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Discover Victoria’s nature this summer!

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People caring for nature



Victorian National Parks Association


VNPA logo & style sheet

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Web: | Email: | Phone 03 9347 5188

December 2010

Discover Victoria’s nature D

iscover Victoria’s

Park Watch articles are often aboutthis Nature conservation issues Summer iscampaigns, a short and VNPA but we can, and guide to some of the should, also just enjoyyou and learn about ways can enjoy Victoria’s nature, and and learn about encourage others (especially young Victoria’s people) tonature do so too. So we’ve putfestive together during the some ideas on natural places to go and season. activities to try over Sosummer. what are you Please tellfor? us about your waiting Get

experiences, and add any

places and our activities we out into great haven’t included (unless

you really want to keep outdoors and enjoy! them a secret!).

Over the first three weeks of January 2011, the Victorian coast will come alive with more than 300 free ‘Summer by the Sea’ activities. Summer by the Sea enables everyone— holiday-makers, day visitors and local residents—to discover the natural wonders of our coastal and marine environments. The program promotes respect for the coast and participation in coastal conservation, and offers a fun and safe learning experience.

Summer in Victoria isn’t complete without a visit to the award-winning Phillip Island Nature Parks, home to the Penguin Parade, Koala Conservation Centre, Churchill Island Heritage Farm and the Nobbies Centre. The Nature Parks aim to balance ecotourism and recreational opportunities with the protection of wildlife and habitat. They cover 1805 hectares, and protect much of Phillip Island’s coastline, inlets, wetlands and woodlands. You can choose from a variety of tour and viewing opportunities, all of which help you understand the environmental management needed for the Nature Parks. Note that during summer, pre-booking for the nightly Penguin Parade is essential. For more information and bookings see www. or phone 5951 2800. Rhyll Boardwalk, Phillip Island. PHOTO: PINP


Pa r k Wat c h • d e c e m b e r


Activities include Rockpool Rambles, Snorkel Safaris in marine sanctuaries, kayak and boat adventures, bird watching, and Coastkids activities for youngsters. Hosted by DSE, Summer by the Sea is delivered by local experts. Visit summerbythesea for more information and a copy of this year’s program, or phone DSE on 136 186.

Marine Discovery Centre The Marine Discovery Centre will be open daily during the summer school holidays from Wednesday 29 December to Tuesday 25 January. It’s at 2a Bellarine Highway, Queenscliff— just look for the low, flat building with grass on the roof on the shores of Swan Bay as you approach Queenscliff! Find the Centre’s summer activities program, including snorkelling, canoeing, mudflat meanders, rockpool rambles and craft activities, at, or phone 5258 3344 and ask for a program. Outdoor activities book out quickly, so it’s best to get bookings in soon!

this summer! Summer in the parks Apart from our wonderful coastal parks like Discovery Bay, Great Otway, Mornington Peninsula, the Prom and Croajingolong, many of Victoria’s parks are great for summer visits. What about the new Murray River red gum parks, the Alpine National Park and Mt Buffalo (cool retreats on hot days), GrampiansGariwerd, and more? Not to mention the parks in and around Melbourne! For more information see or phone Parks Victoria on 13 1963. Ask for a copy of the current Parks Discovery magazine, which has good ideas for parks to visit over summer. Don’t forget that the VNPA has comprehensive guidebooks for Mt Buffalo, Grampians-Gariwerd and Wilsons Promontory national parks, and also wildflower guides for the Alps and the Grampians.

BWAG walk group at Pt Addis. Photo: Cheryl mioCh

Junior Ranger program

BWAG summer walk ideas

With both ranger-guided and self-guided activities, Parks Victoria’s Junior Ranger program aims to help children aged 6-12 to enjoy and appreciate nature. Most activities are free. Rangerguided activities include Rockpool Rambles in coastal parks, guided wetland tours at Coolart Homestead, ‘Behind the Scenes with a Ranger’ at Serendip Sanctuary, and ‘Survivor on the Prom’ at Wilsons Promontory NP. Many parks also have self-guided Junior Ranger activities and discovery trails. For more information see the Parks Victoria website or phone 13 1963.

Would you like to catch up on some walking over summer but not travel too far? Alison Thomas and Rob Saunders of the VNPA’s Bushwalking and Activities Group have put together some walk suggestions for you. These are just a sample of the hundreds of walking tracks and bicycle trails available around Melbourne and in Victoria. For more ideas check a walking guidebook or street directory, or consult your local council. Or join one of the BWAG walks described in the enclosed program!

Melbourne walks Heidelberg School Artists Trail Where: 40km of various tracks between the Dandenong Ranges and Heidelberg. More information at CONTINuED ON PAGE 38

Summer with Birds Australia Summer is a busy time for Victorian shorebirds! Migratory species have arrived from the northern hemisphere, while many of our resident shorebirds, like the threatened Hooded Plover, are at the peak of their breeding season. Birds Australia has a number of shorebird-related summer activities, including: • free shorebird tours at the Western Treatment Plant where you can learn about shorebirds and their conservation • a Dog’s Breakfast on Saturday 8 January 2011. This free event is at the P.A. Burns Reserve, Altona, 8:30-10:30 am, with a BBQ breakfast, and information on pet ownership and shorebird conservation • Hooded Plover monitoring workshops at Venus Bay (7 January), St Andrews Community Centre, Mornington Peninsula (11 January) and Sorrento Community Centre (12 January). Phone 9347 0757, or check out the calendar page at for more summertime activities!

Hooded Plover chick. PHOTO: BIRDS AuSTRAlIA

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Albert Park Lake, Albert Park Where: Start and finish at The Point Restaurant. Waterbirds and city views. Distance: About 5km (round trip). Mel. 2K F7.

Bushwalking & ActivitiesBWAG Group

Station Pier (Port Melbourne) to St Kilda Where: Start & finish at Station Pier. Great Bay views. Distance: About 8km (round trip). Mel. 2J A8.

Summer walk ideas CONTINuED FROM PAGE 6

Hampton to Black Rock cliff and back

car park: 1.5km to Flinders Peak with panoramic views, 8km around East-West Circuit.

Point Addis/Ironbark Basin Take Great Ocean Rd; past Bells Beach turnoff, turn left to Pt Addis. The 10km walk includes a section of the Koori Culture Walk, with signs about Aboriginal heritage, plus a beach walk.

Phillip Island and district walks

Where: Start and finish at Hampton Pavilion. Distance: About 12km (round trip). Walk along the cliffs between Hampton and Black Rock for great views of Port Phillip Bay. Melway 76 E5.

Churchill Island walk

Wildlife Lake, Jells Park, Wheelers Hill

About 6.6km long (3½ hrs return). Follow black markers from Cape Woolamai car park. Excellent views of coastline towards Kilcunda.

Where: Start and finish at the Tea House, Jells Park. Views of the Dandenongs, flora and fauna. Distance: About 2.5km (return). Melway 72 A7.

5km around the Island, starting and finishing at the historic homestead.

Cape Woolamai Beacon Walk

George Bass Coastal Walk 7km one way, starting at Punchbowl Road near San Remo and finishing at Kilcunda. Fabulous walk along cliffs, with ocean scenery and birdlife.

Dandenong Ranges & Yarra Valley Johns Hill—Melway maps 124-127 A hilly 12 km circuit of delightful landscapes in the eastern Dandenongs, starting at Clematis and passing through Menzies Creek, Kallista and Emerald. From Clematis Station follow Puffing Billy railway line to Menzies Creek Station before turning north on School Rd to Hermons Saddle Reserve. Climb steeply up Jacksons Hill Rd through magnificent Manna Gums and turn right at Ridge Rd for great views at Johns Hill Reserve . Drop steeply down the ridge to meet Menzies Creek at Avard Picnic Ground, then follow the creek upstream back to Clematis.

Sherbrooke Forest Circuit—Melway map 75 You might see a lyrebird crossing a track in Sherbrooke Forest.

Maribyrnong Trail: Victoria University to Shepard Bridge Where: Start & finish at Doug Mills Reserve. City skyline and Flemington Racecourse views. Distance: About 5km (return). Melway 2S G3.


Oxfam Trailwalker 2011 Team VNPA!

River Trail: Brimbank Park, Keilor

The new VNPA Trailwalker team of Mary, Patsy, Bec and Sue (the ‘VNPA Valkyries’) is registered and rarin’ to go! Email me at suecatterall203@ for a copy of the training schedule, and feel free to join in! Check out our Wine Drive too. — Sue Catterall 38

Where: Start and finish at Leaping Lizard Café, Brimbank Park. Red gums in a tranquil valley. Distance: 3.5km (round trip). Melway 14 H9.

Edwardes Lake Park, Reservoir Where: Start and finish at the Locomotive for a short but scenic walk round a large lake. Distance: 1.5km (round trip). Melway 18 D4.

West and SW of Melbourne walks You Yangs Regional Park Drive to Little River (Mel. map 200) and follow signs to You Yangs. Walks start at the Turntable

An easy but hilly 8km circuit of Sherbrooke Forest in Dandenong Ranges NP. Starting at Grants Picnic Ground, cross Monbulk Rd (carefully) and climb up a walking track to Sherbrooke Lodge Rd. Follow this to Sherbrooke Picnic Ground, then take Lloyds Track, Wattle Tk and Hillclimb Tk to Sherbrooke Falls. Cross at the falls and follow Ridge Tk to Terrys Avenue, then Pound Ck Tk to Micawber Tavern, Belgrave—a good spot for lunch. After lunch, cross Monbulk Rd and return to Grants via Tregallas Tk and Coles Ridge Tk.

O’Shannassy Aqueduct —see Parks Victoria website for map and notes An easy 15 km circuit from Millgrove near Warburton. After climbing from the Yarra River to the O’Shannassy Aqueduct via Dee Road, the walk follows a delightful track east along the aqueduct before returning along the river track and Warburton Rail Trail. You can enjoy lunch in one of Warburton’s great cafes.

* Please note that the VNPA and BWAG accept no responsibility or liability for injury, loss or damage resulting from following any of these suggested walks. Pa r k Wat c h • d e c e m b e r


Please contact the relevant advertised organisation or operator for each of the summer activities. Many of these activities are not run by VNPA.

Discover Victoria's nature this summer  
Discover Victoria's nature this summer  

A short guide to some of the ways you can enjoy and learn about Victoria’s nature during the festive season.