Experience the Dandenongs

Mount Dandenong & Surrounds


The Dandenongs’ Gardens for Wellness and Meditation

The Dandenongs Gardens for Wellness and Meditation

Start exploring this sustainable Chelsea Australian garden designed by Phillip Johnson Landscapes and made possible through Victorian and Commonwealth government funding as well as donations from The People and Parks Foundation. It promises an adventure in botany!

Discover the Dandenong Ranges by car, foot or one of its historic steam trains – whether on foot, by car, on your bike, by bike or train! Be amazed at renowned cool climate gardens such as National Rhododendron Garden or Burnham Beeches’ Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens which offer breathtaking landscapes to see and photograph.

1. Kalorama Lookout

Autumn in the Dandenongs offers ideal temperatures, changing leaves and plenty of walking tracks, making this season ideal for visiting this picturesque region. Pack your picnic rug and bottle of wine and embark on an engaging yet romantic bush walk together. Forests abound with towering mountain ash trees as well as native species which have just started flowering; creeks and waterfalls; as well as wildlife including lyre birds, rosellas and currawongs!

Kalorama Lookout, conveniently situated just off of Mt Dandenong Tourist Road, provides an idyllic and serene spot perfect for picnicking or simply admiring the view over lush forests and farms of Yarra Valley. Here, you can see tall mountain ash trees as well as lush vegetation from a vantage point that also provides excellent perspectives of nearby towns such as Olinda, Sassafras, Mount Dandenong and Montrose.

Parks Victoria acknowledges and respects the deep connection that Aboriginal people have to this area as part of its cultural landscape, along with their important role in caring for Country. The park lies within Woiwurrung (Wurrundjeri) Traditional Owners’ Land and acknowledges and appreciates it deeply and thoroughly.

The Lookout at Yarra Ranges National Park is a popular stopover point for day trippers to take in breathtaking views over Yarra Valley and surrounding forests. A great place for relaxation and enjoying mountain life’s tranquillity amidst waterfalls tumbling from forests above you and shaded paths lined with moss- and lichen-covered rocks; Tom Ricketts also created clay sculptures depicting Aboriginal attitudes towards their environment which can be found there as well.

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Fern and rainforest gardens feature easy walking tracks with continuous floral displays nestled beneath mountain grey gums, messmate and jarrah canopies. You will also discover an array of indigenous Australian plants as well as a section that showcases rare Australian specimens.

2. The 1,000 Step Walk

The 1000 Steps Walk, commonly referred to as Kokoda Track Memorial Walk or simply The Steps, offers an unforgettable bushwalking experience close to Melbourne. As one of the most popular day walks in this part of Australia, its popularity can only be measured in numbers; locals and tourists alike flock here for a scenic getaway just a short train ride away in nature’s arms.

Originating in the early 1900s, this trail has since been renovated to include steps crafted from tree fern trunks in wetter sections as well as timber and concrete on most steeper pathways. A must for anyone seeking to experience nature at its best in Dandenong Ranges!

Parks Victoria is especially proud to present this beautiful garden, boasting its sustainable environmental design that blends the best elements from horticulture with indigenous landscape practices. Featuring over 400 native Wurundjeri plants as well as new homes for frogs and other fauna in its cascading waterfall, rocky gorge and billabong. This garden makes an exceptional addition to its 1,000 Steps walk as well as being an inspirational experience for anyone searching for deeper connections with nature.

While One Tree Hill Park is definitely worth visiting, maximizing your experience may require visiting during off-peak times such as morning and weekend mornings and weekends to ensure optimal enjoyment of your hike. Crowded conditions often arise and parking space at One Tree Hill may become limited; plan ahead to ensure ample space at One Tree Hill’s car park is available if taking public transport there as it could take some time – the Belgrave Line terminates at Upper Ferntree Gully Station then it’s just over one km to One Tree Hill’s entrance from there.

For overnight accommodations in the surrounding villages, CountryPlace Cottage is an excellent option, featuring stunning views over Silvan Dam. Additionally, Airbnb can also be found nearby.

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3. Waterfalls

Are You A Nature Lover? The Dandenong Ranges Offer Plenty of Outdoor Activity Opportunities If so, this region provides many chances to experience nature. Lush forests and parks with beautiful waterfalls give nature lovers ample chance to take a step back and take in its breathtaking sights. There are even tranquil spots available where yoga practices such as Vedic Rounding or Mindfulness Walking may help enhance wellbeing; or pick fresh fruit at local farms such as Cherryhill Orchards, Blue Hills Berries & Cherries Farm, Kookaberry Fruit Farm!

The National Rhododendron Gardens, previously known as Dandenong Ranges Botanic Garden, are one of the premier places to visit in this part of Melbourne. Boasting an assortment of exotic plants and trees – from exotic trees and blooming rhododendron blooms during spring – as well as colorful spring rhododendron blooms – they make for an incredible visitor experience.

Alongside manicured pathways, hiking trails invite you to discover the park’s natural surroundings. Marvel at picturesque landscapes including fern forests and mountain ash trees; throughout the year there are also events and workshops which will deepen your understanding of horticulture.

Sherbrooke Falls Walk in the Dandenong Ranges offers another remarkable trail. This relaxing hike takes you past lush mountain ash forests, tree ferns, and some challenging steep sections – offering the opportunity for spectacular photo ops along the way!

Visit this scenic trail if you’re seeking a relaxing hike with plenty of opportunities to stop and rest along the way. Weekends tend to get very crowded here, so for optimal experience it would be best to come during the week.

As well as boasting breathtaking landscapes, the park also provides educational exhibits that depict various forms of flora and fauna found throughout Australia. Furthermore, it hosts the Australian Plant Observatory and International Butterfly Garden which offer visitors an invaluable opportunity to learn about Australian butterflies and insects that reside there. Furthermore, both gardens host various educational programs tailored specifically for children.

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4. Hot Springs

The Chelsea Australian Garden at Olinda, located within Dandenong Ranges Botanic Gardens, is both an ecological and horticultural joy. Introducing native plants into the landscape and providing habitat for local wildlife to flourish – such as Olinda Frogs! – it introduces additional natives, providing cascading waterfalls, rocky gorges and tranquil billabongs – and is a lesson in sustainable, water-wise design; featuring eco-friendly features including recycled or repurposed materials used throughout.

Reconnect with nature this autumn at Japanese Mountain Retreat in Montrose’s secluded natural springs, complete with private outdoor hot mineral bathing pools and luxurious day spa packages from this wellness resort, Victoria’s only one-of-its-kind. Or for an authentic experience try Larn’wa Aboriginal Lore wellness rituals for the full immersive experience.

Dandenongs Regional Park lies just west of Melbourne and features spectacular cool climate gardens that burst with colour in spring and autumn. Explore vast rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias and daffodils at the National Rhododendron Garden; appreciate Alfred Nicholas Gardens with its ornamental lake lined by mountain ash, gingko trees and liquid amber; or find clay sculptures tucked among tree ferns at William Ricketts Sanctuary.

The Dandenongs provide an abundance of fruit for harvesting during season. Cherryhill Orchards, Blue Hills Berries or Kookaberry Berry Farm all offer pick-your-own experiences; join a bushwalk or bike ride through the park; try your hand at some of Cloudehill Nursery and Gardens’ 20 English “garden rooms”, or enjoy the vibrant display at Tesselaar Tulip Festival held early September for even more delights!

At Dandenong Ranges National Park, explore more of the lush nature and botanical artistry found throughout this region with 10 km of exhilarating walking tracks, 6 km of cycling trails, BBQ facilities and children’s playgrounds – not forgetting breathtaking city skyline views at Mount Dandenong! Additionally, planting some indigenous species may help endangered species find their way back into nature – planting native plants can help their return! If you have access to a garden at home consider adding native plants that help make habitat for endangered species more abundant!