Point Richards (Port Arlington) Flora and Fauna Reserve VKFF-2423

It was now our first full day in Geelong (1st March 2023). After breakfast, we headed to the Geelong Botanical Gardens. In 1851 the Government set aside 200 acres at the edge of the Geelong settlement for the establishment of a Botanic Garden. Today the gardens are listed on the Victorian Heritage Register. It was a beautiful morning to stroll around the gardens.

We left the Botanical Gardens and drove along the Geelong waterfront, stopping to have a look at the Road Trauma Memorial ‘Solace’. The memorial aimed at giving people a place to reflect on the impact of road trauma and remember those who have lost their lives on Victoria’s roads.

We continued along the waterfront and parked our car and went for a walk along Western Beach Road and The Pier.

There is a monument on the waterfront to commemorate the establishment of the colony of Victoria. The plaque reads:-

“On 12 November 1850 here in front of Mack’s Hotel settlersmet the first ships to use the Steam Packet Wharf and learnt that the Act to establish the Colony of Victoria had been passed”.

We then paid a visit to the Geelong Carousel. This Armitage-Herschell portable steam driven, hand-carved wooden carousel was built on about 1892. It is one of only 200 in operation around the world. It features 36 Dare horses and 2 chariots, and was purchased by the Steampacket Place Development Board in 1996 and painstakingly restored.

It was late morning now, so we decided to get some brunch at the Wharf Shed and had a brilliant breakfast.

We then headed to our first park activation for the day, the Point Richards (Port Arlington Flora and Fauna Reserve VKFF-2423, located on the Bellarine Peninsula, southwest of Melbourne, surrounded by Port Phillip Bay, Corio Bay, and Bass Strait.

Above:- Map showing the location of the park, southwest of Melbourne. Map c/o Google maps.

Prior to European settlement, the Bellarine Peninsula was inhabited by the Wathaurong aboriginal people. Early European settlement of the area was focussed on wheat and grain production, while today the Bellarine Peninsula is a popular tourist destination. The Peninsula takes its name from the Wathaurong aboriginal word ‘Balla-wein’ which refers to ‘balla’ meaning ‘elbow’ or ‘reclining at the elbow’.

The park is located at Port Arlington, which was originally known as Drayton. It was subsequently changed to Portarlington in honour of Sir Henry Bennet, 1st Earl of Arlington. Other theories suggest the area was named after Portarlington in Ireland.

Above:- Henry Bennet, 1st Earl of Arlington. Image c/o Wikipedia.

The park is located on the eastern side of Point Richards Road and the southern side of Boat Road. It is referred to on maps as the Point Richards Flora and Fauna Reserve and the Portarlington Flora and Fauna Reserve.

Above:- An aerial shot of the park, looking east. Image c/o Google maps.

The Point Richard Flora & Fauna Reserve is 62 hectares in size and was established on the 20th day of March 1979. It was originally set aside for the conservation of the Southern Brown Bandicoot. It is one of the largest areas of native bushland and ephemeral wetlands on the Bellarine Peninsula.

The park consists of low, flat grasses and bracken-dominated open woodland, with a diverse shrub and ground layer which is rich in herbs, grasses and orchids. The ephemeral wetlands lie in a series of shallow east-west depressions. ‘Ephemeral’ means the wetlands fill with water in winter and drain in summer.

A total of 55 bird species have been recorded in the park including Smap Harrier, Brown quail and Chestnut Teals. The park attracts international migratory wading birds including Latham’s Snipe. The park is home to at least six species of frog, including the endangered Growling Grass Frog.

Below is a short video of the park.

We set up in the park off Boat Road. We ran the Yaesu FT857, 40 watts, and the 20/40/80m linked dipole.

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3SQ
  2. VK3PF
  3. VK2EXA
  4. VK3BEL
  5. VK3ZPF
  6. VK2VH
  7. VK4AAC
  8. VK3UAO
  9. VK7QP
  10. VK5FB
  11. VK5HS

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3SQ
  2. VK3PF
  3. VK2EXA
  4. VK3BEL
  5. VK3ZPF
  6. VK2VH
  7. VK4AAC
  8. VK3UAO
  9. VK7QP
  10. VK5FB
  11. VK5HS
  12. VK5KVA
  13. VK3GH
  14. VK5DJ
  15. VK3ANL
  16. VK3FRC
  17. VK3GB
  18. VK7AN
  19. VK3UH
  20. VK3MIJ
  21. VK3DL
  22. VK3SMW
  23. VK7MAD
  24. VK1AO
  25. VK2MET

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK1AO
  2. VK2MET
  3. VK2IO
  4. VK5HS
  5. VK4SMA
  6. VK2BYO
  7. VK4TJ
  8. VK4NH
  9. VK4DXA
  10. VK4FW
  11. VK8MM
  12. VK4HAT

I worked the following stations on 15m SSB:-

  1. VK4NH
  2. VK4DXA
  3. VK3UAO
  4. VK4TJ
  5. VK4FW
  6. VK8MM
  7. VK4HAT


  1. CAPAD 2020.
  2. City of Greater Geelong, 2023, <https://www.geelongaustralia.com.au/gbg/default.aspx>, viewed 6th April 2023.
  3. Intown, 2023, <https://intown.com.au/locals/portarlington/history_portarlington.htm>, viewed 6th April 2023.
  4. Point Richards Flora & Fauna Reserve brochure
  5. Transport Accident Commission, 2023, <https://www.tac.vic.gov.au/about-the-tac/community/road-trauma-memorial>, viewed 6th APril 2023.
  6. Wikipedia, 2023, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bellarine_Peninsula>, viewed 6th April 2023.

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