Locals and tourists alike enjoy recently reopened 1000 Steps

The 1000 Steps is now reopened to the public. Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS

By Parker McKenzie

With the 1000 Steps finally reopened to the public on Tuesday 4 October, people were out to enjoy the challenging 1.4km walk and the beautiful natural environment surrounding it.

The 1000 Steps was closed for 16 months after the June 2021 storm weather event, which caused damage to the concrete steps and hand railing up the steep hike.

Macclesfield local Bill said he’s come down to walk the track several times since it opened two days ago.

“I’ve been doing the lyrebird track for the last couple of weeks,” he said.

“Being in my 60s, it’s important I try to stay fit. I’ve been doing the 1000 Steps on and off for the last 10 years.”

Ali, who travelled from the northern suburbs to visit the tourist destination, said he loves to see the wildlife like birds in the area.

“I’m a bird lover. I got within 200 metres of the top and turned back, that was enough fitness for me,” he laughed.

Nick and Sian, who walked the track together, said they did so by chance.

“We didn’t even realise it was open, we just turned up,” Nick said.

“It was just luck,” Sian added.

The bushwalk was first created in the early 1900s when tree fern trucks were laid across the wetter areas of the track, which were replaced by wooden palings before permanent concrete steps were installed in 1950.

Veterans of the Kokoda campaign adopted the park as a memorial site in 1998, with fourteen plaques dedicated to the Australian Military Forces who served in Papua New Guinea being erected along the walk.

if the 1000 Steps or Lyrebird Track proves to be too difficult of a walk, there is plenty of other options nearby.

Sherbrooke Falls is a great walk for families and is located just down the road. Located in Sherbrooke Forest, there are several trails starting from the Sherbrooke Picnic Ground.

Take either the Sherbrooke or O’Donohue Track through the rainforest of mountain ash, stringybark and tree ferns to the waterfall at the end, which usually takes around 30 minutes.

Parks Victoria says this is the “kind of hike best enjoyed after rain, when you can smell the aromas of the forest and the waterfall is flowing,” with wildlife like Lyrebirds keeping you in good company.

If you are looking for a view, consider the Kalorama Lookout overlooking Silvan Reservoir and a stop by the nearby Kalorama Park Picnic Ground, this is perfect for a day out picnicking with friends and family.

If picnicking is your thing, check out the Valley Picnic Ground, a hidden gem perfect for a serene and peaceful day out. Located in Olinda, the Valley Picnic Ground is open from 8am to 6pm every day.

For those who want to combine the two, Grants Picnic Ground and the surrounding walks are the perfect opportunity. Located at 70 Monbulk Road at the edge of the Sherbrooke Forest, you’ll often see lyrebirds, rosellas and rainbow lorikeets throughout the surrounding area.

There are four short walks that start from the picnic ground. Margaret Lester Forest Walk is the easiest of the lot and is a gentle 500-metre trail suitable for prams and wheelchairs, while the Tree Fern Loop is around 600m and has railing and seating along the way.

Hardy Gully Nature Walk is a little longer at 700m but is still a gentle and easy walk suitable for families. If you are looking for a longer walk, the Tregellas Loop walk will take around 45 minutes to complete at 2.5 kilometres long but is still an accessible and easy one to complete.

If you are looking another for another challenging walk, the recently reopened Lyrebird Walk runs for 5.9km near Grants Picnic Ground, taking an average of a little over two hours to complete.