We’re excited to announce that the Western Treatment Plant will re-open to birdwatching permit holders on Monday 29 November from 9am.

To ensure the ongoing safety of our staff and the provision of essential services, all visitors (including birdwatchers) to Melbourne Water sites (including the Western Treatment Plant) must abide by COVID safe practices, including Melbourne Water’s updated COVID-19 vaccination policy.

COVID Vaccination requirements

  • To access the site, birdwatchers must maintain a current vaccination status, which means that an individual has received both an initial vaccination against COVID-19 and any subsequent vaccinations or boosters that are required or recommended by the Australian Commonwealth Government or a state or territory government to maintain immunity against COVID-19.
  • Birdwatchers may visit the Western Treatment Plant with a medical exemption evidenced by an authorised medical practitioner.
  • Birdwatchers may be asked to provide evidence of their current vaccination status or medical exemption. Spot checks of visitors (including birdwatchers) will be conducted.
  • All guests of permit holders must also comply with Melbourne Water’s COVID-19 vaccination policy. As the permit holder, you are solely responsible for any guests while on site.

Other COVID safe practices

  • All birdwatchers, including guests of permit holders, are expected to individually sign in when entering the site by scanning a QR code. Signage explaining this process will be positioned at each entry to the site. Birdwatchers are not required to register their visit through our Customer Service Centre.
  • Maintain social distancing and where this is not possible wear a mask, such as in bird hides.
  • Maintain good hand hygiene

Other important information

  • The Paradise Road toilets will be open to birdwatchers.
  • In addition to complying with Melbourne Water's COVID-19 vaccination policy, birdwatching permit conditions are detailed here:

Birdwatching permit conditions and hazards

Stay informed

If you have any questions or concerns please contact us via email [email protected] or telephone 131 722.

Updated: 24 November 2021

Explore Victoria's best birdwatching site

Home to more than 295 species of birds, the Western Treatment Plant is a haven for birdwatching, and recognised as a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention.

The plant's lagoons, grasslands and coastline provide an idea and varied habitat for tens of thousands of birds and other significant wildlife -due to the permanent water and food supply and little interference from humans.

You must have approval to birdwatch at the Western Treatment Plant, and once you have an access permit follow all signage and COVID-safe requirements, including Melbourne Water’s updated COVID-19 vaccination policy, upon entering the site.

Update on General and Special Access areas (6 Dec 2021)

We’re committed to combining the General and Special Access areas, allowing birdwatching permit holders (newly-approved and renewed) to access both areas via a single, universal gate key.

This requires new and renewing permit holders to have completed mandatory online induction training needed for the Special Access area to ensure the safety of visitors and plant operations.

The Special Access area is temporarily closed while there are still new and renewing permit holders who have yet to complete mandatory online induction training. Once all have completed this, we will be able to change the lock system and transition these permits to provide access to both areas.

We appreciate your patience as we work towards improved access for all permit holders.