Less than an hours drive from Melbourne the Dandenong Ranges is one of the major tourist areas in Victoria
The ranges exceed 25,000 ha. of National Parks, Forest Reserves and colourful hills with breathtaking views of the Silvan and Cardinia Creek dams, Great Dividing Range, Port Philiip and Westernport Bays and the City of Melbourne.
The area is renowned for the rare and beautiful lyrebird display in the Sherbrooke Forest, unsurpassed autumn colours, camellias at their best, with occasional snowfalls which transform the ranges to a Christmas fairyland.
Tulips, rhododendrons, cool shady gullies, walking tracks, picnic or barbecue tours and colourful floral festivals are all features of this area.
Throughout the year, antique and bric-a-brac shops are open for tourists and the area abounds with artists and art galleries.
At the Healesville Wildlife Sanctuary you can picnic with the local wildlife. Here, kangaroos, wombats, emus and other unique Australian fauna wander about oblivious to your presence and even eat from the palm of your hand.
You can appreciate the best of the Dandenong Ranges travelling on Puffing Billy. Over the years this old steam train has shown thousands the unique beauty of the Ranges. The sights are magnificent from this most unique vantage point as the train puffs to and from between the towns of Belgrave and Emerald.
Many wineries are dotted throughout the rolling plains of the Yarra Valley, among them Fergusson's, Domaine Chandon and St Hubert's. You can stop and sample the wares of what's fast being recognised as one of the finest wine making districts in the world. Discuss their virtues with the wine makers, and what's better, you can even buy from the cellar door.