Environment & Sustainability

Amazing Stay with Beautiful Nature! We stayed 2 nights in early November and absolutely loved it! River view cottage (#3) was perfect. Amazing wildlife, free bottle of Shiraz, beautiful breakfast and amenities. The wildlife is simply stunning. We counted 43 kangaroos grazing outside our property in the evening and the birds were just incredible. Rebooked for Easter while we were there! The privacy and beauty of the place with easy check in makes this something you should definitely consider if you’re in the Yarra Valley. Thank you YG cottages! – mbenn2 (Trip Advisor – November, 2021)

Environment & Sustainability

yering gorge
  • Yering Gorge Cottages provides a stunning setting where bushland intersects with the Yarra River against the backdrop of the Christmas Hills and Dividing Ranges.
  • Yering Gorge is a unique geological structure as one of the rare places in the world where a river flows from a plain into a gorge (the reverse is usually the case). Yering Gorge is part of the catchment area for the nearby Sugarloaf Reservoir State Reserve which is tucked away in the Christmas Hills.
  • Sugarloaf Reservoir was developed by Melbourne Water during the late 1970’s to help supplement Melbourne’s domestic water supply. Unlike many other reservoirs, which draw their water directly from protected forested catchments, Sugarloaf is fed by the Maroondah Aqueduct and Yarra River via the Sugarloaf Pipeline.  Upon leaving the reservoir, water is treated at the Winneke Water Treatment before distribution to Melbourne.
  • There are 12km of bush walking trails through our 120-acre private Nature Reserve providing guests with panoramic views of the surrounding Yarra Valley when they reach the summit.
  • Our Nature Reserve is home to Eastern Grey Kangaroos,  Echidnas and Wombats; providing guests with a rare opportunity to get up close and personal with some of Australia’s most iconic wildlife.  Occasionally spotted is our ‘rare’ white kangaroo which is a genetic strain of the Eastern Grey.
  • The Kangaroos are the natural stars of our show and enjoy the natural surrounds in the early morning and late afternoon.  They will generally move when approached by humans but we would ask you not to chase, endeavour to secure selfies, or attempt to feed them.
  • The Gorge is also home to 80+ species of native bird life including Eastern and Crimson Rosellas, Sulphur-Crested Cockatoos, Kookaburras, Rainbow Lorikeets, different species of Grass Parrots, several Owl species, Kingfishers and a nesting pair of Wedge Tail Eagles.
  • The Yering Gorge section of the Yarra River is approximately three kilometres in length and is home to many native fish species including the Macquarie Perch together with several breeding Platypus families – a very rare sighting opportunity with platypus seldom seen in their natural environment; and their existence an indication of the healthiness of the River and natural surrounds.
  • Yering Gorge is also home to over many species of native flora.
  • We are very proud of our natural environment and strive to maintain Yering Gorge Cottages as close as possible to its purest form. We encourage you to take photos and leave only footprints.
  • With a philosophy to create an environment that would be in harmony with the broader landscape, The Eastern Golf Club commissioned Greg Norman Golf Course Design (GNGCD) to design the 27-hole championship standard course, plus Shark Waters – our 9-hole, Par 3 course. Recognised as an industry leader in promoting the compatibility of golf courses with the environment, Norman’s ‘least-disturbance approach’ design philosophy has created a course that is complementary to the existing topography whilst ensuring the spectacular natural features and dramatic views are maximised to enrich the playing experience.

sustainability Objectives
  • Providing local employment opportunities within our Guest Services, Housekeeping, Administration, Food & Beverage and horticultural departments. 
  • We are proud to work with a number of local companies and tradespeople who supply ancillary services essential to the successful operations of Yering Gorge Cottages.
  • Wherever possible we source produce from within the Yarra Valley, supporting our local food and wine artisans which, in turn, assists our local community economically and through job creation whilst reducing our food mileage.  
  • Use of refillable 300ml eco-friendly bathroom amenity pump packs within all cottages and public areas.
  • Unless requested, bed linen and towels are only refreshed for stays of four nights or longer.
  • All cottages harvest rain water which is filtered through fresh water tanks and used within the cottages.
  • All cottages are equipped with key card systems ensuring energy is only consumed when occupied.
  • Recyclable materials including paper and plastics are collected for recycling. 
  • All cottages are linked to a septic tank system with all liquids filtered through a sub-surface irrigation system and used onsite within our nature reserve. 

Environmental Objectives

Prior to its development into a golf course, the area was previously farmed and it is our desire to redevelop the natural feel and beauty of the site. The Club has a philosophy to ensure that the natural vegetation is maintained and extended whilst enhancing the natural beauty of the experience through the following commitments:

    • A re-introduction of rare species back into the local area such as the Yarra Gum, Buxton Gum & Lomandra Filliforms amongst others.
    • Enhance the existing natural landscape through non-uniform planting.
    • Re-vegetation of areas to improve flora and fauna diversity and to replenish the surrounding bushland with new life. The planting of indigenous species is integral to achieve our objectives and will further encourage growth of these species in and around the golf course.
    • With the planting of native species and very large re-vegetation areas, this will create an animal corridor whilst creating a seed bank which is imperative for our future planning to start growing our own plants taken from cuttings around the entire precinct.
    • We want to balance our protection and growth of the local environment whilst complementing the dynamics of the game of golf – ultimately ensuring the course has been carved out of the surrounding, natural bush.

Significant fauna includes:
  • Brush-tailed phascogale (Phascogale tapoatafa) – a tree-dwelling marsupial ( Status is Vulnerable in Victoria) with a small fragmented population in the Yering Gorge Cottages precinct. 
  • Powerful owl (Ninox strenua)
  • Southern myotis (Myotis macropus) – bats
  • Platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) with sightings in the Yarra River – you have to be quick as they are fast. 
  • Macquarie perch (Macquaria australasica)  (State protected species) and other native fish. (Victorian Fisheries Authority rules and regulations apply)
  • Eastern Grey kangaroos and swamp wallabies
  • Brush and Ring tailed possums
Keep a lookout for:
  • White-bellied Sea eagle
  • A pair of nesting Wedge-tail eagles (largest ‘bird of prey’ in Australia).
  • Yellow Tailed Black Cockatoos ,King Parrots, Eastern Rosellas (Club bird emblem),Crimson Rosellas, Rainbow lorikeets, Sulphur crested Cockatoos and Galahs
  • Tawny Frogmouth (if you’re lucky)
  • Wombats (at dusk and dawn)
  • Echidnas (please drive slowly and you may see one)
  • Family group of White-winged Chough’s (Corcorax melanorhamphos) can be found in our private nature reserve.
Significant flora includes
  • Eucalyptus crenulata (Buxton gum) – an endangered tree species and there are, currently, 100+ growing plants onsite, with numerous new plantings undertaken over the last three years.
  • Red Box- Eucalyptus polyanthemos (old big trees that are over 100 years old with circular leaves)
  • Manna Gum, Eucalyptus viminalis ( big white trunk trees at river)
  • Yellow Box- Eucalyptus melliodora (good source of pollen for bees and native animals)
  • Native Cherry- Exocarpos cupressiformis
  • Eucalyptus yarraensis (Yarra gum)
  • Gahnia radula (Thatch saw sedge)
  • Native orchids, wildflowers and shrubs in nature reserve. Flowering Mid-August until the main heat of summer.
Wildflowers and Herbs:

The following wildflowers and herbs can be found growing throughout our nature reserve:

Common hovea- Hovea heterophylla; Dwarf Boronia- Boronia nana var hyssopifolia; Love Creeper- Comesperma volubile; Mountain Clematis- Clematis aristata; Tall sundew- Drosera peltata ssp auriculata; Ivy- leaf Violet- Viola hederacea’ Kidney Weed- Dochondra repens; Common Bird Orchid- Chiloglottis valida; Nodding Greenhood Orchid- Pterostylis nutens; Wax-Lip Orchid- Glossodia major; Golden Bush Pea- Pultenaea gunnii; Austral Ladies Tresses- Spiranthes australis; Common Maidenhair- Adiantum aethiopicum; Austral Bracken- Pteridium esculentum; Common Tusscock Grass- Poa labillardierei; Twining Fring Lily- Thysantus pattersonii.

Important aquatic plants include:
  • Triglochin procera (water ribbons)
  • Baumea articulata (jointed twig-rush)
  • Bolboschoenus fluviatilis (tall club sedge)
  • Myriophyllum sp (milfoil)
  • Eleocharis sphacelata (tall spike-rush)


At Yering Gorge Cottages  we consider our local environment to be the most important of assets we have, so important, that we have undertaken an Australian first in setting a new environmental benchmark that has support from the Department of Sustainability and Environment, Melbourne Water and the Commonwealth of Australia through our referral under the EPBC Act.

The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act) is the Australian Government’s central piece of environmental legislation. It provides a legal framework to protect and manage nationally and internationally important flora, fauna, ecological communities and heritage places — defined in the EPBC Act as matters of national environmental significance.



Environment & Sustainability


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