With 15-metre high sandstone cliffs and indigenous grasslands, Moorpanyal Park is a hidden treasure of inner Corio Bay with 1.5 kilometres of pristine coastal frontage.
Local Wadawurrung people used the rocky shoreline below the cliffs to make fish traps and collect scallops and mussels.
Sixty years ago Moorpanyal Park was an industrial site, and for many years part of the Port of Geelong.
Since 2004 the City of Greater Geelong in conjunction with the North Shore Residents Group Inc. has undertaken extensive rehabilitation and revegetation works.
More than 70,000 indigenous grasses, groundcovers, trees and shrubs have been planted along the cliff top. The plants are being protected and allowed to spread along the top of the exposed cliffs to restore the area to its former original condition.
A gravel pathway protects the vegetation from pedestrian traffic.
Water quality has improved due to the installation of a major gross pollutant trap that collects most of the pollutants that are washed down stormwater drains in the North Shore industrial and residential precincts.
Seagrass beds are now regenerating, also contributing to the health of the bay as well as being vital nursery grounds for spawning fish.
As Moorpanyal Park becomes an important biodiversity site because of its ‘oasis’ location it also is a good source of indigenous seed collection for other projects in the north.
Visitors can walk the cliff top pathways, or picnic using the new barbecues and table settings. There are new toilets and a recently upgraded playground for young children.
For those with limited mobility, the lookout car parking bays provide a close up view of ships entering Lascelles Wharf.
Keep an eye out for flocks of Crested Terns on the sand along the foreshore. Pacific Gulls and Cormorants may be seen roosting on the jetties and fishing platforms.
The North Shore Residents Group has been the driving force for change, dedicated to their vision of turning this industrial and neglected foreshore into a well-managed and cared for coastal reserve. We continue to work with the volunteers on the revegetation program and the park’s long term management.