If you want to explore some of Victoria's amazing natural landscapes, you've come to the right place.
Our outdoor adventure program has something for everyone. Watch the countryside roll by as you cycle our amazing rail trails around Melbourne and way beyond.
Cost: Most events are $5 members or $9 non-members. But see activity for cost.
Membership: We encourage you to join as a member online or call VNPA on 03 9347 5188. Visitors can participate in up to three trips.
December 5 – Saturday
Exploring Westgate Park
Expect spectacular views to the mouth of the Yarra River and the city skyline from the eastern banks of the Yarra under the Westgate Bridge. We will head out of the city along the Port Melbourne tramline passing Station Pier before heading to Westgate Park.
There will be time to take in Lyn Moore's Earth Sculptures and other natural features of the park before heading back along the Yarra River via South Wharf.
Grade: Medium, 23km.
Limit: 18 - 7km SW Melb.
December 6 – Sunday
Walk, Talk and Gawk: Nature Nippers – Mushroom Reef, Flinders
This is one for the young and young at heart! Come and explore Victoria’s most diverse intertidal rocky reef community and discover the amazing marine flora and fauna that call the reef home. Suitable for all ages. Children under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Limit: 20 - 100km S Melb.
Christmas Picnic Bike Ride
Join us for a pre-Christmas picnic lunch in a local park close to Melbourne. Venue yet to be decided.
Grade: Easy, 35-40km.
U35s Lake Mountain Wildflower Walk
Beautiful stands of mottled grey Snow Gum and alpine heath interspersed with alpine bogs mark the most accessible alpine walk close to Melbourne. The season's wildflowers are sure to be a highlight.
Grade: Medium, 18km.
Limit: 12 - 120km NE Melb.
December 12 – Saturday
Easy-going Amble Along the Yarra
What better way to celebrate another year of easy-going ambles than with a stroll from Federation Square upstream along the Yarra River and back for coffee and lunch?
Grade: Easy, 5km.
Marysville – Steavenson Falls
Come and explore some of Marysville's revitalised trails as we visit Steavenson Falls, Keppel, Oxley and De La Rue lookouts with views across to the Cathedral Range State Park. We’ll get refreshments after in Marysville.
Grade: Medium, 21km.
Limit: 18 - 90km NE Melb.
December 13 – Sunday
Greens Bush Mornington Peninsula Family Walk
This is a wondrous native bushland walk through fern gullies and towering eucalypt forests of the Mornington Peninsula National Park. This sheltered walk follows a rippling creek through cool forests and is home to a large population of eastern grey kangaroos.
We’ll follow an unsealed track suited to mums and dads with baby carriers. Pack a picnic lunch, bring plenty of snacks, water and baby supplies.
There will be an opportunity to visit the historic town of Flinders after the walk and sample the delights of the Red Hill Bakery before making the trip back to Melbourne. Dates may change in case of adverse weather.
Grade: Easy to medium, 14km.
Limit: 10 - 103km S Melb.
December 11-13 – Weekend trip
Wilsons Promontory National Park – Southeast Circuit
A two-night pack carry walk at the Prom in early December allows us to enjoy the calm before the influx of summer tourists. We’ll walk the southeast circuit in a clockwise direction.
Friday we’ll walk over Telegraph Saddle to Sealers Cove, then on Saturday we’ll travel from Sealers Cove to Little Waterloo Bay via Refuge Cove. Sunday we walk out via Telegraph Track.
You will need Friday free to do this inspiring two night hike through rainforests, along beautiful beaches and over coastal hills.
Grade: Medium to hard, 36km.
Limit: 6 - 300km SE Melb.
December 20 - Sunday
Ocean Grove to Barwon Heads
A great beach walk, we'll start at Ocean Grove, making the round trip to Barwon Heads and back.
Grade: Easy to medium, 13km.
Limit: 16 - 97km SE Melb.
January 3 - Saturday
Barwon Heads to Pt Lonsdale Beach Walk
Another great beach walk, come and see this wonderful shoreline in summer.
Grade: Easy to medium - 13km.
Limit: 12 - 97km SE Melb.
January 9-12 (long weekend)
Alpine National Park - Bogong High Plains Huts Hike
If you're up to a challenge join this long weekend pack hike across the Bogong high plains visiting Cope, Dibbins, Blair, Weston, Tawonga and Pretty Valley mountain huts.
Friday night we camp at Mountain Creek near Tawonga then drive up to Falls Creek Saturday morning. Following the Australian Alps walking trail we will camp at Dibbins Hut, with time to explore the summits of Mt Jaithmathang and Mt Jim without packs.
On Monday we'll take the track to Pretty Valley hut then return to the cars and head home.
You will need to keep Monday free and be fit and well equipped for this trip of three days and two nights.
Grade: Hard, exploratory - 35km.
Limit: 6 - 350km NE Melb.
January 10 - Saturday
Urban Adventure - Altona to the City
Take the train to Altona station then follow the Hobsons Bay Coastal Trail through large tracts of parkland, the beach and foreshore areas of Williamstown and Altona.
We'll pass through Williamstown's maritime precinct and then on to Spotswood before catching the punt across the river, and walking back to Southern Cross Station via South Wharf. This is a public transport walk.
Grade: Medium - 18km.
Limit: 18 - 12km W Melb.
Easy-going Amble - Hayes Paddock
Discover this hidden retreat in Kew, south of the Eastern Freeway. This year we have a two hour ramble on the second Saturday of each month at 10am.
'Easy-going ambles' are especially designed for those of restricted mobility determined to keep active. Public transport option.
Grade: Easy, 5km.
Limit: 10 - 10km SE Melb.
January 13 - Tuesday
Try street orienteering in Parkville with Orienteering Victoria. We'll navigate our way through streets and gardens at a fast pace. A great workout and way to practice your map reading skills.
Grade: Easy. Cost: $4. Limit: 15.
Social Nights & Excursions
December 11 – Friday
End of year dinner
Celebrate another great year with the Victorian National Parks Association and catch up with friends for Christmas drinks and dinner. There’s plenty of time to swat up for the famous Christmas Quiz.
What are the names of the three Wise Men again? The highest mountain in Chile? Fabulous prizes for the winning team.
Location: The Glenferrie Hotel, 324 Burwood Road, Hawthorn.
RSVP: Put it in your diary now and RSVP by Friday 4 December by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Changes to the Program
Steels Creek, December 5
- This walk will now take place on Saturday 12 December.
A pleasant loop walk through forest and rural farmland with great views.
Grade: Medium, 14km.
Limit: 16 - 70km NE Melb.
Ruffey Creek, December 9
- Walk cancelled
January 16-17 (weekend)
Goulburn River Canoeing
The Goulburn River summer irrigation flows provide excellent flat-water canoeing. The weekend will be suitable for novice paddlers with good swimming skills and upper-body fitness. Two person canoe hire (from Melbourne) is about $45 per person.
Camping, cabin or motel accommodation available.
Applications close Friday 8 January 2016.
Grade: Medium, 40km.
Limit: 12 - 130km N Melb.
Reduce the threat of Dieback – wash your boots
Dieback is the dying back of plants, and it often results in death of many of our native plant species. It is frequently caused by Phytophthora cinnamomi (the disease formerly known as Cinnamon Fungus). This is an invading plant disease that lives in the soil. Many of our plants have no resistance to it.
About 2000 different plant species (most of them Australian) are susceptible to the disease. Collapsed grass-trees are only one indicator of the presence of the disease. It is important therefore to stay on the tracks when walking through diseased areas. If you walk off-track your boots will carry infection.
The only way to remove the contamination is to clean out all soil from your footwear and wash and brush them with disinfectant before you leave the area. Carry a plastic trough, some methylated spirits and water and brushes for this purpose. Or use a stiff brush and spray the cleaned boots with a 70% methylated spirits/water solution. Insist that the rest of the group also clean their footwear.
The swimming spores are very tiny and have no cell wall so they are very easily killed with any disinfectant, but any soil or gravel on your footwear will prevent the disinfectant from reaching them. You must not wait until you get back home but clean the footwear immediately.