Areas of Interest

The Landing

The Landing – built to help visitors get close to the sights of the Lake – is a great spot to watch Eurasian Coots, Chestnut Teals, Pacific Black Ducks, and sometimes even their ducklings cruising the water.

Please note that neither fishing, nor remote-controlled boating, are permitted in the Sanctuary.

The landing at Blackburn Lake Sanctuary

McCubbin Lookout

Above the lake at the northern end of the Sanctuary, this is reputedly the spot where Frederick McCubbin (1855-1917) painted Bush Idyll. McCubbin lived for a time in Wolseley Crescent and regularly painted by the Lake. A print of Bush Idyll is displayed in the Visitor Centre.

Blackburn Lake Sanctuary Wetlands

An initiative of Whitehorse City Council and Melbourne Water, the Blackburn Lake Sanctuary wetlands were created to rehabilitate the main inlet to the Lake. Benefits have included:

  • significant beautification of this part of the park
  • improved water quality, a particular concern to Whitehorse Council and Melbourne Water prior to the existence of the wetlands
  • regenerated fauna-habitat by means of the creation of water bodies and the replanting of suitable indigenous species better accessibility and an enhanced park experience for visitors; and
  • more opportunities for community involvement and education.

The wetlands were a major project within the Blackburn Lake Sanctuary Master Plan, which underwent extensive community consultation in 1998 and 1999.

The wetlands project was undertaken in two stages:

Constructed in 2002, Stage 1 included a series of ponds to draw sediment from the water before it enters the lake, the rockwork helping to control erosion and water velocity, and oxygenate the water. Trails linking to the new vehicle / pedestrian bridge were constructed in April 2003. Revegetation with indigenous species commenced and continued through autumn 2003. Stage 1 was jointly funded by Melbourne Water and Council.

Stage 2 , involving installation of a filtration system for the purification of water before it reaches the lake was completed in 2004. This included:

  • completion of earthworks to reshape and realign the existing creek, thereby increasing its potential for water quality treatment. Created were two secondary treatment ponds and expansive marsh areas to filter water entering the lake;
  • removal of vegetation to enable construction of the wetland. Species cleared included exotic vegetation such as a large number of dead willows near the head of the lake, as well as native vegetation, which required a Planning Permit;
  • intensive revegetation using locally indigenous, aquatic, semi-aquatic and terrestrial species. Revegetation vastly exceeded the volume of vegetation removed to construct the wetlands, the intention of the planting to filter the water before it enters the lake, as well as enhance the appearance of the lake and create an improved habitat for fauna.
  • incorporation of ’habitat trees’ into the wetland design., with timber from dead trees reinstated into the wetlands to provide valuable habitat.

Stage 2 was jointly funded by Melbourne Water, Council and the Environment Protection Authority (EPA), through the Victorian Stormwater Action Program (VSAP).The local community was keenly involved in the project.

Other initiatives that related to water quality improvement at the Lake included:

  • rehabilitation by Council in 1998-99 of the smaller inlet on the north-western side of the lake; a joint project between Council and the EPA / VSAP in 2001/02 to install four gross pollutant traps along stormwater drains that feed the lake, the traps complementing the wetland project.

Litter Action Project

  • In 2017 Blackburn Lake Sanctuary was chosen for a Pilot site for a Litter Action Project being conducted and funded by Melbourne Water over 15 sites on Melbourne waterways.
    The purpose of the Project is to stop Litter at the Source. Phase 1 has involved regular monthly audits of litter in the lake and verges, and the project  has been extended to 2 more sites within the catchment, with 2 audit sites along the creek on the Adventcare property, and 2 more audit points further up on the Tyne Reserve section of the creek.  Both of these are being monitored by local people who have been recruited by Blackburn Lake Sanctuary Advisory Committee but registered with Melbourne Water for this project. Phase 2 included documentation of litter sources, education and getting support from businesses in the Catchment Area. A stencil was designed to show that litter entering the stormwater drains on roadsides entered Blackburn Lake Sanctuary and eventually in Port Phillip Bay.
    Stencilling and Signage is yet to be completed, being interrupted by COVID.