The 1000 Steps, Kokoda Memorial Walk

The 1000 Steps (Kokoda Memorial Walk)

The 1000 Steps (or as it’s officially known as the Kokoda Track Memorial Walk) is a popular bushwalk located at the base of Mount Dandenong and only 13kms or 15 minutes by car from Villa d’Amour.

Walkers love the challenge of the steep trail and tourists enjoy the gorgeous rainforest walk. To truly appreciate the unique place, we recommended that you visit when it is quiet, which is usually during the week or early in the morning. 

The Kokoda Track Memorial Walk departs from Ferntree Gully Picnic Ground, winding up a steep hill along a creek through lush rainforest, before emerging into a clearing where you can enjoy great views of Melbourne through the trees. To complete the loop, you can take the Lyrebird Track back to the car park.

At the foot of the 1000 Steps, there are a series of signs explaining this walk’s association with the Australian soldiers.  Created in the early 1900s, the 1000 Steps Walk was originally made from tree fern trunks laid along the wetter areas of the track to make the climb just a little bit easier. These were replaced by wooden palings and more permanent concrete steps were installed in 1950.

The Kokoda Track Memorial Walk was named because of the similarity of the walk when compared to the first 100 meters of the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea. In 1998 veterans of the Kokoda campaign adopted the park as their memorial site, and installed 14 plaques along the walk dedicated to the Australian Military Forces who fought and died during the campaign.

The 1000 Steps represent the “Golden Stairs”, which is the name given by Australian soldiers to the 2000 steps cut by the Australian Army Engineers and others into the track between Uberi and Imita Ridge.

Located in the Dandenong Ranges National Park on Mount Dandenong Tourist Road, Ferny Creek there is plenty of free parking available 800 metres from the start of the walk.

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