Wondering what you can do to help communities affected by the bushfires? Take a trip into the great outdoors.

Many people are staying away from parts of regional Victoria under the misapprehension that they’re threatened by bushfires. There are plenty of places you can  safely explore. Grab a bite to eat during your visit or stay a night or two and you’ll give the local economies a welcome boost.

Now is the time to remind ourselves of what a beautiful place Victoria is and how precious our unique native plants and animals are. Here are just a few natural beauty spots you can explore:

Gippsland

While parts of East Gippsland have been affected by fires, most of Gippsland is still welcoming visitors. Even in East Gippsland, there are natural attractions you can visit:

· the Gippsland Lakes at Loch Sport, Paynesville and Metung

· the Snowy River estuary at Marlo

· the beach at Cape Conran

· the Raymond Island Koalas

· 90 Mile Beach

And a recently upgraded campground at Bruntons Bridge in the beautiful Boola Boola State Forest, north of Traralgon, with easy access to 4WD tracks and canoeing.

North eastern Victoria

The state's northeast is well and truly open for business. Some areas of the Alpine National Park have been affected and are closed, but visitors are welcome across the rest of the region.

South western Victoria

There are other areas south west of Melbourne you can explore like the Great Ocean Walk, maybe a mountain bike trail at Forrest or the windswept coastlines and towering trees of the Great Otway National Park. But Budj Bim National Park is closed for now.

If you visit the Otways in coming days or weeks, remember Forest Fire Management Victoria is treating hazardous trees affected by bushfires and some tracks are closed.

Not too far from Melbourne

If a day trip from Melbourne is what you’re after, try the Dandenong Ranges National Park, Mornington Peninsula National Park, or spend a day by the Yarra River. For those who love four-wheel driving, why not explore Wombat Forest, just 50km west of the city?

A little further afield and still open for exploration are Lerderderg State Park near Ballarat and the Grampians National Park.

Need to know

Before you head off, make sure you are up to date on fire affected forests and parks, the current fire risk and air quality. There’s also an Emergency Management Victoria fire map you can access for an up to date snapshot of current fire activity. If you’re camping please manage campfires safely.

Page last updated: 24/01/20