Dandenong Ranges Travel Guide

  • Panorama of the pond
    Panorama of the pond
    by iandsmith
  • Lovely forest abounds
    Lovely forest abounds
    by iandsmith
  • Special trees can be viewed here
    Special trees can be viewed here
    by iandsmith

Dandenong Ranges Things to Do

  • Alfred Nicholas Garden

    On one of my previous daytrips up there I visited the Albert Nicholas Gardens, named after the man behind that most famous of medications, Aspro; for this was once the family home. I was shocked to learn that this garden, whose boatshed features on every second publication about the Dandenongs, was free to the public. The winding pathways that lead...

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  • William Ricketts Sanctuary

    However, that magnificent garden is but the tip of the iceberg. Next time up I went to William Ricketts Sanctuary, an iconic attraction whose creator originally named it the Potters Sanctuary, to revisit the wooden and stone sculptures of aborigines, a race that William had a special affinity for after spending time with them in the outback. He...

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  • Mount Dandenong

    I’ve visited on more than one occasion and the enchantment never ceases as you pass through villages with enticing names like Sassafras, Olinda, Sherbrooke and Kalorama; all seeking to charm you with their wonderfully exotic gardens and quirky shops. Epicurean delights abound with eateries claiming all sorts of praise and awards, some erroneous in...

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Dandenong Ranges Restaurants

  • Nice bakery

    There are award winning pie shops and Sassafras is known as the village of tea so sharpen up your taste buds and look forward to fantastic food in one of Australia’s most beautiful surroundings. The Pie in the Sky Bakery advertises that it's the best east of Adelaide and that, I assume, would be based on National Bakery awards but, in reality, I...

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  • Italian par excellence

    The whole of the Dandenongs is a gastronomic delight and I was overjoyed when I dined at the Ivy to be served genuine Italian pizza with that wonderful thin and crispy crust and garnished lightly with all the flavours you’d expect of Italian food. The pizza was all I savoured but I did cast a discerning eye over other dishes and have no reason to...

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Dandenong Ranges Off The Beaten Path

  • Sherbrooke Falls

    If you’re into walking then I’ve also done the Sherbrooke Falls walk although at around 40 easy minutes this is more of a short stroll than a full on bushwalk. Nonetheless, at the popular picnic area where you park, you cannot fail to be impressed by the tall gum trees (Eucalyptus regnans a.k.a. swamp gum in Tassie). You pass through these at the...

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  • Mount Dandenong Arboretum

    I next drove up to the nearby Mount Dandenong Arboretum. Here there is a carpark, a picnic table and little else save the trees, of which there are 16 hectares of deciduous and conifer varieties. Should you walk among them you may reach a dirt road below and that track you see immediately across the other side is the Mechanics Track, a 2km trail...

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Dandenong Ranges Favorites

  • National Rhododendron Gardens

    My next goal was the perennial favourite, the National Rhododendron Gardens, set tucked away at the back of Olinda. I deliberately used the word “perennial” because many people think that the only time to visit is in spring when a stunning array of rhododendrons is in full bloom. My advice is to visit whatever the season for there is so much more...

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  • Go the galleries

    Of course, colours can be seen anytime of the year at the many art galleries in the area. One of my personal favourites is in Belgrave where the Sherbrooke Art Society display their works and up to 300 may be on show at any given time and most are for sale. Because there are so many different artists the collection tends to be very eclectic so you...

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  • R J Hamer Arboretum

    Another famous garden/nursery/cafe not far away is Cloudehill but it costs to go there though the ordered and sculpted garden is one of the wonders of the hill.I next stopped at R J Hamer Arboretum, 120 hectares of varied forest overlooking expansive views across Silvan Dam and the Yarra Valley. The trails start between the toilet block and the...

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