The town of Bayles in the southern part of the Shire of Cardinia is home to one of the most under-rated attractions in the Shire – the Bayles Fauna Reserve. Located at 630 Koo Wee Rup / Longwarry Road, the Reserve is a great place to see Australian native animals in their natural habitat.
The serene setting makes an ideal place for a quiet stroll, with seating placed strategically so you can sit and listen and watch for the shyer animals – including the Growling Grass Frog and Southern Brown Bandicoot. Keep an eye out for snakes in the warmer months. You’ll likely want sturdier shoes, and it’s not the best for prams or strollers, but it is a little slice of how the Koo Wee Rup swamp was pre-European settlement.
The park is run voluntarily – entry is by donation on an honour system – and includes Crown Land that previously carried the Bayles Railway Line and Station. You can still see some of the track in the reserve, while the old station building is now a local museum that’s open by appointment only. Toilet facilities are located next to the park at the local hall, but there is a picnic area, free BBQs and a playground.
The Reserve is open from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Sunday.
There is a Friends of the Park group which coordinates volunteering efforts managing the different aspects of the park, from animal care to park maintenance and the museum. For more information please contact:
Or, you can sponsor one of the Reserve’s animals!Sponsorship forms are available through their website here.
Working bees are held at regular intervals throughout the year, go for about 3 hours and culminate with a sausage sizzle!It’s a beautiful and unique place to visit.