Canberrans from Sunday will once again be able to enjoy the simple pleasure of taking a pedalboat across Lake Burley Griffin and getting soaked from the spray of the Captain Cook Jet.
The National Capital Authority has refurbished 14 of the original pedalboats, which had been lying dormant for four years in a ferry terminal as a result of the ACT Government's redevelopment plans for West Basin.
The jaunty boats will be back on the water from 11am on Sunday, launching from the Regatta Point jetty and operated by new business Captain Paddle, owned by Nick Tyrrell who also founded the GoBoat picnic boats.
Mr Tyrrell said he was well aware of the public's desire for the return of the pedal boats since starting the GoBoat operation.
"Not a week has gone by when we haven't had a phone call - or seven - about the pedalboats," he said.
The pedalboats disappeared from the lake in late 2015 when the previous operator was paid out by the ACT government to make way for its redevelopment of West Basin.
The government gave 17 pedalboats to the National Capital Authority, which has refurbished them, with 14 taking to the water on Sunday.
The NCA's director of national capital activation and events Suzanne Hannema recalled tracing the abandoned pedalboats to the terminal.
"It was like a time capsule. Everything was there where it was left," she said.
NCA chair Terry Weber said the pedalboats, originally created for Canberra by an Italian designer, were part of national capital history. And a place for much courting for a certain generation of Canberran.
"We were still at school and it was part of the [courting process], getting a pedalboat and trying to get under the fountain and get wet," Mr Weber said.
With bushfire smoke on the water on Friday, ACT Liberal Senator Zed Seselja and Assistant Territories Minister Nola Marino announced, on behalf of the federal government, the official return of the pedalboats.
Senator Seselja said he was one of many Canberrans who grew up with the pedalboats and remembered them fondly.
"They were a lot of fun," he said. "And they are something the whole family can do. So simple and so fun."
Senator Seselja said he hoped to see more activity on the lake, saying it had been seen as sterile in the past, but that was changing as a result of the NCA and government being more open to change
He said the feedback he was getting from the public was that they wanted the lake enlivened and family-orientated initiatives such as the Canberra Aqua Park were the way to go.
"Cafes and restaurants are great, but they're not the be all and end all," he said.
As to the return of the iconic Birdman Rally, it was a case of watch this space.
"I'm a big fan of the Birdman Rally...and I know it's under serious consideration," he said.
Mr Tyrrell said the pedalboats would be hired out for two people for $20 for half an hour or $30 for an hour.
He said each participant would get a short safety warning and there was no problem trying to paddle the boats through the jet spray but "bring an umbrella" he joked.