Balyang Sanctuary is a public park in the suburb of Newtown, Geelong. Situated at on the banks of the Barwon River, it is 20acre in size and consists of open park lands, lakes, and wetlands. It was opened in 1973.HistoryThe area occupied by Balyang Sanctuary was once owned by Captain Foster Fyans, who purchased it in 1845 at the first Government land sale. It has on this land that Foster built his permanent home - 'Bellbird Balyang' to remember a young aboriginal who accompanied him in the early days of the Geelong settlement.The land was mainly used for grazing, as it was low lying and subject to flooding. It was reserved as public open space under the Geelong Planning Scheme 1959, with the local City of Newtown responsible for acquiring the land. Negotiations begun in 1965, by the landowner Mr H.S. Hargraves wished to continue using the land. It was not until 1969 that a price was determined.Also during 1965, the current Princes Bridge at the end of Shannon Avenue opened. This high level concrete and steel girder bridge replaced an older wooden bridge first opened in 1889. The older bridge was at the bottom of what is now Marnock Road, the current bridge was built with approaches on a new embankment to the west, encircling what became Balyang Sanctuary.Work beginsOn September 30, 1970, a plan was adopted for the new park. Work commenced on August 1, 1970. Part of the works were carried out using the labour of the unemployed under the Rural Employment Scheme. The cost had been estimated at $81,500, with $67,150 spent by the opening, $53,350 being labour provided under the Rural Employment Scheme. The park was officially opened on August 16, 1973, by the mayor of the City of Newtown, as well as representatives of the State and Federal Government.