River was connected.
I arrived at its western bank to begin my hike around part of its nearly five kilometre track that circuited the lake, and was surprised by the variety of birds. I spotted Australian pied cormorants, black swans, Eurasian coots, Pacific black ducks, masked lapwing, dusky moorhens, chestnut teals and an egret. When I checked on line to make sure I had the right bird names, there was a list of almost one hundred birds people had spotted in the park.
Along the eastern bank of the lake, the groan of traffic from St Kilda Road never stopped. I discovered when I peered into the murky water that the lake appeared to be no more than a metre deep, but none of this mattered because at last I had made it to the lake.