Disappear from the bustle of city life into the Dandenong Ranges' secret fern glades, towering forests and eclectic villages. See the seasons in the villages of the ranges as they burst into colour in spring and are softened by mist and dustings of snow in winter.
Find little treasures such as one-off designs in jewellery, furniture and glasswork in the shops and galleries in Olinda, Belgrave and Sassafras. Then see how far you've come as you look down at the city's twinkling panorama of fairy lights from SkyHigh atop Mount Dandenong.
Watch the historic Puffing Billy steam engine as it chuffs along its narrow-gauge track, then jump aboard for a scenic ride. The landscape gives you just a hint of the vast national parks and gardens here, from the blooms of the National Rhododendron Gardens to the forests in the Dandenong Ranges National Park.
There are magical places like Sherbrooke Forest, Doongalla Homestead, One Tree Hill and the mystical sculptures hidden among ferns in the William Ricketts Sanctuary. Or go hard and conquer the Thousand Steps of the Kokoda Walk that’s a memorial to the Australian soldiers of World War II.
When you’ve worked up an appetite, tuck into famous Devonshire teas, dine aboard Puffing Billy or savour local produce in cosy cafes or airy restaurants. Stay in an elegant guesthouse dating from a century ago when the Dandenong Ranges was Melbourne's favourite retreat, or choose from more contemporary accommodation.