Finding Nature in the City


Follow the link for a 360 degree view of Rivergum Walk

Banyule Flats and the surrouding parklands are important places for Melbournians to enjoy the pleasures of open space, exercise and time with family and friends. With diminishing space in backyards and increasing development we must protect these beautiful environmental assets in our City for future generations.

Here are two poems that were inspired by the Banyule Wetlands and the Banyule Native Gardens and some of the flora found there.

Their teeming wildlife, treasure troves of biodiversity, pathways,
streams, playing fields, meandering river, picnic-beaches,
demi-islands, ancient curving billlabong, shaded groves and
open skies ...
swans, owls, koalas, platypuses, parrots,
turtles, wombats, kookaburras,
quiet pods of kangaroos, scores and scores
of native-bird species, grasslands, gums,
wattles, and oaks....
all with a rich aboriginal, colonial and
artistic history
there must be places to satisfy the soul.
We have one........ Here

(Terry Falla)


Twenty minutes by these waters in these wetlands gave me heart to hope for the future against all we humans are doing to this fragile planet.
To destroy this exquisite home for birds and other natural inhabitants would be another blow struck in the name of barbarism, greed and ignorance.
To compromise this oasis of hope is to damn countless generations of life, including humans, to a little more of the hell we are sliding into.
To foster and protect these swans is to leave to homo sapiens a permanent place for grace and perspective.
To send the traffic on Rosanna Road along or under these waters would be like bringing a little more of Dante's Inferno into reality in the daily lives of all who would be further deprived of hope.

(Howard Ainsworth)

Water Ribbons & Sedges

Water Ribbons and Sedges Typical plants of shallows and margins - they provide shelter and food for the whole wetland environment - invertebrates, frogs, reptiles, birds and mammals.

River Redgum in flower

River Red Gums (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) flower in summer. Their abundant nectar attracts many insects and nectar-feeding birds such as Lorikeets and Honeyeaters.

Hollow Tree

Hollow Tree in Creekbend Reserve
Despite being burnt out many times, this old River Red Gum remains healthy and vigorous. It has probably sheltered many people and animals over the years.

Clematis microphylla

Clematis microphylla - an attractive native creeper whose flowers are followed by a mass of fluffy seed-heads,  called 'Old Man's Beard'.

Eucalyptus studleyensis

Eucalyptus X studleyensis on the banks of Banyule Billabong - a natural hybrid between Reiver Red Gum and Swamp Gum.




Acacia implexa (Lightwood)

Lightwood (Acacia implexa) - a summer-flowering wattle with a corky bark. It grows on slopes and hillsides. Wattle seed is an important food for native Bronzewing Pigeons.

Acacia malanoxylon

Blackwood (Acacia melanoxylon) grows in rich riverside soils, sometimes to a very large tree. Large trees in mountain forests provide superb timber for furniture.

Acacia verticillata (Prickly Moses)

Prickly Moses (Acacia verticillata)  
A spring flowering species. 'Moses' is a corruption of 'Mimosa'.

Red Gum - with burnt hollow

A burnt River Red Gum on the Yarra bank. The hollow was probably formed after a large branch or second trunk fell from the tree.  


Persicaria or Knotweed in flower beside the Swamp.  A common waterside plant.



Gate Tree

The Gate Tree at the west end of the Billabong - this River Red Gum may be at least 200 years old. Its many hollows shelter birds and possums.

Grey Mistletoe

Grey Mistletoe is a parasite of wattle species.  Its flowers provide nectar to many honeyeaters and insects.

Prostanthera lasianthos (Chrismas Bush)

Victorian Christmas Bush (Prostanthera lasianthos) has white flowers in November and December. Its Wurrundjeri name is "Corranderrk".

Rubus parvifolia - with fruit

Native Raspberries (Rubus parvifolia) has edible fruit, with little flavour by human standards.  Birds and possums enjoy them.

Water Ribbons

Water Ribbons (Triglochin procera) grow in shallow water. They produce slender orange tubers, collected by aborigines for food.


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