The best time to get out and experience nature in Victoria is undoubtedly during the springtime, when wildflowers begin to blanket the landscapes in colour and rivers and lakes swell thanks to the melting alpine regions. Here are five of the best attractions in Victoria for enjoying all that nature has to offer this season.
1. Tower Hill Reserve at sunset
Nestled in a dormant volcano, the Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve offers nature lovers five differently themed self-guided walks through wetlands, islands and grassy, wildflower dotted plains. The large lake in the middle of the reserve was originally a crater, formed after a large eruption 30,000 years ago. A haven for an abundance of wildlife including koalas, emus, sugar gliders, kangaroos and a variety of water birds, the reserve also treats visitors to cultural displays of ancient aboriginal artefacts at the Worn Gundidj Visitor Centre. Be sure to stay until sunset to take in the awe inspiring view of the purple and pink bathed clouds reflected in the stillness of the great lake.
Visit towerhill.org.au for more information.
2. Venus Baths, Halls Gap
A picturesque waterway running though the gorgeous Grampians mountain range, the Venus Baths area boasts a naturally formed water park complete with waterslides created by crystal clear water flowing over smooth and unusual rock formations. Accessible only by foot, the 2.3km family friendly Venus Baths loop begins at the Halls Gap shops and the shady track leads visitors a alongside a creek to the beautiful rock pools. As well as swimming, sliding and diving, explorers can enjoy a number of scenic trails through lakeside areas as well as tougher hikes up the mountain peaks.
3. Buchan Caves (pictured)
Created around 400 million years ago, this ancient system of underground tunnels are now lit up to display spectacular limestone stalactites, stalagmites and calcite-rimmed pools. For the more adventurous, guided tours to wild unlit caves are also available to smaller groups and the adjoining Buchan Caves Reserve offers an ideal bushland base for those wanting to explore the surrounding Snowy River National Park which is home to wombats, wallabies, kangaroos and over 60 species of native birds.
Visit Parks Victoria for tour schedules and prices. Parkweb.vic.gov.au
4. Wilson’s Promontory
For nature lovers, nowhere in Victoria offers such a diverse display of natural colour and beauty than Wilson’s Prom. Famous for its many labyrinths of bushwalking trails, land dwelling creatures and spirited flock of rosellas, the Prom is perhaps lesser known for its incredible aquatic wonderland, which was recently compared to the Barrier Reef. A diver’s paradise, the marine park is home to brilliantly coloured fish, sea dragons, rays, anemones and sea stars that live among the deep, sponge covered reefs. Book well in advance if you plan on visiting during in the warmer months or over the school holidays.
5. Beehive Falls Trail
A short but rewarding walk, this 1.5 hour trail is best visited in spring when water levels are at their peak and the display of pink and white wildflowers add a bright splash of colour to the scenery. A gentle track that meanders upstream along the Mud Hut Creek, the highlight of the forest walk is the waterfall that cascades into a rocky valley. The 25 metre drop flows over huge boulders and delicate ferns and mosses that cling to the steep rock walls. At the base of the falls, large stones provide a perfectly peaceful picnic spot.
RUTH BIRCH & SCOTT PODMORE