For Deirdre Brocklebank, a Canberra resident for 40 years, Lake Burley Griffin is the "soul of the whole place".
"It draws together the whole community," she said.
"It's the focal point. It's an indicator of what's happening weather-wise with flooding, it's a really good barometer.".
The lake is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and it has long inspired many a great photograph.
Readers are invited to share their photos of Lake Burley Griffin as part of the Our Lake - 50 Years photo competition, which runs until the end of November.
Ms Brocklebank is one of many readers who have entered the competition. Her entry may have been inspired by a chance discovery in the late 1980s early one Canberra morning, at an hour when people should still have been tucked up in bed.
With her children in tow, she stumbled upon an armada of hot-air balloons being inflated on the foreshore of Lake Burley Griffin.
She had never seen so many people "smiling en masse" at such an ungodly hour.
"It was magical. My kids' eyes lit up when they saw the balloons," she said.
In 2010 she saw what all the fuss was about, as she took her own aerial trip in a hot-air balloon that took in much of the lake, its environs and Canberra's central landmarks.
Her entry, Birds eye view, is a picture she took from that trip.
Entries close at the end of this month.
There are two categories.
The first invites readers to search their family albums for old photos celebrating the lake as a centre of Canberra life.
Since many Canberrans may be new to the city, the second category is for current photos.
A $500 prize will be awarded for the photo judged the best in each category.
To enter the competition, send up to three photos to email@example.com as JPEG files at least 150 kilobytes to a maximum of one megabyte.
Include your name, address, phone number, photo title and a description of where and when it was taken. Click or touch here for full terms and conditions.