Thetraveljunkie.org – Today we bring you to a haven for waterbirds and walkers, Devilbend Natural Features Reserve contains the largest inland water body on the Mornington Peninsula, and once played an important role as a water source for Melbourne. Located 55km south-east of Melbourne in the township of Moorooduc, the lowland forest, reservoirs and shoreline provide valuable habitat and important green space for recreational activities such as nonpowered boating, walking, cycling, horse riding and fishing. Encompassing 1005 hectares, with almost 250 hectares of water, it provides valuable inland habitat for many water birds.
The features of Devilbend can be explored by selected walking tracks. The trail system includes all-ability access to the shoreline, viewing, fishing platforms and boardwalk. Dogs and other pets are not permitted.
The main walks are Western Shoreline Track – 1.2km – Descend from the Devilbend Picnic Area along the 2.5m wide shoreline trail on a compacted surface that takes in views across the expansive reservoir whilst making your way down to the fishing platforms and boardwalks.
Daangean Point Track – 1.5km return – This bushwalk runs through lowland forest from Daangean Point to the southern shoreline. The walk provides expansive views across the reservoir where waterbirds can be viewed.
For the more adventurous walker, the Devilbend Circuit Track – 11.5km, circumnavigates Devilbend Reservoir. The trail meanders through lowland forest and grassy woodland with multiple access points to the tranquil waterbody providing birdwatching and passive recreation. A further 2.5km extension to include Bittern Reservoir Circuit is available.
The walking trails around the reserve offer everyone an opportunity to investigate land use, geological processes that have influenced landscape structure, ecosystem health and functioning, and native plants and animals.
Devilbend supports more than 200 species of native flora and 195 indigenous species of fauna, including multiple threatened species. The reservoir is recognised as an ‘Important Bird Area’ by BirdLife Australia as being globally important for the conservation of bird populations. There have been 158 bird species recorded here, including the Blue-billed Duck (listed as endangered, Department of Sustainability and Environment, 2013), and the reserve is the only known nesting site of the White-bellied Sea-Eagle on the Mornington Peninsula (listed as threatened under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988).
The reserve is an important remnant of native vegetation, as much of the surrounding land has been cleared for orchards and grazing. The reserve currently consists of 422 hectares of native vegetation and 328 hectares of non-native vegetation (predominantly in the form of cleared grazed land), and a 5 hectare picnic area. As more indigenous vegetation is restored within the reserve, Devilbend can act as an extending link to other remnant vegetation on Mornington Peninsula.
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