Image: Josh Welch
Why this Hike
This newly established multi-day walk is quickly becoming an Australian ‘Epic’ as it takes you through several of the most beautiful parts of Victoria’s dense, lush forest right near Melbourne. With a town to town walk not far from the city this trail is quickly becoming a must do adventure for hikers from near and far as they come to experience the history, nature, culture and community this region as to offer.
Track Notes & Overview
5-7 Days, 4-6 Nights - 72KM
Day One – Gembrook to Emerald (13.6KM)
Starting on main street in Gembrook this hike follows Station Street before linking up with a well-marked trail and then the train track which you will follow for a few kilometres before turning off at Belgrave-Gembrook Road and joining Fielder Road for a short stint and then back on to the track. Shortly after this you should arrive in Cockatoo and you will continue to walk through the centre of town and along a path past the St Luke’s Church towards Emerald, you should join Boundary Track and then Wright Track which you will follow until finally joining the Emerald-Cockatoo Trail. Follow this trail past the lake and the Emerald Museum before arriving in the town where this day of hiking ends.
Day Two – Emerald to Monbulk (11.2KM)
This day starts in Kilvington Drive before turning left through the roundabout and walking down Belgrave-Emerald Road, from here turn right down Pinnocks Road (across the railway line) and keep following until turning right at Telopea Road and then onto the Telopea Road Steps at the end of the road. Follow these steps until reaching Avard Road and walk up to the end of the road where a picnic ground can be found, past which the walk continues along the creek for several easy to navigate kilometres. After a few kilometres you will reach Emerald-Monbulk road which after turning left and following for several hundred metres you will turn off onto a track which closely follows the road and the creek. The track crosses the main road, Moxhams Road and Baynes Park Road before arriving in the park itself where this day finishes.
Day Three – Monbulk to Belgrave (8.3KM)
Starting at Baynes Park this hike continues along the Dandenong Ranges Tourist Track which follows Sassafras Creek all the way until reaching Beagleys Bridge, at Beagleys Bridge turn down Perrins Creek Road which should then link up with Monbulk Road which should take you into Kallista. At Kallista walk past the Primary School before joining Coles Ridge Track, this track should take you right down to Old Monbulk Road which if followed will take you to Belgrave’s Central roundabout, the conclusion of this day.
Day Four – Belgrave to Olinda (8.8KM)
This day starts by crossing the railway line and turning right at the roundabout to follow Monbulk Road, follow this road for about a kilometre before joining Hillclimb Track which closely follows Sherbrooke Creek all the way to Sherbrooke Road. Cross the road and follow the track as it winds past the Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens Lake before joining back up with the Dandenong Ranges Tourist Track you followed previously. Follow this track across Sassafras Road until reaching Mt Dandenong Tourist Road where you turn right and follow for a few hundred metres before turning left onto Mason Grove and joining the track to reach Range Road. Follow Range Road until reaching the centre of Olinda and finishing this day of walking.
Day Five – Olinda to William Ricketts (8.1KM)
Starting in the centre of Olinda walk back down a section of Range Road before turning right onto Dodds Road, the road should turn to track and take you to Basin-Olinda Road where you turn left before turning off the road to join a track on the right. Follow this track as it becomes Dandenong Creek Track and takes you onto Channel Ten track a few kilometres down the path before reaching the steep Zig-Zag Track. Pass by the Channel Ten TV Tower and join Kyeema Track, follow the track past Sky High Mase and over Ridge Road before a short return section up to William Ricketts Sanctuary along Mount Dandenong Tourist Road which you will return back down on the following day of walking.
Day Six – William Ricketts to Mount Evelyn (15.7KM)
Returning back down from the William Ricketts Sanctuary at the carpark continue left along Mechanics Walk through the reserve and across Farndons Road, the walk should closely follow the creek before reaching falls road where you will follow straight ahead until turning left down Bartlett Road. Follow the road before turning right at the first junction down Rifle Range Gully Track, continue to follow as it winds around the creek before turning left onto Georges Road which will take you several kilometres until reaching Olinda Creek Road. Follow track 13 and then track 18 until reaching Stonyford Road and then turning right into Grey Gums Carpark, follow the track near here around the small park before joining Stonyford road again and then turning right onto Grey Gums Track. Follow the track until crossing the creek and linking up with Olinda Creek Track, along a small stretch of Hunter road and then left onto Mt Evelyn Aqueduct Trail before finally arriving in Mount Evelyn after a few kilometres along Monbulk Road.
Day Seven – Mount Evelyn to Lilydale (6.8KM)
After reaching Mount Evelyn on Monbulk Road, turn left onto the Mt Evelyn Aqueduct Trail again before following Gear Avenue and York Road each for short section and then joining back up with the Mt Evelyn Aqueduct Trail. Follow the trail as it winds through local streets until it crosses Swansea Road and becomes the Olinda Creek Trail, follow this trail across Hull road and through the wetlands until reaching Lilydale Lake Park. The track should follow the edge of the lake before going under the Lilydale Bypass and into the centre of Lilydale to complete this epic walk through the Dandenong Ranges.
*Please note this trail is not an official trail but is rather a newly established route through one of Australia’s most beautiful regions, camping is at most times unavailable but accommodation is usually available, everything featured here is a summary of the walks entirety and for more detailed information regarding every facet of the walk you can visit the website for the trail right here.
**Please also note that this walk can be condensed into a slightly shorter walk of 6 or even 5 days… or less if you would like to challenge yourself.
Food for a Multi-Day Walk
Creating a menu for a hike can seem challenging at first especially if it is an multi-day hike. Your menu should be nutritious, delicious and lightweight which can limit some of the meals you can create.
Our recipe hub includes great suggestions for breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks and even dessert, covering all the ingredients you will need and how to make them.