Great Forest National Park

Great Forest National Park

Discover nature’s beauty, right on Naarm's (Melbourne's) doorstep.

Just 90 minutes north-east of Naarm (Melbourne), stretching from Kinglake to Mt Baw Baw and north-east up to Eildon, the Great Forest National Park will protect endangered forests and wildlife while giving Melburnians an escape from the concrete jungle. These forests grow on the lands of Wurundjeri, Taungurung and Gunai Kurnai people.

The Great Forest National Park proposal will add 355,000 hectares of protected forests to the existing 170,000 hectares of parks and protected areas in the region known as the Central Highlands of Victoria. Learn why the park is important scientifically, socially and economically.

A movement for the Great Forest National Park

See why the Great Forest National Park is so important in this short film.

A fairytale ending

Home to threatened species, including Victoria’s endangered animal emblem, Wollert (Leadbeater’s Possum—also known as the Fairy Possum), the proposed park will also be a sanctuary, providing real and lasting protection to some of Victoria’s—and the world’s—rarest plant and animal species. With logging continuing every day, destroying the Wollert’s forest home, only the Great Forest National Park can deliver a fairytale ending for this gorgeous animal.

Leadbeater's Possum Image: Parks Victoria

Not only will the park be home to forest fairies – it will also the land of giants

Magnificent Mountain Ash trees blanket the mountains as you approach the region proposed for the Great Forest National Park. Mountain Ash are the tallest flowering – and the tallest hardwood – trees on Earth. They can live for upwards of 400 years. Yet, they are not properly protected, and are still logged to make cheap copy paper. Find out more about forest-free paper options.

The Great Forest National Park will protect these unique forests. Find our more about why these old hollow-bearing trees are so important to many forest animals.

Visit the Great Forest National Park website to learn more about why we need the park created.

The threat

Clearfell logging comprehensively changes the structure of a forest. The beautiful Mountain Ash trees are still being dragged away to be pulped for paper, leading to a crisis in the number of large trees in the landscape. Review your forest-free options at

A logging coupe near Toolangi

This crisis is placing many of the region’s unique wildlife under threat. The number of Threatened and Endangered species from the Central Highlands listed on the IUCN Red List has increased from 16 to 44 since 1990. This includes the Greater Glider, the largest species in the ringtail possum family, and a species completely reliant on old-growth trees. Yet Greater Gliders are targeted by state government loggers, VicForests, ostensibly to see how the species ‘cope’. This is a land version of ‘scientific whaling’—for which there’s no need.

Read our report on the logging crisis our unique forest wildlife is facing and those most threatened by extinction.

Greater glider Image: Lochman Transparencies

What we're doing

The proposed Great Forest National Park will allow the Mountain Ash forests of the Central Highlands to recover. The Park will also create new jobs and enterprises for regional communities in the Central Highlands.

The Great Forest National Park will be an opportunity for Victoria’s State Government to invest in the state’s environmental future and show the world what first-class parks management looks like.

Overland walking tracks, wildlife surveys, family accommodation in eco-lodges and opportunities to see spectacular scenery from your mountain bike or your cross-country skis – all of this will make the reserve system jobs-rich, and deliver real economic returns to the region.

Jobs will be created through well-resourced parks management – including mitigating fire risk and protecting biodiversity. With more than three million people visiting the region annually already, there's plenty of interest in what nature-based tourism has to offer both daytrippers from Naarm (Melbourne) and international visitors.

As the world moves toward a carbon trading future, protecting some of the most carbon-dense forests on the planet is an economic opportunity that the State Government can not afford to ignore.

What you can do

The Great Forest National Park will be a perfect weekend getaway; a place to relax and enjoy nature. There will be something for everyone, with activities such as bike riding, bushwalking, bird watching, four-wheel driving, camping, zipline tours and so much more.

Image: Peter Halasz

You can start to envisage this for yourself. Take a drive - download the Wilderness Society’s free self-drive maps.

Join your local group

There is a growing movement of Australians—and people from across the globe—who are getting behind Victoria’s next great national park.

Using tools and techniques honed in community organising programs across the world, our local community groups are reaching new audiences and having empowering conversations about protecting Victoria’s forests.

With our support, you’ll connect with other people from your community who care about protecting our living world and learn the skills you need to make lasting change both locally and nation-wide.

Together, let’s show up, speak out, and act for a world where our forests, rivers, people and wildlife thrive. Sign up today to get connected with your local group.