The Dandenong Ranges Melbourne
Forming the Eastern boundary of Melbourne. the Dandenong Ranges are a popular day trip for many city residents and visitors.
Dominated by small villages and iconic mountain ranges, the Dandenong Ranges are truly unique. Olinda, one of the larger villages, has some of the best dining in the region. Just 20 minutes from the Yarra Valley, Olinda is home to antique shops, nurseries and many services. Cloudehill Nursery and Gardens is famous for its stone walled maze and Japanese weeping maples. The gardens are alight with colour and the stunning designs are inspirational.
Looking for an exceptional dining experience, unlike anything you have ever tried? Cuckoo Restaurant will astound and excite you! Located in Olinda, the restaurant has a Bavarian atmosphere, with a delicious smorgasbord for guests to devour! The live entertainment includes anything from yodelling to the famous wood choppping slap dance. Diners are even invited to join in the excitement and fun.
If you want to get out and experience everything the Dandenongs have to offer, Sherbrooke Forest is a great place to start. Walking tracks lead you through the beautiful woodlands, and a number of picnic areas are close at hand.
The Mount Dandenong Observatory is well worth a visit, standing 633 metres above sea level. Observe everything from the city of Melbourne through to the Mornington Peninsula to Port Phillip Bay. Sky High Mount Dandenong has something to amuse the whole family, from an English garden, Sky High maze and links to trail walks of the National Park.
Puffing Billy is Australia's oldest steam train. Running along a railway journey of 24.5 kilometres, Puffing Billy is a trip of historical significance, beginning at Belgrave and terminating at Gembrook. The train ride will take you through forests, townships and provide many outstanding views.
William Ricketts Sanctuary is another 'must do' in the Dandenong Ranges. Some 92 amazing sculptures blend perfectly with the forest surroundings, making a fascinating atmosphere.
The Met’s suburban trains run on the Belgrave line to the foothills of the Dandenongs. From Upper Ferntree Gully train station it’s a 10min walk to the start of the Ferntree Gully section of the national park. Belgrave station is the last stop on the line and the starting point for Puffing Billy train station, and it’s a 15min walk from the station to Sherbrooke Forest.
You really need your own transport to explore the Dandenongs properly. From the city, take the Eastern Freeway to the Springvale Road exit, turn right on to Springvale Road and then left at Canterbury Road and follow to Montrose. Turn right at the Montrose roundabout and follow the Mt Dandenong Tourist Road to Olinda.
- Dandenong Ranges National Park: easy bushwalks start from Ferntree Gully, accessible by train or by car via the Burwood Highway.
- National Rhododendron Gardens: Beautiful gardens including over 15,000 rhododendrons, 12,000 azaleas, and giant eucalypts tower over colourful flower beds - The Georgian Road, Olinda)
- The Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens: Sherbrooke Road, Sherbrooke
- The William Ricketts Sanctuary: Mt Dandenong tourist Road, Mt Dandenong
Mt Dandenong Lookout
- Lake Emerald: Ideal for water activities
- Olinda: Spend a relaxing afternoon browsing through the many art, antique and handicraft galleries and sampling a famous Dandenong Ranges Devonshire cream tea.
- Puffing Billy: Australia’s oldest steam railway, through thick forests, fern-filled gullies and past gorgeous villages with poetic names like Belgrave, Gembrook and Emerald.