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MooRabool River

Charles Daniel Pratt, Ca. 1925

Fyansford postcards

over the years


Kayaker and blog-writer,

Jo Mitchell, captures the essence of the lower Moorabool River in her Barwon Blog

Living in Fyansford

we are close to nature.

It's all around us.


The Moorabool River flats,

host of Henry & George King's

thriving nursery,

have never looked so good


What do others see?

Fred Kruger

The Moorabool River as seen through the lens of early photographers

Sometimes when rivers

stand in the way of progress

 changes have to be made.

Many have enjoyed

the Moorabool River.

Share their interests.

The Moorabool ~ Alternate Perspectives

A 'Fyansford Explorations' BLOG series

Mandatory Viewing

The River Moorabool Official Trailer

SheOaks Films (July 2019)

With soundtrack

The Moorabool River.jpg

Views of Moorabool River valley

from the Ted Wilson trail in Hamlyn Heights 

Jo Mitchell's Barwon Blog is not just about the Barwon.

It also features  blogs on the Moorabool River.

Changing Perceptions...

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2007 ~ Moorabool Gorge Recovery Project

A presentation by Ralph Cotter on the restoration work done in the Moorabool Gorge


2008 ~ Moorabool River Flow near Hunt's Bridge

Moorabool River Flow near Hunt's Bridge April 2008 after release from Lal Lal


2008 ~ Moorabool River Flow Photo Sequence

A series of 6 photographs over 20 minutes showing the transition from dry bed to flowing river.


2008 ~ Batesford Moorabool River Flow

The Moorabool River flowing at the Batesford gauging station for the first time in over two years.


2008 ~ Moorabool River Environmental Flow

Moorabool River Environmental Flow just north of Meredith. A sweet rarely heard sound.


2015 ~ A Moorabool River Clip (corangamitecma)

The Effect of Environmental Water on the Moorabool River

2016 ~ Shelter Belts

Landcare benefits for the Moorabool River

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ca. 1917

Moorabool River Viaduct

8km up Moorabool

from Fyansford

Click image

Our Moorabool looks great when carrying water...

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What bird is that?

People for a Living Moorabool

"The Moorabool River is a hidden gem with spectacular falls at Lal Lal and beautiful spots for swimming and fishing. Supplying water for Ballarat and Geelong and for agriculture has taken its toll and the Moorabool is now Victoria's most flow stressed river".

  • Length:88km

  • Avg annual streamflow:97,000 ML

  • Main towns:Geelong, Ballarat

  • CMA region:Coorangamite

  • Overall health rating:Moderate to very poor – most flow stressed catchment in Victoria


The Moorabool River, located in the Moorabool Catchment is the most flow- stressed river in Victoria – in an average year 62% of its water is extracted for use, the highest level of use in the state.

200! ~ Platypus in the Moorabool River 

Videoed at the Meredith Pumping Station. It was the first sighting for a couple of years.

Dog Rocks Flora & Fauna Sanctuary 


Situated adjacent to the Dog Rocks outcrop on the top of a hill in west Batesford, adjacent to the Moorabool

Platypus are considered widespread in the Moorabool River between Lal Lal Reservoir and Batesford, and the increased flows are likely to increase the presence of aquatic insects, fresh water shrimps, worms and yabbies for them to feed on. “Juvenile platypus will start dispersing in autumn so it is important to maintain good flows in the river to connect habitat pools and facilitate the movement of platypus into new areas,” Corangamite CMA River Health Executive Manager Trent Wallis said.

Corangamite CMA Media Release, 2012

Gordon MacRae has reported

three sightings of foxes

since moving into the estate.

Magic and I love our dawn-n-dusk strolls

around the estate.

Murray River turtle on the Barwon at Fyansford

2014 (Barwon Blog)

Tony Peach Nice turtle on the river trac

The other morning (7.00-ish) I spotted a wallaby over the Moorabool River; first as we walked northward along McAuliffe Drive and again as we headed down Littlewood Drive toward Monier Way.

And, isn't it always the way - my phone hadn't been recharged

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"The river flows in flat farmland, and has extensive pools to 2.5 m deep. Substrate is mud in the pools and gravel in the riffles. The same fish as upstream occur here, as well as Australian grayling, European carp and congoli. Fly-fishing, minnow lures and spinners are successful in taking brown trout. Baits such as garden worms are used for catching tench, river blackfish, redfin and short-finned eel. This river is considered to be one of the better brown trout fisheries close to Geelong..".  To see more...


"The Moorabool joins the Barwon at Queens Park (Melway 451 B3). It used to be scenic stream skirting the outskirts of Geelong, producing brown and Rainbow Trout, redfin and the occasional good size blackfish. The Moorabool still produces fish but it carries less water and appears far less healthy than when I fished it as a youngster from the bottom of Church Street. Public access to the Moorabool River is restricted to Fyansford and from Batesford (Melway 511 E6). The Moorabool River Joins Sutherlands Creek above Batesford on the Midland Highway, and possibly owes its population of native blackfish to this water. One of the best known stretches of the Moorabool is at Morrisons on the Meredith/Ballan Road (Melway 511 C3). This is a favoured fly fishing area supporting a healthy population of Brown Trout, mostly quite small. However, the occasional encounter with an much larger escapee from Lal lal reservoir, which is several kilometres upstream from Morrisons, is always an attractive possibility: Fishing is not permitted in Lal lal reservoir which also known as Bungal dam... To see more...


Moorabool River fish survey – measuring the impact of dry inflow conditions 

Report prepared for Corangamite CMA February 2009


Moorabool | Inland Angling Guide | Fishing Locations ...

Buckley Falls Park

Barwon River water warning after dead fish find

JEMMA RYAN, Geelong Advertiser

June 25, 2016 1:00pm

“Hidden away in Fyansford at the end of Cyril Synot Drive, this is a peaceful spot on a wide stretch of the river, a few hundred metres upstream from the beginning of the falls.”

Drive up Dolder Street late at night and you won't believe the number feeding.

Ask some of the neighbours what they think...

Thanks to Amy McBryde for this image of snails on her back fence. She also posted a great information sheet on the common white snail on Fyansford Community Noticeboard

Pests ~ And, yes, we have our share

Barwon Blog

Anything and everything to do with the Barwon River.

A truly well worth visiting local resource….  

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And, every now and then one strikes ‘gold’…   Jo Mitchell’s blog





Jo's finishing comment:

“And so after five hours of rocks, prickles, boxthorn, ants,

bees, rushes, reeds, barbed wire and leeches

we were finally done.

Not exactly a "paddle" I would recommend,

however a very interesting part of the Moorabool

to have seen at close quarters”

Some of Jo's images taken while kayaking down the Moorabool River
The Moorabool ~ As others see it....
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Images from...

Fyansford Gallery


The term 'Moorabool' is believed to have Aboriginal origins. See: ~

"The name Moorabool has Aboriginal origins. According to the Heritage Centre’s Street names index 'generally regarded as meaning the curlew; however, there is a suggestion that it refers to the supernatural as evidenced by the curlew’s weird cry.' This is confirmed in Place names of Victoria by Les Blake, which defines it as haunt or cry of the curlew."

Source: Geelong Heritage Centre (Email dated 1 March, 2016)

Curlew Links: #1,  #2,  #3

I would appreciate it if someone could throw more light on this...
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The Moorabool ~ Alternate Perspectives

Blog #1 ~ Postcards

Postcard 1.jpg
The Barwon in Flood.jpg
1900Ca  (Aussie~mobs) by Aussie~mobs (fl
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1901 Ca Fyansford Bridge and Cement Work
1910 Ca Fyansford Bridge Roy Holden Coll
Near Geelong Fyansford.jpg
1910 Ca Fyans Ford, Hill & Cement Works,
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A hot Day, Fyansford Bridge, Geelong Und

Blog #2 ~ fred kruger

Fred Kruger, View on the Mooroobool Rive
View on Moorabool River, Fred
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Hope's Flour mill on the Moorabool River
View on the Moorabool River, Batesford B
View on the Moorabool River, Batesford.j
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Blog #3 ~ Barwon Blog (Jo Mitchell)

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To view the Blog #3 postings see: 

To view the Blog #4 postings see: 


Blog #5 ~ a moorabool Makeover

Q. How many makeovers has the Moorabool had?

A ‘makeover’ is a radical change in appearance.

When describing a river it refers to a dramatic altering of its appearance or construction, such as when the waterway is dramatically altered, renovated or re-routed.

Though makeovers are usually referred to in a positive manner, i.e. seen as a way to start afresh or improve the life of the river, in the case of the Moorabool, I have my doubts.


The following gathering of photographs spanning over six decades hints at a cloze-story containing many gaps. For me it is yet another conundrum; a question having only a conjectural answer. There must be people out there who can factually "fill in the gaps". 

Exactly how many makeovers has the Moorabool had, when and by whom?

The River Basin Management Society collection ~ 1947, '55 & '63


Click first image to open screen

Andreas Makarewitsch ~ 1980s


Ron Grant ~ 1990s


Click first image to open screen

Jo Mitchell ~ 1915


Prior to the limestone quarry beginning operation Ca 1890 the river banks had suffered extensive erosion damage. I can imagine, however, that native flora and fauna thrived with platypus, fish and an abundance of native wildlife being found in the river and its environs. During the century-long period during which the quarry functioned, there were attempts by authorities to alter both the course and flow of the river via the installation of concrete weirs and lengthy channels (both low and high-sided). While these were initially installed, I am sure, with the best of intentions, the embankments and other works have over the years been subject to degradation, wear and neglect; a classic case of "out-of-sight / out-of-mind". While I personally have not recently observed the situation (I detail elsewhere my association back in the mid-fifties with the installations), the above four galleries indicate the extent of this erosion, concrete channelling and its apparent state of disrepair.

  1. Click image to access video

  2. Click start button

  3. Click enlarge icon to maximise image size

  4. Select highest possible viewing resolution (720p)


would be very grateful for any comments, photographs or maps regarding:~

  • the installation of any of the concrete works

  • the present condition of the installations

1910 Ca  Fyansford Bridge Symons & Rober
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Blog #4 ~ environ,mentally speaking

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Blog #6 ~ mapping fast-fading memories


Way back then,, long long ago, in the far-away land of my early youth (Ca 1954-60); that special time when life-long memories were made, I grew up as a 10 to 16-year-old boy scout with the 1st Newtown Troop working toward my Queen's Scout badge. Those were the safe days we played chalk-chasey around the streets of Newtown, lantern-capture games on the vacant hill just over Queen's Park bridge, conducted
bottle-drives and camped at the Dog Rocks.

One badge required me to camp solo. All went well  ~ I cooked my meals, drank the Moorabool water rushing down the small concrete weirs and slept comfortably in my chunky sleepingbag - until around 3.00 am when some grazing cow nudged my one-man tent.No more sleep that night......

Ah, those were the days.






When Melway's was king



Back then I collected RACV strip-maps along with many large fold-up road maps distributed by fuel producers (Shell, Ampol, ...); storing them in a shoebox (well before satnav devices).


Working with fading memories, Google Earth and photos belonging to Jo Mitchell, Ron Grant, Andreas Makarewitsch and myself, I challenged myself to map Jo Mitchell's 5-hour canoe trip down the Moorabool with a focus on the re-routed section flowing along the lengthy man-made concrete channels. Viewers may prefer to follow Jo's blogs #1, #2, #3.

9 Jo Mitchell's Moorabool River Explorat

Playing with Google Earth

Click first image to enlarge slideshow

Click arrows to move through the series 

With help from Ron Grant

Click first image to enlarge slideshow

Click arrows to move through the series 

With my fading memory and a

Sunday photshoot

Click first image to enlarge slideshow

Click arrows to move through the series 

A Gallery


Click first image to enlarge slideshow

Click arrows to move through the series 

“And so after five hours of rocks, prickles, boxthorn, ants, bees, rushes, reeds, barbed wire and leeches we were finally done. Not exactly a "paddle" I would recommend, however a very interesting part of the Moorabool to have seen at close quarters.” Jo Mitchell

Note: Jo was in a kayak (not a canoe).

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Blog One

Courtesy Leo

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I knew they were out there. No idea where or who had them…

Photographs of workers constructing the Moorabool diversion Ca early 1990s.

Then out of the blue a gentleman recently approached me with the somewhat flattering question, “Are you that Fyansford historian?”


Well, I am an opportunist, I live in Fyansford, I have a blog ‘Fyansford Explorations’ and a web-page But a historian!


I would have, back in the old days, let mum sew the name-tag “Fyansford historian” on the inside of my pullover.


Perhaps, it may be more truthful to admit to an interest in historiography.



History is factual in theory only. The way it is actually recorded, written about, and changed throughout time makes history quite fluid.

Historiography, very simply, is an interest in the history of history. And, I enjoy exploring the how of history, when it was written, by whom, and why it was recorded as such. Moreover, it is a look at if, and how, historical events have been reinterpreted by historians over time and why. Perhaps it's a bit more retrospective than my focus tends to be.


I do enjoy and appreciate the transient relics, records, memorabilia that hint at what Fyansford was, is, will be - and the story thus told. Over the next couple of blogs I will present the first public viewing of Leo's series of photographs dated 19 February - 22 April, 1991.

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Blog Two

Courtesy Leo

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Blog Three

Courtesy Leo

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If you were involved on this project, knew any of the workers,

or can add to the gallery,

please contact me.

For a more general overview I refer to

"A Moorabool Makeover" (blog 5)

in The Moorabool ~ Alternate Perspectives.

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