Luscious getaway to the Dandenong Ranges

By AG STAFF 24 June 2015
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The lush and much-loved mountains of Victoria’s Dandenong Ranges are an easily reached backyard haven for almost 1/4 of Australia’s population

Victoria’s Dandenong Ranges, less than an hour’s drive from Melbourne, transport you into the seclusion of lush forest and the realm of Earth’s tallest flowering plants, Eucalyptus regnans, or mountain ash.

To enter the company of these giants is uplifting, a little unnerving and often neck-straining. Massive and column-like, mountain ash can soar more than 100m. With their canopies almost out of sight, the lower trunks fill the forest’s stage like temple pillars. Marbled in splotches of soft grey and silvery sage, they stand in contrast to a crowded understorey of tree ferns with lacy fronds spreading like feathery green parasols.

This fern–eucalypt association is the Dandenong’s signature. Every track or mountain road swooping down the eastern and southern flanks of the ranges seems to reveal another lavish, frond-filled gully.

Read the full story in #127 (July/Aug) edition of Australian Geographic.