Natural Environment

The northern Bellarine coastal reserve, including the Point Richards Flora and Fauna Reserve, has significant ecological value. Areas of a low-lying dune system, herb-rich woodlands and a mosaic of wetlands traverse the coastal landscape providing habitat significant native wildlife, in particular the Growling Grass Frog and Red-capped Plover. The headlands and cliffs are distinctive features of the landscape that continue to evolve, creating a character that is much loved by locals and visitors alike.

There are many important heritage features dotted along the coastline, and places that tell the Aboriginal history and continuing connection to Country.

As the population of the local community grows, there is increased pressure on the natural environment as a result of increased human activity and the expansion of townships. Potential negative impacts of the increased pressure include:

  • increased wildlife disturbance;
  • trampling or removal of vegetation;
  • increased litter;
  • increased habitat fragmentation; and
  • changes to stormwater runoff.


A key goal of Bellarine Bayside is to protect and enhance the natural environment. Since 2012, we have been implementing a comprehensive program to progressively rehabilitate native vegetation through weed management and revegetation.

Key achievements in 2019/20

  • Planting over 10,000 native trees, shrubs and grasses, including 20 endangered Bellarine Yellow Gums.
  • Mapping rabbit fox and cat activity in the 62 hectare Point Richards Flora and Fauna Reserve.
  • Facilitating more than 1900 volunteer hours on the coastal reserve through our volunteer groups, community
    planting days and the support of external organisations (Conservation Volunteers Australia, Birdlife Australia and the Victorian Coastal Monitoring Program).
  • Running 20 environmental and cultural education activities that engaged more than 290 people.
Point Richards Flora and Fauna Reserve

Point Richards Flora and Fauna Reserve is dedicated to the conservation of indigenous plants and wildlife.

Originally allocated for the conservation of southern brown bandicoots, this 62-hectare reserve is one of the largest areas of native bushland and ephemeral wetlands on the Bellarine Peninsula.

Easy pedestrian access to the network of trails that transect the reserve is available off Point Richards Road. The walks are designed to showcase the reserve’s unique natural and ecological features as you meander along. Download a copy of our walking map to guide you as you go – Point Richards Walks.

We also have a Kids Activity Booklet to help immerse the little ones in the environment and a HAIKU Poem Trail in partnership with the Port Arts Network.