Dandenong Ranges

The Dandenong Ranges are a group of hills forming the eastern boundary of Melbourne, Australia, about 35 km east of the central city. They can be seen from most parts of Melbourne, and are easily identifiable as a group of three hills with large television towers.

Understand

Four chunks of the ranges form the Dandenong Ranges National Park, whose highest peak is TV tower-topped Mount Dandenong itself (633 m). The valley between the hills has the pleasant towns of Olinda, Sassafras and Kallista, and the wineries of the Yarra Valley are just to the north. Although there is a suburb called Dandenong in Melbourne, it is 30km from the mountain of the same name. Make sure you double check!

Get in

By train

The Dandenongs can be reached by Belgrave line Metro trains from Melbourne in just over an hour. Outside rush hour, you may need to board a train to Lilydale and change at Ringwood. Two park information centres are near Upper Ferntree Gully station (one on the Railway Rd side, the other 10 min away at the Ferntree Gully picnic grounds), while Puffing Billy (see below) leaves from near Belgrave.

Alternatively, take the train to Croydon on the Lilydale line, and continue by Ventura bus 688 to Mt Dandenong and Olinda. The service is infrequent, but it's the only way of reaching either on Sundays.

By car

As ever in Australia, a car will come in handy for touring the area, especially on weekends. The main route through the Dandenong Ranges is via the Mount Dandenong Tourist Road. It ranges from Upper Ferntree Gully (at the junction with Burwood Highway) in the south and winds through the ranges via Ferny Creek, Sassafras, Olinda, Mount Dandenong and Kalorama before terminating at Montrose, at a junction with (the similarly named, but different) Mount Dandenong Road. The road is a pleasant drive through tall forests and should take approximately 35 minutes (depending on traffic).

Get around

Ventura Bus Lines runs several buses in the area. All are in Metlink Zone 2 and run very infrequently, so check schedules beforehand.

It is possible to travel by train to Upper Ferntree Gully or Belgrave station. From there, several walks are available throughout nearby Ferntree Gully National Park, (see below). There are a plethora of walking tracks throughout the Dandenong Ranges that can be reached by bus. Maps are located from the Information Centre at Upper Ferntree Gully.

Cycling is possible, but only for intermediate and advanced cyclists.

Running is also possible.

See

Eat

Unless you're touring by car, you'll need to bring along your own supplies: there's a supermarket and a few basic eateries next to Upper Ferntree Gully station. The National Park has half a dozen picnic grounds with barbecues, shelters and water, as well as a cafe.

Drink

The Royal Hotel is across the road from Upper Ferntree Gully train station. There are also some bars in Belgrave, such as Ruby's which features live bands - check the gig guide.

Sleep

Connect

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Thursday, September 03, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.