The Western Treatment Plant is one of the most popular sites for birdwatching in Victoria. You must have approval to birdwatch at the plant – find out how to apply, and other site access requirements.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) update:
In line with Victorian State Government lockdown restrictions, the Western Treatment Plant is closed to birdwatching visitors. The closure will remain in place until restrictions ease, expected after 2 September 2021. View announcement on YourSay
From May 2021 General and Special Access permits have been combined into one application, allowing newly-approved birdwatchers access to all areas marked on the birdwatching access map (PDF, 567KB).
There are two types of birdwatching access available:
- long-term access ($70) – valid for two years, and includes a $20 access fee and $50 refundable key deposit
- short-term access ($20) – valid for one visit, and available only to interstate and overseas visitors who provide valid identification.
Access-only (no key) applications are only available in some circumstances.
Once your access application has been approved, you will be able to visit all areas marked on the birdwatching access map (PDF, 567KB). Please ensure you and your guests adhere to the terms and conditions of your birdwatching access each time you visit.
Site access conditions
To visit the site, you must:
- have access to a car to reach the vast areas available to you
- use your permit for only one vehicle per visit (the driver can take up to one car load of guests)
- check the Country Fire Authority website beforehand – and cancel your visit on Total Fire Ban days.
While on site:
- abide by current Victorian government coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions and Melbourne Water’s COVIDSafe requirements, set out below
- wear long sleeves, long pants and closed shoes
- carry a mobile phone, so we can contact you in an emergency.
Under our COVIDSafe requirements, while on site you must also:
- upon entering the site, all birdwatchers are expected to individually sign in by scanning a QR code. Signage explaining this process is positioned at each entrance. Birdwatchers do not need to register their visit through our Customer Service Centre.
- maintain physical distancing: keep at least 1.5 metres between yourself and others. Do not congregate in large groups.
- sanitise touch points before and after use. Supply and use your own handwashing products – we do not provide sanitiser, soap, water or hand towels.
- take all rubbish home with you.
Application and payment
Ready to apply? Use our online form below to renew, apply or pay for access, or get a replacement access key. As part of the application process you’ll also need to complete an online safety induction, which takes approximately 10 minutes.
You must be 18 years or older to be eligible for birdwatching access, and ensure you read and understand the following documents:
Please allow up to 28 days for processing your application and mailing your access key.
Access key collection
Key collection arrangements will depend on your application type:
- Long-term access applicants will have keys mailed to their postal address, via registered post.
- Short-term access applicants must bring valid identification to the Werribee Visitor Information Centre (see address below) to collect their loan key, and return it before 4pm the same day.
Existing access renewals will be confirmed via email.
For birdwatching queries: