Australia's century-old steam train is still running on its original mountain track from Belgrave to Gembrook in the scenic Dandenong Ranges, just 40 km east of Melbourne.
Even though kids would really enjoy this alot, we thoroughly enjoyed our ride on the Puffing Billy. We stopped off at Lakeside for a while, again this is a great place for the kids, but also enjoyable for the child at heart.
A very nice way to spend a day in nature. Sherbrooke forest is the only place I explored in the Dandenongs, and its really worth a visit. Take along some birdseed to feed the beautiful white parakeets and rosellas! There are various different paths of varying degrees of difficulty - I took a one hour easy grade stroll. There are more challenging paths for the more energetic. Keep your eyes pealed for the exotic birdlife above.
The Dandenong Ranges are definately worth seeing if you've got a spare few hours in Melbourne. They reminded me very much of the Mt Lofty ranges in Adelaide, the summit (or one of them) even has three radio masts adding to the impression. Being much further away from the city though, the city center is difficult to make out through the haze.
Mt Dandenong is a good spot to watch sunsets.
The Dandenong ranges are very close to where I live so I have spent plenty of time roaming around them. If you enjoy hiking or even a leisurely stroll this is a great place to see. There are plenty of bushwalking tracks throughout the ranges and you may even see some wildlife like womats or lyrebirds. The ranges have plenty to offer in the way of cafes and restaurants and there are lots of little gift shops to explore. William Ricketts sanctuary is well worth a look just to see all the beautiful carvings of indigenous people this fantastic artist has created out of rocks and trees. For an absolutely delicious lunch or afternoon tea I would highly recommend Miss Marples in Sassafrass.
For those visiting Melbourne during the months of Sept or Oct, do not miss the opportunity to visit the Tulip Festival. Remember to bring lots of film, the colours of the tulips are vibrant. It is a great photo opportunity. I will post some photos from my trip.
Galleries, antiques, tulip farm, nurseries, gardens, tea houses, crafts, bed & breakfasts, dining and scenic views over Melbourne.
The Cuckoo restaurant in the photo is a favourite for German cuisine and live entertainment.
Take a scenic trip through fern gully forests and by lakes on a steam train. Have a picnic or grab a bite to eat, and perhaps take a paddle boat ride or hike along a path to the wishing well. Hop off at any stop and take in the scenery.
Take a ride on the Puffing Billy Steam Railway. I have never been on it but I have always heard good reviews from people who have.
The train takes you through the Dandenong Ranges. It runs every day of the year except Christmas Day.
Puffing Billy is the oldest steam railway still operating in Australia and one of the finest preserved steam railways in the world. The 25-kilometre journey takes visitors through thick forests and lush fern-filled gullies from Belgrave.
There is no parking area or road access to the Puffing Billy station at Belgrave. Park your car at the Met Car Park and follow the signposted walkway under the main road bridge or park in Bayview Road parking area
This is a lovely mountain range within just 1 hour drive of Melbourne - there are a lot of wonderful picnic grounds, nature hikes and there is also an abundance of native animal and bird life.
Yarra Valley and The Dandenongs
Just an hour's drive from Melbourne lies a valley of lush hills producing some of the finest Australian wines. Chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, pinot noir and shiraz are the Yarra Valley's award-winning wines.Explore wineries which offer you the the pleasure of wine-tasting and also cellar sales.
In the Dandenong Ranges, one hours drive to the east of Melbourne, board the Puffing Billy Steam Railway and enjoy the open sided train as it winds through the spectacular forests and ferns of the Dandenong Ranges National Park. At the Mt Dandenong Tourist Road browse through the many antique shops, cafes, teahouses, craft stores and historical attractions.
If you can, hire a car and go for a drive through the Dandenongs. It is a beautiful area not too far from Melbourne. It is just under an hour from the city, but it is well worth the effort to see the amazing scenery.
If you love the forest, the environment and wildlife then this is the place to see it. Why not take a picnic and sit in one of the many parks in the area and enjoy the afternoon. There are also a few bush walking tracks around if you would like to give one a go. This will give you even more of a chance to see some of the local wildlife.
PUFFY BILLY- Australia's Premier Steam Railway
Australia's unique century-old steam train is still running regularly on its original moutain track in the scenic Dandenong Ranges, east of Melbourne. Restored in 1962 and running everyday of the year, except Christmas Day, Puffing Billy is a tourist icon, with its daily operation depending on hundreds of dedicated volunteers. Spectacular mountain views and cool fern gullies abound along Puffing Billy's winding track and passengers have a range of tour options to choose from ... journeys of one hour to a full day's adventure.
My husband is a fan of the steam train so we did a trip on Puffing Billy into the Dandenong ranges. The trains are very well kept and the scenery in he Dandenong Ranges is very pretty.
Sherbrooke Forest is a home of lovely Rosellas, Cockatoos, Kookaburra, etc. There is a gift shop and toilet for those who wants to havea break after a long drive in the mountain.