Sherbrooke Forest – a magical place so close to Melbourne

by Steven Chater from Trip Plan Australia. Check out Trip Plan’s free Itinerary Planner that will help you make the most of your next road trip through regional and outback Australia.

I’d just got off the boat from Tasmania and found myself with plenty of daylight hours ahead before catching up with my son after work.

Do I do the traditional Melbourne thing and go shopping, or could I find an outdoor activity within a reasonable distance of the city?

Out with the trusty phone and after bit of online searching came up with a walk in Sherbrooke Forest, which is within an hours drive of downtown Melbourne. Its part of the Dandenong Ranges National Park, which has a great reputation, so I knew it’d be worthwhile.

The most amazing feature of the walk – the fabulous tall Mountain Ash trees.

Road trip planner Australia - Sherbrooke Forest Mountain Ash trees

Mountain Ash trees

Walk towards the falls and you’ll soon be surrounded by them, with bird sounds ringing in your ears – a great experience.

Road trip planner Australia - Sherbrooke Forest looking up into canopy

Looking up into the canopy

There are 3 walks available that start from the Sherbrooke Picnic ground; a 1 hour return easy grade walk to the Falls, a 2 hour return easy to moderate grade Loop walk, and a 3 hour one way moderate, with some steep sections, Sherbrooke Trail walk.

Road trip planner Australia - Sherbrooke Forest Falls bridge

Falls bridge

Road trip planner Australia - Sherbrooke Forest loop back

On the loop back – it just keeps getting better!

Road trip planner Australia - Sherbrooke Forest loop back 2

On the loop back

I saw a number of birds – a good old Kookaburra, a tiny Thornbill, King Parrots, and …

Road trip planner Australia - Sherbrooke Forest laughing kookaburra

Laughing kookaburra

… heaps of spectacular Rosellas.

Road trip planner Australia - Sherbrooke Forest rosella


There are plenty of signs telling you to not feed the wildlife (for their own benefit). However it seems that over the years the birds have become quite used to being fed, and are happy to get very close to try and get a nibble of your lunch.

Road trip planner Australia - Sherbrooke Forest rosella up close

They’ll get close to get a crumb

I understand that there is a well known tourist spot down the road, Grants on Sherbrooke, where feeding the Rosellas is a featured activity. I only had half a muffin with me to eat at the picnic ground, but that didn’t stop around 20 or so Rosella’s gathering around to see if they could get a crumb – another terrific experience.

A tip to possibly save you a bit of time – Sherbrooke Picnic Ground is generally advertised as being on Sherbrooke Road, however the entrance is actually 50 metres along Sherbrooke Lodge Rd. It is not well signposted and I initially missed the turn off the main Sherbrooke road and ended up in Kallista – a quaint little town that looks good for exploring on the next visit!

Design Your Own Road Trip!

Here’s the trip out of Melbourne to Sherbrooke, VIC. The trip map and itinerary is available for you to use as a basis for your own trip at Trip Plan Australia. You can change the Start to your suburb or town (anywhere in Australia) to get more accurate timings. Browse events on in regions you’ll be travelling through, and add/remove attractions and accommodation to the itinerary to suit.

Road trip planner Australia - Melbourne city to Sherbrooke, VIC

Click to get an interactive map and itinerary to plan your own trip in Trip Plan’s free Itinerary Planner