Disappear from the bustle of city life into a lush haven of hidden delights in the Dandenong Ranges' secret fern glades, towering forests and eclectic villages.
Storybook villages linked by fairytale train
See the seasons in the villages of the ranges as they burst with vibrant colour in spring and are softened by mist and dustings of snow in winter. Absorb the creative vibe of shops and galleries in Olinda, Belgrave and Sassafras, overflowing with one-off designs in jewellery, furniture and glasswork.
Observe how far you've come as you gaze down at the city's twinkling panorama of fairy lights from SkyHigh atop Mount Dandenong.
Glimpse the shiny flanks of the historic Puffing Billy steam engine from your hilltop cottage or sun-kissed garden as it chuffs along its narrow-gauge track. Jump aboard and dangle your feet out of the open-sided carriages, or act grown up and enjoy first-class travel.
Wandering through the world of whimsy
Get reacquainted with the elements in the vast national parks and gardens, from the blooms of the National Rhododendron Gardens to the whispering forests in the Dandenong Ranges National Park.
Meander through lush gullies and misty mountain ash to magical places like Sherbrooke Forest, Doongalla Homestead and One Tree Hill. Be guided in quiet contemplation by mystical sculptures hidden among ferns in the William Ricketts Sanctuary. Go hard and conquer the Thousand Steps and the fascinating Kokoda Walk.
Old world delights with the modern touch
Taste just how Dandenong Ranges eateries have successfully mixed one part modern style with one part tradition. Tuck into famous Devonshire teas, dine aboard Puffing Billy or savour just-picked berries and local produce in cosy cafes or airy restaurants.
Stay in an elegant guesthouse dating from a century ago when the Dandenong Ranges was Melbourne's favourite retreat, or choose from more contemporary accommodation that combines old world affectations with modern luxury, space and style.