Ever wonder what the landscapes and wildlife seen by European settlers in the 1840s was like? At Woodlands Historic Park, you can get a feel of just that! The park has a 150-year old homestead, Indigenous scar trees, native woodland and grassland and much much more!
There are lots of walking trails for you to create your very own Australian bush adventure, including the sights of Eastern Grey Kangaroos bounding across the sweeping grasslands (or snoozing in the shade), the ancient River Red Gums along the banks of Moonee Ponds creek which are just incredible, stunning little Superb Fairy-wrens with the males flashing their gorgeous colours, echidnas, frogs and so much more that we would need pages and pages to list them all! Its like another world and we cannot recommend this highly enough. Especially the sight of large groups of wild kangaroos in their Australian bush habitat, a magnificent, never-to-be forgotten experience.
One really exciting part of this park is the roll they are playing to help the Eastern Barred Bandicoots, or EBBs for short. The Eastern Barred Bandicoot, Perameles gunnii, is a small, rabbit sized, marsupial with a long pointed nose. The easiest way to identify them is the three or four pale bars on the hindquarters.
They used to be found all throughout western Victoria, but up until very recently were considered ‘extinct in the wild’ in Victoria. The last wild population was found at Hamilton, Victoria but those numbers steadily went down throughout the 1990’s, with the last sighting in 2002. Recently, their ‘extinct in the wild’ status was reclassified to ‘endangered’.The changed status is a first for an Australian threatened species!
Places like Zoos Victoria and Serendip Sanctuary breed these adorable little animals in the safety of their controlled spaces. Once they are ready, they then release them into the wild. This is called a captive breeding program. The EBBs bred in captivity are released in carefully chosen places like Woodlands Historic Park! The population has been re-built through this process. There are only a handful of locations they are released because the locations must be intensively managed and must have predator proof fencing to provide security. This gives these little beauties the best chance of survival as they adapt to the wild.