A great, energising walk through the Dandenongs. Magic views of Melbourne (Burkes Lookout) at the top and then it’s down hill. The landscape suddenly changes from dry to temperate rain forest, including ferns. Our target is the beautiful Doongalla Homestead Site area. Split in two and connected via a road, both have toilets and picnic facilities and are thus ideal for lunch. It follows it’s up hill for most of the way back, retracing your steps.
Suggested add-on : Bills Track (and more)
In fact , I’ve shown an optional – and recommended – extension as loop from the ‘lower’ Doongalla site (Stables) along Stables Tk, then up the short but steep Bills Tk (puff puff), then back along Camelia Tk to Doongalla itself. After that it’s retrace your steps back to the car.
There’s another steep track to get the heart rate up just a bit further on. See Rankin Tk, just North (above) Bills off Camelia Tk? Go up that, then turn right onto Dalcite Tk, which brings you back to the bottom of that Zig Zag track.
I’d tip about 30 mins to get down to Doongalla and about 45 to get back up. All tracks are well signed.
Some tips (and photos after the map)
- We meet at The Basin – in the foot hills – about 11am for coffee, usually at Svaks. We usually leave 1 car there and go up in mine.
- The little road where you park your car doesn’t have a name. It’s one past Eyre Rd and has an obvious Power Substation. Park there. It may be marked as the access to the Kyeema Memorial (a sad story of a 1938 plane crash)
- I’m told the huge metal ‘bed base’ at the (un-signed) Burkes Lookout is actually a launching ramp for hang gliders. But it’s not used as the property owners below got sick of people just flying in. That’s what I was told.
- Burkes Lookout has a clearing in front it of and excellent views of Melbourne and surrounds for miles.
- Our usual well-done celebration is off to the cafe near the William Ricketts sanctuary about 5 mins away. Churinga Cafe & Garden & Garden Restaurant has the best scones with their Devonshire Teas, but they are huge!
These are links to my Flickr album. Just click on them to see full sized. Burkes Lookout ramp:
Panorama from Burkes:
Ch 10 track. Temperate rain forest:
First (upper) Doongalla site. On another day we literally huddled under that umbrella-shaped tree in light rain:
Hard to believe we are so close to suburbia:
Near the lower (Doongalla Stables) area. Welcome guest on the lovely Stables Track:
It’s a climb back up, but with views like this you hardly notice: