The Roller Coaster Run is Melbourne’s mountain run and all about the zig-zag tracks, the gnarly loops and the trails that never flatten out in the lush wilderness of the Dandenong Ranges National Park. It’s just an hour from Melbourne’s CBD, it’s a Melbourne trail run like no other.
Visitors looking to participate in the Roller Coaster Run should check the course map before enrolling, as the map will often change from year to year due to changes in the terrain.
Roller Coaster Run 2023 Dates, Times, Elevation, Course, Parking & Map
Joining the trail along Trig Track at the Silvan Dam Lookout, the climb begins toward SkyHigh! With a right turn onto Kyeema track, runners follow this trail across the hillside, catching a great view as they go at Burkes Lookout before a fun descent down the zig-zags through tall Mountain Ash and Rainforest Ferns before emerging at Doongalla Picnic Area, a serene opening and the home of Checkpoint 1.
Runners then proceed out of the access road of Doongalla and take a hard left onto Dodds Track, where the challenge really begins. Runners then cross the Basin-Olinda Road and continue up Range Road before gradually curving around, running a bit of a Roller Coaster and making their way back to Doongalla for some much-earned refreshments.
Leaving Doongalla for the second time, runners head north, making their way along Camelia Track and Singleton Terrace to the back of the village of Kalorama with more stunning views as a backdrop. Runners then return along Old Coach Rd, Jasper Rd and Hands Rd to the Event Village at Kalorama Reserve.
For the 12km course, it commences at the Start/Finish Event Village at Kalorama Memorial Reserve, with runners departing the reserve along Hands Rd, then Jasper Rd and continuing to Old Coach Rd. These low-traffic roads will be marshalled for clear direction.
Joining the trail along Trig Track at the Silvan Dam Lookout, the climb begins toward SkyHigh! A right turn onto Kyeema track, runners follow this trail across the hillside catching a great view as they go at Burkes Lookout, before a fun descent down the zig-zags through tall Mountain Ash and Rainforest Ferns.
Before reaching Doongalla, 12k runners turn right onto the Dacite Track and then into Fireline Track and Singleton Terrace, joining up with the longer course again. Runners then gradually climb toward Kalorama Park. Runners then return along Old Coach Rd, Jasper Rd and Hands Rd to the Event Village at Kalorama Reserve.
For the 2k Kids Carousel Trail Run, the start and finish lines are at the Kalorama Memorial Oval. Two loops of the oval and near the car parking area. Please note that the course is wet weather-dependent and may be modified for safety. There will be a friendly person in a fun outfit for the kids to chase around the course!
For the 12km, 23km and 46km courses, the following items are mandatory to carry:
- A charged mobile phone.
- A proper snake bandage.
- Means of carrying at least 500ml of fluids.
- Waterproof rain jacket with a hood (Wet weather only)
The courses will be super well-marked, but fatigued runners tend to develop tunnel vision. Keep your wits about you and watch for orange markings/ribbons/cones. Maps will be provided to participants, but familiarising yourself with the course beforehand could save you a lot of time on the day. Bring a mobile phone on the Telstra network so you can contact others. (Telstra appears to have the best coverage). The map provided to participants will have mobile phone numbers for the organisers and volunteers.
Participants are required to register online. With several categories open for registration, participants can choose what best suits their abilities, with the cost of participation varying between categories.
The First Ferny Creek Scout Troop will again manage car parking at the Event Village for $10 per car per day. Cash is preferred, though EFTPOS is available.
Parking is EXTREMELY limited near the Event Village and everywhere on the mountain. So, we urge you to find a buddy (or four) and carpool to and from the event. There are not enough car parking spaces for everyone to travel solo. It’s cheaper in petrol, better for the environment, and you can share the pre-race nerves and the post-race runners high with someone else.