Exploring the Dandenongs Wetlands and Their Inhabitants
Wetlands provide habitats for many diverse plants and animals, making them ideal for bird watching. Bring binoculars as well as your family’s favorite snacks to ensure an unforgettable outdoor adventure!
In the 1920s and 30s, wealthy families from Melbourne would come to these hills for weekend retreats, often building elaborate country houses or guesthouses or simply settling down in simple weekend shacks.
At Dandenong Creek North Park in Dandenong North lies an oasis for nature enthusiasts. Comprised of lush green wetlands and walking trails that show off nature’s splendour, it makes an excellent family outing destination. Not only is the location great for family fun days outings; these wetlands also serve as home for native wildlife such as waterfowl while its forests boast over 10 species of frogs that will entertain with their musical sounds!
The Dandenong Wetlands serve as an outdoor classroom that educates students about environmental conservation and habitat preservation. With their interactive workshops and activities that bring learning alive, Dandenong Wetlands makes for a wonderful family visit!
At its source in the foothills of the Dandenong Ranges and reaching Port Phillip Bay, this creek and its tributaries provide a vital habitat for indigenous animals and plants. Even before European settlement, Boon Wurrung people utilized this creek and its wetlands as food, water, shelter and weapon production sites, as well as harvesting eucalypt timber to craft tools, weapons, canoes and canoe paddles from its timber, while using bark for basketry purposes and net making.
Today, Mordialloc Creek flows through both forest and residential areas. The remaining forests host an assortment of animals including Swamp skinks and platypus; when out of the forest it continues through old billabongs and wetlands before eventually emptying into Mordialloc Creek before finally flowing into Port Phillip Bay.
The Dandenong Wetlands were created to improve the water quality in Dandenong Creek. They provide habitat for native animals while increasing rainwater flow into the creek and helping reduce nitrogen entering Port Phillip Bay from stormwater run-off.
Visitors to the wetlands can explore them on foot, bike or car – year round if desired – thanks to an open park that features many amenities for guests such as BBQs, picnic areas, public toilets, short boardwalk and bird hide. Furthermore, nature photography enthusiasts will find this the ideal location.
Ferntree Gully is a quaint hilltop suburb, full of serene forest walks and charming animals. Explore the popular 1000 Steps trail or discover Olinda Falls; from vantage points across Yarra Valley you can even get commanding views of Melbourne itself!
Ferntree Gully offers quick and easy mountain escape from Melbourne’s eastern outskirts. Here, visitors will discover lush wet forests of Mountain Ash or damp gullies dominated by giant tree ferns with an understory full of giant tree ferns, creating an engaging landscape rich with abundant lyrebird populations.
Ferntree Gully is home to an abundance of wildlife including koalas, wombats and kangaroos. Additionally, several kindergartens, primary schools, secondary boys’ secondary school (BSSB), community centre and two pubs can be found within its hills. Ferntree Gully also enjoys excellent public transportation links, with both electric train lines and buses operating to and from town centres to city destinations and beyond.
The Yarra River runs through Ferntree Gully, dividing it into Upper and Lower Ferntree Gully. From its source at Mount Dandenong it flows west between The Basin and Olinda before picking up Dobson Creek near Kilsyth South/Boronia to form Dobson Reservoir near Dobson Creek’s retarding basin near Kilsyth South / Boronia before shifting south through Wantirna township to drain Churchill National Park’s western edge while draining greenspace reserves called Dandenong Ranges Parklands along its route.
At its southern section, Dandenong Creek forms the boundary between Ringwood, Vermont and Wantirna suburbs. Here, it picks up Little Bungalook and Tarralla-Bungalook creeks before reaching Endeavour Hills where it drains various wetlands – before finally continuing more southerly until reaching Dandenong North and Doveton.
The Dandenong Ranges National Park forms part of an Aboriginal cultural landscape and we acknowledge their longstanding connections to these lands and waters, along with their important role in caring for Country.
Dandenong Ranges are often associated with hills and camping trips, but there are also several breathtaking waterfalls nearby. Sherbrooke Falls is an especially lovely waterfall for families and weekend vacationers; its stroll takes approximately 30 minutes over 1.2 km with some of the region’s oldest sassafras and mountain ash trees – some over 200 years old! – making for an enjoyable journey along the way.
Sherbrooke Falls is an exquisite waterfall that cascades over a gully into a tranquil pond amidst verdant forests and magnificent rock outcrops, creating an especially scenic scene during rainy seasons. Visitors can relax at either O’Donohue Picnic Ground or Sherbrooke Lodge Road and have a picnic, or simply take in its breathtaking scenery.
This area is home to an abundance of birds and wildlife, including ring-tailed and brush-tailed possums, native terrestrial orchids and fuchsias; spring is an especially lovely time to visit when the flowers of rhododendrons and azaleas bloom while camelias and kalmias flower in summer, and autumn provides stunning displays of foliage by maples and beech trees.
Sherbrooke Forest is the largest section of Melbourne Park and can provide an idyllic oasis, especially when compared to the 1000 Steps nearby. Perfect for families, especially with its Sherbrooke Falls track providing day trippers from Melbourne the opportunity to escape into nature.
Sherbrooke Forest offers an assortment of walking routes, from gentle strolls to the picturesque Sherbrooke Falls and short trails that loop back to their starting points, up to Mount Dandenong Tourist Road and beyond.
Sherbrooke boasts a humid continental climate with cool temperate rainforest and various vegetation types such as sclerophyll woodlands, riparian forests and Mountain Grey Gum- Messmate Forest. Furthermore, Sherbrooke is known for its high rainfall and rich volcanic soils which contribute to creating an abundant environment.
Dandenong Ranges National Park
Dandenong Ranges National Park is a beloved retreat, visited annually by over one million visitors. Its captivating beauty, tranquillity and diversity attract all types of people who come here for its relaxing beauty, tranquility and diversity. Miles of walking tracks cater for all levels of bushwalking enthusiasts while wildlife spotting can also be enjoyed while hiking along iconic Sherbrooke Falls and Olinda mountain trails are only some of the things on offer in this park.
The National Park is home to an abundance of native Australian animals. Common mammal species found there include short-beaked echidnas, wombats and sugar gliders. Furthermore, swamp wallabies and kangaroos can also be seen here; birdlife includes Sulfur-crested cockatoos, Superb lyrebirds and Laughing kookaburras can often be seen flitting around. Furthermore, reptiles and invertebrates may also inhabit this park – providing it provides shelter from harsher environments than in urban settings.
Dandenong Ranges National Park is conveniently situated just minutes away from Melbourne, making it accessible for both residents and tourists. Nature enthusiasts will delight in experiencing its cool temperate rainforest and magnificent mountains that offer panoramic city views. Hikers, cyclists and horseback riders all flock here; picnickers find it the ideal destination as well.
Park visitors will find over 30 hiking trails ranging from easy strolls to more strenuous treks, all well-marked and suitable for people of all ages, fitness levels, and abilities – some are even wheelchair, baby buggy, and pet-friendly!
Dandenong Ranges have seen much history over time. From the 1920s and 1930s on, wealthy families from Melbourne began using it as a weekend retreat, building stunning country houses such as Burnham Beeches in Sherbrooke as well as guesthouses to accommodate visitors. Over time however, more permanent residences began appearing here as Melbourne sprawled further east.
The Dandenongs is a small range of low mountains located northeast of Melbourne in Victoria, Australia and part of the Great Dividing Range. These low mountain ridges form a minor branch with tall temperate rainforest of mountain ash trees with thick undergrowth encompassing them.