Take a seaside stroll on a wild shore, feel the pulse of an ancient forest, find views that have inspired some of Australia’s great painters and iconic novelists. Who’d have thought it possible a month ago? As the loosening of lockdown continues across the world, Victorians can now stretch their legs and travel within the state. Nature has been the big winner of the COVID era, and our cleaner, greener, open spaces are beckoning.
Sorrento-Portsea Artists Trail, VIC
Walk in the footsteps of some of Australia’s most appreciated landscape painters and enjoy inspirational Bass Strait and Port Phillip Bay coastline views from a series of cliff-top trails and other waymarked paths. The walk between Point King Road and Lentell Avenue places you right in the middle of Portsea’s millionaires’ row, a showcase of adventurous architecture. Here you can see the views thatinspired historic paintings by Sir Arthur Streeton, Arthur Boyd and Ray Hodgkinson, while comparing the rippling turquoise sea and reef views. Works by Albert Tucker, John Perceval and Emanuel Phillips Fox were also inspired by these Mornington Peninsula beaches. www.virtualsorrento.com.au
Otway Ranges, VIC
Standing in a myrtle beech forest, water pounding down the rocks above and the spray drifting through towering tree ferns: it’s one of life’s great pleasures. Even in the height of summer, when the beaches of Lorne and Apollo Bay are usually packed with sun worshippers, there is cool respite in the rainforest along the Great Ocean Road hinterland. Such beauty spots as Triplet Falls or Maits Rest allow you to stand amongst an ecosystem that has endured for 80 million years. Of the world’s many significant forests, this one is among the most vulnerable to climate change. www.parkweb.vic.gov.au
Wilderness Coast, VIC
Although it’s halfway between Melbourne and Sydney on the coastal route, this stretch of coastline remains a wilderness, with some of Australia’s most beautiful beaches, dramatic waterways and pure white sand dunes. It takes a day to drive to the Wilderness Coast, which encompasses Croajingolong National Park, and runs 120km from Cape Conran, near the mouth of the Snowy River beside Orbost, to the NSW border. Permits are required for the 100km walk from Sydenham Inlet to if crossing the border into NSW. Note: The 2019-2020 Summer bushfires in March had forced closure of many parts of Croajingolong National Park. For details on openings, phone 131963 or visit:
Hanging Rock, VIC
A strangely haunting feeling overwhelms many who visit Hanging Rock, a much-weathered plug of extremely rare 6.5-million-year-old igneous rock towering 100m over the plain below. Long before 1967, when author Joan Lindsay wrote her story of the mysterious disappearance of schoolgirls at Hanging Rock on Valentine’s Day in 1901, local Wurundjeri men and boys used the phallic rocks and vulva-shaped caves as an initiation site; it was, therefore, a taboo place for women.
Parks Victoria Covid-19 Updates
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Overnight Accommodation and Camping Permitted in Victoria from June 1
From June 1, overnight holiday rental and camping in Victoria is permitted, however conditions apply.
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