Ecological Reserve

Aboriginal Traditional Owners

The VDP ecological reserve is acknowledged as being on the traditional lands of the Bunurong/Boon wurrung people of the Kulin nation.

The plant site is within the traditional land of the Yowengarrra which were based between the Bass and Tarwin Rivers.

Further information is available from Aboriginal Affairs Victoria (AAV) and Native Title Services Victoria.

Restoring and enhancing the local environment

One of the key aims of the VDP is to minimise its ecological impacts and to actively enhance the local environment.

To this end, 225 hectares of the 263 hectare site have undergone one of the largest single ecological restoration projects of its kind ever undertaken in Victoria — restoring and enhancing the natural habitat and creating a new coastal park for future generations to enjoy

Prior uses of the area, going back over a hundred years, including grazing and mining, made a large break in the otherwise continuous line of coastal vegetation of the region.

This world class revegetation project has transformed the cleared area into the rich ecologies that existed before settlement.  By reconnecting important coastal reserves the region’s habitat values have been greatly enhanced.

Key features

Key features of the ecological reserve include:

  • A total area of 225 hectare with wetlands, coastal and swampy woodlands
  • Millions of trees, plants and shrubs made up of 127 different species, all of which are indigenous to the local area.
  • All seeds collected within 40kms of the plant site and cultivated on site
  • Eight kilometres of trails for pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders
  • Information points and boardwalks
  • Bird hide, viewing decks, picnic shelters and public amenities
  • Nine new dunes which have been constructed by using the spoil created during construction

For further information about the types of plants that have been planted in the reserve take a look at the plant species brochure

Visiting the ecological reserve

The VDP ecological reserve is open to the public.

Visitors are responsible for their own safety and those in their care.  Please take care, be aware of potential hazards and make sure you take appropriate precautions:

  • Walking tracks, elevated walkways and bird hides have been provided to enhance your enjoyment of the area – please stick to the designated areas.
  • Be prepared to share trails with others
  • Be bike safe! Always wear a helmet when riding
  • Ensure shared trails are enjoyed by all:
    • Ride at a safe speed
    • Keep to the left
    • Warn when you are approaching on a bike
    • Move off the trail when you stop

Please note:  to help protect wildlife dogs are not permitted in the ecological reserve

The VDP ecological reserve is maintained by WaterSure, the sub-contracted operator of the VDP.

If you observe any issues with path access or vegetation please phone the VDP community contact line: 1800 811 214.

To report injured wildlife please call Help for Wildlife on 0417 380 687

In an emergency: Call Triple Zero 000 to access police and emergency services. Be aware that you may travel out of mobile phone range

For further information take a look at the fact sheet

Download a copy of the Ecological Reserve Trails Map.

The Victorian Desalination Project includes one of the largest single ecological restoration projects ever undertaken in Victoria