Mount Dandenong

Look out across the Dandenong Ranges and Melbourne’s distant skyline from this township and mountain peak fortified by towering mountain ash forests.

Mount Dandenong is the highest peak in the surrounding ranges, as well as a community tucked into the bushland reserves of the Dandenong Ranges National Park. Visit the mountain’s summit to take in spectacular panoramic views from the observation deck and restaurant or wind your way through the charming formal gardens. Wander along hiking trails in the native bushland, which changes from dry eucalypt forest to verdant fern-studded gullies. Learn about exotic flora from around the world at the arboretum and explore the sculpture-lined pathways of the sanctuary.

Go on a scenic drive along the winding forest roads that weave around Mount Dandenong. Make your way up to SkyHigh Mount Dandenong, the mountain’s magnificent peak and viewing area. Check out the quaint English Garden or challenge yourself in the SkyHigh Maze. Binoculars on the observation deck make it possible to see Port Phillip Bay and Geelong on a clear day. Take a seat at the summit’s restaurant or café to enjoy a meal or drinks with the unbeatable view of Melbourne from the east. A short distance south, you’ll find the peak of Mount Corhanwarrabul and sprawling views from Burke’s Lookout.

Walk amid the deciduous trees and conifers at the Mount Dandenong Arboretum, a 40-acre (16-hectare) park showcasing a range of exotic species. William Ricketts Sanctuary is a lush fern-studded garden with a scattering of intriguing sculptures along its winding pathways.

While the township does not have a major commercial centre, it is dotted with numerous boutiques, artisans’ workshops and restaurants, where you can experience some of Mount Dandenong’s local treasures. Forest retreats and laid-back lodgings can also be found along the tree-lined roads.

Mount Dandenong is situated between the larger towns of Olinda and Kalorama, approximately 40 kilometres (25 miles) east of Melbourne’s city centre. Visit in summer for long, sunny days and clear views from the mountain peak, or in late winter to enjoy misty mornings and eucalypt blossoms in full bloom. Stay in Mount Dandenong for easy access to the magnificent walking trails and scenic picnic areas of the Dandenong Ranges National Park.

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