Things to do - Dandenong Ranges
If you enjoy bushwalking, there are many walking tracks through the hills in the Dandenongs. Enjoy a lovely walk to Sherbrooke Falls (located in the Dandenong Ranges National Park), a 1.2 kilometre walk one way through a forest of tree ferns and eucalypts. The walk begins on Sherbrooke Road. Take a picnic to enjoy afterwards.
There are also superb walking tracks through Emerald Lake Park, (www.emeraldlakepark.com.au) located at the end of Lakeside Drive, five minutes from Emerald Village. After your walk you can enjoy a barbecue, or visit the tea rooms or kiosk. Weather permitting, you may feel inclined to hire an aquabike.
For a chance to see Kangaroos and other wildlife, visit Cardinia Reservoir Park located on Duffy's Road, off Wellington Road at Narre Warren East.
For a good Devonshire tea, visit Pie In The Sky (Ph: 9751 2128) in Olinda, or Miss Marple's Tearoom (Ph: 9755 1610) in Sassafras.
The Dandenongs Ranges are also well-known for its outstanding gardens. There are four to choose from:
William Ricketts Sanctuary, accessed from the Mount Dandenong Tourist Road, Mount Dandenong, is known for its sculptures of Aboriginal figures situated among ferns, rocks and Mountain Ash trees. (Admission fee applies)
The National Rhododendron Gardens are home to 43 hectares of magnificent botanic gardens. The rhododendrons, daffodils, azaleas and camellias are just spectacular when in full bloom. The Gardens are located on The Georgian Road, off the Olinda-Monbulk Road, in Olinda. Have afternoon tea or lunch at Café Vireya. (Admission fee applies)
The Alfred Nicholas Gardens are located on Sherbrooke Road, (off the Mount Dandenong Tourist Road) in Sherbrooke. The 13 hectare garden has an ornamental lake with boathouse (perfect for a picnic), towering Mountain Ash trees and waterfalls. (Admission fee applies)
Visit the George Tindale Memorial Garden on Sherbrooke Road, Sherbrooke, to see a variety of exotic plants and towering Mountain Ash trees. (Admission fee applies)
For further information, phone Parks Victoria on 13 19 63.
For those seeking a game of golf, visit the Beaconhills Country Golf Club (Stoney Creek Road, Upper Beaconsfield, Ph: 5945 9230), Emerald Country Club (Lakeside Drive, Emerald, Ph: 5968 4211) or Olinda Golf Course (Olinda-Monbulk Road, Olinda, Ph: 9751 1254), all with 18 hole golf courses.
Take a ride on the Puffing Billysteam train which runs from Belgrave to Emerald Lake Park and Gembrook. Visit www.puffingbilly.com.au or phone 9754 6800 for further information.
Simply stroll through villages such as Sassafras, Mount Dandenong, Ferny Creek, Olinda, Sherbrooke, and Emerald and visit antique shops, craft shops, tearooms, and plant nurseries.
Visitor Information Centre
Dandenong Ranges & Knox Visitor Information Centre
1211 Burwood Highway, Ferntree Gully
Ph: 9758 7522