Things to do at Emerald Lake Park

Rail enthusiasts come to ride Puffing Billy Railway or see the miniature model railway. There’s a playground and exercise equipment for a workout. You can follow a walking track, cool off in the summer wading pool, fish for trout or hire a paddleboat. There are plenty of great places for a picnic, free barbecues dotted throughout the park and the Emerald Lake cafe.

If you are interested in local history, visit Nobelius Heritage Park and Emerald and District Museum at the western end of the park.

Choose from shorter trails for a relaxing stroll or a longer more challenging hike.

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  
Eastern Dandenong Ranges Trail (part) Easy to moderate 1km (within Emerald Lake Park) 20 minutes  

For descriptions of each trail read the Emerald Lake Park walking trails brochure

Virtual Ranger trail

Use this virtual trail guide to find out more about the park’s plants, animals and history as you explore. Download the Virtual Ranger Trail to your smart device. As you walk the trails, look for the 10 Virtual Ranger Trail posts located around the park and scan the QR codes.

Download the Virtual Ranger trail map

Wading pool

Cool off the kids with a wade in this (summer only) pool. The pool is about 25 metres long and 50 cm to 1 metre deep. Lifeguards are on patrol, but an adult must supervise children at all times.

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

The pool is open in December, January, February and March when the temperature is 2

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


You can hire a paddleboat at Lake Treganowan, opposite the wading pool. For opening hours go to Lakeside Paddleboats


Take the kids fishing or cast a line at Lake Treganowan. It is restocked with rainbow trout in July and September each year. Do the right thing when fishing:


Our electric barbecues are free to use, and there’s no need to book.

You can find a barbecue near:

  • boatshed shelter: 1 double barbecue
  • boatshed shelter picnic area (next to the lake): 1 single barbecue
  • cafe: 1 single barbecue
  • Gus Ryberg Amphitheatre: 1 double barbecue. 

The barbecues at the Messmate and Lion's Den shelters are no longer in use.

Emerald Lake Park cafe

The cafe serves hot and cold meals and snacks, tea, coffee and ice creams. You can take away or eat in. You can reserve a table and choose from indoor and outdoor seating. To find out more call 5968 5113

Model railway

Emerald Lake Model Railway is one of the largest model railway in the Southern Hemisphere. For more information go to Emerald Lake Model Railway and Miniature World

Puffing Billy Railway

Australia’s premier preserved steam train stops in Emerald Lake Park at Lakeside station, as part of its journey through the stunning Dandenong Ranges. For tickets, timetables and event information go to Puffing Billy

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