Birdwatching near Melbourne
The permanent water and high-nutrient levels of sewage farms make them brilliant bird habitats and, for many years, the 11 000-hectare treatment plant at Werribee has been recognised as being in the top ten birdwatching spots in the country. It is a haven for tens of thousands of birds from more than 270 species, including the critically endangered orange-bellied parrot. There are currently no birdwatching tours on the site, but you can apply in advance for a permit to visit through Melbourne Water. Most longterm permits are for local birdwatchers who visit regularly, but interstate visitors can get a day pass.
The 227-hectare Serendip Sanctuary at Lara has excellent bird hides to spot some of the 150-plus bird species found in the wetlands and open grass woodlands there, including brolgas, bustards and blue-billed ducks. Some easy short walks link the habitats, and the picnic area has free electric barbecues. The sanctuary is managed by Parks Victoria.
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