Before you go

With free entry to all Victorian parks and with good quality road access and toilets at most of them, checking the weather and packing a few items is almost all you need to do before heading out.
Check out Ranger Roo’s list below of things to pack and prepare for:

 

Things to pack

1. Water
Many parks outside of urban areas don’t have treated tap water. As a guide, bring 2 litres per person per day.

2. Food
Bring lots of snacks including fruit and nuts – remember the Nude Food philosophy and bring your own containers where you can!

3. Camera / binoculars / magnifying glass
To take some snaps of your great day out and to get up close and personal with all the amazing things you’ll see!

4. First aid kit
Bandaids, insect repellent and wet wipes are good essentials.

5. Mobile phone
Parks can be remote so carry a mobile phone with you. Make sure to let someone know if you’re going outside of phone coverage or on a long walk.

6. Rubbish bag
Most Parks Victoria parks don’t have rubbish bins which attract native animals scavenging for food. By eating human food animals can get very sick, so most Australian parks encourage people to ‘take nothing but photos, leave nothing but footprints.’

7. Map
Check out or bring the relevant Park Notes with map, available from Parks Victoria’s website.  Park Notes also detail key park features and the best times to visit.

8. Change of clothes and a towel
Getting dirty/muddy is part of the thrill of being outdoors for children, but there’s nothing to crush their excitement like travelling home in wet and muddy socks!

9. Shoes
Sturdy shoes to run around in, joggers or hiking boots are fine.

10. Rain jacket
Oh that changeable Victorian weather… remember it can turn wet and cold.

11. Hat and suncream 
But of course!

  

Things to prepare

1. Check the weather
Get the official weather report from www.bom.gov.au. Rain doesn’t always mean it’s a bad day to visit a park. Many people say just before the rain stops is the best time to visit, particularly in a rainforest as the plants are all shiny and colourful.

2. Is the park open?
Check opening times and park closures before you go. Gates for some parks are closed at night; some are completely closed on days of Total Fire Ban and on days with damaging winds. Emergency park closures are advertised on the Parks Victoria website and at the entrance of the park.

3. Emergency
Phone 000 in an emergency.

4. Leash
Check whether dogs are permitted before you go. If they are, respect other park users by keeping your dog on a leash at all times unless in an off leash area.

5. Toilets
There are not as many toilets in parks as you’ll find in the city. Check the Park Notes map to make sure you know where the nearest is. Some parks do have disabled toilets and/or baby changing facilities.

6. List of things to do
Parks Victoria’s parks provide a great opportunity for families to experience the very best that nature offers and so most don’t have built playgrounds. Make your own fun in the parks: Ranger Roo can help with his list of great play ideas and Parks Victoria’s Junior Rangers website has DIY activity sheets and fun facts to download.

7. Rules and regulations
Respect all park users including the plants and animals by observing park regulations. Rangers patrol all Parks Victoria parks so talk to them if you are unsure of the rules or have seen someone doing something illegal.

For some of Victoria’s most family-friendly parks, check out what Ranger Roo likes here.