Edward Hunter Heritage Bush Reserve is a peaceful bushland park in Moe, Gippsland, east of Melbourne.
The view down to the reservoir
The reserve is 57 hectares of remnant bushland, and includes a reservoir and a network of tracks for walking and jogging. In winter, it's a delight for spotting fungi and in spring, there's a profusion of wildflowers, including orchids, native peas, wattles and lilies.
Sun orchids are just one of the lovely wildflowers in the reserve
Wildlife in the reserve include wallabies, lizards, frogs, echidnas and birds. The reservoir is also home to turtles, native fish, yabbies and waterbirds.
Walking track through the reserve
The walking tracks criss-cross the reserve and can be accessed from most sides of the park. Several walks are described here
, along with a downloadable brochure. The walks range from less than a kilometre to 2.7 km, or you can make your own walk along the many paths. The paths are easy to follow and include sections of boardwalks as well as sandy/dirt tracks.
The bushland reserve
The paths pass through picturesque forest vegetation, including areas with a more open and grassy undergrowth on the slopes, and a denser shrubby and fern-dominated undergrowth closer to the creek line and gullies. The bushland is part of the foothills of the Strzelecki Ranges.
Heading down through a gully
A dedicated parking area
with information signs is located off Coalville Road to the north east.
For the enthusiastic naturalist, there's a great list of the birds and plants found in the reserve on the information board at the main carpark. This includes a huge variety of native orchids and a range of native fern species. It's a great spot for nature photography and bird watching.
An impressive list of birds and plants
As well as walking and exploring, the reserve is also a lovely place for a picnic. There are picnic areas at the main carpark off Coalville Road and next to the reservoir.
One of the many picnic spots
The reserve is named after Edward Hunter, who was a local shire councillor from the 1920s to the 1940s and highly regarded for his dedication and service to the Moe community. The interpretive signs provide a fascinating history of the reserve. The reservoir in the reserve once supplied water to the Moe Railway station for passing steam trains. Once the rail was electrified and the water no longer needed for steam trains, the reservoir served as the town's swimming pool, complete with kiosk and a three-metre high diving tower.
During the 1940s and 1950s it was used for swimming carnivals and even beauty pageants, but its use declined once a proper outdoor pool was built in 1960. Check out some great olden-day photos of people swimming in the reservoir here
See here if you're interested about volunteering
in the reserve.