Stay safe this summer at storm-affected parks

Parks Victoria

As summer heats up, Australians are making long-anticipated plans to relax, recharge and rejuvenate as they count in the new year.

From sunrise ocean swims to sunset stories by the campfire, days chasing stunning waterfalls, hiking through pristine native bush or gazing out from incredible summits, our rangers are thrilled to welcome new and experienced visitors to the Parks Victoria estate for their holiday adventures.

Before you hit the road, remember to plan ahead. Nature being nature, there will be times when access to roads, visitor sites or entire parks and reserves will need to be closed or restricted for your safety.

The impacts of multiple severe storms throughout 2021 are still being assessed and cleared across many Parks Victoria sites, however, significant progress has been made at sites such as Hepburn Regional Park, Point Nepean National Park, Trentham Falls (Coliban River Scenic Reserve) and Organ Pipes National Park, where visitor exploration is no longer restricted.

To the west of the state and hard-hit areas such as Dandenong Ranges National Park and Wilsons Promontory National Park, our storm response is ongoing, with local rangers working to clear complex hazards and debris while state-wide clearing of fuel breaks continues. We ask visitors to prioritise their safety and stay out of closed sites.

A cliff landslide in coastal bushland on the Great Ocean Walk

The landslide that occurred between Johanna Beach and Ryans Den along the Great Ocean Walk in the aftermath of a number of storms over winter 2021, credit – Parks Victoria

Site closures that will continue throughout December and into 2022 – as of December 9, 2021 – include:

  • Arthurs Seat State Park – Kings Falls circuit walk is partly closed to visitors, accessible from Waterfall Gully road into the Park.
  • Bunyip State Park – Towt Road and Ash Landing Road, at the intersection of Black Snake Creek Road and the intersection of Beenak Road, remain closed.
  • Coolart Historic Area – please follow signage and barriers in place as some restrictions to specific areas and walking tracks remain.
  • Dandenong Ranges National Park – partial closure, including Kokoda Memorial Track (1000 Steps), Valley Picnic Ground, Olinda Falls Picnic Area and the western Sherbrooke Forest tracks.
  • William Ricketts Sanctuary – due to the extent of damage to buildings at this site, the entire location will remain closed into 2022.
  • Great Ocean Walk – section of the trail between Johanna Beach Campground and Ryans Den is closed, noting all campgrounds remain open. Phillips Track and the Triplet Falls/Little Aire Falls Visitor Experience Area is closed, with repairs to be complete by December 15, 2021.
  • Great Otway National Park – Gentle Annie Track and Lemonade Creek Walking Track remain closed.
  • Kinglake National Park – the bridge at the eastern end of Mountain Creek Track remains closed.
  • Macedon Regional Park – the section between Bawden Road and the Memorial Cross Reserve, as well as Hoods Track and Link 2 Track remain closed.
  • Morwell National Park – Brewster and Braniffs Road entries, Grand Strzelecki Track and sections of Billy Creek Track remain closed.
  • Mornington Peninsula National Park – please follow signage and barriers in place as remote walking tracks are partially restricted, including Baldry’s Short and Long Circuits, Long Point Track and Two Bays Track.
  • Sale Common Nature Conservation Reserve – Heritage Trail and the boardwalk on the eastern side of the reserve remain closed.
  • Trentham Falls (Coliban River Scenic Reserve) – the toilets at this site remain closed.
  • Turpins Falls Scenic Reserve – whole site closure remains.
  • Wilsons Promontory National Park – Sealers Cove Walking Track and Boardwalk remains closed between Telegraph Saddle and Sealers Cove, as well as Little Oberon Bay Walking Track between Norman Point and Oberon Bay. Lilly Pilly Gully Walking Track is open but repairs are continuing along the boardwalk, and are expected be complete by Christmas 2021. Oberon Bay Campsite is only accessible via Telegraph Track and the Whisky Bay toilet remains closed.

One example of the severe damage blocking sections of the boardwalk at Sealers Cove Walking Track at Wilsons Promontory National Park

One example of the severe damage blocking sections of the boardwalk at Sealers Cove Walking Track at Wilsons Promontory National Park, credit – Parks Victoria

It is extremely important for visitors to stay out of closed parks and sites as rangers continue to conduct safety assessments and persevere with the process of identifying and removing hazardous trees. Remember to observe signage and stay out of fenced or taped off areas, and report any instances of fallen or leaning trees and branches to Parks Victoria on 13 1963.

If your favourite park is closed, visit Places to See for alternative places to visit. For the latest information on which parks remain closed, visit the Safety in Nature page, or for detailed information and maps on track closures, look at the change of conditions section on individual park pages.

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