Mokoan Ponds Walk, Winton Wetlands

Cnr Boundary Road & North Track, Chesney Vale 3725

Mokoan Ponds Walk, Winton Wetlands

Cnr Boundary Road & North Track, Chesney Vale 3725

Staff Pick
1 h 10 m
4.67 km
Easy

Meander quietly alongside the Mokoan Ponds and you are likely to experience some close encounters with native wildlife.

Mokoan Ponds Walk, Winton Wetlands

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Summary

Meander quietly alongside the Mokoan Ponds and you are likely to experience some close encounters with native wildlife.

Description

You will be walking in close proximity to a series of pond like water holes surrounded by reed beds, grasslands and tall timber stags.

Pay close attention in anticipation of intimate wildlife observations. You have a good chance of spotting Black Swamp Wallabies bouncing through the reeds, an Eastern Long-necked turtle resting in the water or on a log and you may even catch a glimpse of a Rakali (Australian water rat).

This location is one part of the Wetlands that can be expected to have permanent water due to its location along the remains of the old (artificially created) dam wall. This makes it a fantastic area to spot birdlife too. You may be treated to Pelicans and Black Swans gliding along the surface of the water, magnificent Yellow-billed Spoonbills wading through the shallows, or spot a variety of raptors soaring overhead.

Amenities include good views across the surrounding landscape from the top of the dam wall where Mokoan Ponds observers can also share one of Winton Wetlands cycling routes. There are informative signage and a sheltered picnic table. The car parking area has room for a couple of cars. Otherwise, park trackside leaving room for others to pass. The nearest public toilets are at the Mokoan Hub and Cafe car park.

This is a walk for all ages and seasons. However, summer can be very hot. The track is dirt and conditions can vary according to the season. Remember to carry food, water, first aid and be SunSmart.

This is also a good location for kayaking.

Camping sites are available at Greens Hill, Duck Pond and Bill Friday Swamp. This involves booking and payment to be made via the website: Winton Wetlands camping

Pets are not permitted in Winton Wetlands.

Directions:
From the Mokoan Hub and Cafe car park head left along Lake Mokoan Road for 4.4km. Turn into the Dam Wall entrance and drive down to the car park at the Outlet Channel. Before embarking on the Mokoan Ponds Track make sure you admire the view from the top of the nearest dam wall. Then walk across the Outlet Channel and turn left at the bottom of the opposite dam wall incline. Walk until you see a map sign on your right marking the trailhead.

Parts of Winton Wetlands are remote. In case of emergency call 000.

Other walks at Winton Wetlands:
Greens Hill Walk
Woodland Walk
Sculpture Walk
Heron Loop
Robertsons Hill Walk
Swan Wall Walk
Humphries Hill Walk

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Points of Interest

1. Overview

To begin, walk the incline to the dam wall crest for a great perspective on the surrounding landscape. The wetlands to the north, farmlands to the south, the outlet channel and continuing dam wall.

2. The first pond

The first pond is below the dam wall to your left. It has a sheltered picnic table.

3. Looking north east

Looking north east to the next pond across the outlet channel you will note one of several informative signage displays. The information shared is both interesting and comprehensive.

4. The pumping station

On the other side of the dam wall is the pumping station for controlling wetland outlet water flows.

5. Mokoan Ponds Walk

Walk across the outlet channel past the more modern style signs describing the site and pointing the way.

6. Graphic land and water scapes

The sheer size of the wetlands and their diverse component parts make for scenes of pleasure, drama and joy.

7. Big skies

The flat wetlands are surrounded by distant low lying hills creating a space of big skies and broad vistas.

8. Wildlife

Wildlife abounds (if you will excuse the pun). Close encounters are likely if you travel quietly, such as with this Black Swamp Wallaby.

9. The track

The track doubles as a service track below the dam wall. It is generally smooth and easily negotiable. It may get soft and moist in parts during wetter periods.

10. Raptors

On any given day at Winton Wetlands you will see at least one of a variety of raptors, from the small Nankeen Kestrel to the huge White-bellied Sea Eagle, or in this case a Spotted Harrier.

11. Frog ponds

Between the track and the dam wall ephemeral frog ponds form. The noise is a delight.

12. Large and small ephemeral ponds

Water levels rise and fall according to seasonal fluctuations. Ponds can be murky, deep and wide. Keep an eye on children walking with you.

13. An abundance of bush foods

Once a prime hunting and gathering place for the Yorta Yorta people, the wetlands still present examples of nutritious bush foods such as the fresh water mussel.

14. Reed beds

A critical shelter and nesting ground, extensive reed beds provide many species with territory for foraging and protection.

15. Shore life

Watching the shores is a likely way to make many wildlife observations. Here, a large and diverse population of water birds share the same waterside strip.

16. On the wing

Don't just concentrate on the ground though. There is much coming and going overhead, as with these Pacific Black Ducks heading for other areas to dabble.

17. Point of return

Beyond the final large pond the track peters out before hitting the curvature of the dam wall. This is where you turn back.


Features

Picnic spot Picnic spot
Seating available Seating available
Historical interest Historical interest
Nature trail Nature trail
Lake, creek, river Lake, creek, river