Managed by Parks Victoria, the Lake Connewarre State Game Reserve is one of Victoria’s most significant wetland areas and one of the largest estuaries in the state.

The Barwon River and associated lakes, swamps and floodplains connected to Lake Connewarre have estuarine fauna not found elsewhere along the Victorian coast. In particular, they include species specially adapted to saltwater and freshwater conditions.

About this wetland
Lake Connewarre is a large, shallow, estuarine lagoon linked to the sea by the mangrove-fringed channel of the Lower Barwon River. It contains a diverse range of wetlands and vegetation including mangrove and saltmarsh communities.

It features a variety of swamps, marshes, lakes and river areas and provides habitat to a wide range fauna. It is also the largest area of native vegetation on the Bellarine Peninsula.

What to look for 
In total, 149 bird species have been recorded in the reserve and the area regularly hosts 10,000 ducks and swans, as well as 1 per cent of the Australian population of Chestnut Teal. 

Other birds to look out for include:
Caspian Terns 
Eurasian Coot
Orange-bellied Parrot – these birds may be found on the extensive stands of saltmarsh in <when>
Straw-necked Ibis
Yellow-billed Spoonbills
Three species of cormorant

The lower reaches of the Barwon River in particular attract flocks, which commonly include:
Common Greenshank
Pacific Golden Plover
Curlew Sandpiper
Red-necked Stint

Lake Connewarre is home to some rare plant communities including Australian Salt- grass grasslands, Silky Watsonia herbland, Poa grassland and Melaleuca scrub.

The lake also harbours extensive seagrass meadows, which provide important spawning and nursery sites for fish.

Things to do
There are several entry points to the lake, but only some sections feature walking paths.
For a good viewing spot, head east and turn left into Stacey’s Road (before you reach the Barwon Heads airport), then follow the road down to the end.

Free carpark
Environmental values