The Dandenong Ranges National Park Part 1
The Dandenong Ranges is a National Park just 1 h from Melbourne Downtown away in the greater Melbourne region. The park is divided in 5 areas, Doongalla Forest, Ferntree Gully, Mt Evelyn, Orlinda Forest and Sherbrooke Forest. The southern section is easy to reach by the train to Ferntree Gully.
I recommend a drive through the Dandenongs and explore the different Sections.
Highlights to see and do:
Drive the Mt Dandenong Tourist Road from south to north and explore the curvy road. Make sure you stop in some villages and have a stroll around and enjoy a coffee somewhere or finish the day with a Dinner in a restaurant
Have a look at some gardens along the road there are some smaller Rhododendron Gardens, an Arboretum near Sky High and a National Rhododendron Garden in Orlinda.
Drive to Sherbroke and visit the Sherbroke Falls, its an easy 4,5km Roundtrip to the falls from the parking lot at Sherbroke Picnic Ground. The waterfall is not that spectacular in dry season. Orlinda Falls has more water.
Visit the Alfred Nicholas Gardens. Parking is in front of the park opposite the road. Walk down the paths to the Lake through beautiful flower gardens. If you are there during spring Sept-Oct you have for sure a great time there with colorful and smelling blossoms all over the place. Make sure you relax, take some pictures or walk around couple times.
Hike an 5-10 km Roundtrip, I recommend the 10 km round trip starting from Clematis Trk over Nuemann-Paddy Trk then follow Welch Trk and keep right at the park edge on to Hillclimb Trk and finish at the picnic ground.
Drive to Orlinda and visit the Orlinda Falls. It is an easy and short walk from the Orlinda Falls Picnic Ground. Make a little loop via Mechanics Walk back to the car.
Hike the Valley Walk, ~10km roundtrip from Olinda Falls picnic ground over Barges, Georges Trk – left on to Hermans Trk to Eagle nest picnic ground, which is nice to have a picnic. Followed on Eagles Nest – Yallambie- Black Hole and KC Trk – left on to Riffle Range Gully Trk back to the Falls. It takes you about 2,5-3h and is moderate to walk. The track is sometimes steep and rocky.
There are a lot of other tracks you can take or cut off through, so make sure you bring a map.
Visit Sky High and Mt Dandenong 633m
You can drive and park at Sky High (6$ fee), from there you get a look over to the west. Sky High is a restaurant which is popular for weddings and other events. Check out the garden on the opposite of the Building with its “wishing tree” and beautiful path through the flowers.
When you are at sky high make sure you walk a level down, it’s a short ~2 km walk to Burkes Lookout, which gives a much better view. Sit down there in the grass and enjoy the view and surrounding nature.
You can enjoy a beautiful sunset at this point as well.