August 11, 2018 / Comments (2)

Serendip Sanctuary, Lara

Brolgas and other birds at Serendip Sanctuary

serendip sanctuary - wildlife walk - ready to hikeSerendip Sanctuary Lara is a little oasis in the Western Volcanic Plain, near Geelong.

The Sanctuary is well worth a trip with a young family with plenty to see and do. The kids will love it.

On the popular Wildlife Walk, you can see a variety of native birds and animals.

We’ve seen plenty of wallabies and birds, including emus. We’ve been back several times as our Monsta gets a bit older and he now loves fishing for bugs in the pond.

Serendip Sanctuary hike details

Serendip Sanctuary walks

Distance: 3.6km
Time: 1.5 hours
Elevation: A whopping 6m
Grade: Very easy

Serendip Sanctuary cost: Free!

Serendip Sanctuary opening hours: 8 am to 4 pm

Facilities: Flushing toilets, baby change facilities, picnic tables, free barbecue facilities. No bins. Take out your rubbish.

Family-friendly: Definitely! There are baby change facilities at the main carpark.

Pram-friendly: Not really. The paths around the park are pram friendly – they’re sandy gravel. But the number of gates and doors you have to go in and out would make it difficult with a pram. A backpack carrier like the Osprey Poco Premium is a better idea.

Serendip Sanctuary Picnic and BBQ areas and toilets

Serendip Sanctuary picnic area with undercover BBQs and picnic tables, and the flushing toilets

Park details

Entering Serendip Sanctuary through one of the many gatesSerendip Sanctuary is in Lara, about 20km north-east of Geelong.

Getting to the sanctuary

The Serendip Wildlife Sanctuary is about a five-minute drive from the M1 Freeway. Take the Avalon Airport exit. Coming from Melbourne, keep to the right of the exit and turn right at the T-intersection and drive over the bridge. At the next T-intersection, turn left into Old Melbourne Road then about 1.1km up the road, turn right into McIntyre Road. You can follow the signs to Serendip Sanctuary from there. At the railway crossing, there’s a bit of a veer left, a quick turn left and a quick right into Windermere Road where the Sanctuary is located.

Note: If you’re using Google Maps to get you there, it might and try you to a locked back entrance off Plains Road. The entrance is definitely off Windermere Road.


The route we took around the sanctuary and the elevation. Good grief! Six whole metres of climbing.

Maps and more information about Serendip Sanctuary, Lara

Grab a free Serendip Sanctuary map:

Wildlife at Serendip Sanctuary

Brolgas and other birds at Serendip Sanctuary

Brolgas and other birds in the wetlands at Serendip Sanctuary

Cape Barren Geese at Serendip Sanctuary

Cape Barren geese

There are more than 150 species of native birds at Serendip Sanctuary. You can see the birds up close from bird hides and in aviaries throughout the Wildlife Walk in the Lara wetlands.

Species include:

  • bush stone-curlew
  • brolga
  • freckled duck
  • whistling kites
  • yellow-billed spoonbills.
Black wallabies at Serendip Sanctuary

Black wallabies at Serendip Sanctuary

Native animals include eastern grey kangaroos, emus, spotted-tail quolls, black wallabies and the eastern barred bandicoot, one of Victoria’s most endangered creatures. You might see some of these animals while walking around the Sanctuary. Quolls are nocturnal creatures that mainly hunt at night. Like the eastern barred bandicoot, the quolls are also endangered.

Getting up close with black wallabies at Serendip Sanctuary

The Monsta getting up close with a timid black wallaby

Family activities at Serendip Sanctuary

There’s plenty for families to do while walking around Serendip Sanctuary. It’s a great place for families to explore.

There’s a ponding site where kids can dip nets to catch water bugs. You’ll find a tub with nets, buckets and magnifying glasses for free use.


Serendip Sanctuary Ponding Site

The Monsta inspecting his finds at the Serendip Sanctuary ponding site


Kids can test their jumping skills against the resident kangaroos at the long jump pit. Jump as far you can then jump as high as you can and measure it against different types of roos.

During the school holidays, Parks Victoria runs a free Junior Ranger program at Serendip Sanctuary for kids aged 5-12. Bookings are essential and can be made by calling 13 19 63 or visiting Parks Victoria’s the Parks Victoria Junior Ranger website.

We thought it was a fantastic place and we’ve returned to Serendip Sanctuary several times with The Monsta many times and for many years to come.

Last modified: November 28, 2018

2 Responses to :
Serendip Sanctuary, Lara

  1. Sally says:

    Great post Sandra and so close to home, we will definitely check it out some time soon, after the other 21 Melbourne Walks!

    1. Make sure you get to Serendip Sanctuary, Sally. I guarantee your kids will love it.

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