Lake Albert (South Australia)

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Lake Albert
Lake Albert seen from Meningie
Lake Albert is located in South Australia
Lake Albert
Lake Albert
LocationSouth Australia
Coordinates35°38′S 139°17′E / 35.633°S 139.283°E / -35.633; 139.283Coordinates: 35°38′S 139°17′E / 35.633°S 139.283°E / -35.633; 139.283[2]
EtymologyPrince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Part ofMurray–Darling basin
Basin countriesAustralia
Managing agencyDepartment of Environment Water and Natural Resources
DesignationRamsar/DIWA wetland[2]
Surface area168 square kilometres (65 sq mi)[2]
IslandsBascombe Island[3]
SettlementsMeningie, Narrung
Official nameThe Coorong, Lake Alexandrina & Albert Wetland
Designated1 November 1985
Reference no.321[4]

Lake Albert is a notionally fresh water lake near the mouth of the Murray River in South Australia. It is filled by water flowing in from the larger Lake Alexandrina at its mouth near Narrung. It is separated on the south by the Narrung Peninsula from the salt-water Coorong. The only major town on the lake is Meningie. Lakes Alexandrina and Albert are together known as the Lower Lakes.

Naming of lake and associated features[edit]

The lake was named after Prince Albert, the Consort of Queen Victoria, by George Gawler, the Governor of South Australia.[5]

The full extent of Lake Albert was gazetted as a ‘rural locality’ along with Lake Alexandrina in May 2014. The boundary of the locality of ‘Lake Albert’ with the rural locality of Lake Alexandrina occurs at the alignment of Poltalloch Road within the locality of Poltalloch on the northern side of the Albert Channel which connects both lakes.[6][7][8]


Two pelicans on Lake Albert at Meningie

Lake Albert is visited regularly by people traveling to and from Melbourne, the Limestone Coast, the Coorong National Park, Tailem Bend, Murray Bridge, and Adelaide.[citation needed]

Visitors enjoy fishing, camping, bushwalking, 4WD tracks, bird watching, water sports, and many land-based sporting clubs such as lawn bowls, cricket, football, netball, tennis, croquet, shooting, motorcycling, karate, pony riding, and golf in the Township of Meningie.[citation needed]

Water problems[edit]

Because there are no significant tributaries and a high evaporation rate, Lake Albert is saltier than Lake Alexandrina. It is also smaller and not as deep, but it is more protected from the elements. In 2008, water levels in Lake Alexandrina and Lake Albert became so low that large quantities of acid sulphate soils started to form.[9] The possibility of flooding the lake with seawater to prevent acidification was raised, and tension remains between South Australia and the upstream states over how to share the dwindling supply of water.[10] To this day the lake remains at significant risk of water loss and high salinity.[11]

Flora and fauna[edit]


Lake Albert supports critically endangered orange-bellied parrots, endangered Australasian bitterns, vulnerable fairy terns, as well as over 1% of the world populations of Cape Barren geese, Australian shelducks, great cormorants and sharp-tailed sandpipers.[12]

Protected area status[edit]

Australian government[edit]

Lake Albert is part of the wetland complex known as the Coorong and Lakes Alexandrina and Albert Wetland which is listed as a Ramsar site. The wetland is also appears in the non-statutory list known as A Directory of Important Wetlands in Australia.[13][14]

Non-statutory arrangements[edit]

Lake Albert is included within the boundary of the Lakes Alexandrina and Albert Important Bird Area which is an area considered by BirdLife International to be a place of ‘international significance for the conservation of birds and other biodiversity.’[12][15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Search results for 'Lake Albert, Lake' with the following datasets selected – 'Suburbs and Localities' and 'Gazetteer'". Location SA Map Viewer. Government of South Australia. Retrieved 5 January 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Morelli, J (1995). "Search result for 'The Coorong, Lake Alexandrina & Lake Albert – SA063'". Australian Wetland Database. Australian government. Retrieved 5 January 2018.
  3. ^ Boating Industry Association of South Australia (BIA); South Australia. Department for Environment and Heritage (2005), South Australia's waters an atlas & guide, Boating Industry Association of South Australia, p. 31, ISBN 978-1-86254-680-6
  4. ^ "The Coorong, Lake Alexandrina & Albert Wetland". Ramsar Sites Information Service. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  5. ^ "The Southern Australian". Southern Australian. Adelaide. 11 September 1840. p. 2. Retrieved 15 June 2014 – via National Library of Australia.
  6. ^ "Search result for "Lake Albert (LOCB)" (Record no SA0068057) with the following layers selected – "Suburbs and Localities" and "Place names (gazetteer)"". Property Location Browse r. Government of South Australia. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  7. ^ "Creation of the rural localities of Lake Alexandrina and Lake Albert" (PDF). Place name proposals. Government of South Australia. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
  8. ^ BURDETT, M. (8 May 2014). "GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES ACT, 1991 Notice to Assign the Boundaries of Places" (PDF). South Australian Government Gazette. Government of South Australia. p. 1587. Retrieved 5 January 2018.
  9. ^ "Catalyst – Fire, Flood and Acid Mud". Retrieved 2008-05-07.
  10. ^ "Now a dust bowl where once was a lake". The Australian. 2009-03-07.
  11. ^ "South Australia seeks more Murray River flow from upstream states to fight Lake Albert salinity". ABC Online. 2014-09-02.
  12. ^ a b "Important Bird Areas factsheet: Lakes Alexandrina and Albert". BirdLife International. Retrieved 19 January 2015.
  13. ^ "Coorong and Lakes Alexandrina and Albert Wetland Ramsar site" (PDF). Department of Environment Water and Natural Resources. 28 January 2014. Retrieved 19 January 2015.
  14. ^ "Australian Wetlands Database – Directory Wetland Information Sheet: The Coorong, Lake Alexandrina & Lake Albert – SA063". Commonwealth of Australia, Department of the Environment. 31 May 2005. Retrieved 19 January 2015.
  15. ^ "Sites – Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs)". BirdLife International. Retrieved 19 January 2015.