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Overview

Dandenong Ranges

Escape from the bustle of busy 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.

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Things to do

Dandenong Ranges

Walking & hiking

1000 Steps

March your way up the steep, 1000 step-climb to experience a tiny sense of the exhaustion felt by the Australian soldiers following the Kokoda Trail.

History & heritage

Puffing Billy Steam Railway

All aboard for a ride on Australia's oldest steam railway, through thick forests and lush fern gullies, or travel first class for olden-times romance.

Destinations

Belgrave

Stumble upon bustling Belgrave nestled in the lush Sherbrooke Forest and watch the scenery unfold with a ride on beloved stream train Puffing Billy.

Restaurants

SkyHigh Mount Dandenong & Scenic Lookout

At SkyHigh Mount Dandenong you will get some perspective and escape the noise and pressures of the concrete jungle. Less than an hour from the...

Destinations

Olinda

Perch yourself high above Melbourne and surrounds and observe the striking seasons in the beautiful public and private gardens of Olinda.

National parks & reserves

National Rhododendron Gardens

The National Rhododendron Gardens are host to brilliantly coloured blooms of rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias, cherries and daffodils. Seasonal...

Destinations

Sassafras

Follow a well-worn road to a relaxing weekend in charming Sassafras, a popular destination for city dwellers since the nineteenth century.

Parks & gardens

William Ricketts Sanctuary

Take a drive out to Mount Dandenong and while away a few quiet hours in the peaceful surrounds of the world-renowned William Ricketts Sanctuary.

National parks & reserves

Dandenong Ranges National Park

Take a relaxing walk through forests of towering mountain ash in the Dandenong Ranges National Park, just an hour’s drive from Melbourne's CBD.

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Food & wine

Restaurants

Please your palate and sate your appetite at some of the best restaurants, wineries, cafes and pubs in the stunning Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges.

Outdoor activities

Walking and hiking

It's easy to get active in the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges, with a range of tracks and trails to suit all abilities in parks and gardens.

Destinations

Yarra Valley

Tuck yourself away in front of an open fire in the Yarra Valley to indulge in life's great pleasures of food, wine, scenery and inspiring arts.

Nature & wildlife

Parks and gardens

Witness seasonal explosions of colour as flowers bloom throughout the magnificent parks and gardens of the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges.