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Published July 10th 2016
Search for the elusive lyrebird
Favoured as a picnic area, Badger Weir is a haven for birdwatchers and photographers. Even though it's not filled with Badgers, you can meander amongst mighty Mountain Ash, walk along fresh streams and hopefully take a photo of a lyrebird.
Looking For Lyrebirds In Badger Weir I visited this place because of its main attraction, the elusive lyrebird. But it wasn't so elusive when I got there. No less than 5 minutes after I hit the Lyrebird track, I spotted a female lyrebird and next to it was a wild cat!
I was so perplexed that I forgot to pick up my camera and click away. Moments later the cat ran away and so did the lyrebird. The lyrebird's call seems like a loud high pitched shrill.
I managed to find it a few metres away from the track, the female has no tail feathers as opposed to the male.
The area consists of 3 walking tracks which are over a kilometre long and take about 30 minutes to complete. To enter the tracks, you must cross the bridge at the northern side of the picnic grounds, you can refer to the map here.
The tracks finally lead you to the weir, which is the area's spectacle. I rather say it's the lyrebird that takes the cake over the weir.
SLIP CREEK TRACK Because of the many steps on the fern gully boardwalk it is unsuitable for prams and strollers. Distance:1.4km Time:approx 30 minutes Grade:Moderate
LYREBIRD TRACK Distance:1.1km Time:approx 30 minutes Grade:Easy (a few steps) Other connecting tracks are Stringybark Track and Aqueduct Track
What's A Weir You Ask? If you're wondering what 'Weir' means, it's a barrier across a river designed to alter its flow characteristics. In most cases, weirstake the form of obstructions smaller than most conventional dams, pooling water behind them while also allowing it to flow steadily over their tops.
The water catchment area surrounding the weir has been managed for water harvesting for more than 100 years.
Many people visit the weir because of its picnic grounds and the old-style, shingle roof rotundas and wood barbecues the inhabit the area. The spectacular trees and forest backdrop make for a great experience.
My Second Encounter As I wandered through the ancient fern gullies and magnificent mountain ash trees, I was hoping to meet a male lyrebird. And bless my lucky stars I saw one right in front of me, digging for worms. It was probably because of the morning rain that had them searching the tracks for food.
He seemed unfazed as I started taking photos, he actually started to walk toward and uncover the leaves. It was such a perfect moment, if you want to see a lyrebird, I recommend exploring the tracks after it has rained.
In addition to the lyrebird, birdwatchers can find King-Parrots and Crimson Rosellas too.
Another downpour began and I couldn't explore the rest of weir as much as I wanted too, I didn't want to risk getting the camera wet. But I had got more than I bargained for in just half an hour. I'll probably make a second trip and try and cover all the tracks, and maybe get a picture of a wild cat.
In conclusion, the weir is a great place to visit if you're heading to Healesville and looking for some adventure.
HOW TO GET THERE
Badger Weir Picnic Area is 7km from Healesville (Melway Ref 278 K9). From Melbourne follow the Maroondah Highway through Lilydale to Healesville. In Healesville turn right at Don Road, then turn left into Badger Weir Road and follow it to the (end) park entrance. Refer the map.
Badger Weir Picnic Area is open daily at the times can be viewed here.
360° view from the bridge before you enter the tracks