“Boosting Recreational Water Use Initiative” for the Barwon River through Geelong

Canoe landing at Balyang Sanctuary

The Corangamite CMA is the land and waterway manager for the Barwon River through Geelong/ This entails approximately a 10km stretch of river corridor reserves from Queens Park Bridge, through to Gun Dog Lane at Breakwater. This responsibility includes the maintenance and management of the river banks and adjacent reserves, and providing associated services and facilities. Recreational activities associated with the river include rowing, water skiing, canoeing and fishing and a network of access trails and park lands that allow for walking, running, bike riding, picnics and bird watching.

The aim of this project initiative is to provide more opportunities to allow for a greater range of recreational users to access the Barwon River through Geelong.

This will be achieved by modifying and enhancing existing structures within the Barwon River to increase the accessibility and improve safety. These sites include the Canoe landing at Balyang Sanctuary, Rowing landing extension, the Wal Whiteside Platform at South Geelong and the Yollinko Wetland Walk.  

The new and enhanced landing at Balyang Sanctuary will provide more stable access to the river at various levels with an extended landing being fitted with better suited materials. It will also feature a recycled plastic assisted kayak launch ramp and a more gradual access ramp down to the landing from the walking trail. This structure will allow for many forms of unpowered water craft including canoeing, rowing, kayaking, outriggers and dragon boats.

The refurbishment of the Wal Whiteside Platform will allow for waterski boat mooring and limited kayak and canoe access. The other main features of this are the improved access down to the decking and the shelter and picnic tables. There will also be a section at the downstream end providing for recreational fishing.

The rowing landing extension will formalise access to the landing and river at the front of the Corio Bay Rowing Club. This will be done through extending the reinforced concrete and synthetic grass of the rowing landing to include the final section of the rowing precinct.

The safety upgrades to the Yollinko Wetland Walk have already been implemented and provide for safer access in wet conditions and general safety for the community. It has also provided more seating overlooking the Barwon River and additional safety railing.

This project has been funded by DELWP with significant investment contributions also coming from CoGG, VFA and CCMA. With the CCMA delivering this project it provides better opportunities for more people to get on the river and enjoy their recreational pursuits. It’s an important development for the Barwon River and it will not only benefit the local Geelong community but many other people that visit the area.

Major construction works of this project are set to get underway at the beginning of September 2020 at the Canoe landing at Balyang Sanctuary. This is expected to be completed by the end of December 2020 and the rowing landing extention and Wal Whiteside Platform being completed by April 2021.