HOT: Serendip Sanctuary, Lara
If you’re looking for a local place to see native animals and birds up close, check out the free, hidden gem that’s Serendip Sanctuary.
Serendip Wildlife Sanctuary is in Lara, around 20 km north of Geelong and 60 km south-west of Melbourne. It's often known as ‘Lara Sanctuary Park' or ‘Lara Wildlife Park' it's actually a Parks Victoria managed nature reserve.
Serendip Sanctuary Lara
Serendip Sanctuary is located in the open grassy woodlands and wetlands of the volcanic Western Plains in between Melbourne and Geelong, in Lara. There is no entry fee.
Near the Serendip entrance the path splits between the Wildlife Walk or Pond View Walk. I recommend the Wildlife Walk first unless you’re really into water birdlife.
On the Wildlife Walk you’ll see emus and kangaroos, cockatoos and brolgas.
En route you’ll come across an information centre which is not staffed.
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From the bird hides you can spot the many birds that breed at or visit Serendip Wildlife Sanctuary.
It also offers stunning views of the wetlands and amongst birdwatchers, the place is often known as ‘Lara bird sanctuary'.
There are also aviaries with various species inside – can you see the Tawny Frogmouth hidden away?
The Pond Walk teems with water wildlife.
Serendip Sanctuary is a tranquil place to visit and a wildlife experience for the family where you can see lots of wildlife. After your walk you can enjoy a picnic or barbecue near the visitor carpark. There’s no food or drink for purchase so BYO everything.
During school holidays Serendip Sanctuary Lara regularly hosts Junior Rangers activities, a free program run by Parks Victoria.
And if you visit Serendip Sanctuary in the summer make sure you stop off at the pirate-themed Lara Pool!
Parks Victoria offers social script resources for Serendip Sanctuary for children on the autism spectrum. The social scripts have been developed with the professional assistance of AMAZE.
The social script has photographs and simple text to show children what they may see and experience during a visit to a park. You can read them this resource or download the Word document to print out. You can also cut and paste the pages to create a story that best suits your child and your planned park visit.
A version of the social script is also available in Key Word Sign Australia format, suited for children who are learning to use Key Word Sign to facilitate communication.
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Tips for Serendip Sanctuary:
- Lara animal sanctuary is pram accessible;
- Stay on the walking tracks;
- There is no food or water available enroute;
- There is not much shade so wear a hat, sunscreen and avoid visiting the hottest part of the day;
- Picnic tables and barbecue shelters available near carpark;
- Toilets at carpark;
- Free parking;
- Take your rubbish home;
- During school holidays Serendip Sanctuary Lara regularly hosts Junior Rangers activities, a free program run by Parks Victoria; and
- If you visit in summer stop off at the pirate-themed Lara Pool.
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