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
The centre is currently undergoing maintenance and repairs. We anticipate re-opening early in 2021 but at this stage will not be taking bookings for Term 1. To stay informed, subscribe to our monthly WaterEd newsletter.
- In the meantime, Term 1 bookings are open for a virtual experience of wetlands and urban water cycle, designed for grades 3-6 and VCE Outdoor and Environmental Studies. To register, email [email protected] with your school, class level, number of students and possible dates.
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
- Wetlands video series featuring its plants, animals and history
Or enjoy a tour from the comfort of your home:
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. We also have a number of options for tertiary students.
The program is closely linked with AusVELS and the Australian 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.
Feeling alive! – Living and non-living components of the wetland
Students observe the wetland, taking notice of the living and non-living components. They compare what they see to the school ground environment. They use a variety of sources to explore and identify what is living and non-living.
Bird dance – Observing the wetland birds
Students spend time observing the behaviours of the birds found at the wetlands. They consider what makes this area and other natural areas special for the birdlife, and begin to understand the impact they can have on the wetland environment and the birds.
- Grades 1 and 2
The cycle of life – Lifecycles
Students collect items from the wetlands to explore the lifecycle. They identify the living species the items relate to and where they fit in a species' lifecycle.
Our water world – The whole water cycle
Students learn about the importance of water to the wetlands and the role of the wetlands in filtering and purifying water before it enters our bay. They explore the stormwater interactive model and watch the process of water from catchment to the bay.
- Grades 3 and 4
Going batty! – Surveying bats
Students are introduced to the wetlands’ resident bats and the ways in which they are surveyed. Students hear the calls of local bats before participating in a series of activities focussing on how mother bats find their pups in crowded nursery caves.
Why live here? – What makes this location a liveable environment
Students learn about the wetlands and consider why this area is a good place to live. They look at the people and animals that rely on the wetlands and develop an appreciation for why the wetlands are important to them.
- Grades 5 and 6
Pardon me, while I change in front of you – Wetland history
Students model changes in the wetlands over time as they learn about the history of the wetlands from the Aboriginal inhabitation to European settlement and more recent times. Students identify the value of the wetlands over time and how it has changed.
Who’s hungry? – Food chain and food webs
Students explore the natural process of the food chain using creatures of the wetlands. They experience the food chain by playing a game and create their own food chain of a wetland creature.
- Years 7 to 9
Water cycle adventures
Students learn the complexities of the water cycle by experiencing the fate of a water droplet through its different states and pathways in the environment.
- Years 10 to 12
Biodiversity walking tour
Students take a walk with our educators to wetland viewing points to gain a different perspective on the management of local biodiversity values.
Outdoor education walking tour
Students take a walk with our educators to wetland viewing points to discuss how wetlands and their surrounds enhance human environments and a range of outdoor activities.
- Secondary students
Eastern Treatment Plant (ETP)
A full day package that also includes a tour to ETP.
- 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.
Guided viewing platform walk
Students take a short walk with our educators to learn about aspects of the wetlands, including:
- senses of the wetlands (primary)
- protection and management
- land use and liveability
- drainage and flood protection.
Self-guided viewing platform walk
Unguided walks are available for all year levels as an additional activity to your centre visit. Advise us in advance if you would like to make use of bird identification or scavenger hunt resources.
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|
|TAFE and tertiary groups||35||$8.70||$80|
|Combined with ETP visit (TAFE and tertiary groups)||35||$14.50||$225|
*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?