Immerse yourself in nature at the Edithvale-Seaford Wetland Education Centre – whether out walking through the internationally-significant Ramsar wetlands, or learning about them in our award-winning sustainable building.
Schools, tertiary institutions and community groups can visit the centre as part of our education program – find out what we offer and how to make a booking enquiry.
Bookings for 2021
We’re currently taking bookings for:
- a virtual experience of the wetlands and urban water cycle (designed for schools and community groups)
- small group and school tours, including wetland observation and education sessions (subject to Victorian Government COVID requirements).
To register your interest, send an email with your school, class level, number of students and possible dates to [email protected].
A wetland of international importance
At any one time, as many as 7,000 birds can be found at the Edithvale-Seaford Wetlands – the last remnant of the 4,000-hectare Carrum Carrum Swamp. It is as biodiversity hotspot, home to a number of protected bird and plant species, and a great example of nature thriving within an urban setting.
Learn more about this special place:
- Edithvale-Seaford Wetlands and their significance, including video tour
- Wetlands video series featuring its plants, animals and history.
An environmentally-sustainable building
Overlooking the wetlands, our education centre was built to demonstrate sustainable building design. It has a number of features to help reduce water and energy consumption, including:
- rainwater tanks that supply all of the building’s water
- waterless composting toilets, which are safer for the surrounding wetland than a septic system
- solar panels providing some of the centre’s energy
- angled, double-glazed windows that allow plenty of light to enter, prevent the centre from overheating, and discourage birds from flying into them by reflecting the ground instead of the sky
- automatic lighting and a heating and venting system that automatically responds to temperature levels.
Our education program
Our education program involves a one- or two-hour session with an experienced educator, tailored to each year level from Prep to Year 12.
The program is closely linked with the Victorian curriculum, and covers topics including:
- local indigenous heritage and European history
- plants and animals found at the wetlands
- how the wetland works as a natural filter, and the important role they plan in the urban water cycle
- the sustainable aspects of the centre.
- Foundation to Level 2
Our water world
Students take part in a water cycle activity, and learn how wetlands and the water we use in our city fit into the urban water cycle.
- Level 3 to 4
Students learn about the importance of water to the wetlands, and the role wetlands play in filtering and purifying water before it enters our bay. We use our unique Stormwater Interactive Model to explore how water makes its way through the catchment to the bay.
- Level 5 to 6
Where have all the wetlands gone?
Students will hear about the international significance of these wetlands, how they function and why we need to protect them. We will also look at some of the ways wading birds are adapted to life in the wetland. We use our unique Stormwater Interactive Model to explore how water makes its way through the catchment to the bay.
- Year 7
Water in the world
Students are given a unique opportunity to learn about the significance of the Edithvale-Seaford wetlands in the context of urban development.
We explore how water is managed in Melbourne to ensure a safe water supply, the treatment of waste water and the protection of our waterways. Students consider how water is managed to maintain Melbourne as one of the most liveable cities in the world into the future.
Each session is tailored to align with students’ unit of study in the following subject areas:
- Outdoor and Environmental Studies
- Environmental Science
Topics covered include:
- management of the wetland to protect its ecosystem values
- sustainable building design
- legislative protection for wetlands
- the urban water cycle.
Community groups will enjoy the opportunity to observe the beauty of the wetlands from the centre, while learning about the history of the area and how the wetlands are conserved and protected. This is also a great opportunity to brush up on bird watching skills.
- All ages
Stormwater Interactive Model (SIM) – Stormwater in our waterways
The Stormwater Interactive Model is an educational model of an urban catchment that demonstrates the impact of stormwater on our rivers, creeks and bays. Materials representing common pollutants are placed onto the scale model and a rainstorm is simulated. The water flows over the landscape, picking up pollutants along the way, washing them into our rivers and creeks and eventually into our bay.
Viewing platform walk
Students take a short walk to observe the wetlands more closely. There is an option to book a guided walk where students learn about aspects of the wetlands, including:
- senses of the wetlands (primary)
- protection and management
- land use and liveability
- drainage and flood protection.
We would like to acknowledge the Friends of Edithvale Seaford Wetlands and local teachers who have helped us develop the education programs for the centre.
Costs vary depending on the type of group and visit. Prices are quoted per person and include GST. Cancellations with less than 5 business days’ notice incur a $60 fee.
|Group type||Max. group size*||Cost per session||Min. booking fee|
|School groups (Prep-Year 9)||35||$4.00||$80|
|School groups (Years 10-12)||35||$8.00||$80|
|Combined with ETP visit (Years 7-12)||35||$14.00||$190|
*Note: Maximum group size includes all students, teachers and adult helpers. For larger groups, we recommend half the students attend the education centre while the others visit nearby attractions or undertake a self-guided wetland walk. The students can then swap for a second session.
Sessions for seniors include a guided two-hour session and light morning or afternoon tea.
Preparing for your visit
We are committed to the safety of all visitors to our sites. We ask that you strictly follow these safety rules at all times:
- follow the instructions of centre staff
- do not climb on or over railings
- do not run
- switch off mobile phones during sessions
- take care when operating interactive displays
- if visiting outdoor areas of the site, wear closed-toe, flat-soled shoes; a long sleeved top; long pants/trousers and clothing suitable for weather conditions.
Student supervision and discipline is the school’s responsibility. Teachers and adults accompanying school groups should actively supervise students at all times.
We reserve the right to cancel a booked activity and ask individuals or groups to leave the site immediately if any action or behaviour is unsafe.
- What to bring
It is important that students bring the following items when they visit the centre:
- plenty of drinking water, as there is none available on site
- rubbish-free packed snack or lunch, as there are no bins in the centre
- a broad-brimmed hat and sunscreen for warm days
- plenty of warm layers for cool days
- notepad, pens and pencils for taking notes and drawings.
- How to get there
The centre is located at 278 Edithvale Road, Chelsea Heights, VIC.
View our location on Google maps.
By car or bus
Via Eastlink: Take the Greens Road exit then turn left at Springvale Road. Drive past Wells Road and through the first roundabout. The education centre is 100 metres down the road on the left.
Via Nepean Highway: Turn left into Edithvale Road when you reach Edithvale. Drive through the wetlands until you see the education centre on your right. Continue driving further, u-turn at the roundabout and enter the car park, 100 metres on your left.
Catch the Frankston line train to Edithvale Station. Walk east down Edithvale Road and you will reach the wetlands. The education centre is located on your right at the east end of the wetlands. Walking time is approximately 15 to 20 minutes. There is also a bus that travels along Edithvale Road.
Parking is available for two buses at a drop-off zone in front of the centre along Edithvale Road, 100 metres from the roundabout and just after the entrance to the car park. Limited parking is available in the car park in front of the centre.
There are many interesting walking and cycling paths in parks and reserves close to the Edithvale-Seaford Wetland. Why not combine your visit to the education centre with another excursion?