One of the best walks in the Dandenong Ranges, the RJ Hamer Arboretum in Olinda is home to the picturesque 16km Olinda Falls and Valley Circuit.
If you have never done this walk before or have never been to the town of Olinda, I would highly recommend both.
Whether hiking is your go, or good food and coffee, Olinda has something for everyone.
Starting from the always popular Woolrich Lookout, I’ve found that most people begin their hikes and walks from here, and for obvious reasons – the views are amazing!
It also makes a great place for a picnic or somewhere for the kids or dog to run around for a bit.
Following Dam Road down into the forest, you will soon find your way heading up onto Sequoia Track.
One thing to note with this entire area is that there so many trails leading off in all sorts of direction, so ensure you keep an eye on your map.
Next, you’ll take Rock Track, a brief section of the Blackhole Track, and then descended into the KC Track.
After completing this section and wandering deep into the forest, you’ll finally come to the T intersection of Rifle Range Gully Track.
Out of all the trails in this area, I think this one is my favourite on the Olinda Falls and Valley Circuit.
It’s quite dense and is located in the very heart of the forest. You get a real feel for the entire area in this section alone.
After wandering the Rifle Range Gully Track, you’ll then be on your way to the Olinda Falls where the waterfall itself flows reasonably hard for a small waterfall.
While it’s picturesque and a nice spot to stop for some lunch, it’s nothing compared to Steavensons Falls on the Keppel Lookout Trail.
Continuing on, you’ll come across a few more tracks and a section of road before coming back into the Dandenong Ranges National Park via the VW track.
For those of you who haven’t done this section before, it’s a gradual incline and can be a little deceiving if you haven’t done a whole lot of hiking before.
We made our way back onto Bartlett Track, cut back through Barges Track, onto Georges Track, and then made our way to the Valley Picnic Ground.
However, if you are ever in the area with your kids or you are looking for somewhere to stop for lunch, you won’t find a much better place than the Valley Picnic Ground.
After navigating a few more reasonably steep hill climbs, you’ll found yourself ascending to Woolrich Lookout and back to your car again.
The trail itself is a really good one and takes in some of the most popular spots of Olinda and the RJ Hamer Arboretum.
Depending on your fitness levels and hiking experience, the Olinda Falls and Valley Circuit probably rates anywhere between an easy to medium hike.
Tip: bring plenty of water and plenty of food. Also, make sure you stretch plenty before you begin. Those hills can really get you!
If you want to download the Olinda Falls and Valley Circuit from my WikiLoc account, click here.
The Stats – The Olinda Falls and Valley Circuit
Length (km): 15.71 (according to WikiLoc)
Time: 4hrs and 24mins
Average Speed: 3.57 km/h
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate (closer to moderate for your average hiker)
Return/Circuit/One Way: Circuit
Maximum elevation: 510m (according to WikiLoc)