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.

  • Dandenong Ranges National Park

    Large areas of Dandenong Ranges National Park closed due to storm damage

    Updated 30 July 2021
    Dandenong Ranges National Park was heavily impacted by severe storms on 9 June 2021 and a large section of the park will be closed until further notice. The following sites are open:
    • Ferntree Gully Picnic Ground, One Tree Hill Picnic Ground, and most surrounding tracks including Lyrebird Track are now open. The 1000 Steps/Kokoda Memorial Track REMAINS CLOSED.
    • 1000 Steps Café
    • East Sherbrooke (east of Monbulk Road), including Grants Picnic Ground
    • Sherbrooke and O'Donohue Picnic Grounds and tracks to the east and north. Sherbrooke Falls REMAINS CLOSED.
    • Silvan Reservoir Park
    • Doongalla Picnic Ground and most tracks to the east and north. Zig Zag track, Channel Ten Track, Burkes lookout and area around the Mount Dandenong Observatory REMAIN CLOSED.
    • Olinda Precinct 
    • Black Hill Reserve (Selby)
     
    All other parts of the park remain closed- see the attached map for more information.
     
    Assessments are still ongoing, but it is anticipated that more areas in the park will be able to open in the coming weeks. Areas where there is extensive damage may be closed for some time. We recommend you check this page for updates on closures.
    It is dangerous and illegal to enter closed areas and there is still high risk of further trees and branches falling.

    Attachments: Closure Map 30 July 2021 (4,544KB)

  • Olinda Falls Picnic Area (Dandenong Ranges National Park)

    Olinda Falls Toilets Closed

    The public toilets at Olinda Falls are closed at least until the end of 2021, due to a major plumbing issue, Parks Victoria is working to resolve the matter as soon as possible. We acknowledge that the toilets have already been closed for a lengthy period, however due to planning and operational constraints the toilet works have been significantly delayed. Other public toilets nearby are at Kalorama Park or the Olinda Township.

  • Notices Affecting Multiple Sites

    New closing time

    Please note that Kalorama Park, Doongalla Homestead Site and Stables picnic ground, Eagle Nest picnic ground, Valley picnic ground, and Silvan Reservoir Park close at 4:00 pm.

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