This walk begins at a beautiful 1857 homestead, followed by a short beach walk with great views across the bay. Leaving the beach, we meander through gorgeous wetlands with a unique viewing tower.
The walk begins and ends at the Point Cook Homestead car park. Behind the café are the homestead outbuildings and a beautiful old cart. Follow the path to your right around to the front of the homestead. It is worth spending a few minutes exploring the interior (gold coin donation).
From the front door of the homestead walk towards the beach. There is a small information board here.
Turn left and walk along the beachfront which takes you around Point Cook. There is abundant birdlife along the way. There are also lots of shells to discover. But please do not take them with you.
After you round the corner you will notice a white wooden beacon on top of a small hill to your left. Continue along the beach until you meet the path up to the beacon.
Leave the beach now, but do not walk up to the beacon, instead take the path that continues along the foreshore, just behind the small dunes. We have now entered the Cheetham Wetlands. From here you can see the CBD across the bay and large container ships on route to port. You will soon spot the watch tower ahead.
Just before reaching the tower there is a gate to your right with an 'Entrance to Chetham Wetlands' sign behind it. The short pathway behind the gate allows you to get up close to the amazing flora in the wetlands.
Continue on to the tower and walk up to the platform for wonderful views of the protected wetlands to the north.
From the base of the tower, take the path to the left of the path you arrived on. This path crosses a boardwalk before you turn left, following an access road back to the Wetlands car park. From the Wetlands car park continue to the junction and turn left back to the Homestead car park.
At the start of the walk there is a large café and a separate toilet block. There are also a number of picnic tables dotted around the grounds.
On the walk route, there is a drinking water fountain next to the tower.
From Melbourne, take the first exit to Point Cook (Exit 1) off the Melbourne-Geelong Freeway (M1). Follow Point Cook Road for 6km and turn left onto Point Cook Homestead road. The Homestead car park is at the very end of this road (Melways Ref. 199 J3).
The park is not readily accessible by public transport.
Dogs are not allowed in the park.
Open from 9am to 4pm daily, this wonderfully restored homestead was built in 1857 by the Scotsman Thomas Chirnside. He later went on to build Werribee Mansion with his brother Andrew.
There are lots of bird species to spot on the walk including Pied Cormorants who live in colonies and dive underwater to catch fish.
If the tide is out, walking along the beach provides a lovely cool breeze in the summer. As you walk there are shells to discover, birds to spot, and views of the CBD across the bay.
These small birds migrate from the northern hemisphere where they breed, to Victoria in summer. They arrive in August and depart in February-March.
If the tide is in, you can walk along a wide path behind the beach, dotted with old pine trees. It curves around Point Cook to the white beacon.
This is the point where you leave the beach behind and start walking along the track next to the beach.
At the point you leave the beach you will see the track to a white beacon. You can skip the Wetlands part of the walk by following this track back to the Wetlands car park.
The walking tracks are frequently exposed and quite sandy in places. A good hat and sun cream are recommended.
There are great views from the tower platform. Artist Bill Kelly designed it as A Monument to Migration and Aspirations - using the theme of bird migration as a symbol for human migration.
The wetlands are a migratory haven for birds, some from as far away as Siberia and Japan. The area is home to more than 200 species of birds including rare and endangered species.
If you look closely there are lots of hardy plants who find this challenging environment quite suitable for their needs including the Rounded Moon-flower and Beaded Glasswort.