We did it! We climbed the infamous 1,000 Steps in Ferntree Gully. Not only did make it to the top, I’m pretty sure we did it in record time. Well, that is, not counting the runners and joggers and the 5 minute break we took half way up.
The One Thousand Steps, or the Kokoda Walk, is a 2.8km climb in Ferntree Gully. It’s a popular destination for tourists and locals, as we found out one sunny Sunday. We’d heard of the walk so often that we figured it must be worth doing. Now that we’ve done it, we’re happy to say that we made it to the top. But also happy to say that we’ll never need to do that again. And here’s why:
- As alluded to earlier, the track is crammed full of people. It’s hard to get any real momentum going because you’re stopping and starting and dodging the crazy runners.
- Speaking of the crazy runners, there are crazy runners who go up and down the stairs at break-neck paces. No matter what they say, this is dangerous. Especially on the day we were out when the stairs were wet with dew. Someone is bound to get hurt. Oh wait, maybe that’s why the ambo and paramedics are parked at the bottom of the hill just waiting for an accident to happen. That doesn’t give one, who is about to start the climb, much hope.
- I love that Australians remember their service men and women through various memorials throughout the nation. The Kokoda Walk (to get to the stairs) has a very nice memorial and info centre regarding the armed forces.
- The scenery through the Dandenong Ranges is spectacular. I love the smell of the mountain ash trees and you can’t really beat the fresh air that high up.
- There are plenty of picnic areas to enjoy a meal before or after the climb and really make a day of it.
- Ok, yes, it’s a good workout and there is a feeling of accomplishment when you’ve reached the top.
(ONE MORE) CON:
- The view at the top (One Tree Hill) is less than spectacular. I didn’t even take a picture. You’ll see much better views at Sky High
Bottom Line: It’s worth doing at least once but be sure you have plenty of time or choose a time when there won’t be a ton of people to maneuver around.
The Fern Tree Gully Picnic Ground is the stating base for the walk/climb. You can take the Belgrave Line train (get off at Upper Ferntree Gully Station) and walk East on Burwood Highway for 1 km to the park entrance. Or by car it’s at the end of the Mount Dandenong Tourst Road (on the west side)
Opening Hours: The gates to Ferntree Gully Picnic Ground are open between 6am and 9pm.