Eastern Great Egret in breeding plumage
Eastern Great Egret in breeding plumage

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Dawn spider's web photo
Dawn spider's web photo

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Rose Robin photo by Ronald Jore
Rose Robin photo by Ronald Jore

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Eastern Great Egret in breeding plumage
Eastern Great Egret in breeding plumage

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The Elsternwick Park Association is a community based group with the vision of creating a beautifully designed and maintained native parkland and wetland...

Photo Comp

See some amazing pictures of the park

Elsternwick Park Nature Reserve Masterplan 2020

Bayside city council has published a master plan for the construction and future of the nature reserve. You can read it here.


More information and project updates can be found here.

About Elsternwick Park Nature Reserve


The Elsternwick Park Nature Reserve is a 13-hectare area of Crown land, that has been set aside to provide habitat for wildlife as well as passive open space for the local community.  Formally a golf-course, it is currently open, parkland 

This site is unique for a number of reasons:

  • Elster creek runs through the reserve.  This is the only remaining waterway between the Yarra and Mordiallic creek.  The presence of fresh water provides vital habitat for wildlife.  It also causes challenges for local residents when it floods.

  • It has a variety of habitats:

    • it has a shallow lake and wetlands that provide vital habitat for water birds.

    • It has mature, hollow bearing gum trees, providing nesting sites for native birds.

    • It has grassy woodlands with areas of seed bearing grass, that provide habitat for ground feeding parrots.

  • It is relatively free from night light pollution.  This is important for insect populations as well as nocturnal wildlife.

  • It has been relatively free from disturbance.  Over the last decade, the golf course was failing, so numbers of golfers were low. Also, members of the public were not allowed on the site.  This allowed the area to be a relatively quiet refuge for wildlife.  

  • The site was neglected by the previous golf course operator.  This allowed areas of seed bearing grass to go unmown and branches and leaves were left on the ground and hollow bearing trees were left untouched.  This provided excellent habitat for native species.

All of these factors contributed to the site being a unique wildlife habitat. Bayside Council has recognised the uniqueness of this site in its decision to declare it a nature reserve (see link to history).


Construction of the Chain of Ponds

The construction of the Chain of Ponds is one of the first steps on the journey to build the new nature reserve.

Interim Fauna Report

It includes studies of birdlife,
nocturnal fauna, microbats,
nocturnal invertebrate as well as
aquatic macroinvertebrate surveys.
The survey started in May 2019 and
continued through to March 2020.

Undraining the swamp: how rewilders have reclaimed golf courses and waterways

Ripping up drains and releasing rats may not sound like popular moves, but through urban ecology projects, volunteers and locals are building a new harmony with nature

by Jeff Sparrow

“In wildness,” declared Henry David Thoreau, “is the preservation of the world.”

But what does wildness mean in the Anthropocene, an era in which, by definition, humanity’s influence reshapes the entire planet?

In the Melbourne suburb of Elwood, the lawns of the old Elsternwick golf course no longer look quite so manicured, as the council implements a long-term plan to re-create the pre-colonial wetlands, right in the heart of an urban community.

About Elsternwick Park Nature Reserve