1000 Steps Walk (Trail)

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1000 Steps Walk (Trail)

Dandenong Ranges National Park

The 1000 Steps is probably Melbourne’s most popular bushwalk. Officially the Kokoda Track Memorial Walk, walkers love the challenge of the steep trail, locals appreciate the convenience and tourists just want a picture of a gorgeous rainforest walk. But to truly appreciate this unique place, you need to visit when it’s quiet.

The Kokoda Track Memorial Walk (incorporating the 1000 Steps) departs from Ferntree Gully Picnic Ground, winding up a steep hill along a creek through lush rainforest, before emerging into a clearing where you can enjoy great views of Melbourne through the trees. Complete the loop by taking the Lyrebird Track back to the carpark.

The path is steep and beautiful, which makes it attractive to fitness walkers and tourists however please leave your dog at home, as this walk is not for your pets. Dogs are not allowed at the 1,000 Steps.


The 1000 Steps Cafe
The 1000 Steps Café is nestled under the tranquil gumtrees of the Dandenong Ranges. Start your day with a coffee while absorbing the picturesque surroundings of the national park, or take a seat and enjoy the great range of food and drinks off the menu. Inside you can take your time surrounded by locally-produced artwork and watch the world go by from our window seats. In front of the café is a large outdoor area with picnic tables allowing you to soak up the sun while taking in the wonderful environment with friends and family.

How to enjoy the 1000 Steps
The 1000 Steps is very popular. To get the most out of this place, it’s advisable to visit at a quieter time. That means midweek, early in the morning or both. That way you can appreciate the atmosphere of this magical rainforest and why Australian soldiers felt it was so similar to the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea where they fought in the Second World War. You’ve also got a better chance of spotting the noisy but very shy Superb Lyrebird.

1000 Steps alternatives
If you simply want to enjoy the majesty of the old trees around Ferntree Gully, and are not set on walking the 1000 Steps, try the Ramblers Track Loop. This is a gentle and quiet walk through old-growth forest. If you’re looking for a less popular but similarly demanding walk or run, the Granite Track in nearby Lysterfield Park is worth a go. You can even cool off with a swim in the lake afterwards!

Kokoda Track Memorial Walk or 1000 Steps?
At the foot of the 1000 Steps are a series of signs explaining this walk’s association with the Australian soldiers. Created in the early 1900s, the 1000 Steps Walk was originally made from tree fern trunks laid along the wetter areas of the track to make the climb a little easier. These were replaced by wooden palings, and more permanent concrete steps were installed in 1950.

The veterans of the Kokoda campaign adopted this park as their memorial site in 1998. The similarity of the walk to the first 100 metres of the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea resulted in the establishment of fourteen plaques along the walk, dedicated to the Australian Military Forces who fought and died on Kokoda. The 1000 Steps represent the ‘Golden Staircase’, a name given by Australian soldiers to the 2000 steps cut by the Australian Army Engineers and others into the track between Uberi and Imita Ridge.

Things to do

Father and son bird watching on boardwalk

Bird watching

From bushland to wetlands and everything in between, parks provide habitat to an abundance of common and rare bird species. Go for a wander and see how many you can spot.
Two women follow the path through scrub up Mt Bogong with mountain views in the distance.

Walking

Whether you’re after a gentle stroll or something long-distance, there are walking trails to suit all levels of fitness and ability.

Wildlife

Wombats
Lyrebirds
Wallabies

How to get there

1000 Steps Walk (Trail)

The 1000 Steps trail departs from Ferntree Gully Picnic Area, which is just at the junction of the Mount Dandenong Tourist Road and the Burwood Highway in Upper Ferntree Gully.

Facilities

Carpark
Picnic Area
Lookout
Toilets

1000 Steps Walk

Need to know

1000 Steps Walk (Trail)

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.

  • 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)

    Deer Control in Dandenong Ranges National Park

    Parks Victoria are continuing deer control in the Dandenong Ranges National Park. This program will be taking place between the hours of 4pm and 7am on a number of nights between June 13th 2024 and November 29th 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 access points when control activities are occurring. For our own safety please observe the signage during this time and do not enter any closed areas.
    For further information please call 131963

    Attachments: Map_DRNP_2425 change of conditions (2,529KB)

    Silvan Road Closed between Mathias Road and Olinda Creek Road from Monday 17th of June through to Friday 21st of June

    Silvan road will be closed to allow FFMVic to do a full reform and grade along the length of the road. As part of this upgrade 600tonne of gravel will be spread along the road and the gates at Mathias and Olinda Creek Road will be shut for the duration of the works

    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. 

  • Kalorama Park Picnic Ground (Dandenong Ranges National Park)

    Kalorama Park toilets are closed with the disabled toilet open for use

    Kalorama Park toilets are closed due to asbestos being discovered in the building, recent vandalism exposed the wall panelling revealing that it contains asbestos. For public safety the affected toilets are closed until works are completed to remove and replace the wall panelling. The disabled toilet does not have asbestos wall cladding and will remain open for the public to use. A time frame for the remediation works is unknown and as soon as funding is secured the works will commence.

  • 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.

  • 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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