Location Dandenong Ranges, Victoria
For over 100 years the Dandenong Ranges have been an idyllic retreat for Melburnians wanting to take the mountain air and escape the bustle of city life. Today visitors flock to the romantic hilltop villages for luxury hideaways, beautiful gardens, and magnificent tall forests and views.
THINGS TO DO :
~ Visit Olinda and the National Rhododendron Gardens, home of 15,000 rhododendrons, 12,000 azaleas, 250,000 daffodils, native birds, and spectacular panoramic views of the Yarra Valley and distant ranges.
~ Spend a relaxing afternoon browsing through the many art, antique and handicraft galleries and sampling a famous Dandenong Ranges Devonshire cream tea.
~ Take a ride on Puffing Billy, Australia?s oldest steam railway, through thick forests, fern-filled gullies and past gorgeous villages with poetic names like Belgrave, Gembrook and Emerald.
~ Home of spectacular tall forests, the Dandenong Ranges National Park is the perfect place to unwind and relax. Over 300 kilometres of walking tracks meander through lush gullies and misty mountain ash forests to magical places such as Sherbrooke Forest, Dongalla Homestead and the Thousand Steps.
~ For those looking for a romantic getaway, choose from one of the many B&Bs hidden amongst the hills, garden-fringed guesthouses and self-contained cottages offering spa baths, open fires and panoramic views of city lights, and lush forests and valleys.
Directions: The Dandenong Ranges are under an hour from Melbourne. Take the Eastern Freeway to the Springvale Road exit, turn right on to Springvale Road and then left at Canterbury Road and follow to Montrose. Turn right at the Montrose roundabout and follow the Mt Dandenong Tourist Road to Olinda.