As the Coronavirus restrictions gradually ease, we are able to slowly (and cautiously) reclaim the fresh air that has been taken from us these last several weeks.
Keeping in mind the regulations around social distancing, we encourage you to rally your family together (no more than 10) and hit the road for a day trip in exploration of some of our finest regional parks and reserves. Pack yourself a picnic, sport your hiking best, and get set to adore the outdoor wonders you’ve been yearning to absorb.
Gippsland | #twohoursout
Toorongo Falls Reserve is a bushland area of wet forest containing two spectacular waterfalls. It’s a moderate to easy 2.2km walk in a dog-friendly park up a bush trail to several vantage points below and over the falls; the full distance is an enjoyable circuit taking in both the Toorongo Falls and the Amphitheatre Falls. If you want to spot wildlife, the best time to go is dawn or dusk where you might see possums, echidnas, gliders and wallabies. It’s a haven for birds, too.
Woowookarung Regional Park
Ballarat | #oneandahalfhoursout
Meaning “place of plenty”, Woowookarung Regional Park is a brand new 641-hectare park in Ballarat by the people, for the people. Perfect for bushwalking, trail running and cycling, the network of tracks are surrounded by stringybark, grass trees, and native heath, making this parkland most certainly plentiful. Take your dog for a walk (on lead) to scenic lookouts and keep an eye out for kangaroos, echidnas, bird species, and colourful wildflowers.
Rokeby to Neerim Trail
Gippsland | #twohoursout
The back roads from the Yarra Valley into Gippsland via Neerim and Noojee provide a stunning detour, perfect for a much-deserved road trip. While you’re in the area, get out of the car and take a short walk into the Neerim-Rokeby trail. The walk is on a super-easy and flat rail trail that’s ideal for the kids as well as your four-legged friends. It also features a historic trestle bridge that makes for a fine photographic subject.
Mornington Peninsula National Park
Mornington | #onehourout
If there’s one thing we’re all craving right now, it’s the ability to look out across the endless sea and immerse ourselves in the great open space that abounds. The Mornington Peninsula National Park will not only give you the chance to finally absorb coastal views and the fresh scent of the seaside, but you can also embrace the kangaroo haven of Greens Bush, the rockpools at Sorrento Ocean Beach, or the eucalypt bushlands at Long Point Circuit.
Bendigo | #twohoursout
A popular place for bush walking, fishing and having a picnic, Kennington Reservoir has been called ‘a fine sheet of water’ and is known for its wildlife, indigenous vegetation and walking tracks. With a BBQ on site and a fishing platform (there are redfin and rainbow trout in the reservoir), the parkland is also walking distance from the Grassy Flat Creek Trail and Bushland Reserve making it a great area for outdoor exploration.
Lerderderg State Park
Lerderderg | #oneandahalfhoursout
An easy day trip from Melbourne, this park boasts a wide variety of vegetation including spring wildflowers and dry open forests, and caters for activities including four wheel driving, hiking, and picnicking. It also features the beautiful Lerderderg River which has cut a rugged 300m gorge through sandstone and slate on its course southwards through the Park itself.
Kinglake National Park
Kinglake | #oneandahalfhoursout
An uplifting experience, Kinglake National Park was devastated by the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires, but 10 years into its regeneration cycle and you can really see it’s going through a process of transition and rebirth. But there’s more to see here than regeneration. Mason’s Falls is just one of many parks and picnic facilities in the Park, and it also has some terrific walking tracks, including wheel-chair accessible ones.