Doongalla Homestead


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.


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.


Picnic Area

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.

  • Dandenong Ranges National Park

    Lyrebird Track closed until further notice

    At the direction of the Victorian Chief Health Officer, Parks Victoria has closed Lyrebird Track until further notice. Check our COVID-19 update for the latest information, and follow the health advice provided by the Department of Health and Human Services.

    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.

    Tree Fern Loop Walking Track closed indefinitely

    Tree Fern Loop Track in the Sherbrooke Forest area of the Dandenong Ranges National park is closed indefinitely due to a tree falling and destroying the access foot bridge, this bridge was removed in 2015. The remaining section of track is now completely closed due to another access bridge being destroyed along with major tree fall across the track destroying hand rails and a viewing platform.

  • Ferntree Gully Picnic Ground (Dandenong Ranges National Park)

    Ferntree Gully Picnic Ground and Car Park Closed

    In response to advice from the Victorian Chief Health Officer, Parks Victoria has decided to close high visitation sites with a typical attendance of over 500 people. This includes the 1000 Steps and Lyrebird Track Fitness Steps which will be closed until further notice. For more information, please visit

  • 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.

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