Alfred National Park
Located 480 kilometres from Melbourne to the east of Cann River, the Alfred National Park protects distinct vegetation communities including warm temperate rainforest, which is of national significance. The 3,050 hectare park has many species of flora and fauna that are uncommon or rare in Victoria, including the violet nightshade, jointed mistletoe, prickly tree fern and slender tree fern. There are limited recreational opportunities for visitors, but early in the morning you may see lyrebirds darting across the road and hear the calls of an amazing array of birdlife. The park is home to the spot-tailed quoll, common bentwing bat, powerful owl and sooty owl.
Stopping on the side of the road is not recommended so for those who wish to enjoy the rainforest experience on foot, the Bemm River Scenic Reserve on the Melbourne side of Cann River is a great alternative. Alfred National Park has places of strong cultural and spiritual significance to the region's original indigenous inhabitants, the Bidawai People.
Alpine National Park
The Alpine National Park boasts some of Australia's most stunning alpine landscapes including mountain peaks, escarpments and grassy high plains. Stretching from central Gippsland to the NSW border, the park offers plenty of opportunities for bushwalking, hiking, cross-country skiing, camping, canoeing, cycling, four-wheel driving and horse riding.
Explore Victoria's highest peaks - Mount Feathertop, Mount Bogong and Mount Howitt - and visit the historic mountain huts of the Bogong High Plains. Popular places include Bluff Hut (with basic facilities for car-based campers), Lake Tali Karng, the remote and rugged landscape around Wonnangatta Station and camping areas at Horseyard Flat and Lake Cobbler.
Coopracambra National Park
Located in one of the most remote areas of Victoria, Coopracambra National Park is of high conservation value with its undisturbed ecosystems, a heritage river, rare flora and fauna and diverse landscapes. Three major roads surround the park - the Monaro Highway to the west, the Imlay Highway to the north in NSW and the Princes Highway to the south - but its rugged terrain and isolation means it remains largely undisturbed. Within the park, there are few tracks and sections are suitable only for four-wheel drive access. The WB Line is the main park road, and gives access to the cascading Beehive Falls and to the helipad at Mealing Hill, with breathtaking views. The red sandstone gorge for the Genoa River and the surrounding granite peaks offer outstanding scenery.
The wilderness core of the park provides excellent opportunities for extended remote 'off track' walks, for experienced and well equipped hikers. The park is a very significant geological site and ancient tetrapod footprints have been found in Upper Devonian sediments. These footprints are believed to be the oldest fossil record of any land-dwelling vertebrate.
Croajingolong National Park
Named after the Aboriginal people of the area, Croajingolong National Park follows the far-eastern coastline of Victoria for 100 kilometres and features eucalypt forest, rainforest and heathland. Secluded coastal camping spots provide a perfect base for beach walks, bird watching, boating and fishing. Take the 100 kilometre Wilderness Coast Walk from the eastern shores of Sydenham Inlet to Wonboyn in NSW, relax in a boat on the Mallacoota Lakes, climb Genoa Peak for a magnificent view of the coast, the massive Thurra Sand Dunes and Mallacoota Inlet.
Point Hicks Lighthouse, set deep within the park, is an imposing concrete tower completed in 1890. Gabo Island Lighthouse, built of distinctive pink granite, can be reached by air or sea. Both offer tours and accommodation. Popular camp spots include Wingan Inlet, Tambo Inlet and Shipwreck Creek but space is limited so you are advised to book early, particularly in peak periods.
Errinundra National Park
Errinundra National Park is home to the largest remaining stand of cool temperate rainforest in Victoria as well as ancient tall, wet eucalypt forests. Unsealed roads within the park mean most of the park is only accessible during dry months with most roads closed by rain and snow.
HIghlights include the spectacular views from the Mount Ellery lookout and the Errinundra Rainforest boardwalk, which features a history of
the park and boardwalk through cool temperate rainforest. Frosty Hollow is the only camping area in the park. The majority of the park is accessible only in the drier months, as in winter, rain and snow generally make the unsealed roads impassable.
Lind National Park
One of Victoria's oldest national parks, Lind National Park protects a range of forest communities, including significant areas of warm temperate rainforest. Many species of native fauna, some of them significant, can be found in the ancient forests incuding the beautiful masked owl and the elusive long-footed potoroo.
During November and December you may see the bright red flowers of the East Gippsland waratah. There are limited recreational facilities in the park, but the Euchre Valley Nature Drive is a great way to explore and takes visitors on a journey through this protected area of old growth forest. The drive is suitable for all vehicles including caravans and trailers. There are camping grounds nearby at Cann River and Genoa.
Mitchell River National Park
Mitchell River National Park offers impressive river scenery, serene rainforest gullies, rugged landscapes and some of Victoria's more unusual vegetation. The park is home to a vast array of indigenous flora and fauna and is popular with outdoor enthusiasts. Canoeing and rafting provide the easiest access to much of the park including remote river gorges. The Mitchell River is popular for short canoeing day trips or extended touring through tranquil pools and turbulent rapids down to the Gippsland Lakes.The best time for canoeing is from July to December.
Popular sites include the main picnic area at the Den of Nargun (it is a 5 kilometre, 1.5 hour walk to the den), Angusvale and Billy Goat Bend, which has basic facilities for picnics and camping. Walks in the area offer panoramic views of the Mitchell River Gorge and rapids, spectacular rocks slides that form a natural amphitheatre, and pockets of dry rainforest. Horse riding is permitted on roads and public vehicle tracks.
Nyerimilang Heritage Park
Set among semi-formal gardens on a cliff top above the Gippsland Lakes, Nyerimilang Homestead operated by Parks Victoria, is a perfect place to picnic surrounded by a rich variety of plant and birdlife. Scenic walks from the homestead pass historic farm buildings and pastoral surrounds along bush and farm tracks, past Kurrajong trees, wetland areas and through the East Gippsland Indigenous Plant Garden. The Victorian Government bought Nyerimilang in 1976 and a display about its history can be found inside the homestead.
With multiple walking tracks within a short distance of the park, views of the Gippsland Lakes can be admired along with the natural beauty of this area. The park is a mecca for keen bird watchers. The varied vegetation and habitats make it an ideal home for a wide variety of our feathered friends.
Snowy River National Park
Renowned for canoeing and rafting, the remote Snowy River National Park is ideal for those who appreciate magnificent forests, rugged gorges and wild landscapes.
McKillops Bridge is one of the few places with conventional vehicle access to the Snowy River. The Deddick River meets the Snowy just upstream of the bridge and wide sandy beaches with shallow rock pools between the rapids make this a great swimming spot. Popular sites within the park include Raymond Creek Falls, the Little River Gorge visitor area (Victoria's deepest gorge), and bush camping sites at Balley Hooley, Jacksons Crossing, the junction of the Snowy and Buchan Rivers, McKillops Bridge, Raymond Creek Falls, Waratah Flat and Hicks campsite. Four-wheel drive through this remote park and enjoy spectacular river scenery, deep gorges, waterfalls and magnificent forests.
The Lakes National Park
Fringed by the waters of Lake Victoria and Reeves Channel, The Lakes National Park, is a peaceful bush retreat in the Gippsland Lakes, and is accessible by boat from Paynesville. The park, which includes Sperm Whale Head peninsula and Rotamah and Little Rotamah Islands, is home to more than 190 species of birds including the rare white-bellied sea eagle and the endangered little tem. You'll also see eastern grey kangaroos, black wallabies, echidnas and wombats.
Highlights include the Lake Reeve Nature Trail and Lookout Tower (a 30 min return walk) and Rotamah Island. Accessible only by boat, the island is surrounded by Lake Victoria and Lake Reeve to the north and the dunes of the Ninety Mile Beach to the south. It has clearly defined tracks offering exceptional views and bird watching opportunities. Point Wilson is the most popular of several picnic sites, and has gas and wood fire barbecues (BYO wood), a day shelter, toilets, water and a jetty. Camping is available near the shore of Lake Victoria at Emu Bight.