HOT: Cheetham Wetlands, Point Cook Coastal Park
Cheetham Wetlands are Point Cook wetlands named after the Cheetham saltworks that were once on the site.
Cheetham Wetlands are actually a little known part of the greater Point Cook Coastal Park and as a result, you're unlikely to run into many people there. It's the perfect place to visit if you're after some wide-open spaces!
To reach Cheetham Wetlands look out for the Parks Victoria signs for Point Cook Homestead and Point Cook Coastal Park. Once you’ve parked your car in the Point Cook Coastal Park car park there is approximately 1-kilometre walk to reach the Cheetham Wetlands boardwalk.
Both the car park walk and boardwalk are suitable for all-terrain prams.
The walk from the car park to the boardwalk is not very interesting as it's through a vast expanse of dry, hot grassland with suburbia creeping on its fringes. Many times I'm not sure whether we're heading in the right direction. Eventually, you will some signage!
The wetlands are formed from a collection of lagoons and saltmarshes, both naturally occurring and manmade.
The Point Cook Coastal Park and Cheetham Wetlands rank among the top places in the world for migratory wading birds. Over 220 species have been identified there – a twitcher's heaven!
A number of the birds spotted at Cheetham Wetlands breed in the Northern Hemisphere between June and July then migrate south from July to November. Bird viewing is best between September and March each year.
As well as spotting birds, look out for small wildlife such as lizards, and seasonal flowers.
Because the wetlands provide an important habitat they are designated as Crown Land and are protected locally and through international agreements. The public is only allowed on the designated path and viewing areas and no dogs or other pets are allowed.
Cheetham Wetlands Tower
Approximately 100 metres along the boardwalk is the spectacular Cheetham Wetlands tower.
Cheetham Wetlands observation tower is a scenic lookout, a fancy bird hide and a piece of artwork, a spectacular monument to ‘Migration and Aspirations’.
Find Hotels and Airbnbs near Cheetham Wetlands, Point Cook Coastal Park
I love the different messages and plaques en route and on the tower but it's a shame that vandals have defaced some of the artworks.
Isn't it appropriate that the plaque of ‘weariness' is placed against a seat in the tower?
The Cheetham Wetlands viewing tower offers 360-degree views of the wetlands and great views of the city skyline on a clear day.
The kids love running up and down the ramps and staircases and appreciating the view of the wetlands from all angles.
Point Cook Coastal Park
Also within Point Cook Coastal Park there is a great bicycle track from Point Cook travelling past the wetlands to Altona. The terrain is flat making it an easy ride along this track, or others through the Point Cook Coastal Park.
Also part of the Point Cook Coastal Park is the Beach Recreation Area, where there is a visitor centre, toilets, play equipment and BBQ facilities.
And if you want to do more bird watching there is also Spectacle Lake bird hide in the Point Cook Coastal Park.
While you’re at Cheetham Wetlands, or exploring the remainder of Point Cook Coastal Park, don’t forget to listen out and look up! If you’re there at the right time (usually 1pm Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays); you might see aircraft from the nearby RAAF Museum overhead.
Go on one of the Best Bushwalks in Melbourne with Kids
For more hiking near Melbourne try Organ Pipes National Park
If you have a dog then head to Altona Dog Beach
Tips for Cheetham Wetlands:
- Follow signs for the Point Cook Homestead to find the carpark for Point Cook Coastal Park;
- Toilets at the Beach Recreation Area;
- Unpleasant when weather is windy;
- Open 830am close between 5 and 7pm depending on time of year;
- there is a drinking water fountain next to the tower;
- Dogs are not permitted.
I hope this post has helped or inspired you! Get my awesome weekly newsletter in your inbox every week to find out more ways for your family to have fun together!
This Post Has One Comment
2 (?) years ago I was sorry about the regrettable state of the Tower. By support of the Rangers
I sanded and varnished the rails and tried to make the plaques readable again, – obviously making
some of them attractive enough to be stolen. At that time I made some photos: before / after so
that the information they contained is preserved. Unfortunately I did not take any photos of the
missing plaques on the rail. I’m now thinking about a solution how to apply the “inspirational”
part back to this marvelous construction.