A city girl moved to the country. A Diploma in Horticulture (Parks and Gardens), a Diploma in Fashion Design (pattern making), a degree in Communication (Journalism)...the perpetual student of life
Published June 16th 2013
Leave no bridge unturned
A daily commute or an occasional foray into the west over the Westgate Bridge carries a driver far above a hidden natural beauty spot.
The Stony Creek Backwash Nature Reserve is a lovely example of how our natural biodiversity can co-exist with the modern industrial age.
With the low buzz of traffic overhead it is possible to realise a sense of peace and tranquillity when you are walking across the boardwalk towards the grassed area by the edge of the water.
Signage along this boardwalk alerts the visitor to the fact the area is home to an amazingly large variety of birdlife including: the Australian Grebe, Royal Spoonbill, Great Egret, and the Dusky Moorhen.
While I was there I had the privilege of seeing a pair of Black Swans, who mate for life, foraging along the mudflats, and also a Royal Spoonbill nesting by the water's edge.
After a large oil spill in the 1980's the mangrove forest growing along the tidal flats was decimated, but it is being carefully managed and is returning to its full potential for supporting the area's biodiversity.
The park at the end of the boardwalk is frequented by people trying their luck with the fish in the Yarra and also affords a spectacular view of the city skyline.
Container ships, Tug Boats and pleasure craft slide by and make their way under the Westgate Bridge and out to Port Phillip Bay.
Parking to get to the site is under the Westgate Bridge on Douglas Parade which is also the site of the Westgate Memorial Park. This memorial is dedicated to remembering the lives of workers killed in Industrial accidents, especially the Westgate Collapse in 1970 in which 35 workers lost their lives.
The entrance to the boardwalk to get to Stony Creek Backwash is a short walk towards Footscray along Hyde St.
Both the Westgate Memorial Park and Stony Creek Backwash can serve as reminders to get out into our environment and to appreciate the beauty of our surrounds.