Things to do at Emerald Lake Park

Check the online events calendar for events at the park.

The park's free Easter treasure hunt is held each year on Easter Sunday between 11am and 3pm. An activity sheet to participate in the hunt is available on the day from the cafe, model railway, Lakeside station or the environment centre.

For more information call 1300 787 624 or email

Each year in May, runners race against Puffing Billy along a 13.5 kilometre course from Belgrave to Emerald Lake Park.

Visit the Puffing Billy website for more information.

This popular music event series is held in February every year.

For details go to the Summer Music Series page

Both Emerald Museum and Nobelius Heritage Park are managed by a volunteer committee under the authority of Council.

Emerald Lake Park has a number of tracks and trails, from shorter trails for those after a relaxing stroll to longer, more challenging hikes.

Emerald Lake Park walking trails
Track Difficulty Distance Time Other
Link Track Moderate to difficult, short but steep 250m 5 minutes  
Lake Nobelius Loop Track Easy 1.2km (loop) 15 minutes Wheelchair friendly
Pine Track Easy to moderate 1km 15 minutes  
Wishing Well Track Easy to moderate 700m 10 minutes  
Fern Gully Track Difficult (steep in sections) 700m 15 minutes  
Nobelius Track Moderate (one steep section) 1.4km 20 minutes  
Emerald-Cockatoo Multi-use Trail (part) Easy to moderate 1km (within Emerald Lake Park) 20 minutes  

Download the Emerald Lake Park walking trails brochure

Virtual Ranger trail

The Virtual Ranger Trail allows you to get information sent to your mobile phone or other smart device connected to the internet.

Look out for the 10 Virtual Ranger Trail posts located around the park and scan the QR codes for information like audio, text, images and graphics on the park’s plants, animals and history.

Emerald Lake Park has 2 playgrounds, both located near the poolside shelter, and outdoor exercise equipomwent with 8 work stations.

The newest playground has activities suitable for young teenagers. 

The play equipment includes: 

  • climbing structures
  • double ‘hang n glide’
  • orbital spinner
  • pyramid net.

Pool opening hours

The pool is open in December, January, February and March when the temperature is 26 degrees or more.

It will open at 12pm and close at 6.30pm on weekdays and weekends.

Throughout January the pool will open every day. On days when the forecast temperture is below 26 degrees, the pool will open from 12pm for a minimum of three hours.

The pool will not open: 

  • when it is wet or stormy
  • on CFA-declared 'Extreme' and 'Code Red' day

To find out if the pool is open, visit the Cardinia Leisure website, the Cardinia Outdoor Pools Facebook page or phone 5945 2888

  • The barbecues in Emerald Lake Park are free to use.
  • There are some changes to barbecue availability due to the Puffing Billy Discovery Centre construction works. 

Changes to barbecue availability due to Puffing Billy Discovery Centre works

Reduced hours of operation (10am to 5.30pm)  

  • Currently available for reduced hours due to power supply upgrades.
  • The barbecues at the Messmate shelter are no longer available for use. They will be replaced and put in another area of the park later in the project.
  • The single barbecue next to the Poolside shelter will not be available until further notice. 
  • The single barbecue at the Lion’s Den shelter will be removed soon. It will be replaced and put in another area of the park later in the project.

Barbecues available for use

  • Picnic area near Puffing Billy Station: 1 double barbecue
  • Near the Boatshed shelter: 1 double barbecue
  • Near the Boatshed shelter, in the picnic area (next to the lake): 1 single barbecue
  • Next to the café: 1 single barbecue
  • Next to the Gus Ryberg Amphitheatre: 1 double barbecue. 

It has seating for more than 100 people (indoors and outdoor), and can be booked for groups and functions

Enquiries: 5968 5113

Open 7 days, 10.30am–4.30pm (may stay open later during warmer months at manager's discretion). 

Closed Christmas Day. 

Emerald Lake Model Railway is the largest model railway in the Southern Hemisphere. For more information go to the Model Railway website

Lakeside Paddleboats are located within Emerald Lake Park and operate on Lake Treganowan. Paddleboats can be hired from the kiosk next to the Environment Centre, opposite the wading pool. 

For further information please visit Lakeside Paddleboats


Six murals created by a local artist in the mid-1980s are spread around the park.

'Before settlement'

Shows the typical Emerald landscape before white settlement, including flora and fauna.

Gold rush

Shows the Emerald gold rush in the late 1850s.

Logging and droving 

The Dandenong Ranges were extensively logged from the start of white settlement until the late 1950s; this mural shows a typical scene, with a splitters hut in the background.


Designed as an Edwardian postcard showing Carl Axel Nobelius.

Puffing Billy

The train is an integral part of the history of the Dandenong Ranges.


This mural portrays four writers associated with ‘the hills’: Katherine Susannah Prichard, Vance and Nettie Palmer, and CJ Dennis.

Lake Treganowan is restocked with rainbow trout during the year by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, which makes it a great place to take the kids fishing.

  • Please dispose of all fishing line and tackle responsibly to prevent injuries to birds, animals and other people.
  • You can only catch a certain number of fish at the lake on a given day. See catch limits on the Victorian Fisheries Authority website
  • Size limits do not apply.
  • Removed the hook before throwing back any fish.
  • Bring your own bait; digging for worms is not allowed

Note: you will need to have a Victorian recreational fishing licence to fish at the lake.

Australia’s premier preserved steam train stops in Emerald Lake Park at Lakeside station, as part of its journey through the stunning Dandenong Ranges.

Visit the Puffing Billy website for all ticketing, timetable and event information.

View or download the map