West Lakes is a pleasant coastal suburb featuring a large man made lake. The Lake is popular for water sports and was built on reclaimed wetlands. West Lakes is an ideal place to stay with all facilities nearby including numerous cafes and restaurants. It is the site of Westfield West Lakes Shopping Centre and Footbal Park, home of the Crows football team where interstate football matches are held.
West Lakes was Australia’s largest urban development of its type and won an international award of excellence. Work began in 1970 and in just over a decade, swamp wasteland was converted into one of Adelaide’s premier suburbs. Ten million tons of earth were shifted, forming a man made lake and providing fill for the low-lying land. Thus Delfin Island was formed, now the site of prestigious housing.
The West Lakes waterway simulates a tidal estuarine environment without extremes of tides. The lake is flushed daily at high tide through a pipe from the gulf with 490 million litres of sea water, which ultimately flows back into the ocean via Port River. Computer controlled inlet gates open when the lake is lower than sea level. One way outlet gates allow water to flow from the lake when the Port River level is lower.
The old site of Port Misery where immigrants first splashed ashore has been incorporated into the bank of the lake. Wouldn’t they notice a big difference now!
West Lakes is close to the beaches of Grange and Henley Beach (south) and Semaphore and Largs Bay (north).