Guided Nature Walks in the Dandenong Ranges
Explore Dandenong Ranges National Park with hand-selected trail maps and driving directions as well as reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature enthusiasts like you!
This easy walk offers a pleasant variety of vegetation including Tree Ferns and Mountain Ash trees, Swamp Wallabies and Echidnas (depending on the time of year), as well as Lyrebirds! Perfect for quick viewing without breaking a sweat!
1. Olinda Falls & Valley Circuit
The Dandenong Ranges provide the ideal retreat from Melbourne’s city life. Only an hour from its center, here the air feels crisper, birds chirp louder and the sun shines just a bit brighter – perfect for exploring this beautiful region through one of many hikes like our Olinda Falls & Valley Circuit hike!
This short trail winds its way through some of the park’s most stunning scenery, beginning from Sherbrooke Falls carpark and culminating at Olinda Falls (which may disappoint due to tree debris). Perfect for first time hikers and those wanting to witness an array of vegetation including Tree Ferns, Mountain Ash, Messmate Stringybark as well as Tree Ferns. When wet the trail may become quite muddy and slippery so good hiking shoes are essential – depending on season you may even spot Swamp Wallabies Echidnas and maybe even Wombats!
This scenic 3.4km loop walk along Olinda Creek through Sherbrooke Forest is well worth your while, featuring cascades and pools along its path, making for an exciting 3.4km hike through spectacular Sherbrooke Forest wetlands. Popular among Lyrebird watchers when there’s enough water, Olinda Falls can become quite spectacular! Alternatively, combine this hike with our Dandenong Ranges Circuit With Optional Olinda Falls Loop’ and Eastern Sherbrooke Forest Walk’ for a long, varied and scenic day out in Dandenong Ranges!
SkyHigh is one of the region’s most beloved attractions, boasting Victoria’s highest natural viewpoint. Offering bistro, pop-up bar and maze facilities as well as numerous short forest walks to take visitors through beautiful mountain vistas surrounding Melbourne city and mountains, and providing incredible panoramic views from winter months until spring/summer comes around when forest blooms full bloom – it makes an excellent place for visitors.
This medium grade bushwalk requires reasonable fitness levels to complete and is unsuitable for wheelchairs or prams. Dogs are not permitted on trails within the national park nor in vehicles parked within it.
2. Lyrebird Track
Dandenong Ranges are an idyllic rainforest retreat just 30 minutes from Melbourne, boasting charming hilltop villages and charismatic wildlife such as wallabies and lyrebirds. Take a guided tour to experience the cool temperate rainforest’s waterfalls, mountain ash trees towering overhead, towering Mountain Ash trees and dense moss-covered forests – or simply stroll peacefully along Tourist Track and soak up its natural beauty!
The Lyrebird Track is wheelchair and child friendly for its first section, crossing Minnamurra River on suspension bridges clad with mossy mats in Sherbrooke Forest. Subsequently, criss-crossing Sherbrooke Creek using wooden bridges over lush fern gullies and tree fern valleys with towering Mountain Ash trees, often overgrown at times – look for wildflowers as you travel. Keep an eye out for signs of its namesake bird!
Launch your journey from Grants Picnic Ground near Sherbrooke cafe (where the wide service trail narrows to a bushwalking track after about 1.7km). In roughly 1.4 km you will reach Hardy Gully Nature Trail entrance; follow it for several hundred metres until it intersects with Carroll Creek Track and Middle Harbour Track near a small series of cascades; continue upstream before turning right at Lyrebird Track or Governor Phillip Walk junction where Lyrebird Track (which can be done either clockwise or anticlockwise) leads directly back to Grants Picnic Ground (Lyrebird track can be completed either clockwise).
Discover the hidden delights of the Dandenong Ranges on a guided rainforest and forest walk, or witness Melbourne from high above at SkyHigh, Victoria’s highest natural viewing point. Offering rainforest walks, pop-up bar/maze offerings, as well as plenty of lawn space perfect for picnicking – SkyHigh has become one of the most popular activities within these scenic hills, especially during winter with its twinkling fairy lights over Melbourne illuminating the skyline!
3. Sherbrooke Falls
The Dandenong Ranges, more commonly referred to as ‘The Dandenongs,’ is an ideal day trip from Melbourne. These cool forests and charming towns can be reached within an hour’s drive or train ride of Melbourne; and one of the best ways to appreciate their natural beauty is hiking through their National Park trails.
The Sherbrooke Falls Loop walk offers an easy, scenic and enjoyable stroll through Sherbrooke Forest – an area dominated by Mountain Ash forests with understorey of fern species. Additionally, Sherbrooke Forest serves as a habitat for suburban Lyrebirds which are frequently seen or heard along this trail. After rain, when falls are at their most impressive, this walk truly shines!
As its name implies, this walk offers breathtaking views of Sherbrooke Falls and offers some incredible scenic beauty in its entirety. However, there may be challenges along the way; at times the incline can become steep. Rocky outcrops along the path add to its appeal before finally resting your legs at Sherbrooke Falls Picnic Ground once complete.
If you’re hoping to spot Lyrebirds, this track is one of Victoria’s premier spots for finding them. As you walk through fern gullies and forest areas of eucalypts, crossing creeks and witnessing other bird species such as Crimson Rosellas, Sulphur Crested Cockatoos and Rainbow Lorikeets depending on time of day; chances are good you’ll spot one too!
This moderate walk includes hills and some rocky sections, but is well worth the effort for stunning views of Sherbrooke Falls at its end. As it can become very muddy in some spots, changing shoes before continuing may be necessary if necessary. Starting near Sherbrooke Falls Picnic Ground and leading all the way to O’Donohue Park. Before setting out on this adventure, always consult Parks Vic’s website prior to departing as trail conditions can suddenly change drastically; they will also inform you if any picnic grounds or trails have been closed due to adverse weather.
4. Tourist Track
The Tourist Track offers an enjoyable combination of nature, solitude and culture in one wonderful walk. Here you will be able to witness an array of wildflowers, birds and animals as well as fascinating historical sights along its course.
This guide presents 25 circuit routes across four states and contains detailed maps drawn by Dave Pierce for every hike. In contrast with prior editions, trail information in this edition has been updated and three new hikes added; trail length descriptions also include notable features that may pass by as well as difficulty ratings; many also include shorter or longer alternatives and directions to trailheads with links back to their NAD83 coordinates; in certain instances a valid park permit may also be needed for certain trails.