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On a clear day you can see Victoria’s Dandenong Ranges draping the horizon from most places in central Melbourne. Forming the south-eastern border to Melbourne’s famously far-flung suburbs, the Dandenongs are a beautiful mountain retreat just on the city’s doorstep.

The ranges aren’t tall, less than 800 metres (2,620 feet) above sea level, but they’re crowned with breathtaking forests of towering mountain ash and woven with valleys of tree ferns and bushwalking paths. Cute mountain villages offer afternoon tea stops, guesthouses and craft shops, while the Mount Dandenong Lookout has panoramic views over the suburbs to Melbourne and Port Phillip Bay.

The legendary Puffing Billy Steam train runs through the ferny foothills from Belgrave, and if you’re lucky you might spot wildlife including wallabies, cockatoos, lyrebirds and koalas on a stroll through the ranges.

Don't miss the popular Sherbrooke Forest area, known for its lush vegetation and for being the home to the lyrebird. The best way to see its beauty is to take the 7km (4.3 mile) Eastern Sherbrooke Forest Walk through the trees where you can spot all different kinds of birds.

Practical Info

The main tourist villages in the Dandenong Ranges are Sassafrass, Olinda and Kallista. Trains run from central Melbourne to Belgrave at the foot of the mountain, and buses run from here to the mountain towns. From Melbourne, it's an hour or so drive along the Burwood Highway to the Dandenong Tourist Road, which winds its way up the mountain and through the villages.

Tours & Tickets

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Puffing Billy Steam Train, Yarra Valley and Healesville Wildlife Sanctuary Day Tour

4.5 star rating: Recommended 175 Reviews

Visit the Dandenong Ranges on a day trip from Melbourne that takes you riding through forests of towering mountain ash gum trees and giant tree ferns on the ...  Read more

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 9 hours (approx.)

From USD $141.18

Yarra Valley Wineries and Puffing Billy Steam Train Day Tour from Melbourne

4.5 star rating: Recommended 126 Reviews

Travel through the Dandenong Ranges and Yarra Valley wine region on a full-day tour from Melbourne. Have morning tea and see spectacular native birds in the ...  Read more

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 9 hours (approx.)

From USD $141.18

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