The Western Treatment Plant is one of the most popular sites for birdwatching in Victoria, with 284 species recorded at the site. You must apply for a permit to birdwatch at the plant.
To access the site, you need to:
- have a current permit and access key (if required)
- be 18 years or older to be eligible for a permit
- register with us each time you intend to visit (call (03) 9325 2525)
- have access to a car to reach the vast permit areas
- use your permit for only one car per visit (the driver and up to four guests)
- wear long sleeves, long pants and closed shoes when onsite
- have a mobile phone when onsite
- not visit the site on total fire ban days (check the Country Fire Authority website before you visit)
As of Wednesday 21 February 2018 access to the Western Treatment Plant office complex will change. The new entry and exit point to the Western Treatment Plant will now be via Exploration Avenue off Geelong Road/Princes Highway, between New Farm Road and Newmarket Road. Melbourne Water signage will be in place to safely guide you through the new access point.
The Western Treatment Plant has two types of birdwatching permits:
- long-term permits
- short-term permits (for once-off interstate and international visitors)
Long-term permits are valid for 2 years from the date of application. They are available for the general and special access areas marked on the birdwatching access map:
If you are applying for a special access area permit, you must attend a 1 hour health and safety induction at the Western Treatment Plant before the permit can be issued.
|General access||Special access|
General access area plus an area close to our sewage treatment works, which includes:
|Entry points||Gates 1 to 6||Gate 8, plus Gates 1 to 6 for general access area|
Short-term permits are only given to once-off visitors from interstate and overseas, who must provide valid identification. Access keys must be returned before 4pm on the same day they are issued.
Apply online and collect your short-term permits from:
- Werribee Visitor Information Centre (located at the Werribee Zoo)
Monday to Sunday, 9am–5pm
(03) 8734 6006 or email [email protected]
- Western Treatment Plant
Monday to Friday, 9am–4pm
131 722 or email [email protected]
Application and payment
Before you apply for a birdwatching permit, make sure you read and understand the following documents:
Please note: A permit and an access key is required to access the site. Permit only (no key) applications are only available in some circumstances. If you have any queries, please contact us.
A long-term permit (two years) costs $20 and an access key is available for a refundable deposit of $50. We accept online credit card payments. Please allow 14 days for processing and postage.
|Permit type||Collection method|
|Long-term permit (general access)||Your permit and access key will be mailed to your postal address via registered post.|
|Long-term permit (special access)
||You must attend a site health and safety induction before you can receive your permit and access key. We will contact you to arrange an appointment once we receive your application.|
Bring valid identification and collect your short-term permit and loan access key from either:
|Long-term permit renewal||
Your renewed permit will be mailed to your postal address.
To register your birdwatching visit, call +613 9325 2525.
Western Treatment Plant
New Farm Road
Werribee VIC 3030
Western Treatment Plant
PO Box 4342
Melbourne VIC 3001