The largest wetlands restoration project in the Southern Hemisphere, the Winton Wetlands brings people, groups and communities together to renew themselves, the landscape and their passion for the great outdoors.
Located in north east Victoria, the site features 3,800 Ha of wetlands surrounded by over 4,950Ha of redgum and box grassy woodland and is home to a huge variety of flora and fauna, including over 180 species of birds.
Visitors to Winton Wetlands can connect with the site in any number of ways. Whether it be a memorable walk, an adventurous bike ride or a relaxing visit to the Mokoan Hub & Cafe. With thousands of years of Indigenous cultural heritage, the site provides a wonderful insight into the ways of the Yorta Yorta people and an understanding of why the site continues to be so important to them. The European history of Winton Wetlands is rich and compelling, and easily accessed at the many historic sites located within the reserve.
The Wetlands are in a constant state of change so every visit reveals something new and interesting. Come and discover for yourself what makes Winton Wetlands such a special place.
The Mokoan Hub Café is open at the following times:
Wednesday – Friday 10am to 3pm
Saturday & Sunday – 8am to 4pm
Closed Monday & Tuesday
For more information please visit www.wintonwetlands.org.au
The wetlands are open every day with the exception of days of Total Fire Ban.
Birds & Wildlife
The site is home to a number of birds of prey which are attracted by the many small birds, reptiles and mammals that inhabit the area. These include the White-bellied Sea Eagles, Wedge-tailed Eagles, Spotted Harriers and Peregrine Falcons. Kits, Waterfowl and Kestrels are also common, as are well-known birds like ducks and Cormorants. The site is also home to many snakes and other reptiles including Goannas, Beared Dragons, Bluetongue Lizards and smaller Skinks.
The Winton Wetlands Reserve is 8,750Ha that comprises 3,800Ha of wetlands surrounded by predominatly river red gum and grassy box woodlands and grazing land.
The hundreds of Indigenous scar trees and tool scatters throughout the site indicate its importance to Indigenous people who called it 'Mokoan". Recorded history tells us that at times, many hundreds of Aboriginal people met at this site. The mid-19th century saw the enforced removal of its Indigenous owners, establishment of the huge "Mokoan Squatters Run" and then it's division into smaller farms.
Sixteen families lived wholly within the site and together with another 52 famillies they worked a very productive farming area surrounding the wetlands. In 1971 the area was inundated for irrigation, despite protests from the families that were displaced by the new Lake Mokoan. Lake Mokoan provided valuable irrigated agriculture and a large recreation lake for the community.
The decision to decommission Lake Mokoan and return it to wetlands was announced by the Victorian Government in 2004. In June 2008 the Victorian Government announced its committment to provide up to $20 million to establish a board of management to manage the Winton Wetlands.