Lake Wendouree began life as Yuille Swamp and was dammed following the Victorian gold rush in 1851.
"The name Wendouree comes from the aboriginal word ‘wendaaree’ which means ‘go away’. A story is told that when William Yuille asked an aboriginal woman the name of the swamp, that was her reply. When Ballarat was first surveyed in 1851 by WS Urquhart the swamp was recorded as Wendouree." (Source: https://web.archive.org/web/20080422000812/http://www.ballarat.com/lake.htm)
Since the goldrush Lake Wendouree has become the stunning centrepiece of The City of Ballarat as a focal point for numerous recreational activities and events including the rowing component of the 1956 Olympics and is the home of The Lake Wendouree Museum and The Golden City Paddle Boat.