Connewarre Wetland Centre
The Wetlands Environmental Taskforce (WET), in collaboration with Geelong Field & Game, have purchases 36 ha of wetland adjoining Hospital Swamps, which is located alongside the Connewarre State Game Reserve between Geelong and Barwon Heads.
The wetland will be maintained in perpetuity as part of Geelong Field & Game’s continuing conservation commitment to this State Game Reserve.
Stage 1 of the development involved completing the land purchase and relocating the former Marine Discovery Centre building in Queenscliff to the Lake Road site. The Connewarre Wetland Centre was officially opened on February 5, 2017. The building will become the basis of the Centre and the permanent clubrooms of Geelong Field and Game. Future stages involve landscaping, improvements to water management, visitor access opportunities and exploring the range of potential other uses.
Thanks to generous donations and supporters, the Connewarre Wetland Centre has the potential to provide a variety of uses and fulfil many roles for the community.
- wetland conservation
- community outdoor education
- youth and school group visits
- tourist and visitor centre
- hunter education
- meeting rooms
- dog trials, training and retrieving demonstration days
- walking tracks
- wildlife research
- project partner field days
- nest box workshops and research
- community events
In 2013, the WET made a commitment to purchase 36 hectares – just under 90 acres – of wetland adjoining Hospital Swamps, which is part of the Lake Connewarre State Game Reserve just south east of Geelong.
The wetland was constructed by its owner Tony Leen literally in his own backyard during the 1970s by creating a series of levees in the shape of a horseshoe which trap inflows from local drainage. Tony then built islands on the wetland bed, walking trails and planted out the high ground and boundaries. Thirty years on, and this picturesque natural looking wetland now attracts a myriad of waterfowl and other species, including brolgas, magpie geese, cape barren geese and many other lesser seen species.
Bird observing groups from around Victoria are now regular visitors, with migratory waders a common interest for these groups in late summer.
Being quite close to the developing new urban growth area of Geelong called Armstrong Creek, as well as local tourism drawcards like Barwon Heads, there is the potential for the site as a future wetlands interpretative centre for WET.
A short drive from Geelong, the 36-hectare parcel of land is located next to the Connewarre State Game Reserve and Hospital Swamp.