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Types of Parks

Parks Victoria looks after over 4 million hectares of public land. Some of these areas are reserved to protect plants and animals whereas others are reserved more for recreation and public enjoyment.

It’s important to recognise the different purpose and management objectives of the different types of parks in Victoria.

National Park

Areas of nationwide significance because of their outstanding natural environments, features, scenic landscapes, and diverse land types. They protect natural and cultural features and usually offer visitor facilities. They have limited areas for intensive recreation or development. In Victoria national parks are managed under the National Parks Act 1975. The oldest national parks in Victoria are Wilsons Promontory and Mount Buffalo. Both were reserved in 1898.

State Park

These are managed for the same purposes and under the same act as national parks. They are generally smaller than national parks and make up an area of land containing natural environments and features, scenic landscapes and one or more land types that represent the major land types of the State.

Wilderness park

Managed for conservation and self reliant recreation. Wilderness parks are generally large areas with landforms and native plant and animal communities relatively unaltered or unaffected by the influence of the European settlement of Australia.

Regional park

Areas of land containing indigenous or non- indigenous vegetation readily accessible from urban centres or major tourist routes. They offer diverse recreational opportunities for large numbers of people.

Marine national parks, marine sanctuaries and coastal parks

Protect marine and coastal environments, safeguarding marine habitats for important plants and animals and conserving natural, cultural and aesthetic values.

Metropolitan parks

Managed for intensive recreation and conservation where appropriate.

Tadpole Shrimp (Lepidurus apus viridis). Photo: David Paul/Museum Victoria Click to view the news RSS feed.

Intriguing “living fossil” shrimps discovered at Arapiles

23 Sep 2016

A “living fossil” whose lineage dates back more than 300 million years has been found at Mount Arapiles-Tooan State Park in western Victoria. Tadpole Shrimps (Lepidurus apus viridis) have an intriguing life cycle that can include blowing around in dust for years until they can colonise in temporary puddles. Parks…

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