Gresswell Nature Conservation Reserves


Gresswell Nature Conservation Reserves

Gresswell Nature Conservation Reserves are part of an Aboriginal cultural landscape in the traditional Country of the Wurundjeri Peoples. Parks Victoria respects the deep and continuing connection that Traditional Owners have to these lands and waters, and we recognise their ongoing role in caring for Country.

The Gresswell Nature Conservation Reserves, made up of Gresswell Forest, Gresswell Hill and Gresswell Habitat Link, protect 70 hectares of important flora and fauna habitat. Experience the area's diverse vegetation and abundant wildlife on the reserves' many walking trails, and explore this precious pocket of wilderness in Melbourne's north-east. 

Gresswell Forest Nature Conservation Reserve is the largest of the three Nature Conservation Reserves. Here you'll find remnant River Red Gum woodland that's home to many different bird and animal species. It is significant as one of the most intact examples of remnant Grassy Woodland in the Melbourne region Gresswell Forest Nature Conservation Reserve was first created as a buffer zone around a quarantine wing of the Mont Park Hospital in the early 20th century. The land was then excised from the hospital in 1976 and managed by La Trobe University from 1978 until 2011. 

Gresswell Hill Nature Conservation is part of the endangered Box Woodland environment and is dominated by Yellow Box and River Red Gums. Gresswell Hill is also considered to be regionally significant animal habitat. The nine hectare reserve was once part of the Mont Park Psychiatric Hospital grounds and formed a Nature Conservation Reserve in 1978. La Trobe University commenced management of the reserve in the mid 1990’s at the time the land around it was developed for housing. Gresswell Hill once contained a former army signal tower and still contains a decommissioned water tower. 

Gresswell Habitat Link Nature Conservation Reserve  was created to provide a vegetated link between Gresswell Forest Nature Conservation Reserve and the La Trobe Wildlife Sanctuary. The Gresswell Habitat Link Nature Conservation Reserve is 18 hectares in size. The Strathallan Creek runs the length of the link. Dogs and bicycles are permitted within the Gresswell Habitat Link Nature Conservation Reserve provided dogs remain on a leash at all times and all users remain on formed trails at all times. 

Gresswell Forest is perfect for families to enjoy together. In addition to the Nature Play area, the tracks are easy for young children to manage. In the early mornings and evenings, the forest is a cacophony of bird calls.

Things To Do

Bush walking, Hiking, Bird watching, and nature-based play experiences in the Nature Play area. Children are encouraged to use natural materials found in this area to create cubbies, mix potions or climb on fallen logs. The area was created to provide an outlet for exploring nature and to minimise the disruption that these activities can have on the environmental values of the rest of the reserves. 

A ground take a volunteer led tour through the Flying Fox environments on the banks of the Yarra River in Yarra Bend Park

Guided Park Walks

Meet new people and connect with nature on a free guided Park Walk in one of Victoria’s beautiful parks. Walks are led by our trained and friendly volunteers, so you can relax, enjoy the serenity of the bush and chat with other group members. Go on a walk as a once-off to explore somewhere new or become a regular and add it to your wellbeing or fitness routine.
A couple in their thirties take in the view along Dead Timber Track.

Hiking and bushwalking

Witness breathtaking natural scenery at some of Victoria’s most iconic places when you lace up your boots and take to a hiking trail.
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.
A couple looks on at a Wombat on Wilsons Promontory National Park,

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,
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.


This area is well known for its wildlife, including barking owl, swift parrots, tawny frogmouth, black and yellow cockatoos, pardalote striated / spotted scarlet robin, sugar gliders, blue tongued lizard and white's skink. Keep an eye out for:

Crimson Rosella

Tours and adventure experiences in parks

One of the best ways you can get into nature is with a Licensed Tour Operator.

There are more than 400 Licensed Tour Operators across Victoria who are ready and waiting to help you experience and connect with Victoria’s spectacular parks and waterways.

Discover more than 60 different types of nature-based experiences including hiking, mountain biking, boating, four-wheel driving, indigenous culture tours, birdwatching, surfing, diving and so much more. 

Licensed Tour Operators know all the best places to go and will plan and prepare your visit to ensure you are safe and can enjoy your nature-based adventure to the fullest.

Find a Licensed Tour Operator

How to get there

Gresswell Nature Conservation Reserves

The Gresswell Nature Conservation Reserves are situated within the suburbs of Bundoora, Macleod and Watsonia. The reserves can be accessed via a number of pedestrian gates. Off-street parking is available at the Greenwood Drive access to Gresswell Forest Nature Conservation Reserve.

Need to know

Gresswell Nature Conservation Reserves

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