Experience the Dandenongs

Mount Dandenong & Surrounds


Day Trip Essentials – Enjoying the Dandenongs in a Day

Day Trip Essentials Enjoying the Dandenongs in a Day

The Dandenongs are breathtaking in any season; however, for optimal viewing experience it’s best to visit on a clear day.

Discover towering forests and fern gullies among the hills, discover lush gardens that bloom throughout the seasons from rhododendrons in spring to exotic leafy plants in autumn, or contemplate Aboriginal spirituality at William Ricketts Sanctuary.

1. Water Bottle

An essential item when traveling anywhere, a water bottle is an absolute must. A reusable one will allow you to both save money and reduce environmental impacts by forgoing disposable plastic bottles. When selecting one for yourself, look for something durable, leakproof and with an easy lid – or add slices of fruit or herbs for flavor without adding sugar!

Hydration is of particular importance when taking part in outdoor activities such as hiking. Make sure you bring along a refillable water bottle and refill it periodically throughout the day to stay well-hydrated and be able to follow your itinerary without delay.

Pack some healthy snacks to fuel your journey, such as granola bars, trail mix or fresh fruit to boost energy and stave off hunger. Make carrying your snacks easier by placing them in small bags or containers.

Take a break from your day tour’s main meal and explore new cuisines by stopping at local restaurants or cafes along the way for quick snacks like this.

Are snacks an absolute essential when traveling? In case of unexpected delays or disruptions on a day trip, having some on hand can help provide relief from city life and give you time to relax and enjoy your travels more freely.

2. Sunscreen

The Dandenong Ranges are an extremely popular day trip destination among Melbourne dwellers, offering charming village towns, cozy eateries, wild nature and stunning botanic gardens for everyone to explore. There are towering forest trails as well as historical train rides to take and a dormant volcano for exploration; all these offer great ways to escape city noise and immerse oneself in nature at the mountain region.

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Puffing Billy, Australia’s oldest steam train, provides a popular attraction in the Dandenongs. Ride aboard its historic carriages for an enjoyable journey between Belgrave and Emerald Lake and let your legs dangle off the side to take in fresh mountain air as it passes towering mountain ash forests and fern gullies. Time your journey just right to enjoy morning or afternoon tea or first-class meal in one of their recently renovated dining carriages – perfect if you want a treat!

Dandenongs offers many cool-climate public gardens and rolling hills with breathtaking scenic views, perfect for an enjoyable relaxation. Visit Mount Lofty Botanic Garden where lush rainforest meets curated display gardens; or for something different take a trip down south and visit Australian National Botanic Gardens where there’s more of an horticultural adventure!

Hikers will find plenty of hiking trails throughout the Dandenongs to suit their interests in this scenic region, traversing dense mountain ash forests and remote gullies where echidnas, wallabies and wombats reside. For something family-friendly try Grants Picnic Ground’s Lyrebird Track; here it provides the chance of seeing Australia’s iconic Superb Lyrebird (though to do this requires adequate fitness levels).

3. Camera

The Dandenongs or “Berry Hills”, as they’re more commonly known locally, is a popular day trip destination from Melbourne. This picturesque region is filled with picturesque villages, natural terrain and well-kept gardens; plus you can hike through lush fern glades in national parks while taking advantage of numerous picnic spots!

Sassafras, Olinda, Belgrave and Mount Dandenong offer retail nurseries and specialty stores, along with playgrounds and public gardens to explore. Autumn is the best season to visit the Dandenongs; townships burst with colors while trees blossom to their best; winter offers its own delights when fog rolls through the hills to reveal a magical setting; while Spring offers up wildflowers blooming across both hills and forests – you simply cannot beat Springtime for sheer visual delight!

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One of the Dandenongs’s finest attractions is the Sacred Forest Sanctuary, an artistic tribute to Aboriginal culture and their relationship with Mother Nature. Here you will discover 92 ceramic sculptures by artist William Ricketts; offering an opportunity for meditation and reconnecting with inner spirit. Admission to this free-entry sanctuary makes for a fantastic day trip from Melbourne!

Puffing Billy is another must-see attraction, an iconic heritage steam train which travels on a 24km mountain track between Belgrave and Gembrook. Take in the fresh mountain air while winding your way past tall mountain ash forests and fern gullies on this breathtaking ride; carriages open on both sides allow passengers to fully take in its breathtaking landscape (children love this). Departures occur three to four times daily depending on weather conditions.

4. Comfortable Clothes

The Dandenong Ranges (not to be confused with Dandenong suburb, an hour from Melbourne), offer day trippers an idyllic escape – offering cozy pubs, crafty shops, expansive nature reserves and stunning gardens along with some stunning vistas.

Dandenongs attractions include climbing the 1000 Steps and riding Puffing Billy, but there’s much more to see: lush fern glades, towering forests in national parks, cool-climate public gardens, and eclectic little villages to discover.

Sherbrooke Forest offers many unforgettable walking trails for those who wish to stretch their legs, with breathtaking views from every direction. A true walker’s paradise with golden and red autumn leaves as well as ornamental lakes and waterfalls; home to some rare species such as Superb Lyrebird as well as native fauna such as Koalas and Kangaroos – it makes an incredible walking playground!

Make time to visit Sherbrooke Falls and stroll along Sherbrooke Track for an amazing bird-watching experience – you might just spot kookaburras, cockatoos or rosellas among their beautiful wingspan! Enjoying fresh mountain air while seeing some of Dandenongs most stunning species is an invaluable way to enjoy nature and relax while being among some of its most striking inhabitants.

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If your travel schedule is limited, take a guided tour to experience all that the Dandenongs offer in one day. They’ll handle transport needs while making sure that you see everything worthwhile – this way avoiding long lines or waiting times that you may encounter on your own! Plus you’ll have more time for exploring all its attractions.

5. Food

As it’s possible to explore the Dandenongs without a car, your options and timescale may be restricted and take more time. Hiring a car allows for maximum flexibility on day trips while public transport will get you closer to some of its attractions. Or why not join one of many guided tours available so that you can experience Dandenongs at your own pace?

An adventure through the Dandenong Ranges would not be complete without sampling some of its local cuisine. Renowned for wholesome country hospitality and unparalleled produce, enjoy long lunches in winery restaurants or dine on delectable devonshire tea sandwiches and freshly baked scones!

At Cloudehill Nursery and Gardens you will find 20 English garden rooms where visitors can stroll among rhododendrons, camellias and azaleas to take in spring and autumn’s vibrant colours – the National Rhododendron Gardens are particularly impressive while William Ricketts Sanctuary features Aboriginal spirituality in its sculptures and artworks.

Artisanal food culture thrives throughout the Dandenongs region. Enjoy fresh pappardelle with slow-cooked pork belly at restaurants in Olinda or Persian cafes on Mount Dandenong; or sample freshly made Afghan bread as long as your arm in Mount Dandenong! No trip to the Dandenongs would be complete without sampling some of their award-winning wines; cellar door tastings at family-owned wineries or boutique vineyards offer cellar door tasting experiences; while international “slow food” festivals take place annually during which sleek architecturally designed eateries offer cellar door tasting experiences as well.