What makes it special
This little-known wetland reserve sits at the estuary, where the Werribee River meets Port Phillip Bay. It covers 22 hectares of saltmarsh, a distinct ecosystem that features salt-tolerant succulents, waterbirds, and fish.
The mudflats provide an expansive view of the bay, as well as the You Yangs. The Western Treatment Plant, which attracts migratory shorebirds in summer, sits on the other side of the river.
Both these sites provide high-value habitat for the Orange-bellied Parrot, which is listed as Critically Endangered under national and state environment laws. The Growling Grass Frog, classified as Vulnerable, is also associated with the area.
The interaction between fresh water and marine water, along with nutrient runoff from Werribee South farms, makes this coastal region a rich bed for seagrass, which in turn provide nurseries for fish such as black bream.
The reserve is named after a farmer from whom land was purchased in the 1970s by Wyndham City Council (then the Werribee Shire Council). While ideas for development have since been generated, Grahams Reserve remains mostly undisturbed.
Few coastal wetlands along south-eastern Australia are intact and in good condition. In recent years, Werribee River Association has worked alongside council to enhance indigenous vegetation in the area.
Grahams Reserve is also one of the target locations in the 2022-2023 frog survey undertaken by the Werribee River Association, kindly supported by Wyndham City.
Things you can do
- Grahams Reserve has swampy sections and is prone to flooding. Stick to designated paths, or better yet, sign up for a guided walk organised by Werribee River Association.
- Be a citizen scientist! Bring your binoculars and record your bird sightings on iNaturalist. Keep an ear out for frogs, too, and send the audio to the FrogID app.
- From here, explore Werribee South Foreshore with your camera. This sleepy coastal village is undergoing major changes. Try to picture what this area might have been like decades and even centuries ago.
Getting there and around
Beach Rd, Werribee
The entry point to the reserve is at the corner of Beach Rd and Diggers Rd.
Please note that there are no toilets on-site. Visitors must bring any rubbish back out with them to keep this precious wetland pristine.