Australia Hiking Travel Victoria

Mathias Track: Perfect Dandenongs Family Hike

Mathias Track ticks a lot of our boxes these days when it comes to the perfect hike. With Oscar just having started to walk and increasingly unhappy in our soft carrier (we need to upgrade to a rigid one, any suggestions?) we need a hike that is:

  • Easy to drive to (so we aren’t spending hours in the car just to get there),
  • Simple to hike (a few hours is really all he will tolerate at the moment)
  • Close to other activities (so we can let him roam free afterwards before we head home)

Mathias Track (sometimes called Mathias Road as it appears on maps) is the perfect option because it fulfils all three. Located near to the R.J. Hamer Arboretum, one of our favourite Dandenong Ranges hiking spots, as well as the township of Olinda, it’s just over an hour drive from our home in the North of Melbourne. Leaving early in the morning (but not before sunrise by any means) we were on the trail ready to hike at 8:30 and quite alone (at first).

Mathias Track is definitely popular with locals and visitors to the area. It is dog-friendly, pram-friendly (perhaps not after a heavy rain), family-friendly, and beginners-friendly. Most of the way it is fairly flat and the path is well-marked and not too slippery or muddy, even though there had been quite a bit of rain prior to our visit. From what I’ve seen online, after sustained rain in the winter Mathias Track can become a bit boggy, so hiking boots that are waterproof are a wise idea. I did the track in my favourite hiking sneaker/boot, which are waterproof, but our friends who came with us did it in just normal trainers/sneakers.  

The leaves had just started to change up in the Dandenong Ranges, and Mathias Track walks past and through some truly gorgeous forest. I love autumn, it’s probably my favourite season. Bringing the relief of cooler weather after a baking summer (in this case, quite literally baking with all of the fires) and the beautiful and colourful changes to the leaves on the trees. While I was raised in a tropical, two-season town, there has always been something that has fascinated me about the autumn. It’s only just ticked over to March here, so autumn is really just getting started. It’s exciting to think that we have a whole three month block left of lovely autumn hikes and walks in Victoria’s delightful national parks and natural areas before winter sets in!

Mathias Track appears on Google Maps as Mathias Road, although you cannot drive down it. You can walk Mathias Track either from the corner of Mathias Road and Silvan Road, or the corner of Mathias Road and Falls Road. We walked from the Silvan Road end, because it’s close to the Arboretum and we’re familiar with that area. 

Mathias Track Rating

A short and sweet return hike in the Dandenong Ranges perfect to start a hiking day or for families with kids of all ages. Popular and well marked, beautiful surrounds, and a real pleasure to wander.

7km

Easy

1.5-2hrs

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