Things To Do in the Dandenong Ranges
The Dandenongs are located only an hour from the Melbourne CBD, although it will feel like you are in another world far away from a major city. The Dandenongs are made up of several fairytale-like towns. The Dandenongs are leafy and are located in gorgeous mountainous bushland.
There are things to do all year round in The Dandenongs. Here are the best things to do in The Dandenong Ranges.
William Ricketts Sanctuary
1402 Mount Dandenong Tourist Road, Mount Dandenong, 3767, Australia
10:00 am – 4:30 pm, daily
A place of beauty and tranquillity with natural habitats and ecosystems. The William Ricketts Sanctuary The sanctuary is home to 92 sculptures by artist William Rickets. You can do an Audio Tour for $5 if you want to know more about the sculptures.
Be ready to explore the bush and have a stroll over the fern-gullies in the area. Sure you’ll love reading the facts below the statues and connecting with nature. Entrance is also free of charge!
Yarra Ranges National Park and Keppel Falls
Lady Talbot Drive, Marysville, 3779, Australia
24 hours, daily
The Yarra Ranges National Park is a large cool climate rainforest that sits on the edge of the Victoria Alps. It’s proximity to the Victoria Alps means the park retains a cool climate most of the year.
The Park surrounds 3 scenic towns. Warburton, Healesville and Marysville. The Yarra Ranges National park is a beautiful place to walk around while admitting the waterfalls and wildlife.
While you’re there, take a talk through the Keppel Falls Walk. The walk leads you to various waterfall adventures. When you finish the walk and get to the end, you’ll have an exciting view of the impressive views up and down the falls and streams of the forest.
Puffing Billy Railway
1 Old Monbulk Road, Belgrave, 3160, Australia
9:00 am – 5:00 pm, weekdays; 9:00 am – 12:00 pm, weekends
A trip to The Dandenongs wouldn’t be complete without riding Puffing Billy.
Puffing Billy is one of the oldest tourist attractions which once served hundreds of local communities to transport agricultural products in neighbouring regions and cities. The Puffing Billy Railway is one of the major tourist attractions in the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges. You can start your trip by having tea over breakfast, and Steam and Cuisine Luncheon at midday.
While on the train take a deep breath of the fresh mountain air and soak in all the sites along the way.
694 Maroondah Highway, Coldstream, 3770, Australia
11:00 am – 9:00 pm, Wednesdays to Fridays; 11:00 am – 10:00 pm, Saturdays; 12:00 pm – 9:00 pm, Sundays; closed on Mondays and Tuesdays
Yarra Valley and The Dandenongs may have an abundance of wineries, but you can still get some ice-cold beers at their breweries. The Coldstream Brewery has been serving the greatest beers in town since 2007. Their beers and cider can also be paired with burgers, pizzas, nachos, and chips. The brewery was originally a wool store and still has that rustic wool store feel. Coldstream brewery also has locally sourced food and beverages, and locally roasted coffee.
Their tasty meals. Beers and food are sold under $40 dollars to get your beer bellies ready for the summer… sort of.
SkyHigh Mount Dandenong Observatory and Maze
26 Observatory Road, Mount Dandenong, 3767, Australia
9:00 am – 9:00 pm, Mondays to Thursdays; 9:00 am – 10:00 pm, Fridays to Sundays
SkyHigh is an observatory 633 meters above sea level where you can view as far as The Mornington Peninsula and across Port Phillip Bay. From the observatory, you can also see majestic views of the Yarra Valley and The Dandenongs.
There is a restaurant located at SkyHigh, but I’d suggest getting lunch at Pie in the Sky or another great restaurant in The Dandenongs because I don’t think the food at SkyHigh is very good.
If you’re up to it, go to SkyHigh early in the morning to watch the sunset or if you’re not a morning person go at night to get a good view of the lights and stars. There’s also a beautiful maze and gardens at SkyHigh to wander around. So make sure you go when it’s not raining or cold.
Gate entry fee is $7 per car with a max of 7 people, or just a dollar per head.
The Dandenong Ranges Botanic Garden
Dandenong Ranges Botanic Garden is a cool climate garden. From the gardens, you will have views of The Dandenongs and The Yarra Valley.
Because the garden is a cool climate garden, there will be native trees and fauna that is unique to cool climates such as rhododendrons, camellias and azaleas. The Garden changes year-round depending on the season but it is beautiful nonetheless. If you want to see the full beauty and full colours of the gardens make sure you visit them in the springtime.
What are your favourite things to do in The Dandenong Ranges? While you’re in The Dandenongs you’re only a stone’s throw away from The Yarra Valley. See here for the best things to do in the Yarra Valley.