Family outings

There’s so much for kids and families to explore in Victoria’s parks. Whether you want a beach day trip, a kid-friendly mountain biking trail, a weekend of bush camping, a tour of Victoria’s wildlife or an urban park oasis, find your perfect way to get into nature as a family.

A family plays soccer while kids ride bikes at Yarra Bend ParkDiscover Melbourne’s urban parks

Yarra Bend Park is Melbourne’s largest natural bushland park, with dog-friendly walking and cycling trails that wind through woodland and along the Yarra River to Dights Falls. Rent a boat, spot local wildlife or have a picnic near the colony of Grey Headed Flying Foxes.

Albert Park is easy to reach from the Melbourne CBD. Go boating or fishing in Albert Lake, or bring the dog and take a walk along the flat pram accessible path.

Jells Park has a great playground, and Brimbank Park features an all-abilities Playscape.

Friends camping at Lerderderg Campground at Lerderderg State ParkGet into nature with a camping trip

Just an hour’s drive from Melbourne, Lerderderg State Park offers a weekend camping getaway. Explore walking tracks, keep an eye out for koalas, kangaroos and native birds and enjoy a BBQ by the river.

Lake Eildon National Park has something for everyone, from hiking and cycling to watersports and wildlife spotting. Head to Merlo Lookout or Blowhard Summit for great views. There are multiple campgrounds, including the dog-friendly Jerusalem Creek Campground.

Located near the Great Dividing Range, Kinglake National Park is popular for hiking, cycling and horse riding. Take a walk to Masons Falls or hike uphill for views towards Melbourne, Port Phillip Bay and the Yarra Valley. The Gums Camping Area is ideal for families.

A family looks over You Yangs Regional Park from a lookoutTake a hike

Lysterfield Park in the Dandenong Ranges is a great day trip just outside of Melbourne. Keep an eye out for kangaroos, koalas, wallabies and native birds as you explore the bushland tracks and the Lake Circuit Trail (suitable for bikes and off-road prams).

You Yangs Regional Park is a dog-friendly day trip just one hour away from Melbourne. Hike around granite peaks and boulders or take a volunteer-led guided walk up to Big Rock.

Take a walk in the Grampians National Park for mountain and forest landscapes, or the Mornington Peninsula National Park for coastal scenery.

Bike riding in Point Nepean National ParkExplore our parks by bike

Point Nepean National Park offers flat cycle rides with coastal scenery and historic sites. Try to catch a glimpse of Bottle-Nosed Dolphins and Australian Fur Seals.

Follow mountain biking trails of Arthurs Seat State Park for summit views over the Mornington Peninsula and Port Phillip Bay.

For urban nature rides, visit Jells Park or Yarra Bend Park.

A family doing an audio tour at Werribee MansionHave a guided tour

The Wonthaggi State Coal Mine is a popular heritage attraction. Book a tour led by Parks Victoria staff and volunteers and go underground into the coal mine.

Step back into historic grandeur at the heritage-listed Werribee Mansion in Werribee Park. An entry fee provides access and a guided tour of this opulent 60-room mansion.

Wildlife watching is a great way to get closer to Australia's unique native fauna.Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve is home to many native animals, including emus, kangaroos, koalas, swans and blue wrens. Guided tours of the park, its wildlife and Aboriginal cultural heritage are provided by Worn Gundidj.

Serendip Sanctuary offers wildlife tours, and is a short drive from Melbourne or Geelong.

Mother and child touring a cave at Buchan Caves ReserveMarvel at Victoria’s natural wonders

Port Campbell National Park is home to some of Victoria's most iconic Great Ocean Road scenery, including the 12 Apostles. Bay of Islands Coastal Park offers equally amazing sights, without the crowds.

Head into Great Otway National Park and explore walking tracks through towering native forests and spectacular waterfalls.

Buchan Caves Reserve, near the Snowy River National Park, is the largest cave system in Victoria. Take a guided tour through unique limestone formations of Fairy Cave and Royal Cave, formed almost 400 million years ago.

Murray-Sunset National Park is a short drive from Mildura. See the famous Pink Lakes of the Murray River, explore via 4WD and enjoy a spectacular sunset.

Kids rockpooling at Ricketts Point Marine SanctuaryHave fun in the water

A short drive from Melbourne, Ricketts Point Marine Sanctuary is a patrolled beach where kids can get close to Victoria’s fascinating marine life and even join the Junior Rangers to learn more about these environments.

Escape to the Wilderness Coast and Croajingolong National Park. Stay at the campground to make the most of family friendly activities such as fishing, canoeing, kayaking and swimming.

Visit Cape Conran Coastal Park for a day of beachcombing, swimming, surfing, fishing and whale and dolphin watching. Belfast Coastal Reserve is a popular stop on the Great Ocean Road for dog-walkers, joggers, anglers, surfers, swimmers, horse-riders and birdwatchers.

Head inland towards the Victorian Alps and Lake Eildon for a water sports day trip.

Perfect parks for family activities

Mother and young daughter look at the rock formations in the Fairy Cave at Buchan Caves Reserve.

Buchan Caves Reserve

Near the township of Buchan, lies a honeycomb of caves full of spectacular limestone formations. The caves were formed by underground rivers cutting through limestone rock
Two women in activewear walk their dogs while two runners approach them.

Albert Park

Jog, cycle or walk with your dog around Albert Park Lake - just 3km from the centre of Melbourne. And when you stop to catch your breath, take a moment to enjoy the magnificent views of the city skyline.
A group of children on a tour in the State Coal Mine.

State Coal Mine

Offering an inexpensive day trip for the whole family, the State Coal Mine is an historic Gippsland attraction that fosters an understanding of Australia's cultural heritage with an authentic underground experience. Entry to the site is free above ground where you can follow the heritage walk among historic buildings.
A family share a picnic while a father and son play with a model aircraft in the background.

Jells Park

Jells Park is nestled in the Dandenong Creek Valley, Wheelers Hill, away from the hustle and bustle of urban life. The park attracts over 900,000 visitors a year, with over nine kilometres of paths and trails, 127 hectares of wide open spaces and enough picnic areas for everyone to enjoy.
A couple look out over the water from the beach at Lysterfield Lake.

Lysterfield Park

Rising from the southern foothills of the Dandenong Ranges, Lysterfield Park is the perfect place to explore nature with friends with a huge variety of recreational activities.
Four friends walk alongside the Yarra River through Yarra Bend Park.

Yarra Bend Park

Yarra Bend Park is Melbourne’s largest natural bushland park. Enjoy the leafy grounds and abundant wildlife while strolling or biking its many trails. Stop for a picnic, walk your dog or play a round of golf.

Social activities in nature

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.
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.
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 man with an afro wearing a leather jacket follows a woman wearing a cream knitted jumper up the garden steps and into an opening in the Dandenong Ranges Botanical Gardens.

Botanic gardens

Stroll through magnificent gardens that promise to delight all year round. Make sure you return to see the treasures that come with changing seasons.
Two women follow the path through scrub up Mt Bogong with mountain views in the distance.


Whether you’re after a gentle stroll or something long-distance, there are walking trails to suit all levels of fitness and ability.
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