Doongalla Homestead

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Doongalla Homestead

Dandenong Ranges National Park

Spend a day at this former grand homestead and lost gardens in the Dandenongs, close to Melbourne. It’s a perfect spot for a family picnic, while those who like to explore will enjoy spotting relics of the mansion, which burned down in 1932. The trails are also popular with runners.
Doongalla is a former estate perched in the hills above Melbourne. Easily accessible from the eastern suburbs, it feels a million miles away from city stresses. ‘Doongalla’ is said to mean ‘Place of Peace’.

A 32-room mansion was built here in 1892 and burned down 40 years later. You can still see the stone steps that formed a grand approach to the old house in the remains of the gardens.

Families will appreciate the well-equipped picnic areas - each with its own car park - while nature lovers will fall for the landscaped gardens and winding trails that quickly transport you into the calm tranquillity of towering rainforest and birdsong.

The relatively easy Stables Track Loop walk departs from the Doongalla Stables Picnic Area. Follow the Stables Track until you reach a T-intersection. Turn right and climb until you join the Camelia Track. Turn right again here and walk until you join the unsealed Doongalla Forest Road which will take you back to the Stables carpark. Tread carefully and you might spot a lyrebird dashing across the track ahead of you.

Another much more challenging walk offers fit hikers the promise of one of the most spectacular views from the Dandenongs. Take the Channel 10 Track from the top of the Doongalla Homestead carpark and then take the Zig Zag Track uphill to Burkes Lookout. At 611 metres high, you can enjoy uninterrupted views of Melbourne and Port Phillip Bay. Return down the Zig Zag Track and if you want to make a loop walk, turn right on the Channel 10 Track before making a left at Rankin Track and left onto Camelia Track.

A fantastic picnic area, ample parking, challenging and easy forest walks… remind you of anywhere? Doongalla Homestead is a peaceful alternative to the 1000 Steps Walk and Ferntree Gully Picnic Area, which get very crowded on weekends. Other picnic areas near Olinda include Valley Picnic Ground, Eagle Nest Picnic Ground and Olinda Falls Picnic Ground.

Things to do in the area

 
Father and son bird watching on boardwalk

Bird watching

From bushland to wetlands and everything in between, parks provide habitat to an abundance of common and rare bird species. Go for a wander and see how many you can spot.
A husband and wife stop to take a photo of Masons Falls from the lookout.

Day trips

Pack the car and round up your family and friends. Whether you're seeking relaxation or adventure, parks offer a variety of day trips close to Melbourne.
A three year old boy leads his mum and younger brother through the forest near Grants Picnic Ground.

Family activities

Stash some supplies into a back pack and take the family out for a day trip and in only a short drive from Melbourne you can be surrounded by nature.
Three friends enjoy a picnic on the grass in front of the historic Wallace Hut.

Picnics

Head outdoors for lunch in the warmer months and enjoy a picnic in some of nature's most relaxing and inspiring settings.

How to get there

Doongalla Homestead

Doongalla Homestead is near Olinda in the northern part of the Dandenong Ranges National Park. From the city of Melbourne, take the Eastern Fwy (M3) and exit onto Boronia Rd. Continue as Boronia Rd merges into Forest Rd, then turn right into Basin-Olinda Rd, left into Sheffield Rd and right again into Doongalla Rd. For a scenic route, take the windy Mount Dandenong Tourist Rd from the Burwood Highway at Ferntree Gully.

Facilities

BBQ
Carpark
Picnic Area
Toilets

When to go

Need to know

Doongalla Homestead

Change of Conditions

Nature being nature, sometimes conditions can change at short notice. It’s a good idea to check this page ahead of your visit for any updates.

  • Notices Affecting Multiple Sites

    Olinda/Silvan Storm Recovery Works

    Following the 2021 storm events, Parks Victoria is partnering with other government agencies to support recovery efforts on public land. In the Silvan and Olinda areas, VicForest will remove debris and treat hazardous trees to reduce the bushfire risk and enable safe and rapid response to emergencies. Works will also re-establish safe public access and allow the forest to regenerate. Environmental and cultural values are being identified and managed during this process. For your safety please observe signage, do not enter work sites and beware of machinery and trucks. 

    Inline with seasonal closure principles, works have paused for winter to avoid further damage to the environment and tracks. As such, there are some debris piles that remain in the Board Track and Mathias Road areas (areas 2 and 3 on map). However, these areas are open to the public. 

    Attachments: SilvanOlinda Recovery Overview Map (288KB)

    Closures due to storm damage

    • Valley Picnic Ground is closed to picnicking; visitors can use Boundary Road to access the park however no vehicle access is permitted.
    • 1000 Steps/Kokoda Memorial Walk 
    • Sections of Sassafras Creek/Menzies Creek walking track
    • Wattle Track in Sherbrooke 
    • William Ricketts Sanctuary
    • Areas of Silvan/Olinda forest 

    Attachments: DR Storm Damage Works - Autumn 2022 Flyer (1,671KB)

  • Sherbrooke Picnic ground (Dandenong Ranges National Park)

    Sherbrooke Picnic Ground Toilet Closed

    The toilet block is closed temporarily awaiting connection to the sewer, the nearby O'Donohues Picnic Ground toilet is open.

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