Social connection is important for our physical and mental health and wellbeing. Social isolation and loneliness have been linked to higher risks of a variety of health conditions including high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, a weakened immune system, anxiety, and depression. Spending time with others can help alleviate these risks by decreasing stress, improving our mood, and helping us feel that we are a valuable part of our community. 

Spending time with others in a park is a wonderful way to connect with family and friends or meet new people with similar interests in your local community. People of all ages, abilities and cultural backgrounds can benefit from connecting with others in nature.


So, what kind of group activities could you do?

  • Guided Park Walks: these volunteer-led walks cater for a range of levels of fitness. Select from short, gentle welcome walks to longer more challenging walks, or special interest groups such as kids, café, or dog-friendly walks. They all provide an opportunity to walk in a safe and welcoming group environment, led by an experienced and friendly volunteer. Have a chat and a laugh, make new friends, or connect with old ones, all while improving your wellbeing in a beautiful setting.

  • Volunteering: connect with a like-minded group of volunteers who are just as passionate about the environment and your local park as you! You’ll feel healthier and happier as you chat with your new friends while contributing to meaningful activities that improve your local park.

  • Citizen Science: You don’t need a science degree to be a citizen scientist! Grab some friends, download the ClimateWatch app and follow one of our ClimateWatch trails. Work together to identify animals and plants along the trail. You’ll have an enjoyable outing with friends whilst contributing to important scientific research about Victoria’s natural environment.

  • Find your local picnic spot: Meeting up with family and friends in beautiful natural settings is the perfect way to connect, catch up and relax. Bring your lunch or have a barbecue in a park near you.

Activities to help you stay socially connected

Here are some activities in nature that help you stay connected to others. 
Two men cook share the cooking of a barbecue.


Fire up the barbecue at your next social gathering with family and friends while you're surrounded by nature.
Four friends relax by the edge of the Yarra River as their curly brown dog gets ready to jump in the water.

Dog walking

Round up your dog, grab the lead and visit dog-friendly parks near Melbourne and across Victoria.
A three year old boy leads his mum and younger brother through the forest near Grants Picnic Ground.

Family activities

Stash some supplies into a back pack and take the family out for a day trip and in only a short drive from Melbourne you can be surrounded by nature.
Three friends enjoy a picnic on the grass in front of the historic Wallace Hut.


Head outdoors for lunch in the warmer months and enjoy a picnic in some of nature's most relaxing and inspiring settings.
Three women in casual clothing holding seedlings


Discover hundreds of exciting volunteer opportunities around Victoria and learn about groups working in your local area. There are volunteer activities for every age group, skill and ability type.
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