Healthy Parks Healthy People

Healthy Parks Healthy People is a global movement which is helping communities around the world realise the health and wellbeing benefits of spending time in parks and nature. Our aim is to unlock the power of nature and parks for their preventative and restorative health and wellbeing benefits, while conserving biodiversity.

Growing scientific evidence and generations of traditional knowledge show that spending time in nature is good for our mind, body and soul. Community groups, schools, governments, health authorities and recreational organisations worldwide are tapping into the healing power of nature. Did you know that viewing natural scenes lowers blood pressure, reduces stress and boosts wellbeing, put simply, nature is good for you!  Why not go for a walk in a beautiful park today?

Our stunning parks, coastlines, forests and mountains play an important role in fostering happy, healthy and active communities. Conserving parks for present and future generations provides inspirational and therapeutic settings that foster lifelong connections with nature and each other. Parks that are valued and maintained are also fundamental to economic growth and vibrant and healthy communities.

As the scientific evidence linking nature with positive health outcomes grows, so does the global trend for health professionals prescribing nature. In the past decade park prescriptions and social prescriptions have become recognised as a viable, low-risk way to encourage people to be more physically active, to socialise in their community and to boost their wellbeing. 

Maybe you need to escape the city, have a digital detox or chill out in a relaxing forest? We've got great experiences for everyone, from guided Park walks where you can make new friends, to Discovery walks where you can learn something new.


Spending time in nature is good for you

Research has shown that spending time in nature contributes to our health and wellbeing in a variety of ways.  Nature makes us healthier and happier people, something that few of us nature lovers would argue with.
Walking in a bush setting

Physical health and wellbeing

Being active is an important part of staying healthy and well. Parks are the perfect setting for physical activity such as running, hiking, bike riding, rowing and so much more.
Stargazing in the Murray Sunset National Park.

Mental health and wellbeing

Spending time in nature provides a wealth of benefits for mental wellbeing. Activities such as Mindfulness Walks and Forest Therapy are popular and helpful ways to connect people to nature and to support positive mental wellbeing.
Two women in activewear walk their dogs while two runners approach them.

Social connections

Parks are great places to socialise with friends or family or to meet new people. Parks Victoria offers a range of fun activities that are a great way to meet others such as guided walks, volunteering, and citizen science to name a few.
Group of people at a camp site

Kids, teens and families

Connecting children to nature from an early age and throughout their teens can support their development in many ways. Outdoor play and screen free time allows families to bond and experience nature together and creates lasting memories.
An elderly couple walking along the beach together at the Quarantine Station in Point Nepean National Park

Healthy and active ageing

Keeping active and socially connected in parks is highly beneficial as we age. Parks offer a range of activities such as walking, cycling, tai chi and friends groups to support positive, active ageing.
A couple watch the sunset at a picnic table on the edge of Lake Catani at Mount Buffalo National Park.

Rehabilitation and recovery

Parks can be a nourishing and gentle way to aid with recovery, rehabilitation and healing.
A women in a wheel chair explores Wilsons Promontory by board walk.

All abilities access

Visiting a park can be more of a challenge for people with disabilities, however, in Victoria, there are a wide range of facilities to help people of all abilities enjoy our wonderful parks around the state.

Things to do for your health and wellbeing

Parks offer many different activities to support your health and wellbeing. Explore and enjoy the benefits you get from connecting to nature.
A group take a volunteer led tour through the Flying Fox environments on the banks of the Yarra River in Yarra Bend Park

Guided park walks

Join us on a free, beginner or intermediate Park Walk led by our trained volunteers.
Four children and a ranger take a closer look at a rockpool.

Junior Rangers

Encourage the kids to explore Victoria's surprising plants and wildlife with a real Park Ranger, or download activities to complete anytime.
Two women in activewear follow a path through tall mountain ash trees.

Mindfulness walks in nature

The health benefits of spending time in nature are now widely accepted. Mindfulness walks take this a step further and help you slow down and focus on the present moment - each step, each breath – feeling calm and relaxed.
A father teaches his young daughter to ride a bike in Braeside Park.

Cycling

Cycling is a great way to enjoy the beautiful surroundings in parks. Whether you're looking for a leisurely ride or downhill adrenalin rush, Victoria's parks have something for you.
A mother and daughter kicks a football in front of dad and two younger children in front of tents at Buchan Caves Reserve.

Camping

Victoria’s parks have some great places to camp and there is something to suit all tastes. Choose from fully serviced sites with luxury tents to remote locations with nothing but bush.
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.

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