Whether it’s on foot or by bike, we all need and deserve forests for recreation and play in our lives without having to drive hours and hours for it.

Nature brings more joy, happiness, freedom, inspiration and creativity into our lives – and even wards off depression, anxiety and stress. We need nature for our personal health and wellbeing, and for our families and communities.

“A growing body of empirical evidence is revealing the value of nature experience for mental health” – Nature

Proven health benefits of nature include reduced headaches, allergies, blood pressure, poor mental health, in addition to increased psychological well-being, life satisfaction and self-esteem – to name a few. Time spent in nature reduces stress and increases happiness.

“With rapid urbanization and declines in human contact with nature globally, crucial decisions must be made about how to preserve and enhance opportunities for nature experience” – Nature

Whether winding through cool forested gullies on foot in Toolangi, photographing resident robins in the Wellsford Forest, or soaking in the sunshine on a mountain peak in the Pyrenees, our national parks and protected areas have a nurturing place for all of us.

With population growth booming in Victoria, so to do the opportunities and areas to support our respectful recreation needs, to be of service to our growing community.

Without this protection our walking trails could wind through recently logged bulldozer trails rather than cool forested gullies

New national parks protect nature whilst most recreational activities are actively encouraged including camping, bushwalking, horse riding and mountain biking(on tracks), with the rules regarding activities, such as 4×4 driving, are the same as other types of parks and public forest.

Victoria’s parks estate contributes $2.1 billion annually to the economy through park visitors and tourism supporting at least 20,000 jobs across the state.