Melbourne has a lot of sites and attractions waiting to be explored. Among your choices when visiting this place for the first time is Dandenong. The series of ranges is best explored by using Dandenong bus charter which offers best comfort and convenience for your transportation in Melbourne.
Locals and tourists who have been looking for more laidback attractions, away from the hustle and bustle of the city, have considered heading to the Dandenong Ranges. Situated just about 35 kilometres from Melbourne, this, together with the Yarra Valley, is the part of the region where European immigrants settled during the 19th century. This day, the place is more famous for the tagline ‘Food Bowl of Victoria’. Being the home to a number of gardens and farms, Dandenong is a must visit for those of you who are seeking solitude or wanting to be closer to nature. When in Dandenong, you can visit the following tourist attractions.
Alfred Nicholas Gardens
If you are looking for a garden that has an assortment of floras blooming all year round, a visit to Sherbrooke Road’s Alfred Nicholas Gardens is a must. In this garden, you will see flowers in full bloom depending on the season of the year that you get to visit it. Apart from a dusting of snow that you can witness during the winter, you will also see beeches and maples all around the garden during autumn. For summer, on the other hand, ferns and hydrangeas grow while in spring, azaleas and rhododendrons blanket this spot. This garden is so popular to soon-to-be married couples and is also a delight for nature lovers wanting to walk down its trails to get closer to the ornamental lake.
This is not your typical garden that is out in the open air. This is more of a house that has different garden rooms in them. Built in the 1890’s, Cloudehill Gardens showcase different species of plants inside each garden room. With stone walls and beautifully landscaped hedges in it, you will appreciate the traditional appeal of this garden home. If you are around Melbourne during summer, you will witness the different musical performances as well as sculpture exhibitions commonly held in this garden.
Dandenong Ranges National Park
A visit to one of the most famous ranges in the whole of Australia will be best if you plan how the rest of the day should go when inside the park. Imagine the large 3,215 hectares that it covers and you will know that a day may not be enough to explore the entire area. With walking trails, wildlife animals, and a mesmerising scenery that await visitors, you should know how the day should go for you and the group. You are also allowed to pack your food and have a picnic in the range. Activities like feeding native birds on Grant’s Picnic Ground is one of the most popular attractions for tourists visiting the Dandenong Ranges. A visit to the Sherbrooke Picnic Ground, on the other hand, will allow you to enjoy a walk along its 2.4-kilometre trail.
If you want to get closer to nature and be free to have a closer encounter with the animals that Australia is known for, the Healesville Sanctuary is the perfect place to go to. This 30-hectare park is set in a captivating landscape that has been a great habitat for a lot of animals. When in this tourist attraction, you get to enjoy the “Meet the Handler” activity which brings you closer to platypuses, koalas, kangaroos, emus, wombats, and dingoes among others. The “Spirits of the Sky” adventure, on the other hand, will allow you to be closer to a flock of birds of different species, the most popular of which is the majestic wedgetail eagle. After a whole day of walking and enjoying, you also get to feast on the region’s gourmet delicacies inside the sanctuary.
Puffing Billy Steam Train
This nostalgic ride along the Dandenong Ranges will bring you back in time as you get to reminisce the past once you ride the Puffing Billy, a century old steam train that runs along a 40-kilometre track every day except during Christmas Day. The train travels from Belgrave to Gembrook and is more than ready to conquer even those towering eucalyptus forests, historic wooden bridges and quaint villages. Enjoy the scent of eucalyptus as you uncover what else is in store for you in this tourist attraction.
TarraWarra Museum of Art
Dandenong is also a spot where you can enjoy the best of Australian Art. Through the TarraWarra Museum of Art, you will not just experience what modern architecture can offer. You will also get the chance to see the works of some of the most famous artists that Australia has produced. The likes of Russell Drysdale, Brett Whiteley, and John Brack have works inside the museum. There are also different art exhibits made in the museum all throughout the year.
William Rickett’s Sanctuary
There is this best kept tourist secret wanting to be explored in the Dandenong Ranges. This is no less than the William Rickett’s Sanctuary which is the home to rocky outcrops, mountain ash trees, and ferns. This small garden contains over 90 ceramic sculptures that highlight the beauty of the attraction. You will envision the Aboriginal culture as evidenced by the foliage and the sculptures that you will see around this natural habitat.
Yarra Valley Dairy
Getting to Dandenong will not just lead you to its majestic ranges. It will also give you a chance to discover yet another popular tourist attraction near Melbourne, that is, the Yarra Valley. Inside the Yarra Valley is the Yarra Valley Dairy, a farmhouse which is open to tourists wanting to experience how it is to pat sheep, cows, and goats. This dairy farm also has a collection of cheeses including the Hot Cow chili-based cheese, Ashed Pyramid goat’s cheese and the Persian fetta. You can sample all these cheese varieties. During your tour of the farmhouse, you also get to enjoy what visitors love in the place, that is, its rustic dining room, which usually gets full during Sundays.