The reserve is a great place to see how the Bellarine Peninsula once looked. It is only a small reserve but it is an important refuge for native plants and animal species.
The Coastal Manna Gums take a low growing and twisted form - typical of coastal woodlands due to the poor soils which are remnants of old sand dunes. The small rises and well-drained slopes around the basin are scattered with Black She-oak and Austral Grasstree which give the place a distinctive feel. The regionally significant Nodding Green Hood Orchid can also be found by keen eyes.
Noisy Miners are busy in the tree canopy with their alarming calls, and parrots such as the Red Rumped Parrot make use of the dead braches and hollows of the larger and older gums. A more solitary Grey Butcher Bird might be seen with an insect or other small prey. Wrens take cover among the diverse shrub layer.
The basin is a small ephemeral wetland which means it naturally only holds water for some of the year. At this time of the year the sedges and dried moss beds at the base of the shallow bowl will usually be the only sign of water. In winter and spring the small wetland comes alive with waterbirds and a chorus of frogs.
A small trail runs around the reserve and makes a good circuit walk. The basin-shape of the reserve keeps views contained which allows you to imagine how it was connected to a wider landscape.
There are a number of places along the trail to pause and take in the surroundings. A stairway leads down to a viewing platform and seating area above the wetland sedges. Further along a bench seat provides a more elevated view. On the north western side of the reserve a platform gives views over the sloping volcanic plains of the peninsula and waters of Corio Bay with the You Yangs in the distance. A perfect place to consider how the landscape has changed.
Unfortunately the reserve hosts Cinnamon Fungus - a disease which can cause dieback in many plants, particularly the Austral Grasstree. Please stay to the tracks and clean mud from shoes before entering or leaving the reserve.
- Take a plant book or bird guide and enjoy getting to know some of the local residents.
- Please stay on the tracks to help protect flora from the Cinnamon Fungus disease.
- Please clean up after your dog and use a lead in the reserve.
- The reserve has rabbit proof fencing – please keep the gates closed.
Entry and car parking from Belchers Road, Drysdale.
There is also access and limited parking on Basin Road.