Australia’s Captain Cook Memorial Jet to reach new heights

Media Release

6 March 2017

The major refurbishment of the Captain Cook Memorial Jet has been completed and as a special display it will be run at its full height of 152 metres on the Canberra Day holiday, the 13th of March 2017.

The National Capital Authority’s Chief Executive, Malcolm Snow, said the Memorial Jet was turned off in February 2015 when the underground pump room flooded.

“Inspections at the time revealed a significant refurbishment was needed, which has been the first major upgrade of the Memorial Jet in over 20 years,” Mr Snow said.

“The Memorial Jet is such an intricate part of the lives of the people of Canberra and I think we’ve all been missing it as this necessary work was undertaken.”

“This major capital works project included the refurbishment of two 3.3 kVA pumps that are five metres high, the replacement of the hydraulic components, the installation of new high and low voltage marine cables, an upgrade to the electrical substation, transformers and switchboards.”

“It also included the refurbishment of the lighting for the Memorial Jet, which will look spectacular over the lake at night.”

“I’m pleased to announce that the Memorial Jet will begin operating from 11am to 2pm daily from Tuesday, 14 March 2017, using one pump and at a height of 114 metres, and it will be boosted to two pumps for significant events, special visits and state occasions.” 

“The first opportunity to view the Memorial Jet at its full height will be on the Canberra Day holiday, when it will operate at 152 metres at 8-10 am and 3-5 pm, and then at 114 metres 7- 9 pm. 

“I encourage Canberrans to get down to Lake Burley Griffin on the Canberra Day holiday to take in the spectacle of the Memorial Jet at its full height and lit up at night,” Mr Snow said.


  • The Captain Cook Memorial Jet was inaugurated by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on 25 April 1970 to commemorate the bi-centenary of Captain James Cook’s navigation of the east coast of Australia.
  • Water is drawn from the lake through a 50-metre intake tunnel to the underground pump house. 
  • There are two 4-stage vertical spindle centrifugal pumps capable of pumping 250 litres per second against a head of 183 metres.
  • The Captain Cook Memorial globe sculpture on the shore of Lake Burley Griffin, which traces Captain Cook's expeditions, has also been refurbished.