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1000 Steps/Kokoda Memorial Trail Upgrade

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by Julie Mundy (subscribe)
Julie is the author of a number of guidebooks, including 'Melbourne's Best Bush Bay and City Walks' & 'Melbourne for Dogs' (with RSPCA). Read more of her adventures at her walks blog:
Published July 3rd 2012
The ever popular 1000 Steps (Kokoda Memorial) Walking Track in Ferntree Gully, at the base of the Dandenongs, is so popular, that it is being upgraded. The usual route is to sweat and huff and puff your way up the single lane 1000 steps and slip and slide down the neighbouring treacherous Lyrebird Track on the way back down from One Tree Hill. On a busy weekend, there can be literally hundreds of people, making the pilgrimage, which can make for some bottlenecks as people double over to catch their breath (actually - don't let that put you off - the 1000 Steps are doable for almost everyone if you take your time and rest at the regular stages).

Kokoda Track, 1000 Steps (c) JP Mundy
Kokoda Memorial track (1000 Steps), Ferntree Gully

The Victorian Government and Parks Victoria are constructing an alternative climbing option to ease the congestion on the main route, by putting in 500 new bluestone steps on the Lyrebird Track, so that there will be two ways to the top - or double the fun for those gluttons who want to try to go up and down both in the same day.

Superb Lyrebird, Kokoda Memorial Trail, Fern Tree Gully (c) JP Mundy
Superb Lyrebird, beside the Kokoda Memorial Trail (1000 Steps)

In addition to the extra steps,a Kokoda Memorial Shelter is being built at the base of the Steps, just above the Tree Frog Cafe. The Shelter will house more information about the Kokoda WWII Campaign and provide a venue for commemorative services. The new 1000/500 Steps is due to be launched in August 2012, although the 1000 Steps will remain open while work is being done on the Lyrebird Track, so there's no excuse to put off that exercise.

Treefrog Cafe Upper Fern Tree Gully
Treefrog Cafe at the base of the 1000 Steps
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Why? Because 1000 Steps just isn't enough
When: 7 days a week
Where: Starts at Fern Tree Gully Picnic Ground
Cost: Free (just blood, sweat and tears)
Your Comment
Hi Julie, I was just reading Bushwalking blog and noticed you co wrote a guide together with Niel. I was excited to see your name on it and thought I should congratulate you on another book straight away :) I will keep an eye out for it in the new year.
by Lorraine A (score: 3|1636) 2811 days ago
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