If you are in the Kelmscott/Armadale area, be sure to pay a visit to Champion Lakes. Home to the Champion Lakes Regatta Centre, there are regular rowing, kayaking and dragon boat racing events held here. The lakes have also hosted events such as the National Canoe Spring Championships (part of qualifying for the 2016 Olympics).
There is a 5km track that goes around the lake with plenty of space for walkers, runners and cyclists, making this the perfect place to get some fresh air and unwind after a long day at work. Over the summer you'll often people paddle boarding and kayaking out on the water and having picnics and barbecues. There are plenty of picturesque areas to just sit and relax with friends and family such as this place:
Champion Lakes is also home to what I'd call a real hidden gem: The Aboriginal Interpretive Centre. I have been visiting Champion Lakes for over 2 years and I did not even know this place existed – it's actually located at the main entrance of the lake. The Centre was designed as a space to discuss, display and celebrate Nyoongar culture. You'll find some incredible art here as well as a 350-seat amphitheatre. I also just learnt that there are trails featuring bush tucker and medicine,which I will have to check this out next time I visit. Apparently this area gets used a lot during events like NAIDOC week but I think it would be awesome if this place was used more regularly throughout the year. I'm thinking concerts with local musicians; nothing sounds more beautiful than enjoying some chilled music with a beautiful view.
Champion Lakes is always bustling with people, but I personally think this place is very under-utilised and so much more could be done with this space – think monthly farmers' markets where people come from the hills to sell their produce or hosting evening concerts and outdoor cinemas. There is more housing going up at the southern end of the lake, so perhaps as the community grows and develops here, we might see some of these ideas come to fruition in the future.