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Edwards Point Reserve

Home > Geelong > Day Trips | Environment | Free | Nature | Outdoor
by Lucy Graham (subscribe)
I'm a Melbourne based freelance writer with a diverse portfolio including performing arts articles and reviews, human interest stories, and social comment. Visit my blog for an overview
Published September 20th 2021
Visit the last remaining coastal woodland on the Bellarine
Edwards Point Reserve
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.

Woodland track
Woodland track on a sand spit

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.

Edwards Point carpark
Start your walk at the carpark on Beach Road

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.

Edwards Point Reserve
An easy flat walking track, although narrow and sandy at times

The track is easy and flat, although occasionally narrow, sandy sections mean it's unsuitable for wheelchairs or prams.

Edwards Point Reserve
Narrow sections are not accessible for prams or wheelchairs

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.

Lagoon at Edwards Point
Lagoons dry out in the dry months

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.

boardwalk across the salt marsh
A boardwalk transports you over the salt marsh

These lagoons are not tidal, and periodically dry out, leaving a salty crust. It is habitat that has largely disappeared from the rest of Port Phillip Bay.

Saltmarsh, Edwards Point
Critically endangered Orange-Bellied parrot feeds here in winter

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.

beaded glasswort
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.

Lagoon towards Swan Bay
Watch predatory birds hunt over the lagoon

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).

Two-Bays Lookout sign
Add 2km to your walk by continuing on the Two Bays Lookout track

Please check the tidal forecast to ensure your return along the Port Phillip Bay side is trouble-free.

Edwards Point Reserve
Turn left to return along the beach at low-tide

Once you reach the beach, take a moment to sit on the wooden bench seat, soak up the wildness in the breeze, and enjoy the outlook across Swan Bay and Port Phillip Bay.

Edwards Point Reserve
The woodlands open up to Port Phillip Bay
Edwards Point Reserve
Take breather on the bench seat
Edwards Point Reserve
Take a moment to soak up the "wildness"

Beach walkers can observe the ways the environment has shaped the flora here.

Edwards Point Reserve
Walk the beach back to the carpark at low-tide

Sea rocket and hairy spinifex along the way minimise erosion of the sand spit.

Edwards Point Reserve
Take in the last coastal woodland on the Bellarine

If you're lucky enough, you might see Pied and Sooty Oyster Catchers feeding along the beach at low tide. We were lucky enough to see a White-Bellied Sea Eagle going about its business.

White-bellied sea eagle, edwards Point reserve
A white-bellied sea eagle goes about its business

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.

Edwards Point Reserve
Gnarled flora shaped by the environment

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Why? Visit the last remaining coastal-woodland on the Bellarine Peninsula
When: anytime
Where: Edwards Point Reserve, Bellarine Peninsula, Victoria
Cost: free
Your Comment
So sad to hear this is the last remaining coastal woodland in the area. Makes you realise how close we come to having none at all.
by Gayle Beveridge-Marien (score: 4|10397) 491 days ago
what a beautiful coastal walk
by Gillian Ching (score: 3|6128) 492 days ago
Most informative and interesting article Lucy. It looks like an easy walk with plenty to see. Nice photos and I love those boardwalks.
by Neil Follett (score: 3|4540) 492 days ago
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