Jeffry Farman, CountryPlace director, showcases just a few of the wonderful activities on offer in The Dandenong Ranges.
The Dandenong Ranges has long been a favourite destination with Melbournians and visitors alike. With good reason. There is so much to do and see in “The Hills.” Gardens and nurseries, farmgate produce, picnics and playgrounds, cafes and restaurants, arts and culture, walking and biking trails, villages at Montrose, Kalorama, Olinda, Monbulk and Sassafras.
Stretching from Mt Evelyn in the north, across the hills to Belgrave in the south, there’s so many interesting places to see and visit. Whether you’re looking for something adventurous to get your heart pumping or just enjoy being in the Australian bush, there is plenty to choose from
Here are just a few of the challenging and fun activities not far from CountryPlace.
Cafes & Restaurants
Choose from the iconic Olinda Tea House, The Piggery Café at Burnam Beeches, the famous Cuckoo Restaurant with its brilliant Bavarian entertainment, Mont Delancey Historic Homestead, SkyHigh at Mt Dandenong, Copperfields Restaurant in Olinda and many more.
Photo: The Piggery Café
Exciting Places to See & Visit
Almost too many to list. Here’s a few. Burrinja Cultural Centre and gallery at Upwey, Cloudehill
Gardens at Olinda, Silvan Reservoir Park with its open lawns, impressive eucalypt trees and BBQ picnic areas, Miss Marples Tea Rooms at Sassafras, Puffing Billy Railway at Belgrave, Tessalaar’s Tulip Farm at Silvan.
1000 Steps Walk. (Or run.)
The trail is a beautiful 4.3km round trip along winding bush tracks that follow a creek up a luscious valley in the Dandenong Ranges National Park. The experience is also known as the “Kokoda Track Memorial Walk. You have a sense of being embraced by nature while you get the heart rate up. It starts at Ferntree Gully. The round trip takes 40 min and some sections are steep. Make sure you take water and prepare to be amazed with the scenery. Another challenge for the fit and healthy enthusiast is . . .
The Great Train Race
This is a challenge for over 1500 fit and healthy runners, pitting themselves against Australia’s most famous steam train . . . Puffing Billy. In 2018 the 13.5km race, from Belgrave to Emerald, was won by Nick Earl in under 43 minutes.
High Ropes Challenge at CountryPlace
Another challenge for the less than feint hearted. CountryPlace offers a Ropes course high in the mountain ash trees of the forest. This one’s called “The Leap of Faith.”
Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens
Superb gardens for nature lovers all year round. Ideal for walks, picnics or relaxing by the picturesque lake.
William Rickett’s Sanctuary
This one’s for those with a pursuit of more cultural bent. Situated in a ferny glade in the Dandenongs, William Ricketts Sanctuary is a place of beauty and tranquillity, due both to the natural setting and the mystical sculptures half hidden among ferns along the pathways. It is a place for quiet reflection and for contemplation of the essence of the vision of William Ricketts. Many travel across the world to visit this place time and time again.
There’s lots to see and do in the Dandenongs. Your group will be on a high with the invigorating challenges on offer.