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Located along the Glenelg 'heritage' River, this park is perfect for walking, sightseeing, picnicking, camping (permits required by booking on line (http://www.parkstay.vic.gov.au/pages/making-a-booking/) canoeing, boating, water skiing & fishing. Take a cruise from Nelson, up the river, past the magnificent limestone cliffs and abundant bird life, to the stunning Princess Margaret Rose Cave, where tours of the underground adventure awaits.
Walking - The park is criss-crossed by fire trails, which offer short scenic bush walks. The Great South West Walk also passes through the park which allows for a number of short or longer walks. Starting and ending at Portland, the 250km route passes through forest and heathlands, along rivers and via wind swept coastal cliffs and beaches. A brochure covering the entire walk is available from the Visitor Centres at Portland and Nelson or visit the website www.greatsouthwestwalk.com
Wildlife - Native animals, though sometimes difficult to find, include Eastern Grey Kangaroos, Rednecked Wallabies, Brush-tail Possums, Koalas and Echidnas. In the more remote and undisturbed areas, rare animals such as Heath Rats, Swamp Antechinus and Potoroos can be found. Small colonies of Wombats inhabit the park, the only remnants of a once widespread population in the south west region of Victoria. Some of the more common large birds include emus, herons and ducks. Other less common species are the Spotted Quail-Thrush, Painted Quail, Ground Thrush, Azure Kingfisher, and the rare Rugous Bristle-bird.
At Battersbys listen for frogs calling in a small waterhole on the edge of the downstream track between Battersbys and Popeyes. Butterflies during spring and summer, including Painted Lady, Admiral and Common Brown.
Wildflowers - Spring wildflowers - Heath, Bush Peas, and Native Orchids such as Helmet Orchids, Spider Orchids, Greenhoods, Sun Orchids, Coastal Beard Heath is covered in small white flowers in spring and has a small edible cream fruit in summer, Hakea, Correa, Grevillea, Banksia, Moonah, Wattle.
Canoeing - Take a canoe along the Glenelg River which is a safe course for canoe trips. Canoes can be hired from Nelson and Dartmoor/Winnap and taken either upstream or downstream.
Camps are available at Dartmoor, Pines Landing, Moleside Landing, Skipworth Springs, Georges Rest, Forest Camp North, Bowds, Patterson Canoe Camp and Lasletts. If you are planning an overnight canoe trip bookings can be made online at (http://www.parkstay.vic.gov.au/pages/making-a-booking/)
Dartmoor to Nelson - Allow about four days to complete the canoeing trip. If you are travelling downstream, the last day of canoeing can be affected by incoming tides and winds, which slow progress. Canoeing Safety - Notify the park office of your intended trip, know your group's abilities and plan stages accordingly - choose sensible daily distances, do not canoe alone, ensure that all participants can swim and are wearing life jackets, do not overload your canoe, if you do capsize, pull the canoe into the bank and do not mix alcohol and canoeing.