The ribbons of road which wind through the Dandenongs take you to some charming little villages which are rich with 19th century charm – and often have rich pickings for antiques.
Mount Dandenong Tourist Road is the main route, with antique outlets at Sassafras and Olinda. Look for early Australian colonial furniture, furniture from around the world, ceramics, glass, jewellery, costumes, silver, crystal and decorative pieces.
Belgrave is another antique hot spot, and if you’re a fan of vintage clothing, watch out for the vintage emporiums and op shops.
A real treasure trove
The Yarra Valley holds equal promise: Yarra Glen is home to four antique dealers, with more at Healesville and Warburton. Treasures could include Victorian and Edwardian furniture, clocks, china, home wares, books, crystal, decorative arts and vintage clothing.
The Mornington Peninsula seaside villages of Flinders and Sorrento are a favourite antique hunting ground but the Peninsula’s major treasure trove is Moorooduc - Tyabb. The two villages are linked by a love of the old, and the road between them is famous for antiques and collectables. Tyabb Packing House was once an old apple packing shed, but now has more than two acres of old wares, antiques and vintage specialties, with more than 30 dealers under the one roof.