Dandenong 15

A Day in Dandenong National Park

Dandenong 15However much I love Melbourne, 5 weeks in the city takes its toll. With the city surrounded by beautiful National Parkland, we jumped on the train and sped off in search of fresh air and Australian countryside.

Dandenong National Park is easily in reach of Melbourne’s CBD. We hopped on a train and sped through the suburbs for an hour before emerging at Upper Fern Tree Gulley, one of the gateways to the park.

The journey is covered by Melbourne’s travel zones so a return trip cost under ¬£4. Bargain!

Dandenong 1As it was a Sunday, the park was busy with picnicking families and fitness fanatics braving the miles of hiking trails which snake through the park.

Dandenong 5The park is criss-crossed by hiking trails which wind through the stunning Jurassic Park-esque forest.

The first track we tackled was the Kokoda Memorial Walk (or 1000 Steps). Well, we thought we did but more on that later…

The path was steep and a horrific reminder of how unfit I’ve become. Luckily there were plenty of rest-stops!

Dandenong 6The trail is dedicated to the Australian soldiers who followed the eponymous trek in Papua New Guinea and the multitude of battles which were fought along the way. I’m not entirely sure what this patch of woodland has in common with Papua New Guinea, but the thought was nice.

Dandenong 9The weather was surprisingly perfect for Melbourne. The dappled sunlight filtering through the trees made the Dandenong forest even more spectacular.

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Dandenong 11Ahh, sometimes I love autumn!

Becoming agitated with the crowds on the Kokoda Trail we peeled off deeper into the woods.

Dandenong 13We peeked at the distant Melbourne skyline through the trees, admired the changing autumn leaves and walked until our feet hurt.

On our way back, we stumbled upon the actual 1000 Steps trail, we had skirted it on the way up following the parallel path instead. We were so glad that we found it! It was gorgeous.

Dandenong 14I was definitely glad that we were going down, not up, these slippery steps.

The trail even treated us to this pretty triple!

Dandenong 2The Kookaburras were the final cherry on top of the Dandenong shaped cake. Although we have been in Australia for 5 weeks, it hadn’t felt like we had seen anything uniquely Aussie.

We had been in our Melbourne-bubble and been so focused on settling that we’ve forgotten that we are still travellers.

It’s made us even more excited to hit the road and continue on our Australian journey!

Dandenong 10What did you guys get up to this weekend? Let me know in the comments below or via my social media pages!

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4 thoughts on “A Day in Dandenong National Park

  1. pamela stonely says:

    Went fishing off the pier in Naples Florida. Ryan will know it well. Not quite so exotic as your park trip but lovely though. Great photos.
    xxx

    Liked by 1 person

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