Belmont Common   La Trobe Tce, Belmont

Belmont Common

Belmont Common is a hive of activity. Dozens of different bird species flock to its Jerringot Wetlands beside the Barwon River. Nearby, golfers enjoy a game in the picturesque surroundings of the Barwon Valley course.

On weekends, the many sporting ovals are alive with cricket and football. And then there are the motor-cross and BMX tracks and the rifle range. On Sundays, a market at the Barwon Valley Activity Centre attracts the crowds.

While it is often an active place, visitors can take a relaxing stroll along the river's banks to enjoy the wetlands' tranquillity and the riverside scenery.

The common has an interesting history. Birds of another feather were once housed there when part of the common was an aerodrome. Pioneer aviator Charles Pratt, a New Zealander, leased the common in 1919 and established an aerodrome. Pratt and his brothers ran the business for many years.

In 1928, 10,000 Geelong residents turned up at the aerodrome to welcome famous Australian aviator Bert Hinkler who had just completed a 16-day England-Australia flight.

At the outbreak of the Second World War, the government took over the aerodrome and Pratt's aircraft, and Pratt, went on to train Royal Australian Air Force pilots. The common aerodrome remained until the early 1950s.
In the late 1960s, Belmont Common was home to a local steam preservation society that operated steam trains along a short length of track. The operation later moved to Queenscliff and has developed into a major visitor attraction.

The Belmont Common occupies a large tract of land between Barwon Heads Road and the Barwon River in Belmont .