Bellarine and Great Ocean Road Dunecare project

Isoodon obesulus, Southern Brown Bandicoot at Mount Rothwell Sanctuary, Victoria

Isoodon obesulus, Southern Brown Bandicoot. Mount Rothwell Sanctuary, Victoria. Source: Museums Victoria

Protecting and investing in our dunes.

Coastal dunes form a unique and highly diverse ecosystem. They play an important part in the health of our coastlines, protecting them from sea surges and storms that can impact infrastructure and livelihoods.

Along the Surf Coast, dunes provide refuge, food and breeding habitat for many native animals such as swamp antechinus, hooded plover and southern brown bandicoot.

Native plants help stabilise dunes. Unfortunately, these plant communities are under pressure from introduced weed species, pest animals and human activities.

Dunes also face increased erosion from climate change and visitor impacts. Rising sea levels associated with climate change and human-induced erosion impact dune stability, affecting native species' survival and important cultural values.

Supporting our dunes

Parks Victoria received over $124k in funding as part of the Bellarine and Great Ocean Road Dunecare Project to improve habitat conditions for native animals and reduce the impacts of human-induced erosion.

This funding supported dune rehabilitation and habitat protection at three coastal sites along the Great Ocean Road in Anglesea, including the Gap and O’Donohues, Guvvos to Hutt Gully, and Urquhart Bluff.

The works included:

  • installation of 574 m beach access fencing to create clear access pathways and minimise dune trampling
  • 20 ha of weed control of species such as boneseed, bluebell creeper, coast tea-tree, sweet pittosporum, sweet hakea and milkwort – all of which impact the quality of the vegetation. This allows local species such as moonah and myoporum insulare to thrive, as well as improve habitat conditions for threatened animal species
  • 5 ha of pest animal management - targeting rabbits and foxes to promote dune stability and reduce impacts on native animal species that call the dunes home
  • revegetation works in partnership with Friends of Eastern Otways volunteers.

How can you help?

  • Use the formal pathways provided and please stay out of the dunes
  • Dogs can stress or kill native animals - please keep your dog out of the dunes
  • Join local community volunteer groups, such as Friends of Eastern Otways and ANGAIR, to help improve our natural areas.

To learn more about the Bellarine and Great Ocean Road Dunecare Project, visit

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