With ANZAC Day coming up, why not plan a walk along the Kokoda Memorial Track in the Dandenong Ranges National Park? The Kokoda Memorial Track, also known as the 1000 steps, has re-opened as a one-way loop with walkers returning down Lyrebird Track.
While ANZAC day on Sunday 25 April is likely to be a busy time, there’s always the opportunity to tackle the walk and reflect on the sacrifice of our soldiers in the weeks before or after.
The Kokoda Memorial Track follows a cool shady gully and leads walkers up a steep set of steps under tall tree ferns and taller eucalyptus. The track is best appreciated when it is quiet, such as midday during the week or very early in the morning.
Matthew Hoogland, Area Chief Ranger, Dandenong Ranges National Park, said recent improvements to the track included additional rest areas where walkers can stop off to let faster walkers pass or just have a breather and take in the surrounds.
‘We’ve had a lot of positive feedback about switching to a one-way loop, with walkers reporting a better flow and a better experience,’ he said. ‘It makes the steps less busy and is better for physical distancing.’
He said the facilities at the park included drinking stations at the top and bottom of the track. ‘We’re encouraging litter reduction by reducing the need for plastic drink bottles in the park,’ he said.
If you’re looking for something different, Mr Hoogland says there are hundreds of kilometres of tracks to explore in the Dandenong Ranges, with walks for all abilities. ‘Taking Bellview Terrace up and around the top of One Tree Hill is also becoming very popular,’ he said.
For reflection and commemoration, visitors can learn about the Kokoda campaign by reading the comprehensive information boards at the park’s base and a series of plaques installed along the track. There is also a memorial to courage, endurance, mateship and sacrifice, with the names of the fallen from the units who took the initial onslaught on the Kokoda track.
Find out more by visiting the park, a beautiful part of Ferntree Gully’s backyard. You can also follow some of our local trails here.
You’ll also find local listings for ANZAC Day services in Knox here.
Puffing Billy will return to Emerald on Sunday 25th April for the Emerald’s Dawn Service. Details here.