Local community park. Seaview Park has a playground, good shade and a kick about space.
Seaview Park in Belmont is a hidden and important reserve for its floristic and geological features – although one that you’d be quite likely to miss unless you know what to look for!
The reserve provides a superb example of a limestone grassland – an unusual vegetation community, only known to be on five sites across Victoria. Four of these sites are in Geelong, with one at Stawell in western Victoria.
The limestone originates from a time when sea levels were higher and Barwon Valley (present day Belmont and Highton) was a coastal area. Limestone develops when layers of small, dead marine creatures build up releasing carbonate from their shells in shallow marine settings. This debris slowly cements itself into what we see as limestone.
Today’s vegetation is a largely grassy landscape, dominated by Kangaroo Grass (Themeda triandra), Wallaby Grass (Austrodanthonia sp.) and various Spear grasses (Austrostipa sp.). Scattered throughout are a range of wildflowers including Smooth Rice Flower (Pimelea glauca), Silky Guinea Flower (Hibbertia sericea) and New Holland Daisy (Vittadinia cuneata). Clues to the marine origins of the area are evident in the presence of Coastal Wirilda (Acacia uncifolia), Coast Flax Lily (Dianella brevicaulis) also Slender Speedwell (Veronica gracilis).
This mixture of plants shows that the land is what is described as an ‘ecotone’ – a place where different vegetation communities mix. In this case, the area is a combination of classic volcanic plains basalt grassland and remnant coastal grassland - generated through the changes in sea levels and the remnant rock left underneath.
The reserve has been a focus of the Geelong Field Naturalists Club. The club has installed several interpretative signs alongside the walking track. The reserve is managed by Council with integrated weed management including spraying, handweeding and burning. It is at its best in October / November each year when the wildflowers are out, and is especially attractive in the Spring following a burn.
Tips when visiting:
Drop in for a short walk and discover some of the local plants and animals.
View the Barwon River from the park seats on the top of the escarpment.
Park at Seaview Parade, Belmont for easy access to views, seating and the walking path, which extends down the slope and meets the Macintyre footbridge over the Barwon River