Northern Uplands

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Overall area? hectares
Main townsBunninyong
Land useBroadacre grazing
Plantation forestry
Main IndustriesAgriculture
Nature based-tourism
Urban water supply
Main Natural FeaturesMoorabool River
Leigh River
Yarrowee River
Leigh River Gorge
Mount Bunninyong,
Mount Mercer
Mount Warrenheip
Enfield State Park
Steiglitz Historical Park.
Lal Lal Falls

This area spans the northern part of the region, and extends from Ballarat in the north, and is bounded in the south by the Basalt Plain and includes the townships of Meredith, Rokewood and Skipton, but does not include the urban area of Ballarat City. Undulating hills and broad valleys characterise the landscapes formed on folded sedimentary rocks and granite plutons formed around 450 to 350 million years ago.  Remnants of an ancient plain, formed about 40 to 30 million years ago, occur as caps of gravels sporadically distributed at various elevations.   It contains parts of the Ballarat, Golden Plains and Moorabool municipalities.  The traditional owners are the Wadawurrung. The majority of this Landscape System is within the Central Victorian Uplands Bioregion.

This landscape system has a rich gold mining history, with the gold rush period during the mid to late 1800s. This gold rush, while notable in the colonial history of Victoria, also had a major impact on the health of the Yarrowee, Leigh and Moorabool rivers. Of particular local significance for their environmental values are the gorges extending along parts of the Leigh River. Due to the gorge’s steep escarpments they remain largely non-arable, protecting bands of remnant vegetation and providing important corridors of habitat for wildlife.

Click on map to access Natural Resource Management Portal interactive mapping

Most of the land in this Landscape System is privately owned (approximately 80%). Three river systems drain the Northern Uplands of the Corangamite Region – the Moorabool River (east), Leigh River (central) and Woady Yaloak River (west).  The Northern Uplands system is also the home to a number of other priority waterways including the, Lal Lal Creek, Spring Creek,  Yarrowee River, Williams Creek and Little Woady Yaloak Creek (upper).  Major features include Mount Buninyong, Mount Mercer and Mount Warrenheip along with the Enfield State Park and Steiglitz Historical Park.

The area contains highly productive agricultural and horticultural areas used for broadacre grazing and cropping, with some areas of intensive agriculture, including horticulture, viticulture and poultry.  There are also large areas of pine plantations.

The area’s goldmining and cultural heritage and diverse landscapes attract many visitors and residents.  The natural resources in the area support industries such as agriculture and nature based-tourism, supply urban water needs and provide important habitat for flora and fauna.

The Moorabool River, its associated tributaries and water storages in the north form part a ‘Special Water Supply Catchment’ and are a source for urban and rural township water including Ballarat, Geelong and Meredith.

Other values identified include:
• known rare and threatened species
• significant Ecological Vegetation Classes
• rural water source
• aquatic invertebrate communities.