Dandenong ranges lie 35 km from Melbourne. Dandenong is a group of low mountains the highest being at 633 meters. Rolling hills, steep valleys, and canyons covered in thick rainforest make up the ranges. It is popular amongst the tourists for its scenic drives.
When it comes to Dandenong ranges, the first things that come to mind are Healesville Sanctuary and Puffing Billy. But there is so much more to this little town than just that. The place is full of gardens, playgrounds, picnic spots, tours, spas, restaurants, walking and cycling tracks, market and nursery.
Main attractions at Dandenong ranges are Healesville Sanctuary and Puffing Billy. Riding the Puffing Billy Railway should be on top of your list. It is a narrow-gauge heritage steam railway. It has a 24-kilometre mountain track which stretches from Belgrave to Gembrook. It passes through the beautiful forests and fern gullies of the Dandenong Ranges. You can catch this train from any station, so check out the nearest one from where you are staying.
They offer first-class and open-sided carriages. First-class carriages have all the luxury, but open-sided ones allow more fun. It is the best way to see stunning views with your legs hanging out. They also arrange some special events on the train. Murder on the Puffing Billy Express, Jazz on Puffing Billy Railway, Rhythm & Blues on Puffing Billy, Great Train Race, A Day out with Thomas are the events happening around the year. Make sure to check and book to enhance your experience.
Healesville Sanctuary is another must-visit place in Dandenong. Here they have more than 200 species of Australian animals, including the koalas, kangaroos, platypus, dingoes, wombats and emus. They have some fascinating shows. The most favourite is Spirits of the Sky. It is a free show that showcases the unbelievable ability of the birds to fly. Other great shows are Tales from Platypus Creek and Land of Parrots. If are interested in learning about all the behind the scene actions and relations, you must attain Keeper Talks and visit Australian Wildlife Health Centre.
Dandenong has great outdoors. It does not matter if you are visiting in Summer or Winter. The place is always picture perfect and is ideal for a picnic. In regional farms, you will get to pick your berries and cherries. Don’t forget to take home fresh farm produce and gourmet dairy treats.
Dandenong ranges are home to many beautiful and blooming garden. While you are there, make sure to visit some of the popular ones. At the Dandenong Ranges, Botanic Garden has many varieties of flowers, especially in spring. This includes rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias, daffodils and much more. In the Tranquil William Ricketts Sanctuary, you will see more than over 90 different sculptures depicting the aboriginal people engaging with the earth in a pure forest setting. It is your chance to experience a world-known sanctuary.
It is impossible to come here and not go to Dandenong Ranges National Park. The park is famous for its Mountain Ash Trees and lush fern gullies. Mountain Ash Trees are the tallest flowering tree in the world. It is home to many walking tracks and waterfalls. Your journey is incomplete without seeing a 360-degree view of the Dandenong. As you Drive the 30-kilometre Mount Dandenong Tourist Road, stop at the lookout at Kalorama for a view of the Warburton Ranges and Silvan Reservoir. You can also go to Ridge Road and visit Mount Dandenong Observatory for stunning views of the city. The best time to go there is at night.