Flying Foxes at Yarra Bend Park & Bellbird Picnic Area, Kew
Tucked into the middle of Kew’s Yarra Bend Park, off of the Yarra Bend Boulevard is the Bellbird Park and picnic area. This beautiful spot right along the Yarra River is not only a great place for a family BBQ but home to a huge colony of Grey Headed Flying Foxes.
Yarra Bend Park
Yarra Bend Park has a viewing platform right off of the car park where the Flying Foxes are on full display. The variety of mega-bat seen here, the Grey Headed Flying Foxes, are the largest of all Australia’s fruit bats.
Depending on the time of year there can be anywhere between 3000-50,000 bats in the colony.
The best time to watch from the platform is at sunset when the flying foxes start making lots of noise then take flight to go find food. Watching them fly off into the sunset is quite spectacular.
There is a Wetland Walk right past the viewing platform, down by the river that will get you up close and personal with the fruit bats.
The path is not lit so it is best to go during daylight hours, before sunset. This is a great place to really see the flying foxes’ large wingspan and cute, little faces.
A few things to note about the trail are the top of the trail is rather steep so be very careful with young children and while possible with a pram could be a bit on the bumpy side.
Take care not be too noisy and do not attempt to interact with the bats in any way. Mumma bats carry their babies on the underside of their wings. If the mother is startled she can drop the baby.
There are multiple signs posted with fun facts about the flying foxes and the area where they live.
Bellbird Picnic Area
The Bellbird Picnic Area is on the opposite side of the car park to the viewing platform. There is a covered area with tables with a free BBQ and another picnic table closer to the river’s edge that is shaded by trees.
A wide-open green space runs alongside the picnic area which is great for a run for both kids and dogs. While Bellbird Picnic Area is definitely dog friendly, your four legged friends must remain on a leash at all times to protect the park’s wildlife. There is also a canoe launch for those of you who enjoy a paddle on the river.
You will find trails along river on this side of Bellbird Park that are more pram friendly and teaming with native Australian birds. Definitely stick to the paths to avoid running into any snakes especially on warmer days.
Toilet facilities are available right beside the covered picnic tables. Please be aware there is an automatic gate that unlocks the toilets at sunrise and locks them at sundown.
There isn’t a café on site at Bellbird Park but with the BBQ facilities and undercover picnic tables this is a perfect place to bring your own food and drinks.
For those who enjoy the walking trails, follow the river walk along the Yarra for 2.5kms to the Studley Park Boathouse Café and coffee kiosk.
- Viewing Platform
- Seating and Tables
- Walking Trails
- Picnic Areas: Both undercover and shaded picnic tables
- Toilets: Open from sunrise to sunset
- Parking: Plenty of free parking
Address: Bellbird Road, Kew (off of Yarra Bend Boulevard)
Open: All the time
Guest Contributor: Clara Batton Smith
Parks in Melbourne
Yarra Bend Park and Bellbird Picnic area is right along the Yarra River. It is not only a great place for a family BBQ but a great place to spot the huge colony of Grey Headed Flying Foxes in the area. Make sure to check out our other Parks and Playgrounds around Melbourne.
If you are looking for more things to do in Melbourne with kids, make sure to check out MELBOURNE WITH KIDS for activities. Follow Mum’s Little Explorers on Facebook and join the Melbourne for Kids Facebook Group.