Doongalla Homestead

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Doongalla Homestead

Dandenong Ranges National Park

Spend a day at this former grand homestead and lost gardens in the Dandenongs, close to Melbourne. It’s a perfect spot for a family picnic, while those who like to explore will enjoy spotting relics of the mansion, which burned down in 1932. The trails are also popular with runners.
Doongalla is a former estate perched in the hills above Melbourne. Easily accessible from the eastern suburbs, it feels a million miles away from city stresses. ‘Doongalla’ is said to mean ‘Place of Peace’.

A 32-room mansion was built here in 1892 and burned down 40 years later. You can still see the stone steps that formed a grand approach to the old house in the remains of the gardens.

Families will appreciate the well-equipped picnic areas - each with its own car park - while nature lovers will fall for the landscaped gardens and winding trails that quickly transport you into the calm tranquillity of towering rainforest and birdsong.

The relatively easy Stables Track Loop walk departs from the Doongalla Stables Picnic Area. Follow the Stables Track until you reach a T-intersection. Turn right and climb until you join the Camelia Track. Turn right again here and walk until you join the unsealed Doongalla Forest Road which will take you back to the Stables carpark. Tread carefully and you might spot a lyrebird dashing across the track ahead of you.

Another much more challenging walk offers fit hikers the promise of one of the most spectacular views from the Dandenongs. Take the Channel 10 Track from the top of the Doongalla Homestead carpark and then take the Zig Zag Track uphill to Burkes Lookout. At 611 metres high, you can enjoy uninterrupted views of Melbourne and Port Phillip Bay. Return down the Zig Zag Track and if you want to make a loop walk, turn right on the Channel 10 Track before making a left at Rankin Track and left onto Camelia Track.

A fantastic picnic area, ample parking, challenging and easy forest walks… remind you of anywhere? Doongalla Homestead is a peaceful alternative to the 1000 Steps Walk and Ferntree Gully Picnic Area, which get very crowded on weekends. Other picnic areas near Olinda include Valley Picnic Ground, Eagle Nest Picnic Ground and Olinda Falls Picnic Ground.

Things to do in the area

 
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.
A husband and wife stop to take a photo of Masons Falls from the lookout.

Day trips

Pack the car and round up your family and friends. Whether you're seeking relaxation or adventure, parks offer a variety of day trips close to Melbourne.
A three year old boy leads his mum and younger brother through the forest near Grants Picnic Ground.

Family activities

Stash some supplies into a back pack and take the family out for a day trip and in only a short drive from Melbourne you can be surrounded by nature.
Three friends enjoy a picnic on the grass in front of the historic Wallace Hut.

Picnics

Head outdoors for lunch in the warmer months and enjoy a picnic in some of nature's most relaxing and inspiring settings.

How to get there

Doongalla Homestead

Doongalla Homestead is near Olinda in the northern part of the Dandenong Ranges National Park. From the city of Melbourne, take the Eastern Fwy (M3) and exit onto Boronia Rd. Continue as Boronia Rd merges into Forest Rd, then turn right into Basin-Olinda Rd, left into Sheffield Rd and right again into Doongalla Rd. For a scenic route, take the windy Mount Dandenong Tourist Rd from the Burwood Highway at Ferntree Gully.

Facilities

BBQ
Carpark
Picnic Area
Toilets

When to go

Nearby Events

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Need to know

Doongalla Homestead

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.

  • Notices Affecting Multiple Parks

    Parks closed due to Total Fire Ban

    The following parks are closed on Thursday 21 November 2019 due to a Total Fire Ban in the Central Forecast District: Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens, George Tindale Memorial Gardens, Dandenong Ranges Botanic Garden, Pirianda Garden, RJ Hamer Arboretum, William Ricketts Sanctuary, Dandenong Ranges National Park (including One Tree Hill, Sherbrooke, O’Donohue and Valley Picnic Ground, Eagles Nest Picnic Ground, Doongalla Homestead, Grants Picnic Ground, Ferntree Gully Picnic Ground, Kalorama Park, 1000 Steps - Kokoda Memorial Walk and Olinda Falls), Black Hill Reserve, Perrins Creek, Sassafras Creek Nature Conservation Reserve and Silvan Reservoir Park. 
    Visit the Emergency Management Victoria website at http://emergency.vic.gov.au/respond for live fire warnings, Fire Danger Ratings and incidents.

  • Dandenong Ranges National Park

    Wattle Track (in Sherbrooke Forest) closed indefinitely

    Wattle Track in the Sherbrooke Forest area of the Dandenong Ranges National park is closed indefinitely due to a tree falling and destroying the Wattle Track (Long Bridge) foot bridge. Walkers can use Monument Track as an alternative route.

    Ramblers Track closed

    Ramblers Track at Ferntree Gully is closed until further notice due to a fallen tree blocking access.

    Sassafras Creek Trail closed between Moxams Road and Baynes Park

    Sassafras Creek Trail is closed between Moxams Road and Baynes Park until further notice due to severe damage from a fallen tree.

  • Olinda Falls Picnic Area (Dandenong Ranges National Park)

    Toilets closed at Olinda Falls Picnic Area

    The toilet facilities at Olinda Falls Picnic Ground are closed until further notice. Alternate toilets are located at Kalorama Park, Dandenong Ranges Botanic Garden, and Olinda Township.

    Olinda Falls lower viewing platform and creek crossing closed

    The Olinda Falls lower viewing platform and creek crossing is closed indefinitely due to severe damage from a fallen tree. Access to the lower falls is closed to the public.

  • Doongalla Picnic Ground (Dandenong Ranges National Park)

    Lawrence Walk closed

    Lawrence Walk is closed at Doongalla Picnic Ground until further notice due to an uprooted tree.

  • Kays Picnic Area (Sassafras Creek N.C.R)

    Kays Picnic Ground Closure

    Visitors, please note Kays Picnic Ground is closed due to a tree hazard.

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