Social Connections

Social connection is important for our physical and mental health and wellbeing. Social isolation and loneliness have been linked to higher risks of a variety of health conditions including high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, a weakened immune system, anxiety, and depression. Spending time with others can help alleviate these risks by decreasing stress, improving our mood, and helping us feel that we are a valuable part of our community. 
Spending time with others in a park is a wonderful way to connect with family and friends or meet new people with similar interests in your local community. People of all ages, abilities and cultural backgrounds can benefit from connecting with others in nature.

So, what kind of group activities could you do?

Guided Park Walks: these volunteer-led walks cater for a range of levels of fitness. Select from short, gentle welcome walks to longer more challenging walks, or special interest groups such as kids, café, or dog-friendly walks. They all provide an opportunity to walk in a safe and welcoming group environment, led by an experienced and friendly volunteer. Have a chat and a laugh, make new friends, or connect with old ones, all while improving your wellbeing in a beautiful setting.
Volunteering: connect with a like-minded group of volunteers who are just as passionate about the environment and your local park as you! You’ll feel healthier and happier as you chat with your new friends while contributing to meaningful activities that improve your local park. 
Citizen Science: You don’t need a science degree to be a citizen scientist! Grab some friends, download the ClimateWatch app and follow one of our ClimateWatch trails. Work together to identify animals and plants along the trail. You’ll have an enjoyable outing with friends whilst contributing to important scientific research about Victoria’s natural environment. 
Find your local picnic spot: Meeting up with family and friends in beautiful natural settings is the perfect way to connect, catch up and relax. Bring your lunch or have a barbecue in a park near you.

Things to do for your health and wellbeing

Parks offer many different activities to support your health and wellbeing. Explore and enjoy the benefits you get from connecting to nature.
A group take a volunteer led tour through the Flying Fox environments on the banks of the Yarra River in Yarra Bend Park

Guided park walks

Join us on a free, beginner or intermediate Park Walk led by our trained volunteers.
Four children and a ranger take a closer look at a rockpool.

Junior Rangers

Encourage the kids to explore Victoria's surprising plants and wildlife with a real Park Ranger, or download activities to complete anytime.
Two women in activewear follow a path through tall mountain ash trees.

Mindfulness walks in nature

The health benefits of spending time in nature are now widely accepted. Mindfulness walks take this a step further and help you slow down and focus on the present moment - each step, each breath – feeling calm and relaxed.
A father teaches his young daughter to ride a bike in Braeside Park.


Cycling is a great way to enjoy the beautiful surroundings in parks. Whether you're looking for a leisurely ride or downhill adrenalin rush, Victoria's parks have something for you.
A mother and daughter kicks a football in front of dad and two younger children in front of tents at Buchan Caves Reserve.


Victoria’s parks have some great places to camp and there is something to suit all tastes. Choose from fully serviced sites with luxury tents to remote locations with nothing but bush.
Father and son bird watching on boardwalk

Bird watching

From bushland to wetlands and everything in between, parks provide habitat to an abundance of common and rare bird species. Go for a wander and see how many you can spot.
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