Basalt Plains

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Land Area
Main TownsBannockburn
Land UseSheep grazing
Main IndustriesAgriculture
Wind power generation
Natural FeaturesBarwon River
Leigh River
Moorabool River
Woady Yallock River
Inverleigh Flora and Fauna reserve
Mount Anakie

This landscape system is situated to the north and west of Geelong, and runs across the region south of the Northern Uplands area.  Along its southern extremity it basically follows the Princes Highway to Birregurra before heading north to the Hamilton Highway.  It then follows to the north of the Hamilton Highway to the region’s western boundary.  It includes the towns of Bannockburn, Winchelsea, Inverleigh, Cressy, Anakie and Lismore.  This landscape includes portions of the Corangamite, Colac Otway, Surf Coast, Golden Plains and Greater Geelong local government areas. It includes part of the Wadawurrung traditional lands as well as a small portion of Eastern Maar country.

Click on map to access Natural Resource Management Portal interactive mapping

The landform of the Basalt Plain is generally flat to gently undulating rising only up to 20 metres.  The major rivers in this area include the Leigh, Moorabool and Woady Yallock rivers (originating in the Northern Uplands) and the Barwon which flows from the Otways via the Barwon Plains landscape system. Other important waterways include Mia Mia, Five Mile and Warrambine creeks. The fertile soil is generally used for agricultural purposes, including sheep grazing with some areas of cropping.  Paddocks often feature piles of rocks and boulders that have been cleared out of the soil to increase cultivation.  In recent years the Basalt Plains have seen the installation of a number of wind farms.

Key values identified in this landscape system include:
• known rare and threatened species
• significant Ecological Vegetation Classes and wetland vegetation condition
• significant bird species and important bird habitat
• significant fish, reptile and amphibian species
• recreation, including camping, fishing, picnicking and game hunting
• areas of drought refuge.

The Basalt Plains are bordered to the north by the Northern Uplands, with a southern border of mostly the Western District Lakes, as well as the Barwon Plains and Geelong City areas. It is one of the largest landscape systems in Corangamite region. The Woady Yaloak, Leigh and Moorabool Rivers all flow through the area from the north, and the Barwon river joins from the south. It is is predominantly the Victorian Volcanic Plain Bioregion and the vast majority of the land is in private ownership.

The Inverleigh Flora and Fauna reserve is a woody grassland reserve is the largest public reserve on the Basalt Plains.  Cared for by a dedicated volunteer ‘Friends of’ group, this 1000+ hectare site represents remnant grassy woodlands, one of the most threatened eco-systems in Victoria, with only 1% of the original grassy woodlands of the state remaining. The reserve is known to have almost 50 species of native orchids. The You Yangs regional park is also situated on the eastern border of the Basalt Plains Landscape System.