Lake Canobolas

Lake Canobolas, looking toward the dam walls and showing the grassed foreshore areas

Pinnacle Road (approximately 9 km West of Orange)

Statement of Significance

Lake Canobolas is a man-made body of water that was originally formed when Meadow Creek was dammed in 1918 to provide water for the expanding township of Orange. In the late 1940s, the dam at Lake Canobolas was superseded by the raising of Spring Creek Dam, and Lake Canobolas was dedicated to recreational activities.

The significance of Lake Canobolas lies in a number of areas. Firstly, the dam structure and the pump house have historic engineering significance. Secondly, it has social significance for the generations of families who have picnicked and played on the foreshore – many of the migrant workers who came to Orange from the 1940s onwards made particular use of the lake as a place for family gatherings. Thirdly, Lake Canobolas has an environmental significance as a habitat for bird life. Native bush regeneration efforts around the lake and at the adjacent Earth Sanctuary are further building the environmental significance of the lake and its environs. Finally, the lake and its surrounds are of aesthetic significance for the picturesque setting of the lake amongst wooded slopes and areas of grassed foreshore.

Objects and Elements: Lake Canobolas

Lake Canobolas

Lake CanobolasThe lake and the surrounding area are used for a variety of recreational purposes, from bird watching and bushwalking to swimming and rowing.

Dam Wall

Lake Canobolas Dam wallConstruction of the dam wall began in 1916 and was completed in 1918. Bush regeneration work is now being carried out in the area below the dam wall.

Lake Canobolas pump housePump House

The Pump House contains the machinery that pumped water to Orange during the years of operation of the Reservoir. Orange TAFE students restored the Pump House and engine as a Bicentennial Project and it is now on public display. The engine is thought to be one of the few of its type in the world still essentially intact and in its operating environment.

Lake Canobolas Earth SanctuaryEarth Sanctuary

Earth Sanctuary adjoins the Lake Canobolas site. It is a former Pine plantation that has been cleared and is in the process of being replanted with native flora. It is hoped that the area will attract native animals. Earth Sanctuary has significance as an indication of a shift in approach away from the re-creation of European landscape toward engaging with native Australian flora. The sanctuary has the potential to grow in scientific significance as it develops.

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