Australia is home to many beautiful and diverse mountain ranges. Escape from the bustling city and lose yourself in the lush ferny oasis that is the Dandenong Ranges.

Small villages

If you’ve ever wanted to escape into a fairy-tale, the Dandenong Ranges is the closest you’ll get! Weave your way through delightful villages filled with quaint cafes and sweets stores and travel along roads lined with lush forests and bright wildflowers.

There are artisans in every village within the Dandenong Ranges crafting bespoke jewellery, furniture, and glasswork. Meet the locals and shop their galleries for truly unique souvenirs and artworks for your home. The stunning scenery in the Dandenong’s clearly gets the creative energies flowing!

Head to the town of Belgrave to Cameo Cinemas. The small community cinema first opened in the 1930s and plays a variety of blockbuster and arthouse films. During the summer months, they have a beautiful outdoor cinema where locals can enjoy the beautiful Australian weather while watching fantastic films.

Puffing Billy

After you’ve enjoyed an awesome film, jump aboard the historic Puffing Billy. This heritage railway winds through the stunning Dandenong Ranges alongside fern gullies, winding up through the mountains.

The train still runs along its original mountain tracks from Belgrave to Gembrook. It is the only surviving railway of four experimental lines through country Victoria. The train operates every day of the year except Christmas Day so you’re sure to get a seat!

If you’re with the family, the economy ticket is perfect for you. Hang out the windows, waving at locals as you pass through small towns. Or if you’re feeling a bit fancy, book a first-class high tea experience. Treat yourself to a luxurious experience of times passed, what could be better than eating delicious dainty food while winding through a beautiful mountain range.

Puffing Billy also hosts regular murder-mystery nights. You’ll be transported back in time and enjoying live entertainment. Gather your friends and dress up together for the evening, because nothing makes a murder-mystery night better than the perfect costume!

Native flora and fauna

The lush temperate forest that covers the Dandenong Ranges is the perfect habitat for many of Australia’s beautiful native animals. From lyrebirds to wallabies the lush forest is a great place to spot native Australian creatures. Wombats are fairly common in this area, as are many species of owls.

Head to the famous 1000 Steps or the beautiful Olinda Falls just a short drive from Melbourne city. The Dandenong Ranges is home to the world’s tallest flowering tree, the Mountain Ash. Growing over 100 metres tall, Mountain Ash are very slender and straight trees. Look for their conical white flowers and smooth grey bark. They’re pretty hard to miss and are a key feature of the Dandenong’s landscape.

The Dandenong Ranges is one of the most magical mountain ranges in Australia. Immerse yourself in this fairy-tale dream of a mountain range and enjoy the vast array of activities and cute towns on offer. The Dandenong Ranges is just an hour from the city of Melbourne and the perfect place to escape the city for some soul rejuvenation.

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