SKELETON CREEK & THE CHEETHAM WETLANDS CIRCUIT
The map is split in two sections to illustrate the creeks path through a suburban landscape and then fans out to its estuary and finally to the sea. I have also incorporated some of the previous history of the area, as the site of the historic Cheetham saltworks, and how the present is always built on the past.
The creek was originally named the Skeleton Water Holes. The volcanic rock below the creek basin, creates a natural filtration system, so that rain collects into shallow pools which then overflow and form into a watercourse. The creek begins further inland and then flow through Truganina, Tarneit and Hoppers Crossing. It then fans out at Altona Meadows into its estuarine system at the Cheetham wetlands. This area was once a temperate Kakadu, and its abundant Flora and Fauna attracted the indigenous people, who camped along the banks. There are many sites along the creek of archaeological significance. The developments of European farming and suburban life took its toll with the loss of habitat and of diversity in wildlife.
Today it remains a tremendous natural shelter for wildlife and is a wonderful area to visit, full of interesting things to observe. Walking the creek between its suburban hinterland is a relaxed endeavour but it’s worth reflecting on the areas significance. This is archaeological significant because of the earlier indigenous presence on many sites in the area. It has International significance as the wetlands are now a Ramsar protected site. And last of all it has Historic/industrial significance because of the Saltworks.