Get your hands dirty on historic properties and enjoy the romance of steam travel as you experience the daily struggles and genteel pleasures of the past in the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges.
The start of the story
Mount Dandenong was originally known as Corhanwarrabul (the present-day site of Burke's Lookout is also known as Mount Corhanwarrabul) and was the summer hunting place for the Bunurong people from Western Port and the Woiworung people from the Kulin nation.
Botanist Daniel Bunce's 1840s foray into the Dandenong Ranges marked the first recorded European expedition. Wholesale clearing began in the 1850s when the settlers moved in, before the state forest was established in 1867.
Learn more about Victorian Koorie culture and their historical and contemporary relationship to the Dandenong Ranges at Burrinja Gallery in Upwey.
Over in the Yarra Valley, the area around Healesville was originally occupied by the Yarra Yarra or Wurrundjeri Aboriginal group. By 1863 these peoples were settled at the Coranderrk Aboriginal Reservation on Badger Creek, which soon became Victoria's largest and best-known Aboriginal reserve until its closure in 1924. Visit Healesville Sanctuary to learn more about the area's Aboriginal history.