Keen to get out and about with other nature lovers?

Our volunteer-led bushwalking and activities program and our citizen science programs will get you out and about exploring the places we love!

This latest program has adventures to suit everyone you could find yourself:

  • exploring the beauty of our native grasslands by bike
  • discovering the wildflowers of Fryers Ridge Nature Conservation Reserve
  • cruising on a coach excursion to the Bass coast or Phillip Island
  • being a citizen scientist surveying for wildlife in Bunyip State Park
  • hiking overnight at Dinner Plain in the Alps
  • taking an easy-going amble in nature close to the city

New to bushwalking and activities with VNPA?

We love having newcomers take part in our Bushwalking and Activities Program. If you’ve never been before check out Everything you need to know. This includes information on fees for trips, how to register, difficulty levels for activities etc.

Join our mailing list to stay in the loop about upcoming activities.

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Spring activities

Check the list of great adventures below and follow the prompts to register your interest or book yourself a spot. 


The Great Victorian Fish Count

Want to join the fish counting fun with the biggest marine citizen science event of the year? The 2022 Great Victorian Fish Count is now on. Registered groups are hosting surveys right around the Victorian coast – find one near you by exploring the interactive map on our Great Victorian Fish Count homepage.

Please note – to join a survey, you will need to get in touch with the host organisation. Click a survey icon to see the date, time and host contact info.

When: Saturday 12 November – Sunday 11 December

Find a survey here


Spotlight on Bunyip State Park – Spring Community Discovery Day 

Join us and explore the natural gifts of Bunyip State Park! Activities for all ages.  

Take a guided walk to explore the wildflowers along local trails and learn about the birds and mammals that live in the park, visit our NatureWatch table to learn about the different ways you can be a citizen scientist, unleash your creative side and join in some ‘Art in the Park’ activities where an experienced artist will be on hand to inspire you and set you up with materials and guidance to help you create something wonderful!  

When: Saturday 3 December, 10am-2pm
Where: Mortimer Picnic Ground, Bunyip State Park, near Gembrook, 70km SW Melbourne
Rating: Easy. Short activities leave from picnic area
Leader: Special NatureWatch program education activity 

Register here


U35 – Western Suburbs Coastal Bike Ride 

Riding our bikes between Newport & Aircraft train stations, we will see significant places of conservation along the Port Phillip Bay coastline, such as Jawbone Marine Reserve, Altona Coastal Park and Cheetham Wetlands. 

When: Saturday 3 December
Where: Altona and surrounds, 7km SW Melbourne 
Rating: Medium, 20kms riding
Leader: Eva Klusacek, [email protected], 0423053318

Register here


Fryers Forest Nature Conservation Reserve walk 

Fryers Forest is one of the best wildflower areas in the Central Victorian box-ironbark forests.  Although late spring, there should still be plenty to see.  Our walk will follow the Malmsbury – Bendigo channel, built in the late 19th century and still delivering water to Bendigo, for several kilometers.  We will then follow bush tracks through the forest back to our starting point.   

When: Sunday 4 December
Where: Castlemaine region, 120km NW Melbourne
Rating: Easy/medium 
Leader: Euan Moore, [email protected], 0407519091

Register here


Spotlight on Bunyip – wildlife spotlighting surveys at night!

Join the NatureWatch team in Bunyip State Park after dark! The possums and gliders that live in the park come out at night so that is the best time to survey for them. We will slowly walk 1-2km on gravel roads while using strong torches to search the ground and into the trees for nocturnal wildlife. We could see Greater Gliders in the wild and hear owls calling.  

When: Saturday 10 Dec, 8-10pm
Where: Bunyip State Park, near Gembrook. 70km SW Melbourne 
Rating: Medium level of fitness. Walking 1-2kms along uneven gravel roads at night.  No experience needed
Leader: NatureWatch activity 

Register here


Past activities and events


Spotlight on Bunyip – wildlife camera monitoring field days

Join the NatureWatch team on our 11th year of wildlife surveys in Bunyip State Park. Volunteers will join a team leader and travel to two research sites within the park to install camera monitoring equipment.  A great opportunity to explore the park, learn about the wildlife, habitat recovery since the 2019 bushfires and contribute to this valuable long-term citizen science project.  

When: Saturday 8 October, 9am-3pm
Where: Bunyip State Park, near Gembrook, 70km SW Melbourne 
Rating: Medium level of fitness. Short walks off paths through dense vegetation. No experience needed
Leader: NatureWatch activity


VNPA AGM – Celebrating 70 years of protecting nature together 

You are warmly invited to attend the Victorian National Parks Association’s 70th anniversary AGM, with guest speaker Dr Don Garden, followed by a presentation from Matt Ruchel, Executive Director, and Caitlin Griffith, Manager – Community Learning and Engagement. 

When: Tuesday 11 October 6:00pm  


Great Victorian Fish Count Celebration Night – Hidden Gems

The 2022 Great Victorian Fish Count is coming up! This year marks 20 years since the creation of Victoria’s Marine National Parks and Sanctuaries network, and 20 years since Victorians started counting fish. So, there’s plenty to toast at our annual Great Victorian Fish Count celebration night as we look at the hidden gems of our marine and coastal environments.

We’ll hear from guest speakers Travis Dutka of La Trobe University and Michael Sams of Parks Victoria, as well as sharing some highlights from last year’s Fish Count results and chatting about some of those hidden gems we’d like our Fish Counters to keep an eye out for this year.

When: Thursday 13 October
Where: Your house! Zoom invite provided on registration


Cairnlea Grasslands by bike 

The suburb of Cairnlea has great grasslands. Once the Albion Explosives Factory, amazing populations of Critically Endangered creatures such as Striped Legless Lizards (“Stripies“) make their home amongst the native grasses and the wildflower meadows. Join us to visit several of these great grassland sites by bike.    

When: Saturday 15 October, 1-4pm 

Where: Cairnlea


Excursion by coach Bass Coast

After a stop at San Remo for morning tea and a walk out onto the pier to view the stingrays we will travel to Anderson to walk part of the Bass Coast Trail to Kilcunda, famous for the Bourne Creek Trestle Bridge, cliff top walks, and rock pools. The afternoon will be spent in the coastal township of Inverloch, which will include the Screw Creek Nature Walk.  

When: Saturday 15 October, The coach departs from St.Kilda Rd. at 8.30am returning at approx. 6pm
Where: Bass Coast, coach departs from St. Kilda Rd, Melbourne 
Rating: Easy (formed tracks, level/undulating terrain, relaxed pace), up 8km walking broken up in to different times through the day
Leader: Larysa Kucan
Cost:
$50 per person to cover the cost of coach


U35 – You Yangs Meander 

This walk in the stunning You Yangs will combine multiple tracks in the regional park – including climbing to Flinders Peak for a great lookout of the surrounding landscape. We will then continue to West Walk Track, Northern Range Walking Track, and take the Branding Yard Trail past the Bunjil sculpture.  Some steep walking & stairs involved. 

When: Saturday 22 October
Where: You Yangs Regional Park, 60km WSW Melbourne 
Rating: Medium, 10kms walking
Leader: Eva Klusacek


Hobsons Bay Grasslands by bike 

Hobsons Bay is home to some of the last big patches of good quality grassland in Melbourne, and some great smaller grasslands too. This tour we are going to start in the east, at Doreen’s Grassland near Cherry Lake, and bike our way across to Emu Foot Grassland on Skeleton Creek. On the way, we are going to visit Maidstone Street Grassland, Ajax Road Grassland and Burns Road Grassland. 

When: Sunday 23 October 1pm-3pm
Where: Altona


Bushwalk – Fryers Ridge Nature Conservation Reserve 

Fryers Ridge is located nearby the small settlement of Taradale, off the Calder Freeway. This is an undulating circuit walk along 4WD tracks. You may have the opportunity to spot the Fryerstown Grevillea, (Grevillea obtecta) that is endemic to the area. Time permitting we will stop in Malmsbury for refreshments after the walk.  Bring boots, plenty of water, lunch and snacks.  The walk commences at 9.30am. 

When: Sunday 23 October
Where: Meet cnr Fryerstown Rd and Sargeants Rd, Taradale, 105km NW Melbourne
Rating: Medium, 16km walking
Leader: Darren McClelland


Williamstown Wander 

Easy going amble from Newport Rail Station, we set to the Newport Lakes Park. Then along the Yarra River & Port Phillip Bay to finish at Williamstown Beach Rail Station.

When: Saturday 29 October
Where: Newport to Williamstown, 10km SW Melbourne 
Rating: Easy, 12km walking
Leader: Glenn King


Spotlight on Bunyip – wildlife camera monitoring field days

Join the NatureWatch team on our 11th year of wildlife surveys in Bunyip State Park. Volunteers will join a team leader and travel to two research sites within the park to install camera monitoring equipment.  A great opportunity to explore the park, learn about the wildlife, habitat recovery since the 2019 bushfires and contribute to this valuable long-term citizen science project.  

When:Saturday 29 October, 9am-3pm
Where: Bunyip State Park, near Gembrook, 70km SW Melbourne 
Rating: Medium level of fitness. Short walks off paths through dense vegetation. No experience needed
Leader: NatureWatch activity


The Magnificent Evans St Grassland 

Evans Street Grassland is the jewel in the crown of Melbourne’s grasslands. If you only ever go to one grassland in your life, this is the one. With over 100 species packed into two hectares, it’s great to explore. We’ll meet for an introductory talk at the Environment Centre just next door. We’ll be joined by Hume City Council’s Urban Biodiversity Officer, who will take us out to see what we can find. 

When: Saturday 5 November

Where: Sunbury


Simon and Lorrain Jolly’s Parwon Grassland Tour 1 

Explore and learn about this privately owned grassland property between the rail line and the mighty Werribee River.

When: Sunday 6 November 2:00-4:00pm


Simon and Lorrain Jolly’s Parwon Grassland Tour 2 

Explore and learn about this privately owned grassland property between the rail line and the mighty Werribee River.

When: Saturday 12 November 2:00-4:00pm


Excursion by coach – Phillip Island, Corinella and Corinette Bay 

After a short stop at Tooradin, we will travel to Corinella where we will commence a walk to Corinette Bay along the coast. The afternoon will be spent on Phillip Island including a walk through the mangroves at Rhyll.

When: Saturday 19 November, The coach departs from St. Kilda Rd. at 8.30 am, returning approx. 6.30 pm
Where: Phillip Island, coach departs from St. Kilda Rd, Melbourne
Rating: Easy (formed tracks, level/undulating terrain, relaxed pace), up 8km optional walking broken up in to different times through the day
Leader: Larysa Kucan
Cost: $50 per person to cover cost of coach 


Paramount Grassland Tour: Flower power by the Ring Road 

Paramount Grassland is an interesting urban patch of ancient remnant. Council only acquired it ten years ago. Before that it was just a forgotten bit of wasteland, until someone noticed the amazing, endangered plants. Since then Council have been working hard to restore it to what must have been its former glory. 

We will have family-friendly activities to do as we walk and talk our way around the grassland, so bring the kids! We’ll be joined by one of the local Council’s knowledgeable Biodiversity Officers, so there will be lots to learn. Field guides provided. 

When: Sunday 20 November 1pm-3pm

Where: Derrimut


U35 – Sherbrooke Forest and Grants Picnic Ground 

Circuit walk in the lush Dandenongs.  We will explore several trails in the Sherbrooke Forest. Highlights include Sherbrooke Falls, Alfred Nicholas Gardens; and being amongst the rainforest ecology of tall mountain ash trees, ferns & creeks, and so much more. Some steep walking will be involved, and it will potentially be muddy & slippery. Starting & ending at Belgrave train station. 

When: Sunday 20 November
Where: Starts Belgrave Station, 45km ESE Melbourne 
Rating: Medium/hard, 13kms walking
Leader: Eva Klusacek


Spotlight on Bunyip – wildlife spotlighting surveys at night!

Join the NatureWatch team in Bunyip State Park after dark! The possums and gliders that live in the park come out at night so that is the best time to survey for them. We will slowly walk 1-2km on gravel roads while using strong torches to search the ground and into the trees for nocturnal wildlife. We could see Greater Gliders in the wild and hear owls calling.  

When:Friday 25 Nov, 8-10pm, near Gembrook
Where: Bunyip State Park, near Gembrook. 70km SW Melbourne 
Rating: Medium level of fitness. Walking 1-2kms along uneven gravel roads at night.  No experience needed
Leader: NatureWatch activity