Lake Lorne is a natural freshwater wetland on the edge of Drysdale. The number and diversity of birds within the reserve make it one of the most significant wetlands on the Bellarine Peninsula.

The lake has a connection to the groundwater system which feeds the natural springs that run into Port Phillip Bay. The natural water level can rise and fall greatly. It can also lag in response to the weather, taking some time to fill after rain and retaining high water levels through dry periods. This means it can be a particularly important refuge for birds during drought.

The lake’s wide range of native vegetation, variation in water depth, abundance of small aquatic animal life and small islands all provide important habitat, roosting and source of food for various birds. It is common to see Black Swans, Egrets, Spoonbills and Purple Swamp Hens. Some rare and threatened species such as Freckled Duck, Blue-Billed Duck and Lathams Snipe can also be found. Birds of prey such as the Swamp Harrier can often be seen soaring above the wetland.

Workers for Wetlands look after a large number of nesting boxes. The Geelong Field Naturalists Club also has a strong interest and extensive knowledge about the fauna found in and around Lake Lorne.

We’re undertaking an ongoing program of weed removal and revegetation using indigenous plants such as River Red Gum, Swamp Gum and Blackwood.

Plans for Lake Lorne

Increasing urban development in the Drysdale-Clifton Springs area has prompted development of a master plan to ensure the reserve’s long-term protection. Residents had input to the plan earlier this year when it was on public exhibition, and the revised plan will go back to Council in coming months for approval.

A key feature will be a new gravel pathway to provide all-abilities access to the reserve while minimising impact on the environment.

A 1.2 m high conservation fence above the upper water level of the wetland will restrict dog access to the waterfowl conservation area.

Important views of the lake will be maintained and new interpretative signage will allow visitors to learn about the environmental and cultural features of this special place.

Tips when visiting

Lake Lorne Reserve joins the Bellarine Rail Trail. A picnic area, playground and toilets are nearby at the Drysdale railway station. A path from Station Street enters the reserve from the eastern side.

Please remember to:
  • put litter in the bin and keep the wetland clean
  • keep dogs on a lead, and
  • be sure to clean up after your dog.

Lake Lorne Equestrian Centre is set within the larger Lake Lorne Reserve. The reserve has a large pony club ground, cross country facilities, show jumping facilities and pavilion.