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Each year thousands of migratory birds from as far as Siberia, Japan and Alaska make their way to Wyndham, in southern Australia. This incredible journey is made to escape the northern hemisphere winter and enjoy the wetland habitats on offer in Wyndham.
Wyndham has a number of sites that appeal to birdwatchers. Of particular significance are the Point Cook Coastal Park, considered one of the top ten wetlands in Australia by environmentalists, and the impressive Western Treatment Plant, considered second to only Kakadu for birdwatchers.
Attracting a variety of birdlife, the area hosts over 300 species of birds including several rare and endangered species. The variety of birdlife in the region and the area’s close proximity to Melbourne make Wyndham a must-see destination for both budding and seasoned birdwatchers.
Download a copy of the Bird Watching in Wyndham brochure.
Point Cook Coastal Park and Cheetham Wetlands
Point Cook Coastal Park has long been a haven for migratory birds. The park covers an area of 500 hectares including the former site of the Cheetham Salt Works.
There are numerous natural ponds and two significant lakes, Spectacle Lake and RAAF Lake. Spectacle Lake has a bird hide that offers a discreet position to watch birds in their natural habitat. Birds that frequent the area include the Straw-necked Ibis, Singing Honeyeater, Willie Wagtail, Golden-Headed Cisticola and the Common Greenfinch. At the southern end of Cheetham Wetlands you will find ‘The Tower’, a viewing platform that provides magnificent views of the wetlands and birdlife.
The Coastal Park includes a 300 hectare marine sanctuary on Port Phillip Bay and has been recognised as an area of importance by the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.
Western Treatment Plant
The 10,500 hectare Western Treatment Plant is a world leader in technical and environmental innovation, and is also a haven for tens of thousands of birds. The Plant is home to numerous lagoons, estuaries, salt marshes and the beautiful Lake Borrie.
The Western Treatment Plant is one of the most popular sites for bird watching in Victoria, with hundreds of species of birds recorded. Both experienced twitchers and beginner birdwatchers can try their luck spotting hundreds of different bird species, including some rare and endangered. Birds on show include the Brolga, Orange-bellied Parrot, Red-necked Avocet, Fairy Tern, Lewin’s Rail and Pied Cormorant. The plant's lagoons, grasslands and coastline provide an ideal and varied habitat for birds with a permanent water supply, plenty of food, and little interference from humans.
Parts of the plant have been declared a sanctuary for the protection of native fauna and much of the surrounding area has been recognised as a wetland of international significance under the Ramsar Convention.
For Interstate and International visitors applications for Short-term Bird Watching Passes for the Western Treatment Plant are now available from the Werribee Visitor Information Centre, located at the front of the Werribee Open Range Zoo. Photo I.D. must be provided to obtain a pass as well as a completed application form. Passes are valid for 1 day only and access keys must be returned to the Visitor Information Centre no later than 4pm.
Heathdale Glen Orden Wetlands
The Heathdale Glen Orden Wetlands cover some 35 hectares of open space with many native species of flora and fauna calling the reserve home. The wetlands are well-known for frequent spotting of Lathams snipe, with the species migrating here for summer. Other frequently spotted birds include the Willie Wagtail, White-plumed Honeyeater, Little Raven and the Red Wattlebird.
The Heathdale Glen Orden Wetlands are best accessed from Rosella Ave, with footpaths leading out from the car park. Birdwatchers can cross the wetlands water system via a boardwalk and circumnavigate the wetlands by walking along a network of soft surface tracks. With rotundas, seating areas and a playground, the Heathdale Glen Orden Wetlands are an ideal spot to bring the family.
The Werribee River is a valuable natural asset that takes its name from the Aboriginal word meaning ‘backbone’ or ‘spine’. With majestic River Red Gum trees providing shelter and lining the upstream section of the river, nature-lovers have the opportunity to see a diverse range of water birds in lush, picturesque surroundings.
The Werribee River is home to a diverse population of native and migratory bird species including the Wedge-Tailed Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, Swamp Harrier, Whistling Kite, Musk Duck, Latham’s Snipe and the more common parrots and lorikeets. Expect to see large numbers of pelicans at the mouth of the River (Werribee South). The river is also a haven for many other species of fauna with the Platypus and threatened Growling Grass Frog calling the river home.
The Werribee River Park is part of a Ramsar site that aims to protect and enhance habitat for migratory birds.
Werribee Open Range Zoo
Werribee Open Range Zoo is one of Australia’s most popular zoos with visitors experiencing an African adventure on over 200 hectares of beautiful natural surrounds. In addition to being known for its beautiful African Savannah, the zoo is fast gaining a reputation as one of the best places in Melbourne for bird watching.
Werribee Open Range Zoo is home to more than 100 different species of bird with birdwatchers able to spot a diverse range of species including raptors, water birds and native bush birds. Frequently reported sightings include Wedge Tailed Eagles, Whistling or Black Tailed Kites, Little Hawks, Cormorants, Pelicans, Spoonbills, Spotted Pardalotes and Red-browed Finches. Entrance fees apply