Lake Marma Attractions

Explore History and the beauty of Lake Marma and surrounds.

Lake Marma

The shallow waterhole known as Marma Swamp, now Lake Marma, was a strong attraction to the settlement and development of Murtoa in the early 1870’s.

In 1890, the Murtoa Progress Association petitioned for the Lake Reserve to be gazetted as a Public Park and Gardens and emerged as the developer of the park. Tree planting began, with common European trees and natives. The first plantings of sugar gums were in 1889-90. From around 1886 the lake was used as the town reservoir under the control of the Wimmera Water Trust and its later successors.

With the Wimmera Mallee pipeline completed in 2010 the lake was decommissioned as a reservoir and a locally based Committee of Management appointed. Since then substantial improvements have taken place. The park and lake have become a haven for bird life and a focal point for many of  the town’s recreational activities.

Lake Marma is now a popular relaxation spot with a 2km tree lined walking track, jetty, manicured lawns and seating on which to relax and enjoy the magnificent views. Nestled on the foreshore of Lake Marma, Murtoa Cabins provide serene accommodation, featuring verandahs with breathtaking sunset views. These self-contained cabins are comfortable and just a short stroll to the town centre and attractions.

Memorial Arch

The Memorial Arch in Murtoa was erected in 1921 by residents in memory of World War I Soldiers from the district. Plaques with the names of soldiers from the district who served in WWII and Vietnam have been added to the memorial. Golden cypresses were planted by Murtoa Australian Natives Association (ANA) in 1971 to mark their centenary.

It is a rare example of its type in Victoria, believed to be one of only four ‘Arches of Triumph’ in Victoria, and forms a picturesque frame to the Lake Marma Reserve.

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Sprott Fountain

Sprott’s Fountain was built 1894-96 and officially opened in October 1896 and was built and paid for by Mr W. R. Sprott.

Mr WR Sprott was the manager of the Colonial Bank, as well as a member of the Murtoa Mechanics Institute and the Murtoa Progress Committee. It was decided by the Progress Committee that the fountain be erected in the Lake Precinct; the place at which was the heart of the Progress Committee’s beautification efforts during Mr. Sprott’s membership. Mr. Sprott was an enthusiastic proponent of tree planting around Murtoa and Lake Marma.

Band Rotunda

In 1907, the timber Band Rotunda was constructed on the foreshore of Lake Marma. The Rotunda has commemorative plaques to Queen Victoria (died 1901), King Edward VII (died 1910) and Earl Kitchener (died 1916). The Rotunda has had some modifications over time, but the last series of renovations has strived to recreate its original form.

and just over the road… Rabl Park

Rabl Park was originally part of Marma Swamp (Marma – indigenous for wild duck) which existed from the earliest of times as a natural drainage basin. Murtoa Progress Association planted the park in a Union Jack design to commemorate the end of the Boer War, using a combination of Eucalyptus and Cypress trees. By 1930 the park had reverted largely to overgrown swampland. In the early 1980’s Murtoa Apex Club completely rehabilitated the area. The old waterways and swamps were formed into a series of interconnected ponds and the whole area replanted. Two jetties and small foot bridges were constructed and the historic Murtoa Railway Station foot bridge (circa 1896) was relocated to span the narrow ponds. The new park was named Rabl Park after Dr Heinrich Rabl and wife Helene who were responsible for the original planning.

Rabl Park has become a delightful area for public use, nestled next to Lake Marma. Filled from the town’s storm water system it has a constant water supply which supports an abundance of fish, birds and wildlife.  It has attractive shaded walking tracks, green expanses, picnicking and BBQ facilities, toilets and children’s playground.