The Beautiful Balyang Sanctuary


Once a simple swamp near Geelong, this area has been turned into a wildlife sanctuary and bird watchers delight.  It’s a fantastic place to bring the kids and have a picnic – in fact one of the most popular spots in Geelong.

You can see all kinds of wildlife. Among the birds you will see are swans, pelicans, Eurasian coot, dusky moorhen, Pacific black duck, mallard, pied cormorant, geese and silver gulls. There’s plenty of aquatic life too and if you’re lucky you’ll see a koala relaxing amongst the boughs of the gum trees.


The area features some great running and walking paths and has lots of space for cyclist to share the experience.

The rejuvenation project saved this area from industrial development and pollution.  This process also resulted in the creation of two islands, and they’re a super exciting for kids as they sound.  There’s also a third island dedicated to providing the perfect habitat for local birds to nest.

The land has historic connection to Geelong’s first police magistrate who built his home ‘Balyang’ there.

Riverside walks and paths connect the park to other
great outdoor spaces in Geelong so it could be a great stop on a wider journey.

The sanctuary is located at the river end of Shannon Avenue, Newtown, beside Princes Bridge. Nearby are Balyang Par 3 golf course, Yollinko Park and Leech Wood Gardens. Balyang Sanctuary has picnic areas and full amenities.

Image Credit:

By Marcus Wong Wongm – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

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