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Coomoora Woodland Flora and Fauna Reserve

Home > Melbourne > Animals and Wildlife | Nature | Outdoor | Parks | Walks
by Lyndsey V (subscribe)
I'm an ecologist and writer based in Melbourne, Australia. Also visit me at www.instagram.com/victoriafloraandfauna/
Published August 26th 2018
A bushland reserve to explore in the suburbs
Coomoora Woodland is a small woodland reserve in Keysborough, south-east of Melbourne. The reserve provides important habitat for a range of flora and fauna in the heart of a busy suburban and industrial area. It's also a peaceful place to wander around in and forget that you're surrounded by houses and busy arterial roads.

Coomoora Reserve, woodland, bushland, bush, park, nature, walking, bird watching, Keysborough
The entrance to the woodland at Coomoora Reserve


Species that have been spotted in the woodland include the endangered Swift Parrot, orchid species such as the Hyacinth Orchid, Prawn Greenhood and Nodding Greenhood, bats, small reptiles such as the Marbled Gecko, a huge variety of birds and a diversity of plants. The reserve acts as a 'stepping stone' for mobile species such as birds and bats that might be moving through Melbourne's urban areas. It's a good spot for bird watching.

Coomoora Reserve, woodland, bushland, bush, park, nature, walking, bird watching, Keysborough
A colony of Nodding Greenhood orchids in the reserve, which flower in late winter


The best place to access the reserve is from Serpentine Road, Keysborough. There's an open grassy area adjacent to the road walk through here to get to the woodland. The reserve is also easily accessible by foot or bike along the Dandenong South Trail.

Coomoora Reserve, woodland, bushland, bush, park, nature, walking, bird watching, Keysborough
The open grassy lawn area next to Serpentine Road


There are several walking tracks through the reserve, and a loop walk can be made by returning along the bike path that runs along the south-west boundary. Along the way are several well-placed seats to sit and watch. The tracks are flat and mostly sandy or mulched.

Coomoora Reserve, woodland, bushland, bush, park, nature, walking, bird watching, Keysborough
A walking track through the reserve


There are lots of great interpretive signs along the paths, with interesting stories about the history and ecology of the reserve. For example, the surrounding area of Keysborough and Springvale was once an important food gathering area for local indigenous people, with an abundance of food sources.

Coomoora Reserve, woodland, bushland, bush, park, nature, walking, bird watching, Keysborough
One of the many interpretive signs in the reserve


Coomoora is an Aboriginal work for wattle visit the reserve in late winter and spring to see the wattles in flower. Spring is the time to visit to see the wildflowers in bloom, ranging from native shrubs to lilies and orchids don't forget the camera for wildflower photography.

Coomoora Reserve, woodland, bushland, bush, park, nature, walking, bird watching, Keysborough
Native peas flowering in the reserve


The woodland supports two types of woodland: Herb-rich Woodland, growing on deeper sandy soils dominated by Coast Manna Gum (Eucalyptus viminalis subsp. pryoriana), and Plains Grassy Woodland on more fertile soil, dominated by River Red Gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis). The signs challenge walkers to spot the difference!

The woodland is listed as significant on the Victorian Heritage Database for the following reason:

"Few areas of natural woodland remain throughout Melbourne and several botanical species are of particular interest"

Back in 2012, the south-west section of the reserve was destroyed to build the adjacent Dingley Arterial Road. It's possible to see this change using the historical imagery on Google Earth. The edge of the road now runs along the south-west boundary of the reserve.

Coomoora Reserve, woodland, bushland, bush, park, nature, walking, bird watching, Keysborough
The view of the reserve from the bike path that runs alongside the Dingley Arterial Road - there are several access points to the reserve along the bike path


As part of the construction of the Dingley Bypass, a small colony of Dainty Bird Orchids were salvaged and transplanted into the reserve where they continue to grow successfully.

The vegetation of Coomoora Reserve is just a small remnant of the woodlands and heathlands that once extended across south-east Melbourne. Other nearby reserves that preserve indigenous remnant vegetation include Rowan Woodland Reserve (close by in Dingley), The Grange Heathland Reserve in Clayton South and Bradshaw Bushland Reserve in Mordialloc.
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Why? Explore a bushland reserve in Keysborough
When: Any time
Phone: 03 8571 1000 (City of Greater Dandenong)
Where: 30-40 Serpentine Rd Keysborough VIC 3173
Cost: Free
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