Merri Creek context 400pxThe Merri Creek flows about 60 km from Australia's Great Dividing Range, just north of Wallan, southwards through Melbourne’s northern suburbs to the Yarra River. Tributaries of the Merri Creek include the Edgars, Merlynston, Central, Curly Sedge, Aitken and Malcolm Creeks. In the upper reaches, Wallan, Mittagong, Taylors and Strathaird Creeks are also important tributaries.

The Merri Creek is an environmental, cultural, heritage and recreation corridor that draws its significance from its role as a continuous corridor as much as it does from the qualities of individual reaches. All areas of the Merri Creek corridor and tributaries are important because they contribute to the linking of these areas and their multiple values. 

The Merri Creek and its immediate surrounds are host to some of the most threatened ecosystems in Australia. The Merri Creek environs have a unique role to play in the preservation of threatened flora and fauna and the maintenance of vegetation communities that in other places have almost been totally destroyed.

Merri Creek is the focus of a large number of pre and post-contact archaeological sites which as a group are highly significant. Many more sites are likely to exist and are very sensitive to the impacts of development.  Merri Creek is also of immense cultural significance, at a landscape scale, to its Traditional Owners, the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung people.

Ecological restoration and revegetation works and parkland enhancement, including shared path construction, have created a linear parklands of outstanding quality and landscape character – one which plays an important and growing role in the park system of metropolitan Melbourne.

While walking or cycling along Merri Creek you may be aware of the indigenous plantings, constructed wetlands and the animal life of the creek corridor. But there is an underlying element to this - the Merri valley contains many millions of years of history and secrets.

Over 400 million years ago the sea covering this area receded. It left behind a layer of yellowish marine siltstone and sandstone rocks.

Merri Creek CatchmentAround 65 million years ago non-marine sediments left a sandy layer behind. Over time the ancestral valley of the Merri Creek developed, eroding through these sediments. Then, from 0.8 to 4.6 to million years ago volcanoes such as Hayes Hill (about 5km east of Donnybrook) and Mt Fraser (near Beveridge) erupted, sending lava on an epic journey along the ancestral valleys of the Merri and Darebin Creeks and into the valley of the Yarra River as far as the Melbourne CBD.

Our modern day Merri Creek was formed over many years, by incising through the lava surface. Find out more about the geological history here.

Find out about important sites on the Merri Creek

Merri Creek Management Committee (MCMC) has created the following downloadable, attractive full colour information leaflets summarising environmental and cultural values and restoration. 

 Alternatively call (03) 9380 8199 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to request free copies of these leaflets printed on recycled paper.