Mokoan Hub & Café holiday hours

If you are planning a visit to the Wetlands over the holiday period, please note the opening hours for Mokoan Hub & Café:

24/12 …..Open 9 am – 2 pm
25/12 …CLOSED Christmas Day
26/12 …CLOSED Boxing Day
27/12 …..Open 9 am – 4 pm
28/12 …..Open 9 am – 4 pm
29/12 …..Open 9 am – 4 pm
30/12 …..Open 9 am – 4 pm
31/12 …..Open 9 am – 2 pm
01/01 …CLOSED New Year’s Day
02/01 …..Open 9 am – 4 pm
03/01 …..Open 9 am – 4 pm

Read more about Mokoan Hub & Café

Growling Grass Frog – will we hear them growl again?

30 November 2018

Frogs are a vital part of our ecosystem and are great indicators of the success of our restoration efforts. Frogs add to our biodiversity and are an important part of the food chain for birds, snakes and fish.

“One species that has been lost from our site and also regionally is the Growling Grass Frog (Litoria raniformis), and we are looking into how we can reintroduce the species back to the reserve,” said Dr Lisa Farnsworth, Restoration Ecologist at Winton Wetlands.

In a project supported by the Wettenhall Environment Trust, Winton Wetlands staff and volunteers are embarking on an innovative plan that aims to re-establish the charismatic Growling Grass Frogs on the reserve. Key project activities include:

  • Monitoring frog calls (collected by citizen scientists) through acoustic recording, to remotely identify species.
  • Researching the feasibility of reintroducing the species including testing for appropriate water quality, water temperature and vegetation cover
  • Habitat enhancement appropriate to the species requirements
  • Analysis to determine the extent of chytrid fungus on the reserve (an infectious disease that affects amphibians worldwide)

“We are improving frog habitat through revegetation and the addition of rocks to allow Growling Grass Frogs to bask in the sun and to limit the spread of chytrid fungus”.

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Why did the turtle cross the road?

Tuesday 23 October

Winton Wetlands is fortunate to play host to some interesting ‘heroes in half-shells’ including the Eastern Long-necked turtle (Chelodina longicollis) and Murray River turtle (Emydura macquarii). Turtles love to use the edges of the Wetland’s swamps for laying eggs and are known to travel between expanses of water which provide their food resources.

“We are seeing turtles almost on a daily basis at the moment around the Wetlands”, said Lance Lloyd, Restoration Scientist at Winton Wetlands.

“We’ve seen an abundance of turtles crossing Lake Mokoan Road and they’ve even been visiting the Mokoan Hub and Café and our glamping site near the boat ramp”.

These four-legged friends contribute to the diversity of fauna represented at the Wetlands and are the subject of ongoing restoration and monitoring, including that being conducted by the Friends of Winton Wetlands who use an online mapping database, TurtleSAT, to log their findings.

Fingers are tightly crossed in the hope of finding the locally-extinct Broad-shelled turtle (Chelodina expansa), but the focus is on conservation efforts across all species.

For visitors to the area and beyond, there are a few ways to help your local turtle populations, including recording sightings using databases like TurtleSAT and lending a helping hand to turtles taking the treacherous journey across roadways.

Turtles travel to seek out healthy habitats, food and water. Keep the following tips in mind if you see a turtle crossing the road:

  • Be cautious of your own safety by checking where you stop your car and being aware of other vehicles travelling on the roadway
  • Take a quiet, low and slow approach towards the turtle to prevent distress
  • Pick the turtle up firmly by the shell edges, keeping it low to the ground
  • Move the turtle off the road making sure to keep it facing the way it was walking to continue on its travels!

Media Contact: Tanya McAlpin
03 5766 4462, 0414 266 960

Calendar Art Competition

$100 vouchers up for grabs, as well as the chance to have the artwork featured in the 2019 Winton Wetlands calendar
Simply enter the Winton Wetlands Calendar Art Competition

Twelve winners will be chosen based on their merit and creativity by the Winton Wetlands Calendar Competition Committee. These winning artworks will be featured in the 2019 Winton Wetland Calendar, with all funds raised from the sale of the calendar going to the Friends of Winton Wetlands restoration work.

This competition is open to children of primary school age and living in Australia.

Competition closing date: 5pm, Monday 12 November 2018

The Competition Committee is looking for bright colours, creativity, good technical skills, use of space and a good story to accompany the submission. Each winning artist will receive a $100 voucher.

Image: Henley Public School 2018 Calendar

Competition Requirements

Entrants must provide their full name, age, school name and grade and a parent/guardian’s contact phone number.
Artwork should be landscape, A4 size and accompanied by 25 words or less addressing one of the themes mentioned below:

  • Birds – The rare Regent Honeyeater is among the nearly 200 bird species identified across our diverse ecosystems.
  • Wildlife – Our site is perfect for encountering kangaroos, echidnas and even tiny antechinus.
  • Pest Animals – Winton Wetlands is unfortunately home to some pest species whose effect is damaging to our restoration efforts.
  • Insects – Important to our food webs and ongoing regeneration, insects are also vital to growth and balance.
  • Habitat – Native plants and a healthy environment provide safe homes for our birds and wildlife.
  • Threatened/Endangered Species – Winton Wetlands is home to 11 nationally listed endangered species.

Mail Submission

Artwork no smaller than A4 can be sent via post or be delivered in person to:
Winton Wetlands – Calendar Art Competition
652 Lake Mokoan Road
Chesney Vale VIC 3725


Artwork can also be submitted electronically to should be at high resolution (suggested 300dpi), landscape, A4 size, bright and clear. The original image must be available to be sent if required by the Competition Committee.

At Winton Wetlands we make every effort to provide accurate information to the best of our knowledge at the time of publication. We recommend confirming times, dates and details directly before making any plans as details may be subject to change.

The promoter is Winton Wetlands, ABN 53 224 268 294
The promotion commences at 9am on Monday 15 October and closes at 5pm on Monday 12 November 2018.
The competition is open to primary school children who are residents of Australia.
Permission of a parent or a guardian to enter the competition is required as the winning images will be featured in the 2019 Winton Wetlands calendar, on the Winton Wetlands website, facebook page and in any other Winton Wetlands marketing material.
Employees of Winton Wetlands or their family members are not permitted to enter the competition.
Any entries received after the closing date will not be eligible to enter the competition.
Entrants can only submit 1 entry into the competition.
The total value of all 12 prizes is $1200. This consists of 12 x $100 vouchers.
The competition winners will be chosen by the Winton Wetlands Calendar Competition Committee and all winners will be notified by either email or phone call by Friday 23 November 2018.
If the winners cannot be contacted or do not claim their prize within 14 days of notification, we reserve the right to withdraw the prize from the winner and pick a replacement winner.
Winton Wetlands reserves the right to cancel or amend the competition and these terms and conditions without notice.
Winton Wetlands will only use any personal details for administration of the competition.

Cherry Blossom tours

Cherrybrook Cherry Farm is famous for its delicious cherries, but prior to fruiting the trees present a stunning display of cherry blossoms for just three weeks in September.

Blossom time at Cherrybrook coincides with the spectacular display of wildflowers that change the scenery at Winton Wetlands, including wattles, peas and lilies.

Tour details

This day tour is perfect for groups and includes:

Cherrybrook Cherry Farm

  • Morning Tea at Cherrybrook Cherry Farm
  • Tour and talk with photo opportunities

Winton Wetlands

Winton Wetlands and Cherrybrook Cherry Farm have linked two of the season’s most beautiful marvels to create a spectacle

Cost: $30 per person

How to book

The tour is available for groups. Minimum 10 people please.

Contact us for availability and to book your tour.

Phone on 03 5766 4462


Find out more about Cherrybrook Cherry Farm





Winton Wetlands ‘Pick My Project’

Voting is now open for the Victorian State Government’s Pick My Project initiative.

Winton Wetlands has two projects in the mix for this funding round and your vote counts!

Click on the links below to register and cast your vote.

Vote for ‘Nangarna Play Space’

Nangarna Play Space is an all-abilities, nature-based playground influenced by our environment and Indigenous history.

Playground space

Vote for ‘Outfoxing Our Foxes’

Outfoxing Our Foxes – Safe-guarding the wonders of our wetlands: Reducing fox abundance using innovative technology.

Fox at Winton Wetlands photo by Matt Devine

Vacancy: CEO position

This position provides a rare and exciting opportunity to lead the future development of this significant ecological and cultural landmark.

Winton Wetlands and its Committee of Management was established in April 2009 under the Crown Land Reserves Act 1978. The Victorian Government committed $20M toward the transformation of the site and its community connections, and the project is on track to achieve the 2021 goals outlined in the Future Land Use Strategy (FLUS).
The successful candidate will:

  • build on the significant achievements to date and share the Project’s vision (as outlined in the FLUS and Masterplan);
  • have proven leadership, management and communication skills;
  • demonstrate astute business acumen, a broad range of managerial skills, and excellent interpersonal skills;
  • make a significant contribution to the vision, plans and promotion of Winton Wetlands as the site develops iconic stature of national cultural, recreational and ecological significance.

The position description is available from June Smith 0411 116 848.
Please Email applications to
Closing 24 June 2018.
Visit for further information on the project.

CEO Winton Wetlands

2018 Drying of the Winton Wetlands

The drying we’re seeing at Winton Wetlands is part of a normal and regular process. With the dry weather over summer and autumn the site dried out this year. Drying drives very important ecological processes (such as nutrient transformation, trigging invertebrates to lay eggs and plants to germinate), so we welcome it. It also allows us to get on with some physical works that the big wet of two years ago has delayed!
When the reserves filled in 2016 (after being dry for two years), it took about 2 months for them to fill (July and August) to over 100 per cent as the wetlands then drained out for a couple of weeks and water slowly dropped over that summer and autumn. Unfortunately the winter rains last year only resulted in a small water rise and of course they have dried out now.

A more detailed explanation

The Winton Wetlands are an ephemeral wetland system. This means that there will be times when the wetlands dry out for example after periods of low rainfall.  experience both drying events, after periods of low rainfall, and filling events, from inflows following rain events in the catchment, and from local surface runoff.

Evaporation is happening all the time

At all times, the wetlands lose water through evaporation. Evaporation happens more quickly from November to March. During these hotter months the water level can drop rapidly. In drier periods it can completely dry out. The flooding-drying cycle is a natural and predictable event for all wetland systems.

Lake Mokoan aerial

Drying out can have benefits for the wetlands

Lance Lloyd, Restoration Scientist at Winton wetlands says:

“Drying is very important to the wetland ecosystem as it:

  • Triggers organisms to lay desiccation-resistant stages, eggs, or plants to set seeds in response to the lowering water levels;
  • stimulates edge and wetland plant colonisation; and
  • causes dried out sediments on exposed wetland beds to allow nutrients to be transformed and prepare the system for next refilling phase.”

A natural cycle of drying out and filling

The main, most visible body of water in the centre of the Reserve comprises the three largest wetlands in the complex – Sergeant’s, Winton and Green’s Swamps. These wetlands have historically dried every eight years, on average. At the moment Greens and Sergeants Swamps have already dried, as have the smaller wetlands. The large body of water in Winton Swamp is very shallow and is likely to dry completely in coming days or weeks.

A 10% drop in water level can span over two square kilometres of water surface. This means that drying out can seem to be a dramatic event affecting a large surface area, even though it is only a slight decrease in system volume.

Site improvement and ecological benefits

Jim Grant, CEO of the Winton Wetlands Committee of Management says “we work with these natural occurrences as opportunities to continue to develop the site across its many aspects and welcome the drying event as an effective control of exotic and potentially harmful fish such carp, which still occur in the system (although at lower levels than previously).” Firstly, he says “the low water levels assist water birds, such as pelicans, to feed upon the fish and secondly, the drying itself eliminates the harmful fish.” Restoration Scientist, Lace Lloyd said “Our recent fish survey indicated that Winton Swamp had fewer carp than usual but drying will eliminate this harmful species. Native fish have found refuge in our Mokoan Ponds along the old dam wall.”

Header photo by Liz Arcus

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Lance presents some interesting information about carp in this video

Chief Executive Officer resignation

14 May 2018

The Winton Wetlands Committee of Management has announced the resignation of Chief Executive Officer, Jim Grant.

Jim joined Winton Wetlands in the role in April 2013, and during his five-year tenure, he has taken the organisation through a period of successful growth and change.

Jim will be leaving the project in August 2018 to join his wife in Canberra, where she is now employed. Jim stated that “It is time for me to support Ann in her career as she has supported me for so many years. I have given plenty of notice so that the Committee will have the time and capacity to choose the right person for the next phase of the reserve’s development, and because I am keen to complete a number of projects over the next few months.”

Throughout his period in the role, Jim has demonstrated considerable skills in building the organisation’s capacity and increasing its networks in many different sectors. Jim, alongside the committee of Management, has worked to deliver the Future Land Use Strategy. Prior to Mr Grant’s employment the reserve was closed to the public.

Over the past five years, roads, walking tracks and bike paths have been constructed and opened, signage installed, and the Hub and Café established. Effective land management and favourable conditions have allowed wetland vegetation to expand rapidly and ensured the survival of the tens of thousands of trees planted on site, as well as the return of birds and native animals – complemented by growing visitor numbers.

Under Jim’s leadership, Winton Wetlands has increased its viability as an ecotourism destination in the North East.

“I’m very proud of my time and achievements with Winton Wetlands. It will continue to grow, and I thank the committee and the staff for the privilege of working with them,” he said.

Winton Wetlands Committee of Management Chair, Dr O’Brien said “the Committee of Management greatly appreciates the outstanding contribution that Jim has made to the vision and development of the site over his five-year tenure.”

“Without Jim’s perspective on how the wetlands could be transformed into a site of cultural, artistic, historical and ecological significance, the project would not be on the trajectory it is on. That is, as a wetland ecological renewal project and unique tourism venue of national significance.”

“His contribution will be greatly missed, and his replacement will have big shoes to fill. The whole committee was disappointed to hear of Jim’s resignation but we all wish him well in his future endeavours.”

Winton Wetlands continues to grow and transform, and the organisation will soon commence a thorough external search and recruitment process to find a successor for this role.

Woman (in silver) by Sonia Payes remains until 6 April

woman-in-silverLocation: Point Gama [Reed Spear], 500m south of Mokoan Hub 6: Cafe, on the Foreshore

Display dates: 9 March to 6 April 2018 Woman [in silver] stands three metres tall – imposing mercurial, multi-faceted appearances across the foreshore landscape.

The sculpture represents humanity and female strength, reiterating that history falls within the inevitable cycle of birth and death, beginning with the individual, and intertwining the past and present in the future.

Sonia Payes’ sculptures are symbols of life – seeking protection through landfall and to adapt and evolve.

About Sonia Payes: Her body of work explores the narrative of humanity’s capacity to adapt and grow in the ever-changing landscape.

Payes has exhibited in group and solo exhibitions at McClelland Gallery & Sculpture Park, Sculpture by the Sea [Cottesloe, WA and Bondi, NSWL Monash Gallery of Art, Scott Livesey Galleries, and in international art fairs; London, Auckland, Hong Kong and Shanghai.

See more


Sonya Payes with her sculpture Woman (in silver) photo by Rensmart Photography