Less than five kilometres from the city of Perth and situated alongside the Mitchell Freeway, Lake Monger and its wetlands are surrounded by parklands known as the Lake Monger Reserve. The lake consists of 70 hectares of mainly open shallow water with an island of 1.3 hectares in the south-west corner.
The lake is used extensively for recreation and is a populat tourist destination, attractiing 12,000 visitors per week, most of whom come to see the black swans which are always seen in abundance here.
A 3.5 km paved walking/cycling track encircles the lake which takes about 30 minutes to traverse by foot. Ample car parking, playground equipment and barbecue facilities are also provided. Originally recorded as Lake Goorgianna, it was the first of a string of lakes and wetlands that fed Claise Brook, which still empties into the Swan River at East Perth. The lake has been known by a number of names - Lake Galup, Lake Kalup or Keiermulu are all recorded as its aboriginal name.
Lake Monger was grouped with the Georgiana Lake and Lake Sutherland (both near Mitchell Freeway, near Sutherland and Newcastle streets) and Herdsman Lake and together the area made up what was known to the early colonists as The Great Lakes District.
After European settlement, it became known as either Large Lake or Triangle Lake (based on its roughly triangular shape) before being named Monger's Lake in 1831. In April 1932 it was changed to its current name of Lake Monger. The name recalls John Henry Monger who acquired 200 acres beside the lake adjoining the land grant of William H Leeder, whose name is remembered in the suburb of Leederville.
European settlement led to many of the wetlands areas being drained for land reclamation to take advantage of the fertile soil for farming enterprises, and for expansion of parks and recreation areas. Lake Monger and Herdsman Lake are the last two major wetlands remaining close to the city. The City of Perth itself sits on an area of reclaimed wetlands.