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God’s greatest gift to humanity is the gift of nature which can be seen very well in the Dandenong Ranges National Park. The uniqueness of a country can be best described through the unique nature gifts they possess – The type of flora and fauna defines the uniqueness of that country. For Australia, as it happens, the Dandenong Ranges National Park is such a beauty. It is a paradise for backpackers and nature lovers with the rich flora and fauna present in this country.

About Dandenong Ranges National Park

About Dandenong Ranges National Park

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It all started in 1882 with a small reserve near Ferntree Gully and now extends over an area of ​​3500 hectares of different colors of nature. Colorful gardens, cool umbrellas, divine waterfalls and great picnic spots make it a favorite among all types of travelers. Away from the hustle and bustle of city life, this place provides a much-needed escape; It’s quiet and there are so many trails that you’ll likely lose track of time. Near Melbourne, the Dandenong Ranges National Park is dotted with small villages, roads and homes, making the trails even more exciting.

Not just flora, the national park is also home to a variety of birds, some of which are rare, but all of them are as beautiful as other birds. Kookaburras, cockatoos, crimson rosellas and even the magnificent lyrebird, which was almost on the verge of extinction, have found their home in this park. It is a paradise for bird watchers. The melodious sounds of birds echoing in the forests add an extra touch to the ambiance of the park. A beautiful place with many gardens and some unique spots that you won’t find anywhere else in the world, the Dandenong Ranges National Park is quickly becoming popular with tourists who seek solitude in this vast national park.

Best time to visit Dandenong Ranges National Park

Best time to visit

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The weather in Dandenong Ranges National Park remains somewhat balanced throughout the year. If you want to avoid the crowds, the autumn season from March to May is the best time to visit. The months of June to August are considered winter and is one of the most popular seasons to visit the park. Spring time in the park is from September to November, where there is either a lot of rain or snowfall, so it is better to avoid visiting in these months. The summer months from December to February are considered to be the best time to visit the park, as it is neither too hot nor too cold. The hottest time of the year is from early to mid February making it the best time to visit.

Places to Visit in Dandenong Range National Park

From hiking on various amazing trails to marveling at the different colors of the colorful gardens, there are so many places to visit and so many activities in the Dandenong Ranges National Park that one visit won’t be enough.

1. Dandenong Ranges Botanical Garden

Dandenong Ranges Botanical Garden

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This place is a piece of heaven on earth with colorful hues of flora and fauna. This will probably be the highlight of your visit to the national park. Home to flowers like rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias, daffodils and cherries, it is a nature lovers’ delight. The perfectly manicured gardens, spread over 104 acres, are a sight for sore eyes. This is a great place to capture some stunning images; The colors and fragrances will refresh you and it is at its best in the autumn and spring seasons.

In fact, people sometimes come to the park to see rare lyrebird species, especially during winter. There are other birds like king parrots, ducks and even peacocks that you will see in this garden. You won’t want to miss this spectacular garden, which is open year-round except Christmas Day. Since it has plenty of picnic spots, you can pack a basket and spend the whole day here.

Must read: Australia Tourist Attractions: Do you dare to visit all these 49 places on your Australian trip?

2. Dandenong Ranges National Park 1000 Steps

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This is exactly what it means to walk a thousand steps to reach the top of the path. Here these ferries were replaced by a combination of wooden and concrete stairs. Located within the Dandenong Ranges National Park, the 1000 Steps, also known as the Kokoda Walk, is one of the park’s popular walking routes. The uniqueness of this Padayatra is that it is much more than that; While climbing up, you will find plaques along the way which will give you a glimpse of the pain and efforts endured by Australian soldiers while climbing it during 1942.

If you’re up for it and want to test your fitness levels, there’s no better place than this. Most of the people who come here come for this reason. So, make sure you wear comfortable clothes and shoes, as this is not an easy journey by any means. Also, be sure to have a map of the Dandenong Ranges National Park with you, so you can stay on track. Depending on how fit you are, this journey can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 1.5 hours to complete.

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3. Sherbrooke Falls

Sherbrooke Falls

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One of the most popular waterfalls in Dandenong Ranges National Park, it is one of the most popular trails in the park. It has plenty of picnic areas and walking trails, and Sherbrooke Forest, with all its cool flora and fauna, is an ideal route for any season. Along the way you’ll also encounter the famous mountain ash trees, some of which are up to 200 years old. It is also a forest where you can see the rare lyrebird species. You’ll also get a glimpse of the wildlife here, including the occasional possum crossing your tracks and some native birds. You can also have a picnic at the O’Donohue Picnic Ground, which is located very close to the gorgeous falls. Although the waterfall itself is amazing, its beautiful scenery makes a visit even more exciting.

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4. Panna Lake

Panna Lake

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It is a known fact that the park is surrounded by many small villages and towns and this is one of them, located in the Dandenong Ranges. It is most famous for its spectacular lake, which offers many activities year-round, including fishing and paddle boat rides. Another attraction of Emerald Lake is the Puffing Billy Steam Train, in which you can take an interesting ride through the countryside. In addition, it also has an aquatic center with a seasonal wading pool, among other things. Whether it’s the Town Hall, the Library or the countless walking trails, Emerald Lake has something for everyone. While there you can also do some shopping and pick up some gifts.

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5. Blue Hills Berries and Cherries

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Located in the foothills, this farm belongs to the Chapman family, who have lived here since 1894. This farm truly offers the joy of fresh produce. As the name suggests, this is the farm where you can find plenty of blackberries and cherries, and the most exciting part of all this is that you can pick your own. People present in the field, who have immense knowledge, will guide you while selecting the crop. Called ‘pick your own’ or ‘u-pick’ berries, you’ll get to experience the joy and hard work that goes into picking these berries. But, of course, since these berries are seasonal, you can make the best of this opportunity during the months of November to April. Additionally, you can visit their gift shop and buy some delicious treats made by the locals and even sample some of the jams made on the farm!

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Where to stay in Dandenong Ranges National Park

where to stay

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As far as accommodation is concerned, there are plenty of options to choose from. Cottages of all sizes and amenities are available here. But, of course, nothing can beat the camping experience of Dandenong Ranges National Park. There are lots of options to choose from. There is a wide list of campgrounds to choose from and choosing one will be a difficult choice. From basic camping sites to even caravans with all the modern amenities like electricity, showers and toilets, you will be spoiled for choice. But, one thing all of these campgrounds have in common is the joy of being amidst nature and enjoying the sights and sounds of this stunning park.

How to reach Dandenong Ranges National Park

How to reach Dandenong Ranges National Park

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There is more than one way to reach this national park. Depending on your suitability and available time, you can take any mode of transport.

by train

As it is so close to Melbourne, the park can be reached from Melbourne by Belgrave line metro trains in just one hour. Yet another option is to take the train to Croydon on the Lilydale Line and continue on Ventura Bus 688 to Mount Dandenong and Olinda.

by car

Of course, the best option to visit this park is by road, in your own car, on your own time. There are also plenty of taxi services and self-drive vehicles available for hire and this is one of the best options, especially on weekends, when trains and buses can be crowded.
Dandenong Ranges National Park isn’t just a trails park, although given the number of trails available one can’t complain about that. But, it is also about many lakes, museums, art centers etc. So, when you plan a trip to Australia, make sure you have at least a weekend to explore it completely.

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Dandenong Ranges National Park isn’t just a trails park, although given the number of trails available one can’t complain about that. But, it is also about many lakes, museums, art centers etc. So, when you plan a trip to Australia, make sure you have at least a weekend to explore it completely.


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By Arumugam

Ganesan Arumugam is a seasoned journalist with a passion for uncovering stories that resonate with readers worldwide. With a keen eye for detail and a commitment to journalistic integrity, Ganesan has contributed to the media landscape for over a decade, covering a diverse range of topics including politics, technology, culture, and human interest stories.