Mt. Cotterell at 205 metres in height ‘is the most massive of the Werribee Plains volcanoes and one of the largest ‘shield’ volcanoes inVictoria.’ Rosengren 1994
It’s commanding bulk is readily seen when viewed from a distance. Several major watercourses are sourced from it’s slopes. Two tributaries of Dry Creek arise from the southern and eastern slopes, and two of Davis Creek also from the southern slopes. In the north the drainage extends to Kororoit Creek, and to the west, the Werribee River.
Mt. Cotterell lies in the centre of the 450 mm rain isohyet, the lowest rainfall recordings on the plains.
In 2007 Melton Shire Council purchased the summit of Mt. Cotterell (48 hectares), to be used as a native vegetation offset site, and immediately commenced a noxious weed control programme. In the same year PLEG received a Federal Envirofund Grant for native grass restoration. Weed and rabbit control continued, seed collection, propagation and planting of low-rainfall herbs (wildflowers), Ecological Vegetation Class 132_63 low rainfall plains grassland took place. This programme has resulted in a partnership between Melton Council and Pinkerton Landcare and Environment Group, with an ongoing commitment towards restoring the native grasslands. Management has aimed to boost the numbers of perennial native grasses and native herbs on the site, and large patches of many locally endangered species have been planted to complement these. The proof that this tecnique is working is that now in 2012 the wildflowers are germinating and spreading.
From the top of Mt. Cotterell a wonderful 360 degree panoramic view can be seen over the entire Werribee basalt plain, to the south lies Port Phillip Bay, and the western views embrace the You Yangs, the three Anakie sisters and the Brisbane Ranges. In the north-west the Lerderderg Gorge and the Mounts Blackwood and Bullengarook are visible. And Mt. Macedon and Mt. Kororoit lie to the north in the Great Dividing Range and the City of Melbourne to the east.