Last updated: 2:00 pm 3 April 2020
Coronavirus (COVID-19) update
At the direction of the Chief Health Officer, Parks Victoria has closed all playgrounds on its estate to help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). To stop groups of people gathering around park facilities, all Parks Victoria managed BBQ facilities, water drinking fountains, picnic shelters and tables, rotundas, toilets and viewing platforms are also closed until further notice. Parks remain accessible for exercise if physical distancing requirements are strictly followed.
Authorities have closed a number of beaches (listed below) to help slow the spread of coronavirus. Some beaches remain accessible for exercise if social distancing requirements are strictly followed, but the message is clear – if you can stay home, you must stay home.
Major historic sites in parks and reserves (listed below) are closed until further notice.
All Parks Victoria Visitor Information Service Desks and Centres are closed to the public until further notice.
These actions follow further restrictions on domestic and international travel, with Victorians urged to stay at home and avoid non-essential travel.
We will update this page as more information becomes available.
The safety of visitors and staff is Parks Victoria’s highest priority
At the direction of the Chief Health Officer of Victoria, Parks Victoria has closed the following sites until further notice:
- all playgrounds, BBQ facilities, water drinking fountains, picnic shelters and tables, rotundas, toilets and viewing platforms
- a number of high visitation sites (listed below)
- a number of beaches for public gatherings (listed below)
- major historic sites in parks (listed below)
- all campsites, camping grounds and caravan parks
- facilities in parks, such as Visitor Centres, historic sites and tours.
Due to the rapidly changing nature of the situation, Parks Victoria staff will monitor visitation rates with the possibility of further changes to park closures, pending advice from health authorities.
Currently closed sites
The following closures will apply until further notice:
- 1000 steps/Kokoda Memorial Walk and Lyrebird Track in the Dandenong Ranges National Park have been closed until further notice.
- Andersons Mill - entire site is closed until further notice.
- Buchan Caves Reserve - whole reserve is closed and tours are suspended until further notice.
- Coolart Homestead - the Homestead is closed until further notice. The surrounding gardens and wetlands remain open to visitors.
- Dandenong Ranges Botanic Garden and William Ricketts Sanctuary - closed until further notice.
- Days Mill Historic Area - entire site is closed until further notice.
- Eldorado Dredge - entire site is closed until further notice.
- Ferntree Gully Education Centre - this building in the Dandenong Ranges National Park is closed until further notice.
- Kurth Kiln - buildings are closed until further notice.
- Lighthouses - all lighthouses, lighthouse complexes and associated buildings are closed until further notice.
- Mackenzie Falls in the Grampians National Park - closed for the duration of term two school holiday period (28 March – 13 April 2020).
- Mt Buffalo Chalet - the Chalet is closed until further notice.
- Point Nepean National Park - entire site is closed until further notice.
- Redwood Forest visitor site in the Yarra Ranges National Park - entire site is closed until further notice.
- Serendip Sanctuary - the entire site is closed until further notice.
- St Kilda Pier - the pier remains open however, the penguin viewing platform is closed until further notice. Fencing is now in place along the breakwater preventing access to the penguin viewing platform.
- State Coal Mine - whole reserve is closed and tours are suspended until further notice.
- Steiglitz Historic Area - buildings are closed until further notice.
- Sugarloaf Reservoir Parks - whole park is closed until further notice.
- Twelve Apostles Visitor Centre and lookouts - closed until further notice. The carpark and toilets at the Visitor Centre will remain open. Access to the Great Ocean Road and other visitor attractions are currently unaffected.
- Werribee Gorge State Park - whole park is closed until further notice.
- Werribee Park - the historic precinct including Mansion, historic gardens and outbuildings are closed. The Victoria State Rose Garden and public regional park will remain open to visitors.
- Wilsons Promontory National Park - all camping and accommodation at Wilsons Promontory including Tidal River is closed.
- Yan Yean Reservoir Park - whole park is closed until further notice.
- You Yangs Regional Park - whole park is closed until further notice.
The number of day visitors to Wilsons Prom is now limited. View the Wilsons Prom frequently asked questions below for more information.
Other parks may be closed for different reasons, such as bushfire impacts or park management work. Check the change of conditions for the park you plan to visit.
Closures to campgrounds and roofed accommodation
As directed by the Chief Health Officer all campsites, camping grounds and caravan parks are closed as of midnight Wednesday 25 March 2020.
People can continue to live on a closed caravan park or camping ground if it is registered as their primary place of residence or if they are staying in caravan parks as interim accommodation where their primary residence is not available.
Closures to beaches
Due to efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), the following beaches are closed until further notice:
- Point Addis (including Addiscot Beach and Red Rocks)
- Hurst Road beach access
- O'Donohue beach
- The Gap
- Hutt Gully
- Urquharts Bluff
- Cathedral Rock
- Jump Rock.
Beaches remain accessible for exercise if social distancing requirements are strictly followed.
Why have you closed these sites?
These closures are in line with directives from the Chief Health Officer to ensure that no outside public gatherings of 500 or more occur, and inside gatherings of more than 100 people.
These closures are in place to protect the health of our visitors, volunteers, customers and staff.
How long will they be closed for?
A time frame for closures has not currently been set. These sites will remain closed until the advice from the Victorian Chief Health Office indicates large public gatherings are safe once again. Until then, Parks Victoria will monitor daily advice from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
Is all of Great Ocean Road closed?
Only the Twelve Apostles viewing area and visitor site is closed. The other sites managed by Parks Victoria along the Great Ocean Road remain open.
Is all of Dandenong Ranges National Park closed?
Only the 1000 Steps, the Dandenong Ranges Botanic Garden, William Ricketts Sanctuary and Ferntree Gully Education Centre are affected by closures. All other sites within the Dandenong Ranges National Park remain open.
Why don’t you close all parks in the state?
The advice from the Chief Health Officer refers to gatherings of over 500 people. Parks Victoria has therefore closed sites that are likely to attract high visitor numbers.
Is my health at risk if I visit other sites that are not closed?
We encourage everyone to follow the health advice provided by the Department of Health and Human Services. Current advice for all Victorians is to stay at home and avoid non-essential travel, so visiting parks is not encouraged.
Will you be enforcing the closures?
Closures will be enforced.
Signs will be in place at all closed locations and patrols will be undertaken.
Compliance with this directive is enforceable under section 203 of the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 and penalties apply.
Other areas within parks will remain open to allow for exercise, however, ‘social distancing’ must be practiced and those with flu-like symptoms must follow the advice from Victoria’s Chief Health Officer and remain at home.
For up-to-date information, visit the Department of Health and Human Services website at www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus
Wilsons Promontory National Park Information
Is Wilsons Promontory National Park closed?
Wilsons Promontory National Park is not closed, changes apply to opening times for day visitors and to certain amenities across the park, the rest of the park remains open.
I have a booking at Wilsons Prom after the Sunday 22 March, do I get a refund?
Yes. Parks Victoria is contacting people who have accommodation bookings to arrange full refunds. Affected campers do not need to contact Parks Victoria to receive a refund.
What hours will Wilson Promontory be open?
Wilsons Promontory National Park will be open from 7.00 am to 7.00 pm for day visitors, with a limit of 1000 day visitors across The Prom each day. All day visitors will be actively encouraged to disperse across the park and beaches and adhere to social distancing guidelines. The last vehicle entry will be at 5 pm.
From Sunday 5 April, the park will close at 6.00 pm, with last vehicle entry at 4.00 pm.
What visitor services will be available in Wilsons Prom?
- The Visitor Centre building will be closed, but visitor guides are available outside the entrance.
- The Tidal River Café / Take Away will be closed.
- The Tidal River General Store will be open between 10 am and 4 pm. Pre-packaged food and sandwiches will be available, but no cooked food or coffee.
- The cinema will be closed.
- Key visitor locations will be open, however Mt Oberon walking track and lookout is closed.
- The Mt Oberon Shuttle bus is not operating.
- Some toilet blocks at Tidal River will be open and will be cleaned regularly throughout the day.
Are tourism operators still open in The Prom?
Visitors are advised to check with tourism operators who use The Prom to check availabilities.
How will you stop people staying in the park after 7pm?
Parks Victoria staff will patrol after 7pm and ensure visitors have left the park. Additional contractors may need to be hired to assist with patrols and entry security.
From Sunday 5 April, the park will close at 6.00 pm, with last vehicle entry at 4.00 pm.
How will you prevent more than 500 people being in parts of Wilsons Promontory at the same time?
Rangers will be on site at the entrance to the park, managing vehicle entries. We will have temporary signage advising of changed conditions. All day visitors will be actively encouraged to disperse across the park and beaches and adhere to social distancing guidelines.
What is the total number of visitors allowed within Wilsons Promontory National Park under these changes?
The total number of day visitors and staff allowed in The Prom at any one time under these changes is 1300 people in line with social distancing guidelines and approval from the Victorian Chief Health Officer.