Enjoying nature is one of the best and easiest ways to give yourself a boost. And while getting outside regularly can be a challenge while you’re working, in retirement, you have time available to explore and experience the best that nature has to offer.
Recent studies show that spending time outdoors in natural surrounds makes us happier and healthier, and those who do it regularly would strongly agree.
In Traralgon, we are lucky to have amazing beaches, lakes, forests and mountains on our doorstep. So, whether you enjoy challenging bushwalks, leisurely strolls or a relaxing picnic, there are some wonderful places to visit.
So, if you’re keen to get out and enjoy the fresh air, read on to discover seven of the best Central Gippsland parks and reserves to visit in retirement.
1. Tarra Bulga National Park
As one of just four major areas of cool temperate rainforest found in Victoria, Tarra Bulga National Park is a must-see. With lush fern-lined gullies, waterfalls and towering mountain ash, it’s stunning in every sense of the word.
Pack some lunch and enjoy the scenery at the Tarra Bulga or Tarra Valley picnic areas. Both have lots of walking tracks to explore, including the Fern Gully Nature Walk that takes you to the famous suspension bridge with its spectacular views.
2. Traralgon Railway Reservoir Conservation Reserve
If you’re looking for a picturesque place to enjoy your daily walk, the Traralgon Railway Reservoir Conservation Reserve is a lovely spot. A track takes you around the wetland, where you can see plenty of birdlife from the bird hide and enjoy the peaceful surroundings. While the lake is the focal point, the reserve includes 29.5 hectares of bush and grasslands. In spring and summer, keep your eye out for native wildflowers including Milkmaids, Chocolate Lilies and Golden Moth Orchids.
3. Morwell National Park
It may be small in size, but the Morwell National Park includes some beautiful remnant forest and is home to many of Gippsland’s native animals including koalas, kangaroos, wallabies and greater gliders. Over 40 species of native orchids have been identified in the park, which makes spring a popular time to visit.
Located in the foothills of the Strzelecki Ranges, there are various short walks where you can breathe in the fresh air and admire the views. Please note: At the time of writing, a bushfire to the south is impacting the park, and visitors are advised to avoid the area at this time. Keep up to date with conditions on the Parks Victoria website.
4. Tyers Park
With an abundance of wildflowers and beautiful scenery, Tyers Park is a great place to enjoy a walk through the bush. Located in foothills north of the Latrobe Valley, the park is a favourite spot for locals and visitors to enjoy picnics, bushwalks, fishing, swimming and scenic drives.
5. Moondarra State Park
Another top destination for naturalists looking to spot wildflowers in spring, Moondarra State Park is just over 30 minutes’ drive from Traralgon. The park is popular for camping, fishing, swimming, bushwalking, picnics and enjoying nature.
6. Sale Common Nature Conservation Reserve
The Sale Common Nature Conservation Reserve is a great place to see plant and animal life in wetlands up close. The reserve covers around 300 hectares, and is made up of 70 percent freshwater marsh, as well as red gum woodlands and grasslands. The reserve is of international importance, being listed as a RAMSAR site for its role in protecting significant wetlands.
There’s a short walk from the car park, or if you have the time the 7.2 kilometre (2.4 hours return) walk takes you along the boardwalk, through the woodlands and past a range of wetland habitats. You’ll spot many birds along the way, including some who may have migrated from faraway places such as Japan.
7. The Lakes National Park
If you’re looking for a peaceful place by the water, The Lakes National Park is a lovely spot to visit. And if you have access to a boat, you can head out to Rotamah Island. The island is a nature lovers delight, with tracks to explore, views to enjoy and plenty of birdlife to observe.
Start Planning Your Time in Nature Now
There’s no doubt getting out amongst nature is good for the body, mind and the soul. So, whether you organise a regular walk, plan a longer bushwalk, or enjoy a picnic in your favourite park, reserve or special place, make it a habit in retirement to surround yourself with nature as often as possible!
Over to You
Do you have a favourite park or reserve you’d like to share? We’d love to hear it – simply post a comment below or visit us on Facebook.
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