Whether you’re wandering along the Blue Wren Track or stopping by a wetland to watch for birds and listen to the sound of frogs, you’ll do yourself a favour by exploring this beautiful place.
Crinigan Bushland Reserve is a 100-acre reserve situated on the northern edge of the Morwell township. Access is via Maryvale Road, Crinigan Road and the main carpark at Fairway Drive (next to the Morwell Golf Course entrance) where there is a public toilet and an information booth that provides a map of your walking options, bird and plant lists provided by the Latrobe Valley Field Naturalists and a community noticeboard that gives updates of upcoming events and other significant news.
An extremely well-cared for Reserve, the good quality walking tracks include seats that allow you to sit and listen to the sounds of the wildlife as you breathe in the smell of eucalyptus in the air.
A significant and rare example of the local natural vegetation that existed prior to European settlement, the plant list contains some 170 species from the open forest of Narrow-leaf Peppermint (Eucalyptus radiata) and Manna Gum (Eucalyptus viminalis) through to the relatively dense understorey of ferns and native orchids (of which 30 have been identified).
As well as native birds (a recent count found 31 species), animals such as koalas, kangaroos, and wombats are starting to return as the landscape recovers.
The Reserve is the last patch of remnant native bush in the immediate vicinity of Morwell but over years of neglect, it was logged and left to become a tip. Full of rubbish, it was used by trail bikes and four-wheel drives and was generally abused. With the formation of a Friends Group, the Reserve is now fenced, roads installed and walking tracks that follow the contours of the landscape. Plans are under way to link the Reserve to existing walking tracks within the town.
A shelter, tables and chairs, and breeding boxes for birds have been provided. Five of the six known Gippsland frog species live in the Reserve, with a census held (mainly at night) four times a year involving a Melbourne academic and students from local schools.
A rotunda in the middle of the Reserve is used by many groups and individuals. School students use it as an outdoor classroom, and are designing, creating and erecting a montage of animals and plants. Every school in the area is a Friend of the Reserve. Little Athletics, Traralgon Harriers, local football and soccer clubs use it for training. It is also popular with horse-riders. There is a passive recreation area for residents as well as sporting groups.
The Park Tracks project is an initiative of the Latrobe City Council, which acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the Gunaikurnai nation. Through their cultural traditions, the Gunaikurnai identifies this area as part of their Traditional Country.
At the main car park is a map of the Reserve, giving you a clear overview of your walking options.
Each track is named after one of the birds you’re likely to see on your stroll and it’s clear that the Reserve is being steadily revegetated.
The Crinigan Reserve is an extremely popular place to indulge your pooch in an enjoyable walk, but please keep your furry friend on a leash at all times.
This boardwalk in the Reserve takes you across waterway and onto Lion’s Dam.
Bird-watching is a well known activity in the Reserve, with a bountiful array of species to spot.
Found in eastern and southern Australia, it lives in dry eucalypt forests and woodlands. Find out more and hear its bird call in the link below.
This gorgeous bird has a long fine and curved bill, with distinctive markings. It is found in eastern and southern Australia. Find out more in the link below.
The Reserve is home to 30 different types of orchids, including this beautiful Waxlip Orchid (Glossodia Major). It flowers in late winter to early spring, and is found in heath land and open forests.
The Lions, Hospital, Wallaby and Tortoise Dams occupy space in this bushland reserve, creating a rich wetland environment.
You can sit by the water, watch the wildlife and even have a picnic while enjoying the serenity.