Experience unique Australian nature off the beaten track in one of the many native bushland and desert parks dotted across Victoria. Escape to virtual isolation in open, dry forests and woodlands, dry and semi-dry arid deserts surrounded by Mallee vegetation or meander bush walking trails through grassy plains abundant with wildflowers and wildlife. Explore the massive volcanic feature at Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve where you could spot some of the local wildlife including koalas, emus, kangaroos, wallabies, echidnas, turtles and possums.
Immerse yourself in nature by hiking and camping under the stars in remote regional parks. Both challenging and family-friendly bushwalking, mountain biking and horse riding trails at You Yangs Regional Park offer up a scenic vista of the distinctive granite peaks of the You Yangs that rise from the flat volcanic plains. Lerderderg State Park also offers a true bush experience. Rising in the Great Dividing Range, the Lerderderg River has cut a 300-metre-deep gorge through sandstone and slate with several tracks for a range of walks from short, easy strolls to strenuous overnight hikes for experienced bushwalkers.
Lysterfield Park, in the south-east suburbs of Melbourne, offers a range of recreational activities such as canoeing, sailing, paddle boating and surf skiing. Lysterfield Park Mountain Bike Trails and the State Mountain Bike course offers 20km of trails catering for riders of all ages and ability. Choose from easy family trails for all to enjoy around the lake and parkland, a range of flowing single trails through established plantations or steep and technical sections of trail through rocky landscapes. For fitness fans, the Granite Peak Trail provides a challenging 6km (each way) trailrun with a steep climb to Trig Point and rewarding views of the Melbourne city skyline at the top.
For four-wheel drive enthusiasts, visit Little Desert National Park between August and December when the park is full of blossoms and wildflowers. There are a number of campgrounds accessible by all vehicles as well as hike-in campgrounds for the Little Desert Discovery Walk. Murray-Sunset National Park, in Victoria's far north-west corner, is in one of the few remaining semi-arid regions in the world where the environment is relatively untouched. With its wide open landscapes, breathtaking sunsets and starry nights, its vastness and isolation will take more than a day to explore and is also great for 4WD touring, bushwalking and camping. The Pink Lakes are picturesque at most times of year, changing in colour from a deep pink to a glistening white.