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Tall forests

Some of Australia's best rainforest scenery can be found in Victoria’s national parks. See ancient mossy trees and stand under magnificent waterfalls. Walk under grand canopies of Mountain Ash or take a scenic drive through lush green tall forests surrounded by giant ferns, Myrtle Beech and Sassafras. Relax and rejuvenate in nature with forest bathing, bird watching or simply breathing in the cool, clean air. Melba Gully (known as the Jewel of the Otways) in Great Otway National Park is one of the wettest places in the state with prolific plant growth and is a dense rainforest of Myrtle Beech, Blackwood and Tree-ferns, with an understorey of low ferns and mosses. Visit when dark to see the glow worms that speckle the walking tracks like stars in the night sky. Divided by the Great Ocean Road, the Great Otway National Park stretches from Torquay through to Princetown and up through the Otways hinterland towards Colac with tall forests and ferny gullies in the north, and sandy beaches, rock platforms and windswept heathland along the southern coast.

Protecting the tall forests, Dandenong Ranges National Park is well known for its spectacular Mountain Ash trees and lush fern gullies, and is ideal for relaxing picnics and tranquil forest walks. The cool mountain elevation affords spectacular panoramic views and there is abundant native birdlife, including crimson rosellas, kookaburras and the ever-elusive Superb Lyrebird. Meandering and criss-crossing the cool, clear waters of the Sassafras, Woori Yallock and Menzies Creeks is the 17km Dandenong Ranges Tourist Track which passes through fern-filled gullies, eucalypt covered ridges and over numerous bridges and boardwalks.

Visit the Rainforest Gallery in neighbouring Yarra Ranges National Park, with its spectacular observation platform and rainforest walkway on the southern slopes of Mount Donna Buang. Drive the world famous Black Spur between Healesville and Narbethong, continue through to Marysville stopping along Lady Talbot Drive to walk through ancient rainforests at the Beeches and view the waterfalls at Keppel and Phantom Falls. To the west of Melbourne, Tarra-Bulga National Park in South Gippsland is well known for its impressive Corrigan’s Suspension Bridge, which stretches through the rainforest canopy, affording spectacular views of the lush fern gully on the forest floor below. The park covers some of the best examples of original cool temperate rainforests of the Strzelecki Ranges.

Things To Do

Cool rain forests are perfect for family outings with many sights to see.

Father and son bird watching on boardwalk

Bird watching

From bushland to wetlands and everything in between, parks provide habitat to an abundance of common and rare bird species. Go for a wander and see how many you can spot.
Beauchamp Falls, Great Otway National Park.

Waterfalls

See spectacular waterfalls flowing in the alpine mountain peaks and lush tall forests best viewed in winter or after heavy rainfall.
A couple take a tour of Spermwhale Head with traditional owners from the Gurnaikurnai Land and Water Aboriginal Corporation.

Aboriginal heritage

Learn more about the culture, history and contemporary aspirations of the Aboriginal Traditional Owners of our land.
A husband and wife stop to take a photo of Masons Falls from the lookout.

Day trips

Pack the car and round up your family and friends. Whether you're seeking relaxation or adventure, parks offer a variety of day trips close to Melbourne.
Three friends take a break from their walk to take a photo of a Kangaroo who is equally watching them.

Wildlife viewing

Get up close and personal with some of Australia's shy native wildlife or look up to spot tree-dwelling mammals and flocks of colourful birds,

How to get there

Tall forests

When to go

Summer is the ideal time to visit to escape the heat of the city and enjoy the cool shade the trees provide

Need to know

Tall forests

Popular parks

 
Three friends standing at the Erskine Falls lookout admiring the waterfall.

Great Otway National Park

The park features rugged coastlines, sandy beaches, rock platforms and windswept heathland. In the north, the park features tall forests, ferny gullies, magnificent waterfalls and tranquil lakes.
Two retired men go on a long walk through lush temperate rain-forest near Eagles nest picnic ground.

Dandenong Ranges National Park

Protecting the tall forests of the Dandenongs, this park is well known for its spectacular Mountain Ash trees and lush fern gullies, and is ideal for relaxing picnics and tranquil forest walks.
Donellys Weir in the Yarra Ranges National Park.

Yarra Ranges National Park

Situated between Melbourne and the Victorian Alps, the Yarra Ranges National Park is a place of epic views, majestic rainforest scenery and fun-packed snowplay. Enjoy the panorama from Mount Donna Buang, or go deeper into the park on the Black Spur Drive, and wind through towering Mountain Ash forests to Lake Mountain.
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