The lush rainforest of Sherbrooke is one of the prettiest and most accessible places for bushwalking near Melbourne. Situated 40 kilometres east of the city and served by public transport, this forest is part of the Dandenong Ranges National Park.
The seven kilometre Eastern Sherbrooke Forest Walk is a good way to see the fern-filled gullies in this area. This circular walk winds through tall mountain ash forest, tree fern gullies and grassy clearings perfect for a picnic.
The forested sections are excellent for spotting lyrebirds as well as many other birds, including blue wrens and yellow robins. Listening to a lyrebird imitate the calls of an array of other birds, including kookaburras, magpies, whip birds and cockatoos, is an experience that's hard to beat.
3. Not acquiring a map. If you're like the naturalist Konstantin Halafoff, you may not object to being lost in Sherbrooke, since you can fill all those long, happy hours analysing the musicology of lyrebird song. For anyone with a home to go to though, you might want to download this free map.
Now all the disclaimers are out of the way, let's get onto the details of the walk. It starts at Grants Picnic Ground on Monbulk Road, in Kallista. If you're using public transport, take the train to Belgrave, then Bus 663 to Kallista.
From Grants Picnic Ground, follow the track called Lyrebird Walk which goes through a shady and attractive tree fern gully. After crossing the creek, turn right onto Neumann Track, heading uphill. There are some grassy clearings along here, great for picnics and spotting kangaroos.
After about one kilometre, you reach a gate. Head right onto Paddy Track, which takes you downhill, steeply at times. After about 1.5 kilometres, passing through another tree fern glade, you cross the creek again and head uphill along Welch Track. While this section is steep, it's relatively short and you soon reach a gate onto a gravel road, Old Monbulk Road.
Cross the road, heading towards another gate, onto the wide Coles Ridge Track. You're now on the edge of the national park with a few houses on your left and mountain ash forest on your right. You're also not far from the Puffing Billy railway line and you can sometimes hear the steam trains as they wheeze on by.
Follow Coles Ridge Track until you arrive back at Grants Picnic Ground, about two kilometres. If you're in need of refreshment after your hike, there is a cafe at the picnic ground.
And if this all sounds like too much work, there's a good description by Sue Stevenson of a shorter walk to Sherbrooke Falls here.
Thanks so much for your directions for this walk. I really enjoyed the experience.
There wasn't many people along the route and the sights were magnificent.
For the record, it took me about 1 hr 45 minutes.
Great info. As busses don't run very frequently, especially on weekends, another public transport option is to catch the train to Belgrave and then walk app. 1 km along Monbulk Rd to reach the forest (and then another 2km to Grants Picnic Ground) or for an even more scenic route take Old Monbulk Rd, walking past Puffing Billy, to the end and then it is app. 1.5km to the picnic ground.
You can see why Melbourne has been voted the best city to live in with such wonderful hidden treasures on our door step.
I enjoy finding new places to explore and this one is a must to visit soon.
Keep up the good work.