Sassafras sits perched on the ridgeline of the Dandenong Ranges, surrounded by the trees from which it takes its name. Its beautifully fertile soils drew pioneering farmers here in the late 1800s, and the charming township that formed became renowned for its English-style gardens in the 20th century. Stroll down the pretty main street and admire the exotic flora that adorns the houses and estates in the township. Pick a café and indulge in Devonshire tea while you enjoy the views of cottage gardens.
Explore the main commercial area of Sassafras, which sits at the central junction of the town. Check out interesting vintage and collectible items in the antiques stores or meet local artisans at the craft shops. The Village Green lies on one corner of the junction and is an idyllic spot to sit and enjoy the township’s scenery of exotic and native flora with a backdrop of rolling hills. Across the road, you’ll see Sassafras’ most iconic building, Miss Marple’s Tearoom. This quaint Tudor-style building has gables adorned with flowers and an ivy-clad porch. Head inside to enjoy a cup of tea with a freshly baked scone served with cream and jam.
Just outside Sassafras is the pretty landscaped estate of the Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens. Wander around the historic estate to find azaleas flowering in spring and breathtaking evergreen forests of native bushland. The gardens feature a tranquil ornamental lake and gentle waterfalls.
More magnificent native flora can be found in the Dandenong Ranges National Park, an expansive area of nature reserve crisscrossed with bushwalking trails and scenic roads. Walk through verdant fern gullies and stand beneath the canopy of an ancient forest or bring a picnic to enjoy at the park’s pretty picnic grounds. Many native bird species, such as lyrebirds, kookaburras, cockatoos, rosellas and owls, thrive in this tranquil refuge.
Sassafras is situated 46 kilometres (29 miles) east from central Melbourne. It is easily accessible via car and a network of trains and buses. The township’s cottage lodgings or forest retreats are an ideal base for your wilderness getaway in the scenic Dandenong Ranges.