Wildlife walks around Geelong
Going on nature walks with your child is a great way to get outside and keep active together. Even as the weather cools down, our bodies still benefit from making the most of small windows of sunshine and soaking up that vitamin D. Fresh air does wonders for the mind and soul, and getting outside with friends can be a fun way to fill your social cup as well! Not to mention the birdlife, flora and fauna just waiting to be discovered by curious eyes and minds…
Here are three of my favourite spots around Geelong, to explore nature and learn more about our wildlife.
Where: 100 Windermere Road, Lara
When: 8am-4pm daily (closed Christmas Day & Good Friday)
Facilities: Parking, toilets, and a covered picnic area with BBQs and water fountains
Serendip Sanctuary is the perfect place to learn about and experience birdlife and wetlands ecology. There are four interconnecting nature trails. All easy tracks with no steps, and are wheelchair accessible, and are within walking distance from the Information Centre. Each trail is no longer than two kilometres return, so very doable for little legs, but suitable for prams too if your child is particularly little or prefers to sit and watch. The wildlife trail takes you through various open areas where you can spot all kinds of birds, as well as enclosures with wallabies, owls and lizards. You may even spot some kangaroos hopping on by! A park map and information brochures are available at the picnic area near the carpark, so you can plan your walk and won’t miss anything.
With great facilities, the sanctuary is a wonderful spot to spend the day exploring. Pack a picnic lunch, invite some friends and enoy! There are no bins at Serendip, so come prepared with a ‘nude’ lunch, or take your rubbish with you when you leave.
Narana Curragundi Native Garden Trail
Where: 410 SurfCoast Hwy, Grovedale
When: 9am-5pm weekdays, 9am-4pm Saturday (closed Sundays)
Cost: Free (self guided walk through)
Facilities: Free parking, playground, cafe and toilets within the Narana complex
Narana is a non-profit organisation dedicated to developing better community awareness of Aboriginal culture. The Curragundi Native garden is beautiful native bush-land garden which encompasses 4 acres. The garden features a waterhole and is home to abundance of local bird-life and animals including Emus & Swamp Wallabies & Eastern Grey Kangaroos. You can experience the beautiful surrounds with a free self-guided tour, or contact Narana to book a group visitor experience delivered by expert Cultural Interpreters (group tours involve a cost).
Where: 1-11 Marnock Road, Newtown
When: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Facilities: Ample parking, picnic tables, BBQ with rotunda, public toilets, rubbish bins
Balyang Sanctuary is a flora and fauna reserve, with wetlands and a lake designed to encourage birds’ natural breeding and maintain diverse ecosystems. Sit and watch ducks, pelicans and other birds in their natural habitat before wandering along the paths exploring all kinds of vegetation including River Red Gum, Silver Wattle and Woolly Tea Tree. Although supervision is needed near the water, this is a great spot for letting little legs lead the way, as there is lots of open space to explore but many short paths makes it easy to find your way back…