Park of the month – Lysterfield Park

Discover the incredible diversity of birds and other native wildlife at Lysterfield Park while walking the perimeter of Lysterfield Lake and its impressive dam wall. So close to Melbourne, this park is a must-see for any Junior Ranger with a love of the water and relaxing walks in nature.

Lysterfield Park is home to a wealth of native plants and animals that reside in a range of habitats. Arguably the most prominent feature of the park, though, is Lysterfield Lake. There are many scenic walks to be enjoyed around this area that take in the abundant birdlife and a variety of native plants, as well as the dam wall and the lake itself.

Why is this place so special?

Lysterfield Park is an example of what the Victorian bush would once have looked like 150 years ago. Whilst there are few protected bushland areas remaining in Victoria, visitors to Lysterfield are lucky to experience such a large area of conserved, valuable forest.

Lysterfield Lake also once played an important role in providing Victorians with fresh water. In particular, the lake supplied the Mornington Peninsula from 1936 up until 1975. In order to protect the water quality, the remnant native forest surrounding the lake was protected, and a eucalypt plantation was also established. This has incidentally led to Lysterfield Park becoming one of the few remaining patches of native bushland remaining in Victoria today.

What can you do here?

Take the short walk from the Lysterfield Lake picnic areas to the dam wall, making sure not to climb on the wall or dislodge any nearby rocks. Stick to the track, and take a moment on the wall to stop and take in your surroundings – can you see any waterbirds out on the lake? Why might this be an ideal habitat for them? Take a video of your walk along the dam wall and around the lake. When you watch it later, you may notice things that you didn’t spot originally.

If you feel like a challenge, walk the 8-km track around the lake to experience the different habitats present along its edge. On your travels, you will follow the Acacia Nature Trail, the Casuarina Track, the Lake Track and then finish by taking the trail through the conservation zone to Logan Park Road. You can then return to the main picnic area of the park by following Logan Park Road or the Lake Track.  Some of the birds you might come across include species of:

  • Pelicans
  • Grebes
  • Thornbills
  • Parrots
  • Honeyeaters
  • Wrens

Did you spot any other animals on your walk, such as kangaroos, wallabies, echidnas or frogs? (You might be able to hear the frogs before you see them!). Did you notice any large, dead trees on your walk? Why might these be important to keep rather than cut down?

You can find more information on the Parks Victoria website here 

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