1000 Steps Dandenong Ranges – Kokoda Memorial Track.
Parking is available at Upper Ferntree Gully Picnic Ground or One Tree Hill
- Total Distance: 4.3 kms (doing the loop of Lyrebird Track too).
- Walking time: 1.5 – 2 hours
- Steep inclines, many steps. Reasonable fitness required, take your time!
- Toilets and parking available at Upper Ferntree Gully Park and One Tree Hill
- Not suitable for baby buggies!
- No dogs allowed.
- Parking at the base or at One Tree Hill (a wiser choice).
Parking Note: cars are often parked along the Mt Dandenong tourist Road. Do not park illegally as fines are being imposed.
1000 Steps, Dandenong Ranges, Melbourne
The Kokoda Trail – 1000 Steps walk is the busiest in the Dandenong Ranges – at all hours! It is a stunning walk, steep and one of the most popular areas for people improving their fitness levels.
The Kokoda track was built in the early 1900’s, as a memorial and reminder of the famous track in Papua New Guinea, location of the World War 2 battle between Japanese and Australian forces in 1942.
Still, this is a beautiful walk and does not need to be done at a running pace. It can be tackled in a circular direction, taking in Lyrebird track, or straight up and down the (nearly, but not quite) 1000 steps. Signage actually requests ‘No Running’ on the steps.
Start of 1000 Steps Walk:
The Thousand Steps/Kokoda Trail walk is easy to find from the lower car park. Simply follow the signs! It is about 800 metres to the actual beginning, passing memorial points along the way as well as a small playground and cafe.
At the base of the walk, the Kokoda Memorial area is must read. Detailed information about the history of the ‘real’ Kokoda Trail.
Signage is clear and easy to see along the way. There is a cafe, toilet block and even a kids playground at the base.
The walking track to the beginning of the 1000 Steps is about 800 metres from the car parking area. Signage here states that people are not to run on the steps for safety reasons…
It is such a beautiful walk, the undergrowth is lush and home to Lyrebirds – look and listen carefully…
Every inch of the trail has beauty. Deep green mosses and lichen, plus the delectable scent of the Australian bush… lovely.
The remains of old growth trees covered in deep green mosss…
Views through the trees to distant Lysterfield Lake can be seen on the way. Benches provide an opportunity to relax and take in the trail.
Plaques describing various locations along the real Kokoda Trail are placed evenly on the track, interesting reading and a grand excuse to stop to catch one’s breath!
Don’t feel pressured to keep up a fast pace as fitness fanatics pass by, take your time to read the history along the 1000 Steps/Kokoda Memorial Trail.
After walking up the 1000 Steps, a good return option is to follow Lyrebird Trackback down. This image is deceptive! It is a steep track and can be slippery underfoot with loose gravel on the surface. The new steps make it easier than it used to be.
Another starting option is to begin the walk at one tree hill and head down.
One Tree Hill Memorial.
A reasonable level of fitness is required to do this trail easily, take your time and enjoy the beauty of the area – there is no need to rush!
Beautiful Tree Fern, fallen some years ago, but still alive. Used as an occasional seat by passers-by, it is a good example of life – If you get knocked down at times, get up and keep going (growing).