An initiative of Earthwatch Institute

Morwell National Park



June 2019




Blanket-leaf Tree along the trail

Our natural environment needs your eyes and ears!

Few studies tell us how Australia’s plants and animals are responding to climate change in our local parks. As part of a unique ClimateWatch in Parks citizen science initiative, Earthwatch Australia have worked together with Friends of Morwell National Park to create this ClimateWatch trail, connecting the La Trobe community to a nation-wide scientific study that will take teaching outdoors and collect data that will build our understanding of climate change impacts.

The ClimateWatch app can be used to submit sightings of ClimateWatch species anywhere in Australia, however ClimateWatch trails help obtain repeated observations and encourage the local community to enjoy nature while contributing to science. 

Located in the northern foothills of the Strzelecki Ranges, Morwell National Park is small in size but has regional significance as protecting one of the few areas of the original Strzelecki Ranges forest, including some marginal warm temperate rainforest and fern gully communities. Warm temperate rainforest which was once scattered throughout the region is now restricted to small pockets in the park. One of the reasons for creating the park in 1966 was to protect the uncommon epiphytic Butterfly Orchid population. Morwell National Park constitutes conservation value native vegetation such as Herb-rich Foothill Forest and Damp Forest, both Endangered EVCís (ecological vegetation class).

The environmental significance of the area makes it a haven for the community to enjoy and learn about the environment and conservation values of Morwell National Park.

Start your walk from Foster's Gully Visitor's Area. Make sure you wear comfortable walking shoes, a hat and sunscreen, and have some water with you. These areas can be explored for short or long walks, it's up to you. 

Contact if you have a group visiting the trail and would like to seek support from a local ranger.

School groups: As part of the Department of Education and Training's School Policy for Excursions and Activities, schools must notify the park prior to any visit. For information on how to plan for a field trip and notify the park, please visit the Parks Victoria Teacher Portal here


Why get involved?

Learn how climate change is affecting our wildlife.

Become an observer and help monitor local biodiversity.

Use the ClimateWatch app, field guide and recording sheet to observe species that are indicators of climate change and record your observations.

Make a real difference in your local community.


How to get involved?

Download the Morwell National Park ClimateWatch species field guide, trail map and recording sheet to mark your observations. If using recording sheets, remember to enter all your observations into the ClimateWatch website when you get back to a computer.

Alternatively, you can record your sightings immediately through the ClimateWatch smartphone app.

This is a public ClimateWatch trail that you can do whenever you like. If your school is interested in visiting the site through Parks Victoria, please notify the park prior to your visit through the Parks Victoria teacher portal here


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Parks Victoria and Earthwatch Australia are partnering to help gather important knowledge about the effects of climate change. The partnership will bring park visitors, nature enthusiasts, students, contractors, park staff and the general public together with climate change scientists through Earthwatch’s national phenology program ClimateWatch.

Our parks and reserves system protects many important environments but sit in a broader landscape that is changing. They play a crucial role in protecting biodiversity, providing clean air and water, regulating climate, maintaining healthy waterways, preventing soil erosion, maintaining genetic resources, providing habitat for native species and pollination.

Parks Victoria is responsible for managing an expanding and diverse estate covering more than 4 million hectares, or about 17 per cent, of Victoria. This area includes national parks, urban parks, large wilderness areas and 70 per cent of Victoria’s coastline. Parks Victoria also manages a representative system of marine national parks and marine sanctuaries. They are the local port manager for Port Phillip Bay, Western Port and Port Campbell and the waterway manager for the Yarra and Maribyrnong rivers.