Werribee South is a rural area at the southern end of the Werribee River estuary. This distinctive geography is the background to the whole area. Driving through Werribee South today is like being in an organic patchwork quilt, with the colours of broccoli, cauliflower and lettuce areas and few patches of artichokes and onions for contrast.
Reminders of the past can be seen all around. From the simple timber houses from the early years of the 20th century, the Soldiers Memorial Hall on Diggers Road, early schools and shops, the cypress windbreaks, the irrigation channels and the Detheridge water wheels. You can still see the Water Tower and offices of the old State Rivers and Water Supply Commission on Tower Road, Werribee, built in 1925 as a part of the development.
The Market Gardens
The area was originally used for sheep grazing until 1904 when the State Government purchased a large part of the area for closer-settlement farming. It needed to provide of irrigation to add to the area's relatively low rainfall to complete a change to mostly market gardening. In 1912 the irrigation settlement of Werribee Estate was established drawing water from the Werribee River, Pykes Creek and Melton reservoirs upstream. As they were close to metropolitan markets, the area farms proved ideal for orchards, poultry, lucerne crops and dairying, this created a unique community that began with a settlement scheme, then as soldier settlement after the First World War. From the 1920s an Italian community had begun to establish here. By 1918, the population was 427. Ultimately irrigation always relies on the health of the groundwater system. In Werribee South this is known as the Werribee delta aquifer, formed from previous Werribee River courses and floodplain. It extends under most of the Werribee South irrigation area, the Werribee River and the Western Treatment Plant. The iconic Dethridge Meter wheel was developed in 1910 It was a simple flow measuring device with ease of maintenance with relatively low cost. The Dethridge wheel is used throughout Australia and in many other countries including U.S.A., Israel and Africa.
K. Road Cliffs
At the K. Road Cliffs lookout, the river has cut down into the Werribee delta on the flood plain on its way to Port Phillip Bay at Werribee South, exposing these beautiful red cliffs. From this site you can see the beginnings of the estuary of the Werribee River below on the western edge of superb irrigated farmland. Some good walks exist on the river with wildlife and great views in proximity to working farms and irrigation channels.
Cororoc Historic Town
Located within the unique landscape of Western Treatment Plant, there once was a township called Cocoroc. It began in 1894 and by 1897 there were 32 houses, a town hall, a football ground a swimming pool, tennis courts, four schools and a post office. The township reached its peak in 1950 with nearly 100 houses and some 500 residents. Eventually it became too expensive to subsidise and Cocoroc and by 1973, most of the houses and other buildings were demolished or moved to Werribee. All that is left of Cocoroc now are two small empty concrete swimming pools, change rooms, a sports pavilion, a farm hall and a wonderful heritage-listed water tank.
Water treatment Plant
In 1892 the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works established a sewerage filtration system on 3580 ha of land west of the Werribee River, assisted by a pumping station at Spotswood. A proportion of the land was used for livestock grazing.
Today this has become an unlikely treasure, one of the premier sites for birdwatchers, attracting migrating birds. the plants lagoons, grasslands and coast offer great habitats and plenty of food. This is a Ramsar convention international site home to over 280 species and
Werribee South Foreshore
The beach area is very different, and a great place for some fun. At the river end there are jetties and boat ramps, a recreation reserve with adventure playgrounds, beaches and a caravan park. At the other end of the beach is the new marina development, Wyndham Harbour. This has transformed the Werribee South Foreshore into a mix of retail and residential elements and also provided 10 hectares of new parks and wetlands, coastal walk and bike paths and two new beaches.
mall empty concrete swimming pools, change rooms, a sports pavillion, a farm hall and a heritage-listed water tank.
Werribee South Foreshore
The beach area is very different, a great place for some fun. At the river end there are jetties and boat ramps, a recreation reserve with adventure playgrounds, beaches and a caravan park. At the other end of the beach, you will find the new marina development, Wyndham Harbour. This has transformed the Werribee South Foreshore into a mix of retail and residential elements and also provided 10 hectares of new parks and wetlands, coastal walk and bike paths and two new beaches.