April 7, 2015
1000 Steps at the Kokoda Trail has re-opened after much needed maintenance. Situated in the Dandenong Ranges National Park and setting out from the Ferntree Gully Picnic Ground, ‘the steps’ is a popular destination for nature and fitness lovers alike. It is so loved, a number of the steps had completely eroded and some of the handrails had come lose. Some work on the drainage, rebuilding the steps and handrails – and voila! ‘The steps’ are once again ready for pounding.
Along the trail are 14 plaques that are dedicated to the Australian Military who, in 1942, fought and died during World War II along the original track in the rugged Papua New Guinea mountains. ‘The steps’also provides visitors a very brief glimpse of the type of terrain the Military encountered . The treacherous Kokoda Trail in Papua New Guinea spans over 90km’s with humidity during the day and plummeting temperatures at night. Sadly it was during this campaign that 625 Australians were killed and over 1000 wounded. The area at the base of the track was renovated a couple of years ago to include a huge memorial and is really worth seeing.
From Mountain Element Retreats, the top of the track is less than 1km away and thankfully we don’t have to contend with the often busy car park at the bottom! There are several tracks in the area that vary in difficulty with the 1000 steps and Lyrebird Trails particularly popular. The area is surrounded by fern gullies and towering gum trees and of course abundant bird and wildlife. I regularly spot wallaby and lyrebird. For bushwalkers, this is fabulous and challenging terrain. I have been enjoying ‘the steps’ on a regular basis for many years and find it a great workout every time. Day visitors stay for a BBQ or picnic in the nearby parks. Some clever visitors also choose to stay at one of the fabulous b &b’s to take full advantage of not only the many walks but also the cafes, restaurants and eclectic shopping experiences on offer. A wonderful relaxing stay coupled with a soothing massage. Now there’s a great idea.
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