Hiking RJ Hamer Arboretum With Your Dog

By March 20, 2015 Hiking 4 Comments

Well it’s been 8 weeks since Alfie was born and I thought it was high time we had our first family Dog Adventure! I have wanted to explore RJ Hamer Arboretum in the Dandenongs, Victoria for a while now and after downloading the map from Parks Victoria it was decided. So off I went digging in the piles and piles of gear Kate has and found her Ezy Dog Backpack, you should have seen her reaction when I pulled it out, it was excitement to the max!

I decided to ‘wear’ Alfie in my baby carrier as I hadn’t walked RJ Hamer Arboretum before and I didn’t know how difficult the terrain would be (if it would be wide paths or single trail) – and I may have a pretty hardy all terrain pram but it’s best to be prepared for the worst case scenarios!

With everyone piled into the car, off we drove up to the Dandenongs in Victoria to explore the Arboretum. Arboretum means ‘a place for trees’ in Latin and on arrival at the Chalet car park we were greeted with a spectacular view of said trees!


We headed off down the Dam Road walking track which took us down the hill. The gradient wasn’t too steep and I found I could manage quite well carrying Alfie. We came across a fork in the path which signalled the Sequoia trail.

Heading right as I wanted to find Red Dog Hut, the track became narrower and a little steeper which I wouldn’t have wanted to attempt in the wet which a baby strapped to me.



Coming out onto Matthias Road I decided to walk a little way up the road to the left (away from Red Dog Hut) so as to see what sort of other tracks I could find but as the day was getting hotter I decided to turn back and find some shade for us all instead.

We did get to see some spectacular gums along the way which Kate obligingly posed in front of for me!



Red Dog Hut wasn’t anything too spectacular and I decided against stopping in there as there were quite a few very large spider webs covering everything!



The day was getting on and there was a storm coming so I decided to start making my way back up to the car. I headed along Mathias Road a little more and turned up one of the tracks just past the hut. It is marked on the map but not named. It was quite steep going, and being quite unfit as a result of new baby, I took my time getting up there!

The track was single trail by now and a bit overgrown in places, but it was still easy to navigate and follow back to the car park. Popping out from the trees we opened onto a vista looking out over the Dandenongs. Was a beautiful view!



We only got to explore a small part of the park due to the oncoming storm, so we will definitely be heading back there to explore the trails further to the north. It was a fantastic day and the trails were easy and well suited to most types of fitness levels (hey if I can do it with a baby strapped to me after pretty much no exercise for months then anyone can!)

Being sure of foot will help you on some of the single track trails but there are wider and fire trails for walking if you prefer instead. In the wet I could see the trails being quite slippery in some cases but with Autumn here I recommend getting down and exploring it while the leaves are turning and the trails are still dry!

RJ Hamer Arboretum is a great place to explore with your dog and one I think you’ll be heading back to over and over!



  • Avatar Nas Foscarini says:

    Thanks. I live at the bottom of the Dandenongs and was looking for a nice hike to try with my dog. Everything I’ve found in this area so far seems to restrict dogs.

  • Avatar Stephanie & Simba says:

    We love this place! or any place in the Dandenongs. There is alovely dog friendly cafe/pinic spot called The Piggery in the dandenongs which we go to after exploring, highly recommended.

  • Avatar Nas Foscarini says:

    Wow. Just came across my comment from two years ago. I reckon I’ve been around 20 times since then and I do enjoy this place. It is quite steep in places but you can pick shorter, easier strolls or if you like a challenge, there are harder trails. I’ve mapped out a great 9km trek with a steep climb that I do in under two hours. I recommend this place highly but it can get busy and/or muddy so pick your times to suit.

    • Avatar Sej Mae says:

      Hey Nas!
      Any chance you can screenshot a map with the 9km trek you mapped out? I’d love to go on that with my Kelpie!

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