Both experienced twitchers and beginner birdwatchers can try their luck spotting hundreds of different bird species – some rare and endangered – amongst Melbourne's wetlands, rivers and creeks.
COVID-19 update: As a precautionary measure, we will close all birdwatching areas effective immediately and as a result we are temporarily not issuing long term birdwatching permits, short term permits or conducting birdwatching inductions until further notice.
We thank you for your patience and understanding during this time and will work hard to ensure any changes are minimal as we continue to deliver our services. If you have any questions or concerns please contact us via email or telephone 131 722. For more information, read more about Melbourne Water's response to COVID-19 here.
Western Treatment Plant
The Western Treatment Plant is one of the most popular sites for birdwatching in Victoria, with 284 species of birds recorded there from south-eastern Australia and the east Asia.
The plant's lagoons, grasslands and coastline provide an ideal and varied habitat for birds with a permanent water supply, plenty of food, and little interference from humans.
You must apply for a permit to birdwatch at the Western Treatment Plant, and all visits must be registered.
Eastern Treatment Plant
The Eastern Treatment Plant is home to a large native bird population, including many species of regional, state and national significance.
The plant provides habitat for large numbers of migratory waders. These birds arrive around August then leave for the northern hemisphere between February and May. Some travel up to 24,000 kilometres a year.
Monthly four-hour bird counts at the plant are organised by Birdlife Australia — contact them to register your interest in taking part.
The Edithvale–Seaford Wetland is the largest remaining natural wetland of its kind in the Port Phillip and Westernport region. It is estimated that at any one time, up to 7,000 birds call the wetland their home.
The wetland features:
- an education display at the Edithvale–Seaford Wetland Education Centre
- an extensive walking and bicycle track around the outside of both wetlands
- elevated platforms across the area
You do not need a permit to bird watch at the wetland.
Other birdwatching locations
The Yarra River and Mullum-Mullum Creek also offer good opportunities for spotting feathered friends.