Victoria’s great outdoors for teens

Keen to trade WiFi with time offline for your teen? 

Victoria’s National Parks, reserves and wild spaces have just as much real-life content to capture the attention of teenagers, no matter their interest.  Being outside in nature tops up their feelings of mindfulness and energy, and feeling a sense of awe in awesome places helps us all feel more positive.   

Soak up the views with your teens in Victoria. Credit: Andrea Rowe

There has never been a better time to enjoy all that nature has to offer. Help your teen get a dose of the good stuff in these stunning natural destinations in Victoria’s national parks:

Walks on the wild side 

Coastal wilderness wander Wilsons Promontory National Park

Check in at mainland Australia’s southernmost tip. Wilsons Promontory National Park is home to jaw dropping scenery, picture perfect walking trails and wildlife. Try and snap a nature selfie with one of the park’s resident wombats. 

Picturesque Wilsons Prom gets a thumbs up from teens. Credit: Andrea Rowe

1000 steps Dandenong Ranges National Park

Strap your Fitbit on and set your pace – this iconic trail in the Dandenong Ranges gives you a small taste of the exhaustion Aussie soldiers felt on Papua New Guinea’s Kokoda Trail in World War II.

Waterfall wondersGreat Otway National Park

One of the wettest places in the state makes for lush mossy rainforests and pumping waterfalls. (After dark the Melba Gully Day Visitor area is home to the cutest little glow worms too)

Beautiful Triplet Falls in the lushest, wettest place in the state! Credit: Robert Blackburn/ Visit Victoria

River runs and strolls Yarra Bend Park

Whichever way you roll, ride, walk, run or paddle – there’s winding paths and waterways to help fill your lungs with loads of fresh air in Melbourne’s largest bushland park.

Rock it Organ Pipes National Park

Check out how ancient lava flows can style up the outdoors. Touch volcanic history, stare up at towering molten lava columns and stroll along tessellated pavements in Melbourne’s closest national park. 

Big bould(er) selfies Baw Baw National Park

Dose up on fern gullies, pose next to bulging boulders and re-charge with alpine scenery on the Mushroom Rocks walk. Winter snowball throwing is optional!

High altitude hikingMt Buffalo National Park

Hike to the parks’ highest point at The Horn or stroll along the Gorge Lookout for heart stopping glimpses of the valley below. 

The Horn picnic spot has it all. Credit: David Kirkland/ Visit Victoria

Binge on views

Rise above it allArthurs Seat State Park 

Set a cracking pace on walking and bike paths with summit views across Port Phillip Bay and towards Melbourne. 

Another vantage point – the Arthurs Seat Eagle! Credi: Craig Sillitoe/ Visit Victoria

Windy wanderingFlinders Blowhole Walking Track, Mornington Peninsula

Wander wild ocean cliffs whipped by wild surf. All that salt water and fresh ocean air feels good for the soul.

Reboot your forest dataDandenong Ranges National Park

Pull out the ear pods and tune into nature along fern-fringed forest walks with trickling waterfalls and singing lyrebirds. If this park were a spotify tune, it’d be on repeat play. 

Pretty in Pink Murray Sunset National Park

No need for Instagram filters at this the Pink Lakes. The mix of red algae and lake salt bed’s deliver brilliant shades of pink to pose in front of. 

Sea and sand Gippsland Lakes NP

Boating’s the best way to check out the remote sand dunes of the 90 Mile Beach and into the cutest little inlets. Dolphins and pelicans keep a careful watch as you cast a fishing line, or peel back the paper on your fish and chips. 

Stunning 90 Mile Beach stretches out almost as far as the eye can see! Credit: Robert Blackburn/ Visit Victoria

Culture and history check in 

Connect with Aboriginal cultureGrampians National Park 

Immerse yourself in the world’s oldest living culture amongst the rugged cliffs, rock art walking trails and awesome waterfalls of The Grampians. Listen for the stories of the Gariwerd Aboriginal culture through the eyes of Traditional Owners at The Brambuk National Park and Cultural Centre. 

Learn heaps about local histories and cultures on a Brambuk guided tour. Credit: Artra Sartracom/ Visit Victoria

Strike it richCastlemaine Diggings National Heritage Park

Gold fever lured many here in the 1850s, and today its tracks lure history fossickers. This is the coolest place to get up close to old mining relics as nature slowly reclaims them. If you stumble across any gold nuggets, the road trip treats are on you! 

Historic hut huntingAlpine National Park

The stuff of mountain movie legends. Let your boots do the walking amongst alpine trails to deserted high country historic cattlemen huts. Horse-riding experiences can take it up another high altitude history notch. 

Selfie spotlight Cape Schanck Lighthouse

Pinch it, hand-stand it, push it – strike pose in front of Cape Schanck Lightstation. Keep an eye out for sea for commuting marine life  – it’s perfect for whale spotting during migration time. 

teen standing on cliff top in Victorian National Park
Teen outdoors. Credit: Kate Royle

Adrenalin junkies

Adventure peaks Alpine National Park

Take on the views and the challenges of walking across the iconic Razorback trail, or wander high plains tracks and soak in endless views. 

Go with the flow Murray River Reserve

Canoe or kayak down the Mighty Murray, under old trestle bridges and past red gum forests where koalas snooze. 

No better way to experience the stunning surrounds of the Murray than on the water. Credit: Robert Blackburn/ Visit Victoria

Up cycle Kinglake National Park

Get on your bike for the thrills and spills of downhill mountain biking with a view at Bowden Spur Mountain Bike Area in Kinglake National Park. 

Wildlife close-ups

Emu photo bombing Tower Hill Game Reserve

The wildlife’s not camera shy here – emus, koalas and kangaroos check you out at on every trail through this dormant volcano 

Walk like an emu at Tower Hill. Credit: Visit Victoria

Rockpool ramblingMushroom Reef Marine Sanctuary

You’ll be amazed how many mini beasts live in rockpools – peer into ocean pools, or snorkel and dive nearby.  

Whale watching Warrnambool

Wild winds and ocean swells off Warrnambool bring Southern Right whales into its waters to calve. Viewing platforms offer front row seats for whale spotting. 

Victoria has powered up the outdoor destinations. Add them to your teen’s outdoor playlist and hit the that refresh button. All that’s left for you to do is pack the survival kit of road trip snacks.

Most of Victoria’s national parks, reserves and historic places are now open for day-use activities. Camping, overnight activities and BBQ facilities are closed and some walking tracks are singular direction to maintain physical distancing. Restrictions at time of publication request that physical distancing of 1.5 metres between people and maximum of 10 people is observed at all times to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). This is a rapidly changing situation. For a full list of open and accessible spaces visit https://www.parks.vic.gov.au/  and https://www.parks.vic.gov.au/get-into-nature/safety-in-nature/covid-19-update

READ MORE:

Best Instagram destinations around Australia for teens

Top 7 activities for teens on NSW South Coast

Top 5 multi-day hikes for teens

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