Wetland Wanderings - Avalon

Brochure 1 in the series covering information on Wetland Wanderings.

Welcome to the unique area of Avalon.  Avalon and the surrounding wetland areas are recognised as wetlands of regional, state, national and international significance.  During your visit you will see various bird species and vegetation providing habitat.

Stretch your legs, take a walk and admire the natural surroundings that are very unique to Avalon.


Avalon is accessed via the Princes Freeway approximately 7km to the north, Pousties and Dandos Roads to the west and north and directly via Avalon Raod which extends from the freeway.

Avalon is located on a coastal expanse of the western basalt plain of Victoria.  It is situated on the northern shores of Corio Bay adjacent to Limeburners Bay, and is south-west of Melbourne and north-east of Geelong.

Site description

The Avalon Wetland is a renowned bird watching site.

The site forms part of the Port Phillip Bay (Western Shoreline) and Bellarine Peninsula Ramsar site and is listed under the convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971).  These wetlands provide important habitat for migratory birds, waterfowl and endangered species and sustain significant proportions of the Australian population of these species.

The site is habitat for species listed under an international agreement for the conservation of plants and animals.  For example:  The Japan-Australia Migratory Bird Agreement (JAMBA), the China-Australia Migratory Bird Agreement (CAMBA) and the convention of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (the BONN Convention).

Map of the Avalon area showing points of interest plus three photos for illustration
Click to Enlarge Image

Biodiversity values

The Avalon wetland system contains a variety of habitats, including large areas of intertidal mudflat and seagrass beds, extensive areas of saltmarch, small stands of White Mangrove, reed beds, salt evaporation lagoons of the Avalon saltworks and the grass filtration paddocks and sewerage treatment lagoons of the Werribee Treatment Complex.

These wetlands are highly significant for waterbirds.  Over 85 waterbird species have been recorded at this wetland.

The fauna values at Avalon Beach are of considerable significance.  Notable fauna include the Altona Skipper Butterfly and many species of birds.  Of great significance is the Orange-bellied Parrot which feeds on the saltmarsh vegetation, upon its migration from south-west Tasmania, during the late autumn and winter months.  This species is significantly prone to future threats likely to result in extinction unless measures are taken to protect the habitats it depends on for survival.

Threatened species which have been sighed at Avalon Beach include:

  • Orange-bellied parrot
  • Little Tern
  • Fairy Tern
  • Freckled Duck
  • Pacific Gull
  • Painted Snipe
  • Lewin’s Rail
  • Brolga
  • Cape Barren Goose
  • White-bellied Sea Eagle
  • Australian Bitton
  • Blue Billed Duck and
  • Ballion’s Crake

Inland swamps and lakes, intertidal zones and estuarine areas represent important breeding and feeding habitat to a diverse range of bird species, some of which are threatened either on a Statewide or National basis.  Remnant areas of native grassland, mangroves and saltmarch fields provide for a variety of native fauna.

Some of the notable flora that occurs at Avalon includes the Salt Club-sedge and Grey Glasswort which are both unusual for the region.

Logos of sponsor organisations: action Salinity & Water Australia, Corangamite Catchment Management Authority, Geelong Region Wetlands Project and Parks Victoria

A project sponsored by the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality program. A joint Initiative of the Victorian and Australian Governments.

This site is part of the Wetland Wanderings Ecotour. Each wetland site has its own brochure highlighting the features of the site in more detail. Some sites may be drive by only and some are close to a parking bay so you can stop, read the site information from the selected brochure and go for a wander around the wetland.

Happy Wetland Wandering.

Page last updated: Monday, 9 December 2019