Lake Boga, Victoria

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This article is about the town in The Mallee district of Victoria, Australia. For the lake of the same name located adjacent to the town, see Lake Boga (Victoria).
Lake Boga
PBY Catalina flying boat at Lake Boga
Lake Boga is located in Rural City of Swan Hill
Lake Boga
Lake Boga
Coordinates 35°28′0″S 143°39′0″E / 35.46667°S 143.65000°E / -35.46667; 143.65000Coordinates: 35°28′0″S 143°39′0″E / 35.46667°S 143.65000°E / -35.46667; 143.65000
Population 719 (2011 census)[1]
Postcode(s) 3584
LGA(s) Rural City of Swan Hill
State electorate(s) Murray Plains
Federal Division(s) Mallee
Localities around Lake Boga:
Pental Island Pental Island Pental Island
Castle Donnington Lake Boga Fish Point
Kunat Tresco West Winlaton, Tresco

Lake Boga (pronunciation: /ˈlk ˈbɡə/) is a town in Victoria, Australia, located next to the lake of the same name. It is situated within the Rural City of Swan Hill within the Mallee region of north-west Victoria. At the 2011 census, Lake Boga had a population of 719. The town is located 325 kilometres (202 mi) north west of Melbourne and 17 kilometres (11 mi) south east of the regional centre Swan Hill.


The Wemba-Wemba Indigenous Australian people occupied the lake for thousands of years before the arrival of Major Sir Thomas Mitchell in June 1836.

Two German Moravian missionaries, Reverend A.F.C. Täger and Reverend F.W. Spieseke, established Lake Boga mission in 1851. The mission closed in 1856 due to lack of converts, disputes with local authorities and hostilities from local landholders.[2] The Moravian Church established a subsequent mission site near Lake Hindmarsh in 1859 (see Ebenezer Mission).[3]

The Post Office opened on 8 August 1887.[4]

Lake Boga in World War II was once a site of a top-secret air base which housed more than one thousand personnel who serviced and repaired the flying boats at the Number One Flying Boat Repair Depot.

Planes like Catalinas were regularly seen coming in to land on the circular lake, only to leave soon after on secret allied missions.

The depot and bunkers were deemed top-secret military sites but when Qantas and then subsequently the RAAF came in their flying boats to inspect Lake Boga "It was supposed to be top-secret but... there were about three hundred people on the shore watching these aeroplanes come in!"[5]

The museum now inhabits an underground bunker, built in the forties to withstand enemy attack. It is a long domed structure with turf over the top and a wheelchair access ramp now snakes down to the entrance. Inside, the building retains much of its air of mystery. The claustrophobic space is filled with memorabilia from the depot, as well as maps and photos illustrating the strategic importance of the site.

The town today[edit]

The town is located next to the lake of the same name, which is popular with water sports, particularly water skiing. The surrounding area is used for agriculture including fruit and vegetable growing and grain production. There is a sizable wine grape industry in the area and one local winery.

There is a PBY Catalina flying boat on display as Lake Boga was a Royal Australian Air Force flying boat maintenance facility during World War II, known as the Lake Boga Flying Boat Base.

The town has an Australian rules football team competing in the Central Murray Football League.[6]

Regional water shortage caused by drought resulted in Lake Boga becoming completely dry.[7] In March 2010, work began to refill the lake and by June the lake was full to the brim[8] The lake has an approximate capacity of 37,794 megalitres (8.314×10^9 imp gal; 9.984×10^9 US gal).[9]


  1. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Lake Boga (State Suburb)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 7 November 2014. 
  2. ^ Felicity Jensz, pp 71-105, German Moravian missionaries in the British colony of Victoria, Australia, 1848-1908 in particular Chapter 3 Lake Boga, A Putrid Stain, IDC Publishers, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers and VSP, 2010 via Google Books, ISBN 978-90-04-17921-9
  3. ^ Ian D. Clark, pp177-183, Scars on the Landscape. A Register of Massacre sites in Western Victoria 1803-1859, Aboriginal Studies Press, 1995 ISBN 0-85575-281-5
  4. ^ Premier Postal History, Post Office List, retrieved 2008-04-11 
  5. ^
  6. ^ Full Points Footy, Lake Boga, retrieved 2008-07-25 [dead link]
  7. ^
  8. ^ Hilliard, Leith. "Lake Boga full to the brim". CFA Connect. Country Fire Authority. Retrieved 22 January 2011. 
  9. ^ "Lake Boga: Recreational Guide" (PDF). Goulburn–Murray Water (PDF). October 2012. Retrieved 7 November 2014.