Australia & New Zealand

Dandedong Ranges, Australia

A Comprehensive Guide to the Best Places to Run in the Dandedong Ranges

Located 35 km (22 miles) east of Melbourne, the Dandenong Ranges are known for rolling hills, scenic drives and the Puffing Billy Railway. A popular destination for walking and hiking (bushwalking), the Dandenong Ranges are also heaven for trail running, with great options for all abilities. The highest point is Mount Dandenong at 633 meters, which can be accessed by car or on foot. The quaint villages of Olinda and Sassafras provide plenty of shopping and cafe options.

The area’s signature runs include exploring the wet temperature Sherbrooke rainforest and the popular 1000 Steps / One Tree Hill area. If you want avoid the crowds, there is the scenic yet quiet retreats of the Churchill National Park, the Birdsland Reserve and the RJ Hamer Forest Arboretum. If single track is more your thing, the trails behind Lysterfield Lake Park or around Sassafras and Olinda offer great alternatives.

A car is generally needed to access and get around the area.

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Some of our favorite runs in Dandedong Ranges, Australia

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Sherbrooke Forest Area

Dandedong Ranges, Australia

800 hectares of bushland and wet temperature rainforest provide countless trails, with options for runners of all abilities. We've mapped two popular loops around Sherbrooke Picnic Ground and Grant's Picnic Ground, but there are plenty of DIY options.
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One Tree Hill/1000 Steps

Dandedong Ranges, Australia

Tourists flock to the (almost) 1000 step-climb of the Kokoda Walk, which can be done as a 'run' if not too slippery or crowded. Another good, but challenging run is One Tree Hill, which has numerous options including an 11 km, hilly loop we've mapped.
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Emerald Lake Park

Dandedong Ranges, Australia

One of the better options for gentler running in the Dandedong Ranges. A destination point for the Puffing Billy tourist train line, the park features seven walking trails meandering around the lake and into the rainforest, adding up to a ~6 km run.
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RJ Hamer Forest Arboretum

Dandedong Ranges, Australia

120 hectares of organised forest, consisting of over 150 species of native and exotic trees. Great views across Silvan Dam, the Yarra Valley and out to the Warburton Ranges. We've created 11 km and 4 km loops, though we caution that trails are not well waymarked.
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Sherbrooke Forest Area

Dandedong Ranges, Australia

800 hectares of bushland and wet temperature rainforest provide countless trails, with options for runners of all abilities. We've mapped two popular loops around Sherbrooke Picnic Ground and Grant's Picnic Ground, but there are plenty of DIY options.
Explore

One Tree Hill/1000 Steps

Dandedong Ranges, Australia

Tourists flock to the (almost) 1000 step-climb of the Kokoda Walk, which can be done as a 'run' if not too slippery or crowded. Another good, but challenging run is One Tree Hill, which has numerous options including an 11 km, hilly loop we've mapped.
Explore

The Dandenong Ranges temperature is usually a few degrees cooler than Melbourne. Average temperatures range from 27C / 81F during summer, 14C / 57F in winter and 20C/68F during autumn and spring. Rain is also more frequent than Melbourne city, so best to be prepared.

Birdsland is also home to Parkrun, a free group 5k held every Saturday morning. You can see the course map and learn more here

The main events include the Great Train Race (runners race Puffing Billy) for the road runners or the Roller Coaster Run for the distance trail runners. Check out this site for more.