National & state parks
Around one-third of Victoria consists of public land. Discover a range of environments within these extensive areas of public land including urban manicured gardens, recreational parks, lush forests, remote wilderness parks, scenic coastal parks and large semi-arid regions.
National Parks (NP) are areas of nationwide significance which are usually quite extensive in size. They encompass outstanding natural environments, scenic landscapes or diverse land types which are predominantly unspoilt. Their aim is to preserve these landscapes from many forms of human activity, protect precious species of animals and plants, preserve areas of archaeological and historical significance, and to provide public enjoyment and education of these areas of nature.
State Parks (SP) are similar to national parks, but are generally smaller. They complement national parks and preserve the major land types and species of flora and fauna found in Victoria.
Regional Parks (RP) are easily accessible areas of land which include a variety of historic, cultural and conservation reserves. Their aim is provide recreation and enjoyment for large numbers of people while protecting the natural surroundings and limiting exploitation of resources.
Wilderness Parks (WP) are large areas with native plant and animal communities that are relatively unaffected by humans. They are managed for conservation, with no facilities provided for visitors and no vehicles are permitted.
State Forests (SF) conserve flora and fauna, protect water catchments and supplies, preserve landscapes and provide recreational areas. They also provide sustainable resources to supply the community, such as timber and other forest products. Hunting for pest animals may be permitted in some State Forests.
Victoria has been divided up into 4 distinct geographical zones to classify the location of these parks and forests.
Interesting facts about our parks
Victoria's largest park is the Alpine National Park which spans 6,460 square kilometres. It is located in the east of the state, extending into both Gippsland and the High Country regions. It has the largest diversity of flora and fauna out of all parks with almost 1,000 native plant species and over 300 native animal species. Coming a close second in size is the semi-arid Murray-Sunset National Park at 6,330 square kilometres, located south of Mildura.
Victoria's busiest park is the Mornington Peninsula National Park which extends along the southern coastline of the Mornington Peninsula and also inland. There are over 4 million visits per year made to this park, mainly by people accessing the surrounding ocean beaches.
Victoria's quietest park is the Big Desert Wilderness Park, located in a very remote area of the state, adjacent to the border with South Australia, south of Murrayville. It is estimated to receive less than 300 visitors a year due to its remoteness and lack of tracks or any type of facilities for visitors.
The Grampians National Park, which surrounds the village of Halls Gap, contains the most Aboriginal rock art sites in Victoria.