National and State Parks and reserves
There are dozens of magnificent national and state parks and reserves in this region, some with spellbinding fern glades, waterfalls and majestic trees, some hugging rugged coastline.
Marine and coastal parks
Phillip Island has two famous coastal reserves. The Nobbies is a spectacular headland on the south-western tip, near the nightly Penguin Parade, the thundering Blow Hole and Seal Rocks, home to Australia's largest colony of fur seals. On the south-eastern tip is Cape Woolamai, Phillip Island’s highest point, with surfing, walks along golden beaches and coastal walking tracks.
Churchill Island Marine National Park is part of the Western Port Ramsar site, and is an important roosting and feeding site for migratory waders.
On the Mornington Peninsula, Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park is an internationally recognised dive site for beginners to experts. Point Nepean National Park embraces fascinating history: wartime tunnels and gun emplacements, the old Quarantine Station and the beach where Prime Minister Harold Holt disappeared. The Mornington Peninsula National Park adjoins it.
The Yarra River source
The Yarra Ranges National Park cradles the Yarra River headwaters, and its attractions include the Mount Donna Buang Rainforest Gallery, Lake Mountain for walking and cross country skiing and the world famous Black Spur between Healesville and Narbethong. Dandenong Ranges National Park has a number of beautiful little picnic grounds and many walks, including the challenging 1000 Steps/Kokoda Memorial Trail.