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The Briars Park (Mount Martha)

The Briars Park is one of the Mornington Peninsula's oldest properties. The park, a wonderful example of cultural landscape, contains an 1840's Homestead which houses a Napoleonic Collection and various out buildings that were required in early pioneer times. A 96 hectare wildlife reserve allows visitors to experience native flora and fauna via a series of walking tracks and boardwalks and an excellent Visitor Centre display and audio visual is an ideal introduction to the Park's facilities.

There are many things to see and do at The Briars including:

- Visitor's Centre
- Bushwalking and bird watching
- Balcombe Estuary Boardwalk
- 1800's Historic Homestead & gardens
- Napoleonic Collection
- Eco Living Display Centre
- Historic farm buildings
- School holiday activities
- Wildlife Sanctuary and wetlands
- Woodlands walks, gardens & vineyard
- Josephine's Restaurant
- Kiosk & picnic areas
- Shire Nursery of native & indigenous plants
- Outdoor Ed Camp

Drop into The Briars Visitor Centre to explore the visual displays and watch the informative audio-visual presentation presenting an overview of the park. Try some bird watching at our bird hides and continue exploring the Sanctuary along the walking trails absorbing the native Australian bush and try to spot the native wildlife. Take a guided tour of the historic homestead with one of our knowledgeable volunteer guides.

Relax for a drink and lunch in the picnic area with BBQ facilities or enjoy a meal at Josephine's Restaurant and take in the view overlooking the Homestead and Wildlife Sanctuary. Browse through the many native and indigenous plants at the Shire Nursery, and explore our sustainable living and gardening at the Eco Living Display Centre.

Walking Tracks at The Briars
Wetland Walk - Commencing at the gate on the eastern side of the Visitor Centre, this 350 metre boardwalk leads to the Boonoorong and Chechingurk hides. The area, once part of the farm, has been planted with indigenous species and includes several wetlands built on the Balcombe Creek floodplain. This walk connects with the Tichin-Goroke Link and the Wetlands Viewpoint another 400 metres on. Please note that the Viewpoint is not wheelchair accessible.

Woodland Walk - The Woodland and Kur-Bur-Rer Walks commence at the gate on the western side of the Visitor Centre and lead across Stockleys Creek to the Balcombe Creek ford and bridge. Turn right for the 2 kilometre Woodland Walk. At first the path meanders through high quality Manna and Swamp Gum woodland and then more open country where cattle once grazed. After approximately 1 kilometre is the Wetlands Viewpoint from which the Tichin-Goroke Link leads back to the wetlands, hides and Visitor Centre.

Kur-Bur-Rer Walk - This walk, of approximately 4 kilometres, is named after the Boonoorong name for the Koala. From Balcombe Creek, take the fire trail on the left uphill for a short distance and cross the stile on the left to commence the walk. Look for Koalas around K1 and later for Eastern Grey Kangaroos in the more open grassy woodlands. Upon reaching the fire trail again, cross directly over and the vegetation soon changes again to a dense scrub woodland as you descend to Balcombe Creek. The walk then follows the creek with great views of reed swamps and farmland to the south before reaching the Wetlands Viewpoint. Choose between the Tichin-Goroke Link and the Woodland Walk to return to the Visitor Centre.

Balcombe and Harrap Creek Walkways - From the Briars Visitor Centre these walks lead west to Mount Martha Beach and north to Craigie Road respectively. Turn right about 250 metres along the path for the Harrap Creek walkway. The creek has formed a steep-sided valley which is unique on the Mornington Peninsula. It is approximately 850 metres to Craigie Road and you can continue as far as Civic Reserve in Mornington. The Balcombe Creek walkway takes you under Nepean Highway to the Balcombe Estuary Boardwalk - seven kilometres return. The vegetation along the estuary is mostly Swamp Scrub of paperbark trees. The creek is the last unspoilt waterway entering Port Phillip Bay.

Wetlands - The Boonoorong and Chechingurk Bird Hides can be reached via the boardwalk from the Visitors Centre. Keen bird watchers should bring some binoculars and their camera. This walk is suitable for wheelchairs and visitors of all abilities.

Birthday Parties
Angus and Rose at the Briars is creative boutique space offering art classes, kids parties, school holiday activities, vintage wears, Coffee, books, potted roses, local handmade products and local art work. Open everyday from 8:30am till 3:30pm

Opening Hours:

The park is open between 9am and 5pm. The historic Homestead is open between 10am and 4pm when our volunteer Homestead Guides are on duty. The Wildlife Sanctuary will be closed to all park visitors on days of Total Fire Ban. The Homestead and the rest of the Park grounds will open as normal.


Entry fee applies for the Homestead and bookings are recommended (around $13 for a family)


There is an extensive set of activities at the Park. Near the Information Centre is a nursery and an area with shaded and unshaded tables plus BBQs. The Information Centre has displays such as a large tank with turtles and yabbies and another with a blue-tongued lizard. There is also a ranger present for advice. The Information Centre has cold drinks but there is also a cafe nearby.

There are various length walks but an nice walk is the Woodlands walk which is only 2.5 km return and passes through different habitats. Lots of information panels along the track enhance the walk. The walk includes a long boardwalk through the wetlands area. In early October we didn't see a lot of birds but it varies depending on the weather (the birds tend to disperse more when there has been rain). November is the best time for seeing birds according to the ranger and the best time is early or late in the day. There are a few bird hides - the Chechingurk Hide is large and has informational posters and panels while the Boonoorong Hide has narrow slit windows for viewing.

Behind the cafe is the Perfumed Garden which is a lovely garden with free access. Higher up the hill is Josephine's Restaurant which offers morning and afternoon teas during the day. The area around the restaurant has vintage farm equipment in the outbuildings.


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Address | Contact

457 Nepean Highway,  Mount Martha 3934, Victoria, Australia. View Map Map opens in new browser window
Telephone: (03) 5974 3686
Map: 145 Ref: D12

Web Links

Link The Briars Park

Link The Briars Walking Notes (PDF)

Link The Briars Walking Map (PDF)

Link Harrap Creek Trail Map (PDF)

Link Angus and Rose at the Briars on Facebook

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