What makes it special
Riverbend Historical Park sits on a former settlement area, where Canadian-born George Chaffey had attempted to establish ‘irrigation gardens’ in the late 1880s. His joint venture with E. Clement De Garis failed to take off for a number of reasons, including the 1890s economic depression.
Not much remains of their irrigation scheme in Werribee, apart from abandoned water channels and non-native peppercorn trees.
Following the passage of the Water Act in 1905, the State Rivers and Water Supply Commission undertook major infrastructure to influence the flow of the Werribee River via a series of weirs, reservoirs and channels.
A weir originally constructed in 1910 is only five minutes’ walk south from the picnic grounds. Find out more about the weir in the Hidden Gems page. The tracks from the park also have signs highlighting settlement history in the area.
Much of this precinct was subdivided in the 20th century, with further recent development along Heaths Rd. A narrow park has been retained for the public.
Things you can do
- Riverbend is a great starting point for walking and bike rides. The westward downstream track will take you past the Lower Werribee Diversion Weir, and has signs for taking in more of the history. Or you can head eastwards upstream and explore Davis Creek, where re-vegetation work is underway to secure habitat for the endangered growling grass frog.
- The concrete platform right on the river is a convenient spot for fishing. There are planned improvements for this amenity, including a canoe launch facility.
- Bring something for the BBQ in the picnic area and relax under the trees.
- Dogs can be taken on-lead on a long amble by the river.
Getting there and around
Address: Riversdale Drive, Werribee VIC
This detailed Victoria Walks map leads you from Riverbend Historical Park right into Werribee Township at Wyndham Park. The track is paved, with a busy crossing at Cottrell St bridge.
There is limited parking available along the circular drive.