Model Boat Pond

Walking into the Park, away from Port Road, there is a shallow circular pond.

A popular feature of Bonython Park, the pond can be used by children or adults, for sailing model boats, including by remote control. From 7.30am to 1pm on the weekend non-powered model boats take to the water, and after 1pm till sunset it is time for the powered boats.

The pond is 73 metres across (230 metres circumference roughly). The idea was copied from a similar but much larger pond in Kensington Gardens, London, called the Round Pond (which despite its name is not round as this one is), The boat pond was an idea of Adelaide's long-term Town Clerk (CEO) William Veale.

Mr Veale was keen for this lake to be used for model boats and wrote to 50 schools and colleges advising them the pond was being constructed. It was officially opened by the Lord Mayor in 1963 as the only one of its type in Australia. At the opening event, the Model Ship and Power Boat Club of South Australia put on a regatta for the occasion. For several generations of Adelaide children, a visit to view the model boats at Bonython Park has been a popular weekend pastime.

There is no swimming allowed but there are plenty of ducks that children can watch and feed. Two bronze plaques on small boulders can be found on either side of the pond that honour the work of the Adelaide Parklands Youth Project in brick laying, seat positioning and construction of of the two timber pergolas.

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