Cheetham Wetlands Tower Walk

Homestead Entrance Rd, Point Cook VIC 3030

Cheetham Wetlands Tower Walk

Homestead Entrance Rd, Point Cook VIC 3030

Staff Pick
1 h 15 m
3.03 km
Easy

A fantastic 3 km loop walk to appreciate wetland habitats and saltmarshes that attract migratory shorebirds from the northern hemisphere to Port Phillip Bay each year.

Cheetham Wetlands Tower Walk

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Summary

A fantastic 3 km loop walk to appreciate wetland habitats and saltmarshes that attract migratory shorebirds from the northern hemisphere to Port Phillip Bay each year.

Description

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Observing the details of a wetland ecosystem might not be everyone’s idea of a good time. But, for those who relish these opportunities, Cheetham Wetland is the perfect place to appreciate a unique corner Port Phillip Bay.

Cheetham Wetland, part of Point Cook Coastal Park, is a significant site for migratory birds and is protected through the international Ramsar Convention. The former saltworks site is extensive and most of it is closed to the public. This short walk to the observation tower provides access to view the wetlands.

As the wetland habitat changes greatly depending on the seasons and rainfall, it would be interesting to revisit this walk throughout the year. In summer we found it teeming with insect life.

The first section of this walk is on a wide gravel path through grasslands close to the Point Cook housing estate.

Towards the observation tower, there's a boardwalk over wetland ponds giving a close look at aquatic plants. There are great views of the city skyline and Port Phillip Bay sparkling in the distance.

Cheetham Observation Tower is a bird hide and monument to migration: both human and avian. From the tower, you can see the salt marshes and lagoons where birds wade and forage for food.

At the bottom of the observation tower, there is a drinking fountain and a picnic table. Keep going along a small track to a small bridge crossing a stream known as the South Saltworks Moat. We sat on the bridge for a while and tuned into the fascinating life of the stream that leads into Port Phillip Bay. We saw dragonflies, damselflies and tiny fish, and heard the croaking of frogs.

When to go:
There isn't any shade so pick a cool day and wear sun protection, or go at dawn or dusk.

Getting there:
Car parking is available at Homestead Entrance Rd, Point Cook. Take note of the park closing time. Point Cook Homestead buildings, café and toilet facilities are currently closed. Public transport access is difficult.

There is drinking water at the observation tower but no public toilets.

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Points of Interest

1. Check what time the gates close before leaving

Parking at the Point Cook Homestead Entrance Road.

2. Information about the wetlands

Cheetham Wetland is a significant habit for migratory birds and is protected through the international Ramsar Convention.

3. Point Cook housing estate in the background

The wide, gravel path is exposed to the elements so bring sun protection.

4. Turn off towards the tower

Directions to the wetlands and tower are well signposted.

5. Gate into wetlands area

After about 1 km, enter the gate leading towards the tower.

6. Wetland boardwalk

We visited in summer but in rainier seasons the boardwalk give a close-up look at aquatic flora and fauna.

7. These lands are under custodianship of the Wurundjeri people

These lands have been part of the Kulin Nation comprising Boon Warrung, Daung Warrung, Dja Dja Wurrung, Watha Wurrung, and Woi Wurrung.

8. City skyline and the observation tower

The striking outline of the observation tower and city silhouette on the horizon.

9. Marker noting European migration and migratory birds

"The qualities of this specific and fragile environment result in the continued migration of thousands of birds to this area. "

10. Cheetham Tower

The tower is referred to as a monument to migration and aspirations. Bronze plaques are dotted around the tower but are sadly, difficult to read.

11. Water fountain and picnic table

Facilities are basic but there's a great sense of quiet remoteness about this park.

12. South Saltworks Moat from the wooden bridge

A great spot to sit and observe the life aquatic.

13. Vast feeding grounds for migratory birds

Over 150 species of birds have been identified at the Cheetham Wetlands and up to 65,000 migratory waders visit in summer.

14. Beaded glasswort

A prominent saltmarsh species at Cheetham Wetlands.

15. Head back towards the tower

A little oasis on the urban fringes

16. Ramp to the tower. Photo: Wyndham City Council

The interesting design is a bird hide and monument to migration.

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17. Natural and man-made lagoons, ponds and streams

The tower offers 360-degree views and an ideal place for bird-watching.


Features

Drinking Water available Drinking Water available
Pram friendly Pram friendly
Nature trail Nature trail
Lake, creek, river Lake, creek, river