The Puffing Billy Express is a narrow-gauge heritage railway winding its way through the Dandenong Ranges.

Dandenong Ranges

Image: The Puffing Billy Express is a narrow-gauge heritage railway winding its way through the Dandenong Ranges.

Dandenong Ranges

The Dandenong Ranges are a series of low mountain ranges one hour’s drive east of Melbourne covered in thick temperate rainforest with a scattering of quaint villages. The ranges’ elevation with various lookouts, trails and picnic areas make them a favourite for day trippers.

Dandenong Ranges
Beautiful mountains one-hour outside of Melbourne
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The Dandenong Ranges are a series of low mountain ranges one hour’s drive east of Melbourne covered in thick temperate rainforest with a scattering of quaint villages. The ranges’ elevation with various lookouts, trails and picnic areas make them a favourite for day trippers.

The Dandenongs are mostly covered by a national park with designated walking trails through the ferny undergrowth for exploring the area including waterfalls, lookouts and native flora and fauna.

There are a number of small towns and villages dotted throughout The Dandenongs whose slow pace of life offers some respite from city living. Belgrave is the largest of these and has a selection of pubs, restaurants and cafes to offer visitors. It is a centre of alternative living and fair trade stores. It's also the starting point of Puffing Billy, a narrow-gauge heritage steam engine winding its way through the ranges from Belgrave to Gembrook. 

Other villages of Sassafras, Olinda, Kallista and Emerald also offer a selection of quaint cafes, charming tea houses, antique stores and B&Bs.