The Rhododendron Gardens in the Dandenong ranges are beautiful in all seasons. The park is near the township of Olinda.

    Photo Credit: Don Fuchs/Australian Geographic

    You can explore the Rhododendron Gardens by foot or by bus, depending on how much time you have and how much ground you want to cover.

    Photo Credit: Don Fuchs/Australian Geographic

    Puffing Billy is a beautifully preserved steam powered train built at the turn of the century.

    Photo Credit: Don Fuchs/Australian Geographic

    Flower farms peek between larger trees, a vast palette of greens.

    Photo Credit: Don Fuchs/Australian Geographic

    Chief Ranger Matt Hoogland inspects one of the large trees of the Dandenong Ranger National Park.

    Photo Credit: Don Fuchs/Australian Geographic

    A beautiful view of Melbourne from afar.

    Photo Credit: Don Fuchs/Australian Geographic

    William Ricketts devoted 59 years to sculpting a personal, unified vision of art, nature and Aboriginal culture. More than 90 works nestle amidst his lush Mt Dandenong sancuary.

    Photo Credit: Don Fuchs/Australian Geographic

    Grants Picnic Ground has a bird feeding area where native birds can be fed. There are no other parts of the Dandenong where it is allwoed to feed wild birds.

    Photo Credit: Don Fuchs/Australian Geographic

    Puffing Billy Railway is one of the four lines built in Victoria to open up more remote areas to visitors. 

    Photo Credit: Don Fuchs/Australian Geographic

    Train driver, Steve Strangward and fireman Andrew Reynolds in a cabin of the Puffing Billy.

    Photo Credit: Don Fuchs/Australian Geographic

    The Edna Walling experience allows visitors to stay in the beautiful manor, or simply enjoy the lush grounds.

    Photo Credit: Don Fuchs/Australian Geographic

    The Puffing Billy runs every day except Christmas, thanks to the work of many volunteers.

    Photo Credit: Don Fuchs/Australian Geographic

    Burnham Beeches head gardener, Rob proudlock with herbs destined for chef Shannon Bennett’s seven Melbourne venues, including the famed Vue de Monde.

    Photo Credit: Don Fuchs/Australian Geographic

    Many cockatoos make their home in the trees of the Dandenong Ranges.

    Photo Credit: Don Fuchs/Australian Geographic

    Mountain Ash trees tower over a photographer on the trail to Olinda Falls.

    Photo Credit: Don Fuchs/Australian Geographic

    The Dandenongs is known for its tall, towering mountain ash trees of Sherbrook Forest.

    Photo Credit: Don Fuchs/Australian Geographic

    The Dandenongs is a haven of mountain ash, mountain grey gums, silver wattle, soft tree ferns, blackwood and southern sassafras.

    Photo Credit: Don Fuchs/Australian Geographic

Dandenong Ranges: Victoria’s nature haven

By AG STAFF | July 13, 2015

The fern–eucalypt association is the Dandenong’s signature. Every track or mountain road swooping down the flanks of the Dandenong Ranges in Victoria, seems to reveal another lavish, frond-filled gully. Among them, Sherbrooke Forest is one of the prime strongholds of temperate rainforest, a haven of mountain ash, mountain grey gums, silver wattle, soft tree ferns, blackwood and southern sassafras. Far from the nearest road, the only sounds in the valley stillness are the distant screeches of sulphur-crested cockatoos and the gurgle of water from the creek below.