Chinaman's Island


Chinaman's Island was created following the construction of Lake Mulwala in 1939. It has provided various functions as a market garden, pig farm, pastoral farming and since 1989 as a nature reserve for the benefit of the community. 

The consequence of the farming pursuits was an almost total degradation of the Island. Yarrawonga Mulwala Rotary Club initiated the recovery efforts in 1989 when they began planting native trees. Desire by community members for the site to be a nature reserve led to the formation of the “Friends of Chinaman’s Island”. 

These early members (led and inspired by Bronwyn Taylor) made many notable achievements in a relatively short time to establish the general layout seen today including the walking track, excavation of Bron’s Pond, picnic tables, seats and lookouts and planting of many trees, shrubs and grasses. Thanks to the support of Rotary, the Rotunda was also built, providing shade with tables and seats. It is now home to over 60 species of native birds with the wetland providing habitat for many waterbirds incliding crakes, bitterns and rails. 

Ongoing works include the planting of natives indigenous to the district, management of erosion from wave action, weed control and rubbish removal. 

The purpose of the Friends of Chinaman’s Island Nature Reserve is to conduct bush regeneration activities to support native wildlife and flora, and community connection

For more information on the Friends of Chinaman's Island Nature Reserve and how you can get involved please contact Moira Shire.

Terms of Reference for Friends of Chinaman's Island Nature Reserve(PDF, 60KB)

Chinaman's Island report of wetland vegetation - Rakali(PDF, 3MB)

Chinaman's Island Nature Reserve Environmental Plan(PDF, 2MB)


Aerial image taken 1965


Aerial image taken 2002 


Aerial image taken 2020