Wetland Wanderings - Lake Lorne

Brochure 4 in the series covering information on Wetland Wanderings.

Lake Lorne located on the urban edge of Drysdale, is a magic spot to visit, a place that gives you a very close look at a wetland environment.

This very significant wetland environment is home to many bird species and is also a great place to stop and unwind with a walk and appreciate what is in our environmental backyard.


Lake Lorne is located west of the Drysdale Township and immediately adjacent to the Old Drysdale Station on the Geelong/Queenscliff Railway line.

Site description

Lake Lorne is a Crown Land Reserve with the City of Greater Geelong having Committee of Management responsibilities.

It is a natural freshwater lake of approximately 12 hectares in size.

The lake occupies a depression probably formed by the dissolution of the underlying Curlewis limestone.

Substantial variation in water level may occur in the lake, often sowing a lag in the response to prevailing climatic conditions.  After periods of high rainfall, water levels may not rise until some considerable time later and substantial water levels may persist into very dry periods.  The central part of the lake is shallow, forming an island when water levels are very low.

In the early 1980s parts of the lake were deepened and a higher island was built with the spoil to provide a safe refuge for waterfowl.

Map of the Lake Lorne area showing points of interest plus four images
Click to Enlarge Image

Biodiversity values

The Workers for Wetlands Community Group have installed a large number of nesting boxes within the lake.  These boxes have proven very popular with the birds and large numbers of ducklings have been raised over many years.

A diverse range of aquatic vegetation exists which provides cover for aquatic arthropods providing a food source for many waterfowl.  Black Swans, Coots and Purple Swamphens also use the aquatic vegetation for building and supporting their nests.

The lake shores slope gently so when the water level falls a border of bare mud is exposed, supporting important wader species.

The parklands that surround the lake include extensive grassed areas and plantings of native indigenous and exotic vegetation.  The City has been undertaking an on-going program of weed and exotic vegetation removal and complimenting this with revegetation using species such as Red Gums and Swamp Gums.

The lake supports a large and diverse population of waterbirds including several which have special conservation status.  These include Freckled Ducks and Blue-Billed Ducks.

The lake is especially important for Blue-Billed Ducks as both a regular breeding site and a drought refuge.

The trees on the island in the lake are used as roost sites by large numbers of waterbirds.  These include Little Black Cormorant, Egrets, Australian White Ibis and Straw-necked Ibis.

Ducks and other waterbirds occur at Lake Lorne throughout the year; a number of species appear to be residents.

It provides an important role as a drought refuge for waterbirds.  It is also important as a refuge from hunting during the open season.

The Workers for Wetlands and Geelong Fields Naturalists Club have a strong interest in this lake and have a significant amount of information available regarding birds and the next box program.    

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