Elster Creek and Elster Creek Catchment

Elster Creek is a small creek that flows into Port Phillip Bay near Point Ormond in Elwood. Its catchment area almost defines the boundaries of the City of Glen Eira, and also takes in small areas of Bayside, Port Phillip and Kingston City Councils. Elster Creek catchment is about 40 square kilometres in area.

Elster Creek and its catchment lies entirely within the Sandbelt region of south eastern Melbourne. The Sandbelt region takes in the Local Government areas of Port Phillip, Bayside, Glen Eira, Kingston, and lesser parts of of Stonnington, Monash, Dandenong, Casey and Frankston.

The geology of the Sandbelt region is predominately well drained sandy soils and clays. Within the Elster Creek Catchment many smaller sub-catchmnets drained into depressions forming shallow ephemeral wetlands with no natural outlets. These areas collected the heavier soils and alluvial silts and held water that formed wetlands after heavy rains. Many of Glen Eira's parks and reserves are former wetlands.

These wetlands areas supported different plant communities than their surrounding drier srubby heathland and open grassy woodland and the immediate coastal areas. These plant communities and the many sub-communities within the Elster catchment and beyond supported a diverse array of flora as well as the local fauna.

Most of Elster Creek is now an underground drain with only approximately five kilometres of its lower reaches open to daylight with a little over one kilometre remaining un-concreted.

Almost all of the original vegetation communities on the sandbelt have vanished with suburban development. Some flora remnants still remain giving testimony to the splendour of the natural vegetation that once flourished here.

Today it is still possible to follow some of Elster Creek's original course via a network of streets, shared walking and bicycle pathways through parks and reserves to the last section known as the Elwood Canal which joins Nairm (Port Phillip Bay) at Elwood.


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