Being healthy this winter is a walk in the park
Thursday 19 July, 2018
Parks Victoria is encouraging people to explore the winter green to help stave off the winter blues.
With rainfall through the first half of winter, the state’s parks, forests and reserves are a lush green, and full of health-boosting walks.
Research shows that being in nature is part of the answer to prevalent lifestyle-related health conditions[i] such as diabetes, cardio-vascular disease, depression and anxiety – all of which are among the fastest growing health conditions in Victoria.
Spending time in the outdoors can help people become more active, reduce their stress levels, recover faster from illnesses and injuries, and foster social connections that contribute to social and mental wellbeing.
Contrary to common belief, you can’t catch a cold from the weather[ii], whereas being active is a great way to stay healthy during winter.
Whether you’re in the city or the country, there’s a winter walk in the park waiting for you. Visit the Parks Victoria website to explore hundreds of walks through the state’s mountains, forests, deserts, coastlines and towns – or consider some of our current favourites below.
Hepburn Regional Park – Argyle Springs walk, 3km.
Start from the Hepburn Mineral Springs Reserve for this meandering forest walk. At the end, reward yourself with a drink from the Argyle Spring mineral water pump.
Langi Ghiran State Park – Reservoir walk, 5km.
A steady walk that departs from the picnic area then follows a creek past an old reservoir and stone water-race to a pleasant scenic lookout.
Little Desert National Park – Mallee Walkers Camp to Horseshoe Bend Campground, 13km.
One of many excellent options in this remote national park, the walk follows a sandy track through varying vegetation to the banks of the tranquil Wimmera River.
Budj Bim National Park – Crater Rim walk, 2km.
From Lake Surprise Picnic Area, take this elevated walk around the rim of a dormant volcanic crater that is now filled with water. Many spots along the track provide wonderful views.
Lower Glenelg National Park – Great South West Walk, up to 250km.
From hardwood forests to the mighty Southern Ocean, walk short sections or the entire 250km loop, which offers 14 campsites along its length.
Great Otway National Park – Madsen's Track Nature Walk, 1.2km.
At Melba Gully, take this 35-minute loop through a world of ancient, mossy trees and cool fern gullies. Visit at night and try to spot glow-worms.
Wyperfeld National Park – Discovery Walk, 8km.
From Wonga Campground, walk to Devils Pools then cross sand dunes and pass through Mallee tea-trees into redgum woodlands surrounding Lake Brambuk.
Kings Billabong Park - Bird Hide Loop Walk, 4km return.
A boardwalk through a stunning billabong and wetlands that are home to hundreds of water birds and many types of parrots.
Kinglake National Park – Shelley Harris Track, 3.5km return.
Leaving from Jehosaphat Gully Picnic Area, enjoy ferns and mountain ash trees, and look out for the holes in the track made by burrowing crayfish.
Heathcote-Graytown National Park – Viewing Rock Circuit Track, 2.7 km.
Enjoy a picnic and sweeping views over Heathcote from Viewing Rock, then take a loop track to see the historic Heathcote Powder Magazine and a small cave.
Kooyoora State Park – Long Rock Walking Track, 5.3km.
Head-off from the picnic area or campground for magnificent views, remarkable rock formations and rock pools. Finish your walk with a visit to nearby Melville Caves.
Warby-Ovens National Park – Mt Glenrowan, 9km.
Enjoy the best views of the Ovens and King Valley, and the Victorian Alps. Excepting a steep section at the beginning of the track, the walk is moderate-to-easy.
Chiltern Mt-Pilot National Park – White Box Walking Track, 8.5km.
This meandering walk winds through ironbark, stringybark, grey and redbox forests and takes in the historic Golden Bar Mine and Cyanide Dam.
Mt Samaria State Park – Wild Dog Falls and Lookout, 1.5km.
A short walk to the top of the waterfalls from where you can enjoy views over Lake Nillahcootie and across to the Strathbogie Ranges.
Cape Conran Coastal Park – Estuary View Trail, 3km.
Leave from the Yeerung River Bridge for a walk past heathland, banksia forest, rainforest, and then across a creek before arriving at the beach.
Tarra Bulga National Park – Corrigan Suspension Bridge, 1.2km.
Walk this impressive suspension bridge, which stretches through the rainforest canopy and presents views of the lush fern gully on the forest floor below.
Mornington Peninsula – Two Bays Walking Track, 8.9km.
Part of a larger 26km walk, this section passes Arthurs Seat and snakes through varied vegetation including eucalypt forest, tea-trees, ferns and open grasslands.
Albert Park – Lake circuit, 4.7km.
A flat loop around the delightful Albert Park Lake, taking in spectacular views of the city while passing by the park’s birdlife, playgrounds and picnic grounds.
Dandenong Ranges Botanic Garden, 4km.
The former National Rhododendron Gardens offer stunning views to the Yarra Valley, particularly when a winter fog is rising through the Mountain Ash trees.
[i] ‘What the research says’ / Healthy Parks Health People, Parks Victoria.
[ii] ‘Cold ignorance puts all at risk’, Australian Medical Association.
Media enquiriesJosh Maher
0448 373 986
Parks Victoria media centre