How High Are the Dandenong Ranges?
Located 35 km east of Melbourne, the Dandenong Ranges rise to 633 metres. Covered with thick temperate rainforest, the mountain ranges are home to a wide variety of wildlife and a vast network of hiking trails.
The quaint hilltop towns are filled with evocative art galleries, enchanting country villages and family-friendly activities. The mountains also feature a variety of waterfalls and are a great escape from the city heat.
How high are the dandenongs mountain range and mount dandenong?
The Dandenongs are a set of low mountains situated 35 km east of the state capital of Melbourne, Australia. They are a popular tourist destination, and there are plenty of things to see and do in the area.
They have been a source of timber, agricultural produce, leisure and tourism since European settlement in the region. Before that, the Dandenong Ranges were significant to clans of the Wurundjeri people, who inhabited the area and hunted possums and lyrebirds in the higher ranges during the warmer months.
Today, the Dandenongs are a bushwalking and cycling paradise, with extensive trails through lush vegetation. Hiking in the area is a great way to get closer to nature, and there are a few popular waterfalls you can visit along the way.
Another way to experience the Dandenongs is by taking a ride on the Puffing Billy Railway. It’s a wonderful way to explore the scenery, and you can even bring your dog on board (please check dates).
The railway travels from Belgrave to Gembrook, passing through towering eucalyptus forests, historic trestle bridges, and charming villages along the way. The fresh smell of eucalyptus adds to the sensory delights, and you can also take a picnic to enjoy in the open-air carriages.
In addition to the train, there are also plenty of other ways to explore the dandenongs. There are several hikes in the national park, including a 2.4-kilometer round-trip trail to Sherbrooke Falls. Other hiking options are the Olinda Falls trail, which is an easy 25-minute out-and-back, and La La Falls, a moderate 3.2-kilometer round-trip trek to a fern-fringed waterfall.
There are also a few quaint towns around the area, such as Olinda and Sassafras, where you can find antique shops and cozy cafes. These towns are a good place to explore the history of the area and also pick up souvenirs from your adventure.
The Yarra Valley is also an excellent area to explore, with its quaint villages and wineries. There are also many bed and breakfasts in the area that you can stay in if you want to explore the region for longer.
The Dandenong Ranges, 35 kilometres east of Melbourne, rise to 633 metres at Mount Dandenong. They are part of a minor branch of the Great Dividing Range and are protected by the Dandenong Ranges National Park.
The mountain ranges are known for their scenic forests and quaint villages. Many visitors stay in the area for the weekend at one of the numerous bed & breakfast outlets.
You can easily reach the Dandenong Ranges by car, bus or by historic steam train (Puffing Billy). The railway is a popular way to get into the heart of the forest, and it runs between Belgrave and Gembrook.
Take a day trip to the Dandenongs and explore the fern glades, soaring forests of Mountain Ash and quaint villages. It’s a wonderful way to escape the hustle and bustle of Melbourne and enjoy a relaxing day outdoors.
It’s also a great way to learn more about the region’s history and flora. The mountain ranges have a diverse climate that makes them ideal for horticultural production. There are multiple orchards, flower farms and berry farms to enjoy here.
In spring, the ranges burst with colour as huge rhododendrons, azaleas and camellias bloom in the National Rhododendron Gardens. Or enjoy an ornamental lake surrounded by mountain ash, gingko and maple trees at Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens.
There are also several established cool climate gardens in the region, including the Cloudehill Nursery and Gardens and Pirianda Gardens. There are a number of Aboriginal spiritual sculptures to admire here, as well.
The region is also home to a number of wildlife species, including lyrebirds and wombats. It’s also an ideal spot for a picnic, with a range of cafes and restaurants to choose from.
You can visit the Dandenongs from Melbourne using public transport, with a train ride taking just over an hour. The Upper Ferntree Gully station is closest to the parks, while buses depart from Belgrave.
It’s a lovely place to relax and unwind, especially in the winter. It’s usually a few degrees cooler than Melbourne, making it a great place to escape the city heat.
William Rickett’s Sanctuary
The Dandenongs are a beautiful range of mountains that sit east of Melbourne, offering opportunities for bushwalking and bird watching close to the city but far removed from the hustle and bustle of suburbia. With a combination of high rainfall and rich volcanic soils, the mountains have developed into vast tracts of forests and fern gullies.
William Rickett’s Sanctuary is situated near Mount Dandenong and is a must-see for visitors to the Dandenongs. It is a place of beauty and tranquillity and has 92 ceramic sculptures set among rocks, fern trees and Mountain Ash. These sculptures are an expression of Rickett’s philosophy that all humans should act as custodians of the natural environment in the same way that Aboriginal people did.
These kiln-fired clay sculptures have been carefully blended expertly into the surrounding landscape and each one is unique. They have a calming effect on visitors and are perfect for quiet reflection.
A walk around the gardens is a great way to explore the various sculptural pieces and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere. There are moss and lichen-covered rocks, waterfalls, tall mountain ash, ferns and shady paths.
Almost all of the sculptures are of Aboriginal people and animals, representing a connection to the land and a feeling of peace and harmony. These are a direct result of Ricketts’ experience living with Pitjantjatjara and Arrente Aboriginal people in Central Australia for over twenty years. He also lived in India for two years, where he experienced a spiritual affinity with the Indian culture.
In addition to the 92 sculptures at the Sanctuary, there is an audio-visual display bringing to life the work and passion of William Ricketts. This is a recommended viewing experience and is an excellent opportunity to gain an insight into this unique Australian artist.
The Sanctuary is open daily from 10:00am until 4:30pm except Christmas Days, Total Fire Ban days and when under maintenance. Entrance is free.
The Sanctuary is set in a beautiful ferny glade and is the perfect place for a relaxing stroll and to reflect on the vision of William Ricketts. Many people travel from all over the world to visit this place time and again.
The Kyeema Airplane Crash Memorial
The Kyeema Airplane Crash Memorial is a poignant site of commemoration for the 18 people who tragically died on 25 October 1938 when a DC-2 airliner crashed into the Dandenong Ranges. The tragedy caused a significant change to the Australian aviation industry. It led to the introduction of the Civil Aviation Authority, air safety regulations and a system of air traffic control that is still in use today.
The monument is a short walk from Burke’s Lookout and offers spectacular views over Melbourne. It is also a great location for hiking as the area provides numerous longer walks that allow you to explore the Dandenong Ranges.
In 1978, forty years after the crash, a memorial was erected in memory of the eighteen passengers on board the aircraft. It lists the names of the crew and passengers who perished in this tragic accident.
It was reported at the public enquiry that the Kyeema was flying in heavy fog when it overshot Essendon Aerodrome and crashed into the western slopes of Mount Dandenong, killing all 18 passengers on board. Lowden’s testimony suggested that the pilots became disorientated and accidentally flew the aircraft into the mountain as they tried to avoid the dense cloud.
He said the Kyeema was banking into the mountain from Ridge Road, a few hundred yards from the summit of Mt Dandenong and was travelling at around 2000 feet. It ploughed through tree trunks up to eighteen inches in diameter, shearing them to pieces.
A memorial cairn was unveiled by the Mt Dandenong Historical Society on 25 October 1978 to mark the 40th anniversary of the disaster. It is located about 200 yards below the observatory and has a plaque listing all those who died on that tragic day.
The accident is considered to be one of the most important events in Australian aviation history. It caused a public outcry and resulted in a series of investigations. It also spurred the government to introduce the first navigational radio beacons that would eventually be used across Australia as a way of improving air traffic management.