Reserves of northern Victoria and the southern Riverina
Lower Goulburn National Park
including Wyuna River Reserve and Yambuna Bridge
the Goulburn River downstream of Shepparton and upstream of Echuca in Victoria, Lower Goulburn National Park covers an area of 9,310 hectares alongside the Goulburn River downstream of Shepparton to the confluence of the Goulburn and Murray Rivers.The park is long but of varying width.
The park was gazetted in 2010. Parks Victoria have erected signs at some of the 83 entrances but, partly due the cost, signage has not yet been erected at all entrances.
The Goulburn River is lined with River Red Gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) and is an important wildlife corridor. Understorey plants include Golden Wattle (Acacia acinacia), Dwarf Native Cherry (Exocarpus stricta) and Silver Wattle (Acacia dealbata).
The new park excludes Loch Garry, a wetland area bordering the new park. When it contains water, this wetland provides habitat for thousands of water birds. Loch Garry is now a 'Wildlife Area' in which duck shooting may be permitted at times. But the new park encompasses most of the public bushland between Loch Garry and Shepparton Regional Park.
One of the larger sections is alongside
the Goulburn River upstream of Echuca Village in the vicinity of Yambuna Bridge. Another of the wider sections is the former 'Wyuna River Reserve'.
Stewarts Bridge, near the confluence of the Goulburn and Murray rivers, is near the downstream end of this park. The bushland alongside the Murray Rive is part of Murray River Reserve.
Camping is allowed in Lower Goulburn National Park but dogs, cats and firearms are not permitted. Fallen timber may be gathered for camp fires but must not be taken out of the park.
Park managers hope that fences can be erected between parkland and private land. Fencing grants are available for adjoining landholders. Some levee banks are likely to be realigned or strengthened.
Parks Victoria has a "good neighbour" policy and hopes to work with adjoining landholders to control weeds and pest animals. Rangers have started patrolling the park, with some rangers on duty on weekends and holidays.
Moves are afoot to establish a Lower Goulburn Conservation Management Network which is likely to cover both private and public land downstream of Shepparton, including the national park and conservation reserves. The area covered by the adjoining Broken-Boosey CMA will remain the same.
Parks Victoria's Lower Goulburn River National Park Page (with link to downloadable Park Guide)
The Goulburn River is the second longest river in Victoria. It was declared a heritage river in 1992. As far as the vegetation and habitat are concerned, the lower reaches of the river are in relatively good condition.
The original inhabitants of this area were the Bangerang. Scarred trees, mounds, stone artifacts and middens can still be observed in the park.
The content of this page will be increased as more information becomes available. It is also intended to add some photographs to this page .
BirdLife Murray Goulburn is centred around Shepparton-Mooroopna and areas to the east and has outings and surveys in the park. There is also a BirdLife Branch based on Echuca and it sometimes has outings to sections of the park, particularly to areas nearest to Echuca. Some of the outings and surveys of these BirdLife branches are in areas which are now part of the new national park.
Also based in Shepparton is the Goulburn Valley Environment Group which has been active, along with other conservation groups such as the Victorian National Parks Association, in campaigning for the creation of River Red Gum national parks.
The following notes have been summarised from the web site of Victoria's Department of Sustainability and Environment:
For local residents, the forests along the Goulburn River are likely to remain much as they’ve always been.
It is hoped that the new national park will increase the number of visitors to the area and boost the regional economy.
A whole range of activities will continue to be enjoyed in the national parks. Camping, fishing, water sports, horse riding, four wheel driving, trail bike riding and, except on days of Total Fire Ban, the use of campfires will all continue to be permitted.
Campers are able to choose where they camp in the new national parks. In the most popular areas, waste disposal facilities are expected to be improved.
Horse riding ise permitted on roads and tracks within this national parks.
Trail bike riding and four wheel driving is permitted on existing roads.
Campers may collect small amounts of fallen timber for camp fires. Many conservation-minded people are opposed to the collection of firewood and are particularly opposed to fires on warm summer days.
Cattle grazing is not permitted in the park.
Commercial timber harvesting licences will cease in the new national park.
Through its Our Water Our Future program, the Victorian Government will endeavour to provide long-term protection for all floodplains within the new national parks. However, this will depend on water availability across the entire Northern Victorian water system, as detailed in the Draft Northern Region Sustainable Water Strategy.
Reedy Swamp section
Reedy Swamp is located alongside the Goulburn River in Shepparton. From the Murray Valley Highway, the swamp may be accessed via Wanganui Road: turn right at the western end of the road. There is a strip of bushland between the eastern edge of the wetland and a row of homes. Shooting is no longer permitted. Birds often observed on the wetland include Black Swan, Eurasian Coot, Eastern Great Egret, Purple Swamp Hen and Grey Teal. White-backed Swallows are sometimes sighted in the park near the Wanganui Road entrance.
Whilst it is sometimes possible to drive around the swamp, the tracks on the western side is ungraded, eroded and not suitable for 2WD and low-clearance vehicles. The photo below was taken from the eastern side of the lake near the Wanganui Road entrance. Lined with River Red Gums, the Goulburn River is on the far (western) side of the wetland.
Reedy Swamp is subject to outbreaks of Blue-Green algae so it is best not to paddle, swim or fish in the swamp.
Yambuna Bridge section
Bridge Streamside Reserve was 44 hectares of native bushland alongside
the Goulburn River upstream of Echuca Village. It is now part of the Lower Goulburn River National Park. The area is popular with campers, anglers and canoeists. There is a boat ramp. There are a lot of snags in the Goulburn River so the river is unsuitable for speed boats. Access from the Murray Valley Highway is via Curr Road and Yambuna Bridge Road.
A colony of endangered Grey-crowned Babblers lives a short distance east of the bridge, near Wakiti Church.
Accommodation is available at the nearby Wakiti Resort.
Wyuna, derived from the Koori word for "clear water" (waioona),
is a locality north of Kyabram. Agnes Road runs from the Murray Valley
Highway, just east of Wyuna township, toad section of the new national park, the former Wyuna River Reserve which is around 201ha (over 400
acres) and which was fenced and restored by Wyuna Landcare Group, the
Irrigation Committee of Goulburn Murray Catchment Management Authority
and the Department of Sustainability & Environment.
This lovely bushland gives an indication
of what pre-European vegetation looked like and is one of the best and largest remaining
area of box forest alongside a river in northern Victoria.
It is hoped that the management committee will continue in some form.
The volunteers have recently had working bees on a nearby area of 40 hectares and hoped that an adjoining regenerating paddock might one day be added to the reserve.
Dominant trees are Red Gum (E. Camaldulensis),
Grey Box (E. microcarpa) and, in places, Yellow Box (E. melliodora).
The Bush Stone Curlew and the Squirrel Glider still live here. Two families
of Tree Goanna (Varannus varius) have been recorded here. At
least 110 plant species have been recorded in the reserve, including
Creeping Mint (Mentha saturoides) and Leafy Templetonia (Templetonia
stenophylla). Since cattle were fenced out of the reserve, the understorey
has recovered remarkably well, despite several years of drought. In
particular, native grasses, Gold Dust Wattle (Acacia acinacea) , Silver Wattle (Acacia dealbata) and Chinese Scrub (Cassinia
sp) have recovered well. Nest boxes made of
hollow branches have been placed in some of the trees and there are
information shelters at some entrances. There is a delightful sandbank
on the reserve side of the Goulburn River which
should appeal to bathers, canoeists and anglers. Over
100 bird species have been observed in the reserve. A draft management
plant was released in 2006.
Topographic map: Nathalia South 7925-4-N.
Location map of Wyuna Reserve and information about Wyuna Landcare Group
to download a pdf brochure on birding spots of Wyuna and Kanyapella.
Potential threats to Lower Goulburn National Park
- climate change, resulting in increased temperatures, reduced rainfall and increased incidence of storms
water management (quality, frequency, season, duration)
timber management (e.g. failure to remove thickets of saplings, failure to control firewood collection)
- lack of policing and enforcement of park rules, resulting in tree removal, fires, rubbish deposition, vandalism
(flooding reduces the fire danger; Red Gum is intolerant of fire)
- weed encroachment
(e.g. Arrowhead, thistles)
animals (e.g. rabbits, brumbies, pigs)
to fish movement
to water movement
Lower Goulburn National Park
Click here to go to Echuca Landcare
Group's home page
here to go to BirdLife Echuca District home page