With rich red volcanic soils feeding tall Eucalypt forests and cropland, through to valley soils supporting grazing and heathy foothill forests, the variety of the patchwork landscape is known as the Eastern Dandenong Ranges and Puffing Billy Country.
So close to Melbourne yet a world away, you’ll find yourself travelling through quaint hills villages such as Emerald. Melbourne’s regional towns are artful and physically and spiritually nourishing. If you are travelling on foot, train from Melbourne City to Belgrave, then on the 695 Bus that travels between Belgrave & Gembrook or jump on Puffing Billy.
Small gems were found in the creeks and watercourses around Gembrook back in the late 1880’s. Rich in agriculture and well-known for its potato growing, Gembrook was settled in 1873 for farming and timber. Much of the township has an historic feel of the past and bestows patchwork landscape views. Gembrook is the last stop on the Puffing Billy line and home to Kurth Kiln Regional Park, The Motorist Museum, Gembrook Park and market held on the last Sunday of every month.
You’ll find a comprehensive guide to Gembrook here.