After a week of all work and no play, combined with all rain and no sun (well, almost), it was time to get out a bit and breathe some fresh air. And since the Dandenong Ranges are so close, we decided to go there again, this time aiming to complete the 1000 Steps Kokoda Track Memorial Walk.
The 1000 steps walk is one of the more famous nature hikes in the Dandenong Ranges, or anywhere in greater Melbourne. It was therefore no real surprise that we were not the only ones on the path. We did not even make it into the car park and had to put the car to the side of the road. One amongst many.
As we have been to the Ranges before, we were decked out in hiking boots and jackets. It turns out, most of the other people here don’t see this path as hiking through the mountains, but rather a bit of a fitness trail. We therefore saw a lot of sport shorts, tights and sneakers.
After a little while we arrived at the bottom of the staircase. Shrouded in dark green and slightly wet from the morning rain, the uneven steps sneak their way up the mountain. They are also pretty narrow, so that you cannot really walk next to each other, much less so when there are people trying to make their way back down. (Fortunately there were not that many of those. Most everyone takes the alternative rounte back down.)
The top of the stairs was also the point where most people turned left to head back down the mountain. This suited us just fine, as we were able to leave the crowds behind and make our way to the One Tree Hill Picnic Ground a few hundred meters further along.
All in all it was another great day outdoors. By driving less than 30 minutes, we can have our own mini-vacation and get away from the big city. The kids really seem to enjoy this as well, even if there is the usual nagging before we finally get going. But once we’re under way, it’s big smiles all around.
I just wonder how the area will change come summer. There are enough forrest fire warning signs around to make me believe that all this can actually become very dry. I can’t wait to find out.