Emu Bottom Wetlands – Coming back to life

At 32-acres, Emu Bottom Wetlands, Sunbury is one of the biggest dog parks in Outer Melbourne.

There are plenty of amazing walks on Trail Navigator but what if you just want to take yourself, the family or even the dog for a quick stroll? If you live in Melbourne’s north-west I highly recommend visiting Emu Bottom Wetlands, Sunbury, conveniently located near Victoria’s oldest Homestead, Emu Bottom Homestead.

The Emu Bottom Wetlands track caters to a lot of people. On my visit there a last week, I saw some large families having picnics. Lot’s of dogs making the most of their unleashed freedom and being almost Valentine’s Day, there a few hand-holding couples going for a romantic stroll. One brave soul was even flying a drone. As a local, I’ve heard from some of the neighbours that I also heard from one of the neighbours that people have ridden their horses through the reserve (BYO horse of course!).

Front of Emu Bottom Wetlands, Sunbury
Welcome to Emu Bottom Wetlands, Sunbury

The Emu bottom wetlands are a large 32-arces allowing plenty of space of adventure, it is the largest dog-friendly park in Sunbury.


Once a sheep farming area during from the 18-1900’s, the Friends of Emu Bottom have been working with the local council since 1994 to get the area back to its former glory.

In almost 30 years, the land has come quite a long way, platypus and a plethora of wetland birds now call this place home. All the recent rain has also injected further life back into the wetlands and it was very pleasant being able to hear the chirping birds and natural crackling of the creek from the path.

The wetlands:

The Emu Bottom wetlands are true to its native land, I have visited some more manicured trails along my Victorian adventures but the dusty grass and rich smell of the Eucalyptus trees that trace the trail sing this is native Australian land.

True to its name, there are a few points to access the creek and sections of the path that have rough terrain. There are some easily-accessed sections of Jacksons creek in the wetland that are perfect for yourself or the dogs to wade in on a warm day.

Jacksons Creek, Emu Bottom Wetlands, Sunbury
Jacksons Creek, Emu Bottom Wetlands, Sunbury

I’m glad to have come here after a heavy rainfall this year. Jacksons creek which runs through the wetlands is looking healthy and surrounded by greenery which is a start contract to drier parts of the park.


There is a designated carpark that runs off Racecourse road offering, parking and access to the park are free. The track starts off as gravel but it does thin out to create a natural pathway.

Front of Emu Bottom Wetlands, Sunbury
Front of Emu Bottom Wetlands, Sunbury

I highly recommend wearing closed toe shoes on this track as there is a lot of gumnuts, sticks and other tree droppings naturally dropping on the main path. Running shoes also provide a bit of extra grip in area where the gravel track is very fine.

There is only one main path with a very short tracks to access the creek. By all means go as far as you feel comfortable and return back the way you came. There’s no need to worry about getting lost in this park.

This trail is highly effected by the weather, I would travel here on excessively hot days – or if you go early morning or in the evening. The sun is strong here, so best lather up the sunscreen. As I said earlier, closed toe shoes! No one likes getting a stick stuck in their foot.

Path for Emu Bottom Wetlands, Sunbury
Path for Emu Bottom Wetlands, Sunbury

The park does start off very wide but as you meet up with the creek and follow the bend, the track does get more narrow. I decided to jog my way through the path and clocked up about 2.5km from the car park to the entry point for the emu bottom homestead.

The best bit:

As the track started to narrow and I wondered if I was still in the reserve. I came across this mesmerising entrance, the large eucalyptus trees were much needed respite from the sun my jog and urged me to keep exploring. The backs of peoples properties on one side and the trickling creek along the other, I knew I was tantalisingly close to something exciting and was rewarded with the historical Emu Bottom homestead.

The back end of the trail, Emu Bottom Wetlands, Sunbury
The back end of the trail, Emu Bottom Wetlands, Sunbury

There was potential to keep running but by doing that the Emu Bottoms Wetlands had officially ended and a new unnamed trail began. I had worked up a bit of sweat and decided to head back.

In the end:

This track is great for a Hume local who wants to go for a quick walk. Set up a picnic at the Wetlands or treat yourself at one of the many local Sunbury cafes that are only 5 minutes down the road.

I’ll definitely be coming back here to show the place off to a relative and recommending the place to local dog owners.

This place is a sure-fire hit with the pooches.

Jacksons Creek, Emu Bottom Wetlands, Sunbury
Jacksons Creek, Emu Bottom Wetlands, Sunbury

If adventuring out into our beautiful countryside is something that appeals to you, check out more of our blog for more insightful recollections of trips along Victoria’s abundance of trails and hikes!

Like the trail? For more trail trips by this author, click here.

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