For those of you not quite in shape or familiar with Melbourne’s Kokoda Memorial Walk, I’m pretty sure I’ve already put you off by mentioning… 1000 steps! But, trust me, although I kinda died doing this, I’m so glad my other road trip plans got cancelled so that I could jump into the car with 4 other couch surfers to conquer this uphill (no pun intended) hike! Really thankful Declan organised this event, for I’m pretty sure, I wouldn’t have gone ahead for this hike on my own otherwise.
This popular spot in Dandenong Ranges is a tribute to Australian soldiers who fought and lost their lives in the real Kokoda Trail in Papua New Guinea, in World War II. The exhaustion you feel when you reach the top is probably just a fraction of what those soldiers would have felt. Along the trail are plaques depicting, lives of some Australian soldiers, who died in the battle.
Happy faces BEFORE the climb!
The beginning of….1000 steps
Few things to note:
1. The incline is STEEP. So, have enough fluids with you! Unless, of course, you are sprinter/marathoner/etc.
2. Choose a good weather day. You don’t want to be stuck half way through the climb under scorching sun or wet weather. Also, weekend mornings are busy periods with runners, so late mornings or past mid-day would be advisable, if you’re planning on doing this hike at your own pace.
3. Wear proper shoes! I cannot emphasise this enough. It’s not a slope. Unless, of course, you are avoiding the steps and going the reverse direction. The usual way is to climb up via the steps and come back down via (rolling) down the slope. It’s about 4km and takes slightly over an hour for a person with average fitness level.
4. Sorry to disappoint you, but, there is absolutely no view from up there. There is no perfect Instagram worthy photo moment and such. It’s just the satisfaction of completing it that makes this hike memorable. So, don’t bother with heavy cameras while you’re climbing. It’s not going to be worth lugging at all, trust me.
5. Good news is, there aren’t 1000 steps, it’s just under 800. Yay?!
6. Walking 100m past the top of the trail you’ll be greeted with a cute little signboard. (refer to below image)
After completing the hike and catching your breath, heading to Sky High Mount Dandenong would be your best bet. Undeniably, Sky High offers one of the best views of Melbourne’s skyline. So, ending off the day (hopefully you are here during sunset) will be pretty awesome.
But, before enjoying the view at Sky High, I’ll suggest stopping by Pie In The Sky at Olinda for some piping hot meat pies. I’m not a big fan of meat pies, but they definitely have got some good stuff going on in there. So, be sure to stop by for dine in or take aways.
All images belong to Solosingaporean unless otherwise credited for. Please give credit where it’s due.