Freelance writer living and breathing all the brilliance of Melbourne.
Published May 26th 2009
Means of transport - check Relatively good fitness level - check
Group of great mates/family - check Desire to experience some feel good activity - check
Then you are ready to experience the amazing surrounds, sights and heights of the 1,000 steps in Ferntree Gully! 1,000 Steps
Not for the faint hearted, this track winds and climbs it's away from the start in Ferntree Gully, for 5kms and around 2 hours of solid walking, until you reach One Tree Hill Picnic Ground.
If visiting during the weekend, you will be amazed to see the amount of people huffing and puffing prior 8am (these are obviously the very serious climbers, runners and group fitness people of Melbourne), though these keen climbers tend to trickle out to a steady flow of friends and family of all ages meandering their way up the steep steps up until about lunchtime.
The wonderful thing about this course, is it's likened to the Kakoda Trail in Papua New Guinea. As you make your way through, you will notice small information pillars dotted along the way, comparing the trail and it's environment to that the men of the real Kokoda in World War II would have experienced. A feeling of nostalgia is balanced by a wonderful sense of admiration.
Add to your history class, a fantastic crash course in flora and fauna as the track is set amongst a beautiful rainforest backdrop of the ferns, foliage and wildlife.
You will find that the track, due to its heights is generally 3 or 4 degrees cooler than that of Melbourne so don't be caught out without the appropriate layers - and footwear! If any track is going to test out those new hiking boots or running shoes it's this one!
At the end, when you reach One Tree Hill Picnic Ground, do take some time, to sit, relax and enjoy what you've just accomplished - it's a wonderful feeling to share with your closest!
While I'm sure our soldiers endured much sloppier, steeper conditions in Papua New Guinea, the 1000 steps is certainly a challenge. The track is packed full of people fitness training in the afternoons, so I try and get there around midday. It is a beautiful hike, and is sure to revive and uplift you... once you've caught your breath!
By Lisa Williams - senior reviewer Sunday, 29th of May @ 11:45 am
I'm must echo Lisa's comments on this one. I grew up out that way and incidently spent a bit of time as a teenager climbing the one thousand steps trail.. To think I was once young and fit enough to see it as a fun way to pass an afternoon!!Haha. All pain aside, it is a beautiful walk with plenty of wild life along the way including peacocks if I remember correctly. Spectacular view from the top too and plenty of facilities in both parks at the bottom of the stairs and at the top.BBQ's Toilets and Rangers offices.I wonder if they have or ever will rebuild the tower at one tree hill.
By FIONA - senior reviewer Friday, 3rd of June @ 04:24 am
I havent done that one. Looks interesting. Maybe if Im in Melbourne long enough Ill get to give it ago.
By Jody Kimber - senior reviewer Friday, 5th of August @ 01:39 am
love it . went again yesterday .
By Anonymous Sunday, 28th of August @ 10:11 pm
1000 steps was great fun. Not only for the exercise challenge but to watch all the different climbers as well. The strugglers, the competitive types, the people taking their time, the chatty, the elated and the relieved to be at the top! The steps were certainly a people watching activity as well.