Sign in

Register

Forgotten your Password?

Enter your email address below and we'll send instructions and a link to reset your password

 

Unlock Melbourne's hidden gems

All the latest and greatest places to eat, drink, stay and play in your city.

 
By signing up, you agree to periodic email marketing from Sitchu to the email address you provided. Terms and Conditions. Privacy Policy.

The Best Walks in the Dandenong Ranges To Try This Weekend

Get amongst nature and make your way through the best walks in the Dandenong Ranges.

The Dandenongs are home to over 200 kilometres of walking trails, each more spectacular than the last. The region’s temperate rainforests contain superlative examples of native landscape, flora and fauna despite being only a short drive away from the concrete jungle of Melbourne. So lace up your boots (and pack a few snacks) and embark on one of these rejuvenating nature walks in the Dandenong Ranges.

Living Bush Nature Walk via The Bushwalking Blog
Living Bush Nature Walk via The Bushwalking Blog
Living Bush Nature Walk

Starting at the Acacia Picnic Ground, the 3km Living Bush Nature Walk will take you through some of the Dandenong Ranges Park’s most picturesque bushland. Suitable for all ages and fitness levels, the gentle 90-minute return walk offers you a front-row seat to some of the region’s best native flora and fauna, winding through fern encased gullies beneath the lofty eucalyptus trees teeming with native birdlife. Keep an eye out for Cockatoos, Rosellas and Kookaburras.

Distance: 3km (return)

Upper Fern Tree Gully

Birdsland Reserve
Birdsland Reserve
Birdsland Reserve

The Birdsland Reserve is easily one of the most popular Dandenong Ranges walks, and for good reason. Short and sweet, the 3km loop is suitable for walking, running, cycling and even families with strollers. It's a perfect vantage point for bird watching, with over 130 species of native birds found in the reserve including the Powerful Owl and the Wedgetail Eagle. Complete with BBQ facilities, it’s the perfect spot to spend an afternoon.

Distance: 3km

271 Mt Morton Rd, Belgrave Heights

Sherbrooke Falls Walk
Sherbrooke Falls Walk
Sherbrooke Falls Walk

This easy, 45-minute walk is close to the 1000 Steps but not nearly as crowded. Meandering through forests of Mountain Ash and fern, you’ll be greeted with the sight and sound of the superb lyrebird and elusive blue-winged parrot if you’re lucky. The walk is particularly spectacular after rainfall when the Sherbrooke Creek cascades over the rocky outcrops.

Distance: 2.4 kilometres (return)

Odonohue Track, Sherbrooke 

R.J. Hamer Arboretum
R.J. Hamer Arboretum
R.J. Hamer Arboretum

Take a peaceful stroll along the various tracks sweeping through this arboretum, viewing rows upon rows of native and exotic trees as you go. Planted in a patchwork-like fashion, the result is several stunning mini-forests stretching over the rolling hills. The main track follows a forested path, with a few steep parts but nothing to sweat over. The vista is particularly beautiful in autumn when red and orange leaves contrast against the evergreens.

Distance: 3 kilometres (circuit)

10 Chalet Road, Olinda 

Dandenong Ranges Track via green trails
Dandenong Ranges Track via green trails
Dandenong Ranges Tourist Track

If you’ve got time to spare, this five-hour hike will reward you in spades. The Dandenong Ranges Tourist Track may be long, but fairly even grading means it’s never too much to handle. You’ll wind your way through fern-filled gullies, forests of eucalypt, over creek crossings and boardwalks. Conquering this walk is one of the best ways to see all the natural beauty that the Ranges has to offer in one fell swoop.

Distance: 15 kilometres (one-way)

Main Street, Emerald

Valley and Eagle Nest Loop via Tourist Places
Valley and Eagle Nest Loop via Tourist Places
Valley and Eagle Nest Loop

We love a good loop track, where you get to see new sights the whole way while never being too far from your car. This well-maintained path snakes through lush forest for eight kilometres, but you can easily extend your adventure with a number of trails branching off into remote parts of the national park. Spanning a combination of bush, gravel and paved tracks, you’ll see gorgeous views across the valley and a breadth of wildlife, with kangaroo and kookaburra sightings common.

Distance: 8 kilometres (circuit)

Boundary Road, Olinda

Mathias Walking Track
Mathias Walking Track
Mathias Walking Track

This leisurely forest track is one of Melbourne’s best dog-friendly walks. The path is wide and spacious with dense foliage on either side broken up by occasional views across to Silvan and the Yarra Valley. Along the way, you’ll hear the calls of kookaburras, cockatoos and parrots, while Japanese maple, birch and eucalyptus trees tower above. 

Distance: 7 kilometres (return)

Mathias Road, Olinda

1000 Steps
1000 Steps
Kokoda Track Memorial Walk

Commonly known as the 1000 Steps after its main feature, this walk covers a steep incline that’ll get your heart racing. Uber popular with everyone from fitness junkies to families, it’s worth heading out only to avoid needing to squeeze past people. The roughly five-kilometre path winds through lush fern gullies, while plaques dotted along the way tell the history of the Kokoda Track.

Distance: 5 kilometres (return)

Tree Fern Gully Track, Tremont

Olinda Creek Walking Track
Olinda Creek Walking Track
Olinda Creek Walking Track

This substantial walk takes you past dry open forests, lush gullies and a slice of history, with towering Mountain Grey Gums still bearing burns from the 1939 Black Friday fires. Tread carefully and you might just see some of the native animals that inhabit the area, such as the black wallaby, short-beaked echidna and superb lyrebird.

Distance: 11 kilometres (return)

Tramway Road, Mount Evelyn

Explore all the Dandenong Ranges walks? Experience more of the Dandenong Ranges with our handy guide covering the best things to do there, from high tea to luxe bathing. Alternatively, continue your exploration of Melbourne on foot with the best walks and hiking trails near you.