1000 Steps

1000 Steps

Located within the Dandenong Ranges National Park, the 1000 Steps Kokoda Walk is a unique and renowned tourist spot at Mt. Dandenong.

The 1000 Steps boasts the Kokoda Track Memorial Walk, a popular walking trail in the area. Nicely maintained by rangers, the Kokoda Track is a beautiful walking track with adjacent forested areas, bushlands and various scenic points. Whilst visiting the steps, you will get a small glimpse into the physical effort experienced by the Australian soldiers during 1942.

1000 Steps Ferntree Gully – Mt Dandenong, Melbourne

As the name suggests, the 1000 Steps includes stony steps that lead to the popular One Tree Hill; which starts at the cafe and leads up the top of the mountain.

Those who would like to challenge themselves by completing the 1000 Steps should wear appropriate footwear (runners or hiking shoes) and should have a moderate level of fitness. Many people come to this attraction to test and improve their fitness, and thankfully there are a number of shady rest stops along the way for those who need to catch their breath. Those climbing the 1000 Steps should make sure to bring your own bottle of water as there are no water fountains on the trail.

Apart from the amazing experience of the trail itself, you can also enjoy the area’s scenic spots, beautiful parklands and numerous view points as you traverse this course near Mt. Dandenong.

Pick up a map before you head out on this challenging trail and check out the many other walking tracks throughout the Dandenong Ranges. As the 1000 Steps is located within the Dandenong Ranges National Park, please note that dogs are not permitted.

If you are coming from the city using Public transport, the best train station to get off at is “Upper Ferntree Gully station” on the Belgrave line. From there it is just a 800m walk east along Burwood Highway to reach the southern end of the carpark – around 500m extra to get up to the cafe and the start of the steps.

Depending on your fitness, the steps can take between 30 minutes to 1.5hrs to complete the return trip. Many people walk up the steps, but those who are a little fitter may run. So go at your own pace and enjoy the challenge!

1000 Steps Information

 Address:
Burwood Hwy & Mt Dandenong Tourist Rd,
Upper Ferntree Gully, VIC
 Operating Hours:
6am - 9pm daily (including public holidays)
  Enquiries
Phone: 131 963
Email: [email protected]
  Ticket Prices/Admission:
Free

Have a Question to Ask?

Please feel free to ask any questions you may have about this page. We will endeavour to get back to you within 24 hours.

Note: Your email address will not be published online or used for marketing purposes.

69 CommentsLeave a comment

    • Hi Steph,

      The Parks Victoria website states that “dogs and other pets are not permitted.” However I have found some other information which states “Dogs are permitted in national parks for specific purposes. These include: Dogs which assist disabled people with their disability are permitted in all parks and reserves, with the exception of Wilderness Parks and areas closed to the public.”

      I recommend you contact Parks Victoria on Phone: 131 963 or drop them an email at info@parks.vic.gov.au to confirm that service dogs are permitted in Dandenong Ranges National Park.

      Regards,
      Jess

  • Hi was wondering if there are lockers here to store a suitcase as I’m travelling by public transport and won’t be going to the hotel until after I do the 1000 steps walk. Thanks

  • Hi, I was just wondering, as it is tourist attraction, what are the most common was that people get here? I will be staying in the city, are there any affordable methods of transport to get to the ranges? Kind Regards, Helen

    • Hi Helen, thanks for contacting us.

      Travelling by car is certainly the easiest and fastest way to get to the ranges. The roads are well signed and it will take around 40-50 minutes from the CBD. There is plenty of parking and the roads are easy to navigate. It is a lovely drive once you get out of the city, and many attractions are within close driving distance.

      However, public transport is available from the Melbourne CBD to the 1000 Steps if you don’t wish to hire a car. I do note however, that it will take approximately 1 hour 30 minutes with train + a little walking.

      Go to Flinders Street Station and catch a train on the “Belgrave” Line (I have attached a link of the stops here). You will travel for about 60 minutes. Get off at “Upper Ferntree Gully” station.

      From there, it is just an 800m walk east along Burwood Highway to reach the southern end of the carpark – around 500m extra to get up to the cafe and the start of the 1000 Steps.

      If you are looking for someone to do the driving for you, I have attached a link to a couple of tours that service the Dandenong Ranges. Please note that I am not aware of any tours that include the 1000 Steps: Puffing Billy & Dandenong Ranges Tour from Melbourne

      Enjoy your time in the Dandenong Ranges!

      Regards,
      Jess

    • Hi Paige,

      For me, I like the national park in Spring. Not too hot, not to cold. Sunny days and cool afternoons. Avoid June – August as it can get wet and rainy.

      Regards,
      Jess

    • Hi Johanna,

      Unfortunately, you will have to leave your furry friend at home. As stated in our post: “As the 1000 Steps is located within the Dandenong Ranges National Park, please note that dogs are not permitted.”

      Regards,
      Jess

  • Hi, tried to go to 1000 steps today but the park was closed? Just wondering why there was no notice about it on the website? Drove an hour to get here and couldn’t even go in.

    • Hi Katelin,

      The 1000 Steps remains open, Parks Victoria are only completing upgrades to the carpark between 11-15 April.

      The official website states: “Parks Victoria will temporarily close the Ferntree Gully picnic ground car park which services the 1000 Steps Kokoda Track Memorial Walk in the Dandenong Ranges National Park for asphalt works from Monday 11 April until Friday 15 April 2016. The popular 1000 steps walk will remain open to the public during the works which will include repairs to pot holes, asphalting and new line marking.”

      Regards,
      Jess

      • Hi! When was 1000 Steps built? Who built it and for what reason? I am interested in the history of the 1000 Steps.

        • Hi Sophal,

          I have taken some information form the Parks Victoria website which should answer your questions:

          “Created in the early 1900s, the 1000 Steps Walk was originally made from the trunks of tree ferns laid along the wetter areas of the track to make
          the climb a little easier. These were replaced by wooden palings before the more permanent concrete steps were installed in 1950. The Victorian veterans of the Kokoda campaign adopted this park as their memorial site in 1998. The similarity of the walk to the first 100 metres of the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea resulted in the establishment of the 14 plaques along the walk, dedicated to those Australian Military Forces who fought and died on Kokoda. The 1000 steps represent the “Golden Staircase” a name given by Australian soldiers to the 2000 steps cut by the Australian Army Engineers and others into the track between Uberi and Imita Ridge. The ‘Kokoda Track Memorial Walk’ represents an area of historical significance and every effort is undertaken to retain this heritage.”

          I hope this assists in your understanding of this important local attraction.

          Regards,
          Jess

    • Hi Holly,

      The 1000 Steps will be open on ANZAC Day.

      The 1000 Steps are open every day, except for times when Parks Victoria deems it unsafe due to weather conditions (such as bushfire) and closes parts of the National Park.

      Enjoy your day at the 1000 Steps!

      Regards,
      Jess

    • Hi Wass,

      The 1000 Steps is in a National Park in Australia, so yes, there is always the possibility of coming across a snake or a spider.

      However, as we are coming into the cooler months and there is a lot of foot traffic on the 1000 Steps, I very much doubt you would come across any dangerous snakes or spiders here.

      If you are concerned, perhaps make contact with Parks Vic for further information.

      Regards,
      Jess

    • Hi Viviana,

      There are so many to choose from in Victoria. Depending on what you are after, I have provided a list from which you can start your search to find the best location to suit you.

      These campgrounds have amenities such as toilets, water, some have showers and all are in beautiful parks:
      Tidal River, Wilsons Promontory National Park
      Mount Eccles National Park
      Lake Catani, Mount Buffalo National Park
      Buchan Caves Reserve
      Lakeside Campground, Lake Eildon National Park
      Upper Yarra Reservoir Park

      If you enjoy being a little closer to nature with drop toilets and few other facilities, then check out these locations:
      Pink Lakes, Murray Sunset National Park
      Hattah-Kulkyne National Park
      Boar Gully, Brisbane Ranges
      Great Otway National Park

      All the best for your camping trip in Victoria!

      Regards,
      Jess

  • Hi Jess,

    Is the track open tomorrow (Good Friday)? If so, what time?

    Also, are there any other things/places you would suggest doing or visiting in the area?

    • Hi Sharon,

      Yes the 1000 Steps track is open tomorrow (Good Friday).

      Personally, I love the National Rhododendron Gardens which is also open tomorrow. You could also drop by Olinda Falls which is a lovely walk with some beautiful views and is located only around 3kms from the Rhododendron Gardens. FYI, William Ricketts Sanctuary is also located nearby.

      What a lovely way to spend the Easter weekend! There might be some drizzle tomorrow, so dress warmly, but I hope you have a great time in the Dandenong Ranges! Take a picnic, as there are many undercover picnic spots for you to enjoy at each of these locations.

      Regards,
      Jess

  • Hi,
    I read somewhere that it takes 2 hours to complete the trek but that 2hrs means from the start to the of the 1000 steps yes? So it will take another 2hrs to get back to my car or is there an alternative route we can take?
    Thanks

    • Hi Sophie,

      The steps are only a short 5 minute walk from the carpark (800 metres). The length of time it takes you to complete the steps will very much depend on your fitness levels.

      I am of a moderate fitness, and it took me 30 minutes to climb the stairs to the top and around 15 mins to get back down. My partner, who is much fitter, completed the climb in 20 minutes and was down in 10.

      I would say allow yourself an hour to an hour and a half to go up and back, including walking to and from the carpark. Stick to the main track.

      Enjoy the climb!

      Regards,
      Jess

  • Hello,
    I would like to visit the Thousand steps, but I have to go there with public transport. Can you go to the park with public transport, from Dandenong station?

    Thank you.
    Lisa

    • Hi Lisa,

      This seems to be a popular question and has been answered below. I will add the details to the main post.

      But for your quick reference:
      If you are coming from the city using Public transport, it looks like the best train station to get off at is “Upper Ferntree Gully station” on the Belgrave line.

      From there it is just a 800m walk east along Burwood Highway to reach the southern end of the carpark – around 500m extra to get up to the cafe and the start of the steps.

      You would have to check the Public Transport Victoria schedule to see if there are any buses that travel directly from Dandenong to Belgrave. Otherwise from Dandenong, you would have to travel into the city, change at Richmond, and head out again.

      Thanks,
      Jess

  • Hi, do you have a Melways reference for where the car park is for the 1000 steps walk? I have plenty of maps of the walk, but not sure where the walk actually starts (I assume it might be where the carpark is, but where is that?)

    • Hi Joyce,

      Thank you for your question.

      The 1000 Steps is a very strenuous 3km climb which can take some people up to 1-1.5 hours to complete. There are a few rest stops along the way, but I would not recommend this climb to pregnant women due to the steep incline and length of the track. Of course this is dependent on each individual’s fitness levels.

      If you are looking for a less strenuous activity, I would recommend visiting the National Rhododendron Gardens or taking the short walk to Sherbrooke Falls. Both locations are easy walks without many steep sections.

      I hope this has been of some assistance to you. We hope you enjoy your trip to the Dandenong Ranges!

      Regards,

      Jess
      Holiday Point

  • Hello,

    How long (time) would it take for kids to walk from the car park + 1000 steps + return to car park?

    Many thanks

    • Hi Fiona,

      Using Google maps, it is apparently 1.5km from the carpark to the top of the steps. Granted the steps aren’t very steep, i would say that it would perhaps take at most 30 minutes to get to the top, and another 30 mins to get back down again (which is obviously going to be easier). So all up, I wouldn’t expect the total trip to be more than an an hour.

      It may also depend on how busy it is at the time, but it took me around 20 minutes at a fast walking pace to get to the top, and that was on a rainy day and walking behind a group.

      Thanks,
      Michael

  • Hi there, was just wondering Is there shower facilities at the ground? Hoping to be able to shower after the 1000 steps as we are heading the the sky high for breakfast afterwards!

    • Hi Christopher,

      Looking at the official National Parks map, it doesn’t appear that there are shower facilities available, however there are toilets if you need to get changed.

      Unless you are full on sprinting to the top, it’s much cooler up there compared to Melbourne, so you might not even break a sweat.

      Thanks,
      Michael

      • Hi
        I have just completed the walk to the top of the 1000 steps track. It is a delightful track and well maintained. However, on reaching the top nowhere could I find how high I had climbed.

        There were plenty of signs about the distance I had walked but none stating the height above sea level.

        I feel this is an oversight the national parks board should correct. Can you tell me the height at the top of the track?

        Thank you
        Den

        • Hi Den,

          I have tried using a few online tools to calculate the elevation, but it didn’t seem accurate or give me an answer at all.

          Trying to decipher a confusing topography map for the first time, it looks like the top at One Tree sits at around 490 metres and the car park sits around 170 metres.

          So my estimation is you climbed 320 metres while you are there.

          Hope this helps.

          Thanks,
          Michael

  • Hi
    I would like to visit the 1000 steps aswell as the bird feeding area and was wondering where abouts was the bird feeding area? Also is the bird feeding area far from the 1000 steps

    • Hi Kubilay,

      I just did some research, and the bird feeding area you are most likely referring to is located at Grants Picnic Ground, Kallista.

      I have created a map here showing you the way from the 1000 steps to Grants Picnic Ground https://goo.gl/maps/hMuLt, but in terms of distance it’s around 8km and roughly a 12 minute drive away.

      I have also spoke to Parks Victoria and have been told that the 1000 Steps is due to re-open tomorrow (April 1) at 6am, in case you were planning to head up this long weekend.

      Thanks
      Michael

    • Hi Kelly,

      I have just spoke to Parks Victoria and have been told that the 1000 Steps is due to re-open on April 1 at 6am.

      So all should be good for the Easter long weekend.

      Thanks,
      Michael

    • Hi Estelle,

      Thanks for the heads up. I have check the Parks Victoria website and the renovations aren’t due to start til Tuesday 10 March 2015 and will be closed for 3 weeks. The works are expected to be completed by 31 March 2015 (pending favourable weather and conditions).

      So hopefully all went well today.

      Thanks,
      Michael

    • Hi Carly,

      I don’t have kids, so I’m perhaps not the best one to answer this. I have completed the steps myself and it took me around 15 minutes from the start of the steps. There is also the walk from the car park.

      I guess if your kids are into the physical activity, they will have a ball and will appreciate the nature of the area. However, adults that I was with at the time were complaining about having to climb the steps and were out of breath and sweating (they aren’t that bad – they aren’t like house steps)

      If you want to try ensure a pleasurable experience, go in the morning when it is cooler and there is less people around.

      Hope this helps,
      Michael

    • Hi Yvette,

      If you are coming from the city using Public transport, it looks like the best train station to get off at is “Upper Ferntree Gully station” on the Belgrave line.

      From there it is just a 800m walk east along Burwood Highway to reach the southern end of the carpark – around 500m extra to get up to the cafe and the start of the steps.

      Thanks
      Michael

  • Hi there!

    Just wanted to ask, unless I have missed some information (which I often do ><) what are the opening and closing hours of the track/steps?

    Thank you!

  • Listen, to all those who said the track is “easy”, it is extremely strenuous when done right. You’re not meant to take a rest on the track if you want to get fit fast. Sure! Walk at your own pace or even jog it if you’re a fitness fanatic and can handle that. BUT DON’T YOU DARE REST!!!

    If you do get a chance to visit the Kokoda track, feel free to time yourself and share how long it took you to finish the track without taking a rest. Trust me, this will be a great achievement.

    • Hi Amanda,

      There doesn’t appear to be a numerical address, but it is on the corner of Burwood Highway and Mt Dandenong Tourist Road in Upper Ferntree Gully.

      Please have a look at this zoomed in map to see where the car park entrance is, as opposed to where the steps begin: https://goo.gl/maps/nYPUH

      Thanks
      Michael

  • Really, really want to go there in a few months. After your review even more. Would you consider the trip dangerous by the way? Or is it like very easy..

    • Hi Simone,

      The trip itself isn’t too strenuous, it isn’t like climbing stairs in a building. You can go at your own pace and rest on the way up.

      I have known people with very little fitness do it multiple times, so I am sure you’ll be fine.

      Just to note: the car park gets busy on weekends, so try get there early to get a park.

      Thanks,
      Michael

    • Hi Simone, it is not strenuous at all. I’m not fit and I managed to get to the top. I’ve also seen mums with baby’s on their back climbing the steps. It may not be challenging enough for the really fit ones. It is only slippery when it’s wet. They’ve made a 2nd set of steps that are easier for getting down.