Gayle is an accountant. Shh – don’t tell. She thinks she’s a writer.
Published August 29th 2016
A Popular Community Space That's Hard To Beat
Top 7 Things to do at Berwick Springs Lakes and Wetlands It's hard to imagine that an area as beautiful and engaging as Berwick Springs is really an environmental washing machine and a haven for wildlife. In addition to a number of wetland spaces there are two ornamental lakes, one with a spectacular fountain. It is a wonderful and well-used community space with a network of paths, playgrounds, picnic areas, fishing spots and more.
A view of the Moondarra Drive Lake from the lookout (Photo copyright Gayle Beveridge)
So picturesque is the area it has been well photographed, with sunset across the water being a favourite scene. A lookout atop a small hill on the Greaves roadside accords a wonderful view across the waters that stretch along Moondarra Drive.
Berwick Springs is wedged between Greaves Road, Berwick Springs Promenade, The Esplanade and Moondarra Drive in Narre Warren South. There is kerbside parking on Berwick Springs Promenade and Moondarra Drive and a bus stop on Berwick Springs Promenade. Entry to the area is free and available day and night. Berwick Springs is managed by Melbourne Water in conjunction with the City of Casey. Melbourne Water can be contacted on 131 722 and the City of Casey can be contacted on (03) 9705 5200. Once there you will be surprised at how much there is to do.
The fountain in the lake along Berwick Springs Promenade shoots skyward and is in a small way reminiscent of Las Vegas. This lake also has a small sand beach near the entrance to the park and seagulls and ducks frequent the area much to the delight of the children. Take a restful break on the lakeside seats, lean back and look out over the water.
The fountain in the Berwick Springs Promenade Lake (Photo copyright Gayle Beveridge)
Along The Esplanade there is a small jetty where visitors can step out over the lake and take in the sweeping views. Bench seats overlooking the lake and the island are set at reasonable intervals along the paths.
The sandy beach near Berwick Springs Promenade (Photo copyright Gayle Beveridge)
If you walk the centre path which is a compact clay rather than cement like the perimeter paths, you will be closer to the wetlands. Wander across the lawns for a better look, perhaps you will find some purple swamp hens strutting amongst the reeds. You will cross a number of bridges on this walk.
Walking, Running and Cycling
There are around 3kms of paths at Berwick Springs, more if you take in the Berwick West Wetlands on the other side of Berwick Springs Promenade. Although the wetlands extend all the way along The Esplanade to Beaufort Avenue, the network of paths and the ornamental lakes traverse just a half of the wetlands area.
A bridge on the walk through the centre (Photo copyright Gayle Beveridge)
The perimeter paths are cement and the path through the centre is a compact clay. These paths are flat and as they are shared paths are of generous width. Berwick Springs is popular, particularly on the weekends and holidays; there will be many like-minded people enjoying the outdoors.
There is a 5km park run every Saturday morning at Berwick Springs. The course which begins in Berwick Springs Promenade follows the perimeter path around The Esplanade and then turns along the centre path, running the length of the reserve to Greaves Road and returning to the start for the second lap. The run begins at 8am and registrations are required. Visit the Parkrun website for further details.
The Saturday run (Photo from Berwick Springs parkrun Facebook Page)
An alternate running or walking course at Berwick Springs which follows the perimeter paths and crosses into the Berwick West Wetlands has been set out by MapMyRun. This course in 3.45kms with a best run time of 26.53 minutes. Will you take up the challenge?
Paths wind around lakes, past wetlands, by landscaped gardens and through bushland. (Photo copyright Gayle Beveridge)
Cycling is also popular at Berwick Springs. Take a leisurely ride around the paths here or make this a part of a larger trail. Bikely has mapped a Narre Warren/Berwick Springs/Hampton Park 20.58km Loop ride which takes in a large part of the Berwick Springs reserve. You can download a copy of the route here.
Playgrounds, Basketball and Footy
There are three playgrounds at Berwick Springs. The first can be found at 33 Berwick Springs Promenade. This is a fenced playground set in landscaped gardens with seating both inside and outside the fence for parents. A shaded picnic table overlooks the playground. There are two multi-functions structures with covered platforms and slides. There is also a ladder, a climbing circle, a climbing wall, a short flying fox, and a balance bar. A row of variable height stepping stones are set in the ground. There are two swings, one with toddler's leg holes. A wide seesaw has back supports and hand holds. For the little ones, there is also a springer. The playground area is wood chipped with rubber matting for safety and plenty of open space between the equipment.
The playground on Berwick Springs Promenade (Photo copyright Gayle Beveridge)
The second, also a fenced playground is at 56 Moondarra Drive. This is a slightly smaller ground with only one multi-function structure. There are two platforms joined by a bridge, two slides, a climbing net and a set of monkey bars. There is also a curved set of variable height stepping stones. There are two springers and two swings, again one for the toddlers. There are seats inside and out and two covered picnic tables next to the playground.
Close to the Moondarra playground is a basketball half court which is very popular with the teens. Throughout Berwick Springs expansive lawn areas provide plenty of open space for the kids to have a kick of the footy or a game of cricket.
The shaded picnic area and playground on Moondarra Drive (Photo copyright Gayle Beveridge)
The third playground is at The Esplanade and is away from the main community areas. This is a fenced playground with two multi-function structures and shade sails. Here you will find slides, ladders, monkey bars, a tunnel, steps, monkey rings and an abacus. There are three swings, one for a toddler and a springer. This is away from the main lakes but is still close to wetlands and wide lawn areas.
On any nice day, you can expect to see the avid angler about the park. Perhaps they will have cast a line from the bridge, the pier or one of the platforms that overhang the lake. Maybe they will have set up a chair at water's edge.
A fisherman with a couple of lines in the water along Moondarra Drive (Photo copyright Gayle Beveridge)
Berwick Springs is stocked with rainbow trout as part of Fisheries Victoria's school holiday program. The program stocks suburban lakes with ready to catch rainbow trout in time for the school holidays to encourage children or first-time fishermen. The trout are apparently easy to catch, making the lakes here a great place to introduce your children to the sport.
Have a Picnic
There are picnic tables near the playgrounds on Berwick Springs Promenade and on Moondarra Avenue. Some are covered and others open.
A covered picnic table near the Berwick Springs Promenade playground (Photo copyright Gayle Beveridge)
Don't forget to bring along a footy or basketball for a family game. There are plenty of paths for walking or for the kids to ride their bikes. You can bring your four legged friends too as long as you keep them on a leash and clean up after them.
Berwick Springs is an ideal location for both the casual and avid birdwatcher. Seagulls and ducks frequent the area by the sand beach on Berwick Springs Promenade. Nesting boxes have been installed on an island in the largest of the lakes. Where water's edge is lined with reed beds, take a careful look, you will likely see purple swamp hen here.
A pelican in the wetlands (Photo copyright Gayle Beveridge)
Step away from the ornamental lakes to the wetlands in the centre of the reserve where you may sight the less gregarious of the birds. In a single afternoon, I spotted black swans, pelicans, purple swamp hens, pink-eared ducks, black pacific ducks, silver gulls, Eurasian coots, red wattlebirds and Australian darters. The darter was swimming in the lake with only his long neck and head above the surface.
A black swan in the wetlands (Photo copyright Gayle Beveridge)
In all, 100 species have been sighted at Berwick Springs. You can find a list and details of the latest counts at ebird.
Berwick West Wetlands
Across the road from the main lake at Berwick Springs is another, smaller wetlands. The Berwick West Wetlands are wedged between Berwick Springs Promenade, Greaves Road and Louise Baille Avenue. The area is circumnavigated by paths.
The jetty and walking paths at Berwick West Wetlands (Photo copyright Gayle Beveridge)
Along Louise Baille Avenue a small jetty juts out over the water. Black swans were lingering there when I last visited. On the other side of the path is a circular paved area with seating which is backed by a hedge and edged by rose gardens.
On the Greaves Road side and at the end of the water is a large wooden platform which gives a view along the length of the water back towards Berwick Springs.
The view across the Berwick West Wetlands from the Greaves Road platform (Photo copyright Gayle Beveridge)
Why? It’s fun, fun, fun in this beautiful and functional community space.
When:Anytime, day or night.
Phone:Melbourne Water 131 722. City of Casey (03) 9705 5200
Where:Berwick Springs is wedged between Greaves Road, Berwick Springs Promenade, The Esplanade and Moondarra Drive, in Narre Warren South. There is kerbside parking on Berwick Springs Promenade and Moondarra Drive and a bus stop on Berwick Springs Promena