Hey there people! I'm a Tassie girl living on the Gold Coast. I make my money working in hospitality, but if I could I'd spend all my time writing!
Published December 23rd 2012
Go jump in the lake
Lake Hugh Muntz is 25 years old, 17ha large, and is made of fresh water, reeds, and eels. The real Hugh Muntz, an Irishman, was a trader of hay and corn who died in Collingwood in 1888 from a Hydatid Cyst to the liver. But he will never really die, because he has been immortalised in lake form. Some say his ghost haunts the lake, clutching its liver and turning the waters a strange greenish tinge every St Patrick's Day….
Aside from Hugh's ghost, there are many wondrous sights to be seen at the lake. There is a multitude of wildlife. Fish, ducks, swans, and happy dogs running about everywhere. You will also see Nippers, which may be considered a form of wildlife by some on the Gold Coast. I have also noticed many budgies being smuggled across the lake and back by local old blokes doing their daily laps. I have seen young cheerleaders practising their routines. I have seen people doing laps with their dogs. I have seen a man run a remote control boat into his girlfriend's face as she was swimming.
There are two things you will not see at the lake, and they are sharks and rip-tides. Nobody misses them.
Another fun activity to play at the lake is 'which house would you have if you were a millionaire?' Nobody ever picks the house opposite Bel Air Park, unfortunately positioned directly across from the most popular part of the lake. It is large, square, and bare, with a giant, sloping roof. It is what people call 'an eyesore.' This is definitely an issue the Lake Committee should be discussing. I have considered harassing the residents via anonymous note. 'Make ur house prettier or u will die.' But every time I swim across to deliver the notes they get soggy.
It is very strange swimming up to people's houses, and feels quite intrusive. Imagine if your house overlooked a communal pool, and people's heads were continually popping up by your balcony as you attempted to sunbathe nude. Or if your house were a marker for people doing laps, who kept swimming up to it, touching it, then turning around. It would be like living at the Olympics.
The best access to the lake is from Bel Air Park off Rio Vista. There is a big car park – plenty of room to park your trailer and unload your jet-skis and tinnies. Only kidding. Motorised craft are strictly banned.
Local residents are very territorial over their lake. They like to keep Hugh to themselves. There was a move in 2007 to evict the Nippers, as they were apparently making too much noise. Of course, the Nippers prevailed. It's the Gold Coast. Nobody is ever going to win a battle with the Nippers. But they have still managed to discourage lakeside gatherings of people in any form by not installing toilets. A genius move to avoid sharing Hugh Muntz with the outside world. My advice is to throw down the gauntlet and take a portaloo.
But be careful. Any time you are encroaching upon lake territory, exercise caution. Remember small children are useful for reconnaissance. However, the larger the company, the more likely you are to come under fire, so it's less risky if you leave the kids at home. If you hear the sound of duelling banjos floating across the water get out of there fast and don't look back.