New campaign encourages residents to explore hidden natural treasures | The mail

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Victorians are encouraged to explore lesser-known natural treasures this Easter, with two parks in the Ballarat area selected as part of a nature challenge. Woowookarung Regional Park and Hepburn Regional Park are among a selection of 18 parks for Parks Victoria’s Your Autumn Unseen Places campaign. Park visitors can scan the QR codes and enter the raffle to win an ultimate nature experience like hot air ballooning, surfing, guided hiking or glamping. Siobhan Rogan, chief ranger of Victoria Ballarat Parks Region, said Woowookarung and Hepburn Regional Parks were beautiful areas ready to be explored, but many people were unaware of them. “For Woowookarung, I think the surprise is being so close to a regional center like Ballarat, there are so many plants and animals that are abundant,” she said. “You’re never going to go to Woowookarung and not see parrots, Rosellas, you might see a cheeky echidna and kangaroos grazing nearby. “You’re going to be amongst beautiful grasses which are a big feature of the park. “At Hepburn Regional Park you are among the tall woods of our eucalyptus trees and you can enjoy the fresh air as you walk the many tracks and trails there.” Woowookarung Regional Park is a former pine plantation that was granted regional park status in 2016. The dementia-friendly trail and grass tree nature trail have been completed and further work is underway to create additional walks and other recreational options including a 10,000 step circuit. “Bring a few friends and get out and explore,” Ms Rogan said. “You see, there is beauty there in Ballarat and Hepburn and it will keep you coming back for more. It won’t be a secret for long.” Visit parks.vic.gov.au/explore-nature/autumn to see the full list of parks included in the campaign which ends May 31. You can sign up below and make sure you’re up to date with everything happening in Ballarat.

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