New research shows Melburnians visit parks more than regional Victorians

Wednesday 18 December, 2019

The impending start of a new year means it’s time to make those new year resolutions that will lead to a better you!

Parks Victoria is encouraging all Victorians, especially those in regional areas, to discover the beauty in their own backyard and get out in to parks more often. Recent research found they aren’t taking advantage of the many national and state parks and reserves on their doorstep - with almost half only visiting a park once every two months at the most.

The start of 2020 is the perfect time to get into nature and set yourself a ‘visit a park challenge’ that will lead to better physical and mental health. 

The new research asked respondents about their mental health, exercise habits, park visitation and their understanding of the mental and physical benefits of nature. 

Despite 75 per cent of regional Victorians believing that spending time in nature positively affects their mental health: 
Almost a quarter visit a park once a year or less, while only 16% of Melburnians visit that infrequently
47 per cent visit a park six times a year or less, compared to Melburnians at 35 per cent. 
More than a quarter choose to mainly exercise indoors – at home, in a gym or another facility. However, this is an improvement on Melburnians with over 37% of Melburnians exercising mainly indoors.

The research found a key difference between regional Victorians and Melburnians was that over 41 per cent of Melburnians visit a park once a week or more, compared to only 29.5 per cent of regional Victorians.

Parks Victoria’s Health and Community Activation Manager, Shauna Jones says, “there is no shortage of stunning places around Victoria to visit – from windswept beaches to rugged mountains, open plains to tumbling waterfalls. A visit is not only enjoyable but you’ll also be doing your health a favour.”

“Research suggests spending time in nature reduces stress levels and helps boost immunity. It also improves concentration, learning, problem solving and creativity.” 

Parks Victoria’s top tips for regional Victorians to get into parks more often:
Regional Victorians often have beautiful pristine parks close to home. These places are perfect for a close to home ‘staycation’, or to socialise with friends and family, escape everyday routines, or discover and experience adventure if that’s your cup of tea.
Take a walk outside in a park near you when possible, rather than on a treadmill or suburban street.
Escape workplace stress by having team building experiences in parks.
If you’re part of a local community or walking group consider taking your group to a park as a regular outing. 

To find out more about parks right across Victoria go to 

The research, commissioned by Parks Victoria, surveyed 1000 Victorians, 18 years and older, from metropolitan Melbourne and Victorian regional areas.


High resolution images and spokesperson interview and park footage available from parks across Victoria available for download at



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Tanya Smith

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