Wetland Wanderings - Limeburners Bay

Brochure 2 in the series covering information on Wetland Wanderings.

Welcome to Limeburners Bay, a special spot that lies between Hovells Creek and Corio Bay and is home to many native plants and animals.  It is a favoured feeding, roosting and resting habitat for a wide range of water and wading birds.

Get out, stretch your legs and take in the natural surrounds that make Limeburners a special spot to visit.


Limeburners Bay is located north of Geelong on Foreshore Road adjacent to Geelong Grammar School.

Site description

Limeburners Bay is a broad and sandy estuarine inlet with high conservation values, located on the northern shore of Corio Bay where Hovells Creek enters from its primarily rural catchment.

The Bay is characterised by open, shallow tidal water, which supports a high diversity of birdlife, with particular species giving the area status under the internationally recognised Ramsar Convention.

Limeburners Bay has been included in the Werribee-Avalon area listed as a Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention; Limeburners has been given a State Significance rating under this listing.

Map of the Limeburners Bay area showing points of interest plus four photos for illustration
Click to Enlarge Image

Biodiversity values

The shorelines and sandy spits are important feeding and roosting environments for a diverse range of birdlife.  The inlet also supports large beds of seagrass plants that exist in the shallow inlet waters, which also provide important bird feeding ground and fish nursery habitat.

A wide range of coastal and wetland flora species survive on the shores of the tidal inlet and creek, with regionally significant stands of White Mangrove lining the shores of Hovells Creek.

A diverse range of flora and fauna remains in relatively pristine condition in certain areas, along with diverse passive recreational activities, cultural values and sites of geological interest.

Relatively intact stands of Shrubby Glasswort, Beaded Glasswort and Chaffy Saw-Sedge communities also contribute to its importance as a conservation area in the region.

The Chaffy Saw-sedge Saline herbfield is located in the low lying floodplain of Hovells Creek.  Chaffy Saw-Sedge provides habitat for the uncommon Altona Skipper Butterfly.  It is nominated as being a potential feeding ground for the threatened Orange-Bellied parrot and there are records of the rare waterbird, Lewins Rail in this community area.

Whilst Limeburners Bay is not a recognised ‘winter stonghold’ for the Orange-Bellied Parrot, there is suitable habitat available in this site for them to utilise the area.  The Parrots use shingle and sand spits, saline shrublands and saline herbfield/shrubland habitats.  They are known to rely on the seeds and fruits of a narrow range of sedgeland and heathland plants in its breeding habitat and upon saltmarsh coastal shoreline plants on its migratory route.

Threats to the Orange-Bellied Parrot are the loss of winter habitat and food supply through development or damage, competition with othe birds for food and nest sites, predators and possibly disease.

Another special species that is known to use the Limeburners area is the Fairy Tern.  They commonly nest on the banks offshore, estuarine islands.  They nest in shallow scrapes in the sand, with the breeding season from August to September.  They feed close in-shore on small schooling fish -  Anchovy, Pilchard, Hardy Heads, Blue Sprats and Sandy Sprats.

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