I am always looking out for new experiences, wherever I may find myself.
Published September 28th 2019
Lake Alexandra Reserve is a great picnic area located in Mittagong. I recently stopped by on a trip back to Sydney from Bowral, on recommendation from friends, and was pleasantly surprised by what I found.
Lake Alexandra, as viewed from the side closest to Mount Alexandra.
The lake is beautiful, with a fountain piecing its centre that shoots a jet of water into the air. Ducks are everywhere and have their own little island to chill out on (an entire sign is dedicated to all the different kinds you might see).
The facilities are good too. There's a large shaded playground for kids, a toilet block, tables and shelters (including one quite large one), and two barbecues. A path goes all the way around the lake, offering an easy walk which is dotted with exercise equipment and benches. There is a viewing platform at one point too (though the views are great from almost all points).
While I was walking around the lake, I noticed that a track led away into the bush at one stage. On further investigation, I've found that this may be the start of a longer, harder bushwalk that starts here, likely the one another WeekendNotes writer, Niki, did a few years ago. She called it the Mount Alexandra Reserve Circuit Trail and you can read about her experience of it here.
I was surprised to learn that the lake is not actually natural too. Apparently, it was created by the Fitzroy Iron Works Company (who once leased this land) when an embankment was built in 1875 for a coal-skip line, causing water to build up. When the company's ironworks smelting operation ended the lake became so popular that the local council diverted the town's wastewater around it to minimise pollution and it's remained popular ever since!
If you want to know more about Lake Alexandra's history, an article on the lake's origins can be found here.