Dandenong Ranges National Park

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Located only a short drive from Melbourne, the Dandenong Ranges National Park offers great walking tracks and picnic facilities.

Protecting the tall forests of the Dandenongs, the Dandenong Ranges National Park is well-known for its spectacular Mountain Ash trees and lush fern gullies. It is an ideal location for relaxing picnics and tranquil forest walks.

The cool mountain elevation affords spectacular panoramic views. There is abundant native birdlife to be seen in the wild, including crimson rosellas, kookaburras and the superb lyrebirds.

Explore the forest on a range of walks, or enjoy a picnic at the Ferntree Gully Picnic Ground, One Tree Hill or in Sherbrooke Forest.

Nearby coffee shops, restaurants, craft and antique shops, as well as gardens and the historic Puffing Billy train make for a pleasant day out. Located only a short distance from Melbourne, Dandenong Ranges National Park can be reached by car or public transport in less than one hour.

Best Walks in Dandenong Ranges National Park

Margaret Lester Forest Walk

Start/end: Grants Picnic Ground
Highlights: Mountain Ash forest
 Disabled access
Time: 30 mins return
Distance:  300 m loop
Grade: Easy

Located at Grants Picnic Ground, the Margaret Lester Forest Walk was a purpose built track for people with limited mobility. Its design was assisted by Margaret Lester who was a architecture graduate and paraplegic.

The track follows a steady gradient and weaves in a loop through spectacular forest and Mountain Ash bush. The path stretches through the forest and fern glades from the middle to upper car parks. The length of the path is 300 metres on a gentle gradient asphalt path. There are stopping bays along its length with information boards on the forest and its ecosystem.

Olinda Falls Walk

Start/end: Olinda Falls Picnic Ground
Highlights: Picturesque waterfalls
 Short walk
Time: 30 mins return
Distance:  300 m one-way
Grade: Moderate

Olinda Falls is a small picnic area with a walking trail to the Olinda Falls. After a good rain the falls will be flowing nicely. This has some steeper sections and if you want to make it a longer walk you can take the track from Mechanics Reserve on the Tourist Road. The path to the falls is step free but has gradients exceeding 1 in 10.

Kyeema Track

Start/end: Kyeema Air Crash Memorial
Highlights: Kyeema aircraft crash 
 Base of SkyHigh
Time: 30 mins return
Distance:  500 m
Grade: Easy

Join the Kyeema Track after viewing the Memorial which marks the spot where the Kyeema aircraft crashed on 25th October 1938. This scenic track takes you around to the base of SkyHigh.

Hardy Gully Nature Walk

Start/end: Grants Picnic Ground
Highlights: Cool temperate rainforest
 Interpretive signs
Time: 45 mins return
Distance:  700 m loop
Grade: Easy to Moderate

The Hardy Gully Nature Walk is an easy interpretive walk located only a short distance from Grants Picnic Ground. It has been set out as a self-guided nature walk which takes you back in time to ancient origins. Signs along the track will introduce you to the cool temperate rainforest. A Park Note describing features along the walk is available at the kiosk.

Stables Track

Start/end: Doongalla Homestead Site and
Stables Picnic Ground
Highlights: Doongalla Homestead & Stables
 Doongalla Forest
Time: 1 hrs
Distance:  1.9 km
Grade: Moderate

After viewing the remains of the Doongalla Homestead and Stables and maybe even a picnic lunch you can take this moderate loop walk through some of the Doongalla Forest.

Sherbrooke Falls Walk

Start/end: Sherbrooke Picnic Ground
Highlights: Stunning waterfalls 
 Lush forest setting
Time: 1 hr return
Distance:  2.4 km
Grade: Easy to Moderate

This is an easy 1 hour walk which will take you to the falls through a lush forest setting. Tracks leading from Sherbrooke and O’Donohue Picnic Ground provide the easiest walk to the falls through the attractive landscape of tall Mountain Ash and tree ferns. The falls are most inspiring after rain when the swollen Sherbrooke Creek rushes over the rocks.

Marriners Falls, Great Otway National Park Waterfalls

Eagle Nest Walk

Start/end: Valley Picnic Ground
Highlights: Forest walk 
Time: 1 hr one-way
Distance:  3 km
Grade: Easy to Moderate

This moderate walk will take you about 1 hour to complete one way through the forest. This walk starts at Valley Picnic Ground. Proceed on Boundary Road that slopes downhill, with the toilet facilities on your left. Turn right on to Eagle Nest Road which will take you to Eagle Nest Picnic Ground. Cross the wooden bridge and follow Hermons Track to Georges Track. Turn left for a short walk and follow Georges Track back to Valley Picnic Ground.

Living Bush Nature Walk

Start/end: Ferntree Gully
Highlights: Fern gullies
 Tall eucalpyt trees
Time: 1.5 hrs return
Distance:  3 km
Grade: Moderate

This great Ferntree Gully walk enables you to experience beautiful native bushland, including spectacular fern gullies and tall eucalpyt trees. Discover features of the bush that you may not have been aware of before – not only things to see, but also to hear, touch and smell – along this 3 km medium grade track. Allow about 1.5 hours for the walk.

Head through the archway at the top carpark of the picnic ground, turn right along the track just behind the playground to start the walk. Numbered posts beside the track indicate points of interest.

1000 Steps/Kokoda Track Memorial Walk 

Start/end: Ferntree Gully Picnic Ground /
One Tree Hill Picnic Ground
Highlights: 1000 steps
 Kokoda Track history
Time: 1.5 hrs return
Distance:  3 km one-way
Grade: Difficult

This track combines the challenges of the famous 1000 steps walk with the Kokoda Memorial Walk, between Ferntree Gully Picnic Ground and One Tree Hill Picnic Ground. The trail is a favourite with football teams for training and those interested in the history of the Kokoda Track. View commemorative plaques depicting the lives of the soldiers who fought and died in WWII.

Valley Walk

Start/end: Valley Picnic Ground
Highlights: Views over the valley
Time: 3.5 hr one-way
Distance:  6.5 km
Grade: Moderate to Difficult

This track is steep and rocky in sections and is suitable only for prepared and experienced walkers.

Proceed as for Eagle Nest Walk but after following Hermons Track to Georges Track, turn right and follow Georges Track to Barges Road. Turn left and follow Barges Road to Predator Track. Continue to turn left, proceeding to Mathias Road, left into Yallambee Way and left to return back to Valley Picnic Ground.

Eastern Sherbrooke Forest Walk

Start/end: Grants Picnic Ground
Highlights: Sherbrooke Forest walk 
 Lyrebirds & rosellas
Time: 2 hrs return
Distance:  7.1 km loop
Gradel: Moderate to Difficult

This is a round trip starting and finishing at Grants Picnic Ground. Most of the walk is through Mountain Ash and Messmate Stringybark forest.

The route follows Lyrebird Walk, then Neumann Road, passing though cleared areas of bush created by the successive wildfires of the early 1900’s. At Paddy Track Junction turn south and cross Hardy Creek before climbing Welch Track and following Coles Ridge Road back to the picnic ground.

Dandenong Ranges Tourist Track

Start/end: Sassafras/Emerald
 or vice-versa
Highlights: Fern-filled gullies 
 Eucalypt covered ridges 
Time: 5 to 6 hrs
Distance:  17 km
Gradel: Easy to Moderate

Meandering and criss-crossing the cool, clear waters of the Sassafras, Woori Yallock and Menzies Creeks is the 17 kilometre Dandenong Ranges Tourist Track. This intimate track passes through fern-filled gullies, eucalypt covered ridges and over numerous bridges and boardwalks. The walk can be undertaken from either direction, starting from the quaint little township of Sassafras, or from Emerald. You can also break up the walk into shorter sections, stopping off at any of the picnic grounds along the way. The walk is graded moderate to easy with some undulating terrain and some steeper sections.

Dandenong Ranges National Park Map

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