Experience the Dandenongs

Mount Dandenong & Surrounds


Winter Sports and Activities in the Dandenongs

The Dandenong Ranges are a scenic enclave within reach of Melbourne, known for their breathtaking lookouts, natural sites, rural settlements and community bazaars. Explore Puffing Billy steam train rides; wander walking trails past lush fern gullies; take in breathtaking views of Mount Dandenong; discover Puffing Billy steam trains as classic rides; discover rare species on nature reserves – there’s even an iconic Puffing Billy steam train ride available – or discover incredible views from Mount Dandenong itself!

Cloudehill Gardens offer photographers and nature lovers alike an abundance of visual splendour, organized into various “garden rooms”. Photographers should visit for photographs that capture its lush flora.

1. Puffing Billy Railway

Experience Australia’s oldest and best-preserved heritage steam railway and take an exciting trip through stunning forest settings of Dandenong Ranges, featuring majestic Mountain Ash trees and fern gullies. There’s plenty to see and do at this wonderful park: hiking trails and paddleboat rides are available; picnicking beneath dense eucalypts can also be found here, and visitors can wander the SkyHigh Maze or take selfies by Giant’s Chairs!

Consider taking a relaxing stroll along one of the many trestle bridges or scenic railway tracks, with many trails offering stunning views of nearby forests and creeks. Or spread out a blanket at Lake Treganowan for picture-perfect family picnics! Or explore this region on two wheels with bike hire available at Railway Cafe and Lakeside Station from family-owned COG BIKES Australia; they offer high-quality mountain bikes and hybrids to fit every need!

If you’re seeking something a bit more challenging, Grants Picnic Ground trail is one of the premier destinations for joggers and outdoor enthusiasts. At 7 kilometers long and passing through several visually striking locales, this trail features Grants on Sherbrooke cafe as well as parking facilities and picnic amenities – not forgetting indigenous wildlife like Lyrebirds! Please note: dogs or additional pets aren’t permitted within this park.

For visitors who wish to stay closer to the action, Emerald Lake Park provides many lodging options within and near its boundaries. There are also quality restaurants, boutique wineries, and charming village shops closeby that make for an exciting staycation experience.

2. SkyHigh Mount Dandenong

Within an hour from Melbourne’s city center, you can be SkyHigh on The Dandenong Ranges’ uppermost reach. Amid lush towering native forest and cool fern glades, this panoramic viewpoint takes in everything from Mornington Peninsula across Port Phillip Bay to Melbourne’s sprawling urban fringes on You Yang ridges on the southern horizon – making for stunning photos at sunset when clear mountain nights illuminated with twinkling lights become part of an incredible carpet of twinkling lights!

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At SkyHigh you will find a cafe-restaurant (serving breakfast, lunch and dinner with children’s menus) along with a hedge maze, English garden picnic areas and walking trails through state forest. Both the restaurant and bistro are open year round; hours vary. SkyHigh makes an excellent day trip for families or romantic interlude at dusk when Melbourne city lights come alive beneath your feet!

Take the elevator up to the observation deck for breathtaking photo opps; its floor-to-ceiling windows filling it with natural light create an exquisite backdrop that photographers adore. Additionally, this popular wedding venue provides couples looking for a truly memorable outdoor wedding ceremony experience with breathtaking backdrops for pictures!

Bring your camera along for a scenic forest stroll, then relax with a picnic at the restaurant. Take an exciting tractor fruit tasting adventure at SkyHigh Peach Orchard before selecting fresh produce at U pick. Travel back in time at Mont de Lancey Homestead with its authentic recreation of pioneer life including cafe serving roasts and afternoon tea; entrance fees apply upon entrance to this historic lookout point.

3. Trees Adventure

Olinda, located on the highest village in the Dandenong Ranges, is a highly popular visitor spot. This charming township features winding lanes filled with art galleries, cozy bed-and-breakfasts, top eateries and wellness hubs as well as wellness hubs and day spas. Additionally, Cloudehill Nursery & Gardens and Dandenong Ranges Botanic Garden both provide scenic pathways that visitors can traverse to explore this breathtaking destination.

Attractions that define a trip to the Dandenongs include visiting the historic Puffing Billy Steam Train and Lakeside Station are not to be missed on your visit, including displays of memorabilia, photographs and documents that help bring Puffing Billy back from its past. Other must-sees include Emerald Museum for local history research; Burnarlook Llamas and Hazelnuts farm where visitors can interact with llamas; Ash Wednesday Bushfire Education Centre which commemorates tragic bushfire events; and Ash Wednesday Bushfire Education Centre which commemorates these tragic events by learning more than anything else!

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Experience an aerial perspective of the Dandenong Ranges at Burkes Lookout, an iconic vantage point renowned for providing stunning panoramas; or explore their beauty with a stroll along one of the mountain walking trails. Or for something a little more exciting visit Trees Adventure high ropes course located within Glen Harrow heritage gardens at Belgrave; here you can embark on courses spanning across tree canopies, traversing bridges, and zipping across skylines – for an exciting high ropes course experience like no other!

Dandenongs forest environments offer plenty of outdoor adventures in winter. Take to one of the mountain walking trails for scenic vistas and fern gullies; or discover Pirianda Gardens to find exotic trees and meandering pathways. Be aware of any path closures before entering Pirianda Gardens!

4. Sherbrooke Falls

Sherbrooke Falls and surrounding area is a popular family and weekend adventurer destination, featuring lush gardens featuring native flora, picnic areas and hiking paths that weave through dense forests of Mountain Ash trees and fern gullies during wetter seasons.

Start exploring on either of two trails from O’Donohue Picnic Ground to Sherbrooke Falls: the paved O’Donohue Picnic Ground-Sherbrooke Falls trail or take on La La Falls near Warburton – either offers breathtaking sassafras and Mountain Ash trees, creating the ideal setting for sighting ring-tailed and brush-tailed possums, indigenous bird species and more!

Visitors to the city can also explore the magnificent Alfred Nicholas Gardens or visit William Ricketts Sanctuary to find over 90 ceramic sculptures hidden among its serene forest environment. This inspiring sanctuary was the work of love by its namesake who sought to express his deep spiritual relationship with nature through this work of love.

Attractions to Sherbrooke Village include charming cottages and cafes, the mesmerising Victorian architecture of Yarra Glen’s Old Town and various festivals and markets – especially art lovers will delight in perusing stalls of handcrafted, artisan treasures at Belgrave Big Dreams Market every second Sunday (weather permitting).

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The Dandenong Ranges provide something for everyone to do and see, from lookouts with amazing views to parks and gardens ideal for picnicking, walking trails, galleries, restaurants and charming villages. This region is famous for its picturesque locales; finding free activities here shouldn’t be hard either – just wear sturdy shoes and bring along or buy one at one of the local eateries!

5. Pirianda Gardens

Nature enthusiasts, gardeners and those with an interest in history will all find much to delight them at Dandenong Ranges. Boasting lush rainforests, mountain views and botanic gardens – each season has something new and memorable to offer in these scenic reaches of Melbourne’s western suburbs. From high teas and historic train rides to flower shows – there’s so much more. From quaint village towns to cozy eateries there’s plenty of shopping and relaxing opportunities here too.

The Dandenongs offer ideal conditions for gardening with their rolling terrain and fern gullies providing ideal gardening conditions. No wonder then that its nurseryries grow everything from roses to mature trees! Additionally, its deep volcanic loam soil and mild climate allow for year-round cultivation without frost damage.

Pirianda Gardens are a horticultural and historical attraction in Dandenongs, east of Melbourne. Started by Harvey and Gillian Ansell when they purchased the property in 1959, Pirianda Gardens are best known for their autumn colours and extensive tree collection with 28 species of maples, 13 varieties of birches as well as magnolias, eucryphias, rhododendrons and clethras lining the grounds.

Attractions also include three specimens of the rare Chinese Handkerchief Tree (Davidia involucrate), which blooms each November with large bracts that reach 12cm long – its large bracts stand out against its pure white bracts when waving in the wind! Also found here are Franklinia spp and Stewartia spp from the aceae plant family; both varieties feature delicate blooms related to camellias. This garden is open year round except Christmas Day or when total fire bans or extreme weather events occur – closed only on Christmas Day or days with total fire bans or severe weather events.