Despite the curveballs of 2021, Parks Victoria still got on with a haul of exciting projects to help connect people with nature – something we’ve all come to appreciate more this year!
Here’s a wrap up of some of our favourites.
Grampians Peaks Trail
Lace up your hiking boots! The epic Grampians Peaks Trail was completed in 2021 and it’s now officially open. This epic 160-kilometre hiking experience takes you on a journey across spectacular Gariwerd country. You can trek the full GPT 13 days (12 nights) or tackle sections as day walks. Plan your Grampians Peaks Trail experience here.
Got a head for heights? You’re in luck because 2021 saw construction commence on the spectacular $9 million Saddle Lookout at the Twelve Apostles visitor precinct. The design of the lookout is the result of our partnership with the Eastern Maar Aboriginal Corporation, together with input from the community. The lookout will provide a safer, more accessible and, frankly, 100 per cent more awesome view of this world-famous highlight along the Great Ocean Road.
If your idea of getting into nature includes a hot shower and a comfy bed, there are two new roofed accommodation options on their way. At Cape Conran Coastal Park we’re replacing and enhancing the accommodation lost during the Black Summer bushfires. With the Victorian Government’s investment of $3.5 million, the new accommodation will be more accessible and comfortable, allowing visitors to experience this coastal gem in all four seasons. A little further north, we’re building the first new roofed accommodation at Mount Buffalo in more than 70 years. These new cabins will give visitors a new way to enjoy this alpine wonderland, from the depths of winter right through to the balmiest days of summer.
Urban Parks, Active Wellbeing
We love our local parks. Thanks to a $21 million investment by the Victorian Government, we have kicked off a project to upgrade 21 parks across the length and breadth of Melbourne. Soon you’ll see new facilities like picnic shelters and tables, toilets, carparks, BBQs, playground equipment, signage, pathways and trails popping up in a park near you. Learn more about the Urban Parks, Active Wellbeing program.
Have you heard what’s new at Jells Park? This year we added not one but two new play areas. At Yabbie Hill we’ve built an all-abilities playspace that stimulates the senses and accommodates kids of all ages and abilities. Nearby there’s also a brand new, fully accessible Changing Places facility for visitors with high-support needs and their carers. The second playspace is at the Jells Park East Picnic Area. You can’t miss it – just look for the giant Blue Tongue lizard. The new facilities were made possible thanks to a $3 million investment by the Victorian Government.
Piers and jetties
We’ve been busy bayside in 2021, too. With thanks to the Victorian Government’s $24 million piers and jetties economic stimulus package, we’ve upgraded Tooradin Jetty, completed the renovation of Middle Brighton Pier and built a new pier head, low-landing pontoon and rock groyne at Portarlington Pier. The restoration of the historic Lifeboat Shed at Queenscliff South Pier is almost complete. Cowes Jetty has also been upgraded to support improved recreational boating facilities. And it doesn’t stop there! We completed community consultation to determine the preferred design for the new Altona Pier coming in 2023, and we’ve just appointed the contractor for the massive $53 million redevelopment of St Kilda Pier with works to set kick off in early 2022! Learn more about our piers and jetties projects.
These are some of the highlights among dozens of major upgrades, improvements, extensions and new projects happening across Victorian parks.
From trails, tracks, piers, campgrounds and lookouts, to visitor, community and sporting facilities, we’ll be delivering more important projects in 2022 so that you can continue to enjoy getting into nature.
To learn more about the projects we’re delivering, keep an eye on our Projects webpage.