Dandenong Ranges National Park South

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Dandenong Ranges National Park South

Dandenong Ranges National Park

The southern section of Dandenong Ranges National Park includes Ferntree Gully, Sherbrooke Forest and pretty hilltop towns. Tackle the famous and popular 1000 Steps - or relax at Grants Picnic Ground and meander around the all-abilities walk there. Either way, you'll see magnificent Mountain Ash forests and colourful birds.
The southern Dandenong Ranges is a popular getaway for Melburnians to escape the heat of the city in the summer – or just to unwind all year round. Here you can relax surrounded by the verdant sights, earthy smells and raucous sounds of nature.

These misty mountains are home to some of the most popular walks in Victoria. Enjoy the challenge of the 1000 Steps and learn about its poignant association with Australia's Second World War veterans and the Kokoda Track Campaign. Explore Sherbrooke Forest from Grants Picnic Ground. The Margaret Lester Forest Walk is an accessible walk perfect for people who are mobility impaired

There are also quieter walks that are just as spectacular. The Eastern Sherbrooke Forest Walk is one of the best bushwalks in Victoria for more experienced hikers looking to escape the throng. It's quieter places such as these where you are most likely to spot the Dandenongs' most celebrated resident

Waterfalls are also a feature of this cool temperate rainforest. Sherbrooke Falls is best after rain - and if there's been a downpour, you're more likely to see a lyrebird.

Things To Do

 
Two women walk up the 1000 steps track.

1000 Steps

Created in the early 1900s, the 1000 Steps was originally made from the trunks of tree ferns laid along the wetter areas of the track to make the climb a little easier. These were replaced by wooden palings before the more permanent concrete steps were installed in 1950.
Sherbrooke Falls in the Dandenong Ranges National Park.

Sherbrooke Falls

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.
A couple in their sixties walk their two flat coated retriever dogs through the Alfred Nicholas Gardens among the changing autumn colours .

Alfred Nicholas Memorial Garden

The gardens will delight all year round. In Spring, it is blooming with rhododendrons, azaleas, camelias, kalmias and flowering cherries on the lake. Summer is the time to see hydrangeas, fuchsias, native ferns, rhododendrons and native terrestrial orchids. In Autumn the foliage of maples, beech and the famous golden ginkgos on the lake is stunning. In Winter you will see camelias and the early rhododendrons.
Kokoda Track Memorial Walk - Dandenong Ranges National Park

Dandenong Ranges National Park accessibility information

Grants, O’Donohue, Sherbrooke, One Tree Hill and Ferntree Gully picnic grounds were assessed for accessibility in June 2020, providing information about the accessibility of these areas and photos.
A garden path forks in two directions surrounded by autumn-coloured trees.

Pirianda Garden

With magnificent views and a backdrop of ever-changing colours, photographers and bird watchers are in for a treat at Pirianda Garden, while the lawns are perfect for spreading out with a picnic feast.
A ground take a volunteer led tour through the Flying Fox environments on the banks of the Yarra River in Yarra Bend Park

Guided Park Walks

Meet new people and connect with nature on a free guided Park Walk in one of Victoria’s beautiful parks. Walks are led by our trained and friendly volunteers, so you can relax, enjoy the serenity of the bush and chat with other group members. Go on a walk as a once-off to explore somewhere new or become a regular and add it to your wellbeing or fitness routine.

How to get there

Dandenong Ranges National Park South

Catch a train to Upper Ferntree Gully Station on the Belgrave train line. It's just an 800 metre walk to the Ferntree Gully Picnic Ground and a 1.4 km walk to the base of the 1000 Steps.

Belgrave Station on the same line is a 1km walk to Coles Ridge Track on the park boundary and a 3km walk to Grants Picnic Ground.

To get further into the Dandenong Ranges on public transport, you can catch a bus along Mt Dandenong Tourist Road. Bus route 688 runs between Croydon Train Station and Upper Ferntree Gully Train Station. https://www.ptv.vic.gov.au/route/view/4805

Facilities

BBQ
Carpark
Picnic Area
Toilets

When to go

The Dandenong Ranges does get hot in the summer, but it is generally a little cooler than the city.

Need to know

Dandenong Ranges National Park South

Change of Conditions

Nature being nature, sometimes conditions can change at short notice. It’s a good idea to check this page ahead of your visit for any updates.

  • Valley Picnic Ground

    Valley Picnic Ground Closed

    • Valley Picnic Ground is closed, the site will eventually be improved after it was damaged in the June 2021 Storm event ; visitors can use Boundary Road to access the park however no vehicle access to the picnic ground carpark is permitted. Please use Eagle Nest or Kalorama Park Picnic Ground as an alternative.

  • Olinda Falls Picnic Area (Dandenong Ranges National Park)

    Mechanics Track closed between Mt Dandenong Tourist Road and Falls Road

    • Mechanics walking track from the Mt Dandenong Tourist Rd through to Falls Rd is closed due to significant damage from the June 2021 Storm.  Parks Victoria is currently working with insurance assessors and contractors on a plan to re-open this severely impacted walking track. 
    • Works completed so far has been the replacement of a timber bridge that was destroyed along with most of the large fallen trees having been cut through, the remaining walking track requires re-benching and tree branch removal where limbs have been partly buried due to the force of the impact with the ground. Works are expected to be completed by June 2024.

    Olinda Falls Toilet Closed

    The Olinda Falls toilet is closed indefinitely, nearby toilets at Kalorama Park or in the Olinda Township are open.

    Olinda Falls Lower Viewing Platform - update

    The Olinda Falls lower viewing platform is currently closed due to severe damage caused by a fallen tree. All access to the lower falls area is closed to the public. The viewing platform is expected to be replaced sometime in 2024.

  • Sherbrooke Track

    Wattle Track Bridge Closure Update

    Wattle Track Bridge in Sherbrooke Forest is closed due to significant structural damage to the Foot Bridge by a fallen tree. Parks Victoria has engaged a contractor to commence construction works in March 2024, it is anticipated that the bridge will be opened by May 2024. The existing damaged timber bridge will be replaced with an all steel constructed bridge which includes a non slip FRP decking, during the construction period there may be some delays along Sherbrooke Track as building materials are carried to the site, Sherbrooke track will remain open.

  • Dandenong Ranges National Park

    Park Areas Closed Due To Deer Control Activities

    Parks Victoria are continuing deer control ground-shooting operations in the Dandenong Ranges National Park. This program will be taking place between the hours of 6pm and 6am on a number of nights in 2024. Current dates of operation are;
    10th- 14 June 2024
    26th- 28th June 2024


    These control works are being undertaken by accredited and authorised contractors.
    For reasons of public safety, various areas of the park will be inaccessible during the evening throughout this period.Signage will be in place at official access points when control activities are occurring. For your own safety please observe the signage during this time and do not enter any closed areas.
    For further information please call 131963

    Attachments: Neighbour_Notification_Map_DRNP_2324_09012024010908957 (2,529KB)

    Fox Control Dandenong Ranges National Park

    Parks Victoria are continuing the fox control program in the Dandenong Ranges National Park to relieve predation to native fauna. 
    Poison Baiting will occur between May - November 2024.
    Programs involve the use of buried poison baits and canid pest ejectors containing Sodium Monofluoroacetate (1080) and Para-aminopropiophenone (PAPP) in strategic locations across the park. Domestic dogs and cats are at risk from exposure to both poisons.

    Under the National Parks Act (1975) dogs and cats cannot be taken into or be allowed to remain within the Dandenong Ranges National Park. 

  • Notices Affecting Multiple Sites

    Grants Picnic Ground Upgrades

    In 2024 the Margaret Lester Walking Track is being upgraded to provide an all abilities accessible walking experience. The track will have a 1.2metre wide concrete surface and handrails. Five new stopping points will be created along the track and directional and education signage will be upgraded so people can learn more about the area. Once complete, the track will be a Grade 1 walk, suitable for visitors with prams, wheelchairs or limited mobility, to enjoy the forest.

    For more information visit: 
    www.parks.vic.gov.au/projects/melbourne-region/dandenong-ranges-national-park-grants-picnic-area-upgrades  

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