Stretch your legs among the sights

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ST Leonards has some incredible walks.
Here’s one that takes walkers through coastal vegetation and woodland to discover some hidden natural sights. It takes about 50 minutes to complete and is about 3.4km in length.
Starting at the Beach Road car park, meander along a very level path through a beautiful forest of coastal tea-tree and wirilda (a type of wattle). The forest canopy provides protection, food and shelter for the diverse and abundant birdlife. Bats also roost along here in the cracks of branches.
After about 1km, the walk leaves the forest to reveal wonderful views of water-filled marches and Swan Bay. The salt marshes and dune vegetation in this area create a unique habitat for wildlife.
This habitat is very precious as it has largely disappeared from the rest of Port Phillip Bay.
The track turns left, passing through a little more woodland before crossing a boardwalk that sits above a large lagoon. The glasswort shrubland visible around the lagoon provides food for the critically endangered orange-bellied parrot.
The lagoons are not tidal and during long dry spells they can dry out, leaving a hard salt crust on top of the mud. Waders from all around the world arrive in this area during the summer months to feed in the saltmarsh, before returning to their northern homes to breed.
Swallows and other small birds show off their acrobatic skills catching insects in mid-flight.
Hairy spinifex and sea rocket is abundant along the coast.

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