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Published September 20th 2021
Visit the last remaining coastal woodland on the Bellarine
Tucked away alongside Swan Bay sits an environmental treasure. Edwards Point Reserve is a 4km long sand spit and the last remaining coastal woodland on the Bellarine Peninsula. Visitors to this significant bird conservation site can experience salt marsh, dune vegetation, mudflats and beach habitats.
Edwards Point provides vital habitat for waterbirds, migratory waders and birds of conservation significance. These include the critically endangered orange-bellied parrot, little tern, fairy tern, Lewin's rail, white-bellied sea eagle, eastern curlew, Pacific golden plover, double-banded plover and grey plover.
Begin your walk at the Beach Road carpark. The track begins just back from the beach and takes you across the sand spit through the tea-tree and Wirilda bushland. These woodlands are home to diverse birdlife, as well as reptiles, and bats who roost in the cracks, and under the bark of branches.
An easy flat walking track, although narrow and sandy at times
After about 1km, the soft, sandy track reaches a boardwalk providing views across a large lagoon. This area provides crucial feeding opportunities for the critically endangered orange-bellied parrot who feed around glasswort scrubland.
Some species of migratory waders travel more than 10,000kms from the northern hemisphere, to feed here in summer, before returning north to breed. Swamp harriers and black-shouldered kites hover over the lagoon, hunting prey.
The best time to spot an orange-bellied parrot here is in winter. Orange-bellied parrots breed solely on the south west coast on Tasmania, and the entire population crosses Bass Strait to spend winter in a handful of locations along the south-eastern coast of mainland Australia.
Abundant beaded glasswort provide food for orange-bellied parrots
In 2016-17 breeding season only 16 individual birds were counted – 13 males and 3 females. With a concerted captive breeding program, the wild population had recovered to 118 birds in 2020. The plight of the orange-bellied parrot remains critical, but thanks to captive breeding efforts, there are now in excess of 300 birds.
At the "Two-Bays Lookout Walk" sign, you can either continue walking the Two Bays walk, a 6km round trip back to the carpark, or alternatively swing left to make your return to the carpark along the beach at low tide (3.4km round trip).
Add 2km to your walk by continuing on the Two Bays Lookout track
There is a picnic table at the carpark, but no toilet facilities or water supply. Your best bet for relief, and refreshments, is St Leonards township, 4.5km up the coast. Given the environmental sensitivity of the area, all dogs must be leashed at all times, and you need to take your rubbish home.