Sparrovale Wetlands Reserve - Ngubitj yoorree is a large 500-hectare area next to the Barwon River and Lake Connewarre State Game Reserve. The City of Greater Geelong bought it in 2019 to protect important wetlands and manage stormwater for the Armstrong Creek Urban Growth Area.

In 2020, the City started working with Deakin University to check water quality and study water flow in the wetlands. This research helps us take good care of the wetland.

The Council approved the Sparrovale Wetlands Reserve - Ngubitj yoorree Masterplan in July 2021. This plan guides us in conserving the area, managing stormwater, and creating open space for the next 20 years.

The Wadawurrung people gave the reserve its co-name, Ngubitj yoorree, which means wetlands. This area has long been important to the Wadawurrung, who still have a strong connection to it.

Right now, we have closed some areas of the site as it changes from farming to restoration.

In the late 1840s, the site became the Geelong Racecourse, and the first Geelong Cup was held there in 1872. The racecourse moved in 1905, and the area became Sparrovale Farm, named after E.R. Sparrow of the Geelong Racing Club. In the 1930s, private owners bought the farm.

Flora and fauna

Sparrovale wetlands provide a home for many birds, like sharp-tailed sandpipers, whiskered terns, ducks, herons, stilts, and the iconic brolga. The wetlands and plants are also important for frogs and fish.

Together with Lake Connewarre and Hospital Swamps, Sparrovale is part of the largest area of native vegetation in the Geelong region. It has many types of plants, including salt marsh, sub-saline marsh, lignum swamp, and freshwater wetlands.

We aim to restore and protect these wetlands by managing them carefully, focusing on monitoring and using our findings to improve practices.

Sparrovale-Nubitj yoorree Wetlands Master Plan

The Sparrovale-Nubitj yoorree Wetlands Master Plan was adopted at the 27 July 2023 Council Meeting. The Master Plan and its history is located on our Have Your Say platform.

Upcoming events

See what local environmental and conservation events are coming up.


View our dog walking map to find where you can walk your dog off leash.