Kokoda Trail Dandenong

Kokoda Track Training : Preparation for the Kokoda Trail in Dandenong Ranges


Embarking on the challenging and historic Kokoda Trail in Papua New Guinea requires thorough preparation, both mentally and physically. In this guide, we’ll explore the ideal training locations in the Dandenong area to get you ready for the rigors of the Kokoda Track.

Dandenong Ranges National Park

Altitude: 633 meters (2077 feet) The Dandenong Ranges National Park offers a diverse terrain that simulates some of the conditions you’ll encounter on the Kokoda Trail. With its lush ferns and eucalyptus trees, this park provides an excellent backdrop for your training. The various tracks within the park, such as the Lyrebird Track, offer a mix of elevations to help you build stamina.

Sherbrooke Forest

Altitude: 141 meters (463 feet) Sherbrooke Forest, situated within the Dandenong Ranges National Park, is another gem for your training. The tranquility of the forest, coupled with its undulating paths, will prepare you for the varied landscapes of the Kokoda Trail. Take advantage of the Mechanics Walking Track to enhance your endurance.

Olinda Falls Track

Altitude: 492 meters (1614 feet) The Olinda Falls Track introduces you to a beautiful waterfall and a diverse range of vegetation. This track offers a unique combination of ascents and descents, allowing you to simulate the topography of the Kokoda Trail. Training here will enhance your strength and balance.

1000 Steps Walk – A Vital Component

Understanding the 1000 Steps Walk

Altitude: 242 meters (794 feet) The iconic 1000 Steps Walk in the Dandenong Ranges National Park is a crucial part of your Kokoda Trail preparation. This trail, also known as the Kokoda Track Memorial Walk, holds historical significance as it honors Australian soldiers who fought in the Kokoda Campaign during the Second World War.

Incorporating the 1000 Steps Trail

To truly replicate the conditions of the Kokoda Trail, incorporating the 1000 Steps into your training routine is essential. The concrete steps were installed to commemorate the Kokoda Campaign, adopting this park as their memorial. The plaques along the track provide glimpses into the history of the campaign.

Training Techniques on the 1000 Steps

Walking the 1000 Steps may take varying amounts of time for different individuals. Allocate sufficient hours in your training schedule to complete the entire trail. Train your body to endure the ascent, simulating the challenges you’ll face on the Kokoda Trail in Papua New Guinea.

Logistics and Tips

Access and Transport

To access the Dandenong Ranges National Park and the 1000 Steps Walk, catch a train to the Upper Ferntree Gully Station and then walk to the Ferntree Gully Picnic Ground. From there, you can start your training journey.

Opening Hours and Public Transport

Be mindful of the park’s opening hours and plan your training accordingly. Public transport, especially the train from Melbourne CBD to Upper Ferntree Gully Station, provides a convenient and sustainable way to reach the training grounds.

Prepare for Altitude

While the altitudes in the Dandenong Ranges may not reach the heights of the Kokoda Trail, training at varying elevations will still benefit your overall preparedness. The Kokoda Trail in Papua New Guinea involves substantial altitude changes, so consider this aspect in your training.


Incorporating these training locations within the Dandenong area into your regimen will undoubtedly enhance your readiness for the Kokoda Trail. The 1000 Steps Walk, with its historical significance, provides a unique experience, allowing you to connect with the Australian soldiers who faced immense challenges during the Kokoda Campaign. So, lace up your boots, hit the trails, and get ready for an unforgettable adventure on the Kokoda Trail in Papua New Guinea.


Q: What is the Kokoda Track Training?

A: Kokoda Track Training is a preparation program designed for hikers and adventure enthusiasts who plan to trek the Kokoda Trail in the Dandenong Ranges. The program focuses on physical fitness, endurance, and mental preparation for the challenging trail.

Q: Where is the Kokoda Track located?

A: The Kokoda Track is located within the Dandenong Ranges in Melbourne, Australia. It is also known as the Kokoda Memorial Track or the 1000 Steps Kokoda Walk.

Q: What are the key features of the Kokoda Track?

A: The Kokoda Track is a walking track that commemorates the Kokoda Campaign of World War II. It is often referred to as the Kokoda Memorial Trail and is a popular destination for hikers and history enthusiasts.

Q: How can I prepare for the Kokoda Trail in the Dandenong Ranges?

A: To prepare for the Kokoda Trail, one can engage in physical training, endurance exercises, and mental preparation. It is also advisable to familiarize oneself with the terrain and climatic conditions of the trail.

Q: What are the recommended training exercises for the Kokoda Track?

A: Recommended training exercises for the Kokoda Track include hiking, stair climbing, cardiovascular workouts, and strength training. These activities help build endurance and prepare hikers for the challenging terrain.

Q: Are there any specific landmarks along the Kokoda Track?

A: Yes, along the Kokoda Track, hikers will come across significant landmarks such as the Kokoda Memorial Walk, the Thousand Steps, One Tree Hill, and the Kokoda Memorial Track.

Q: How do I get to the Kokoda Track in the Dandenong Ranges?

A: To access the Kokoda Track, one can drive to the designated car park or carpark and then begin the trek from the base of the trail. Alternatively, public transportation via train from Melbourne is available to the nearby stations.

Q: What should I expect at the top of the 1000 Steps on the Kokoda Track?

A: At the top of the 1000 Steps, hikers can enjoy panoramic views of the Dandenong Ranges and surrounding areas. There are also picnic areas and designated resting spots for visitors to relax and rejuvenate.

Q: What are the key attractions near the Kokoda Track?

A: Nearby attractions include the Dandenong Tourist Road, Mount Dandenong Tourist Road, Burwood Highway, and various scenic spots within the Dandenong Ranges. Visitors can explore the natural beauty and heritage sites in the area.

Q: Can I visit the Kokoda Track for a leisurely walk?

A: Yes, the Kokoda Track is open to visitors for leisurely walks and bushwalks. It is a memorial walk that offers the opportunity to experience the historical significance of the Kokoda Campaign while enjoying the natural surroundings.

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