Puffing Billy
If you are looking for family activities in the Dandenong ranges, world renowned Puffing Billy is a definite favourite with all the family. You’ll cross trestle bridges, take in magical forests and gullies, farms and majestic views. You can get off along the way and visit the townships of Menzies Creek, Emerald, Cockatoo and Gembrook. The train also stops at Lakeside, a lovely spot to have a picnic, feed the ducks, and enjoy scenic walks. ‘Day out with Thomas’ days are run throughout the year running from Gembrook. 9757 0700 facebook  website


Lakeside Paddleboats
Take in the magnificent views and enjoy some family fun on the paddleboats at Emerald Lake Park. $15 for 15minutes, $18 for 20minutes and $28 for 30minutes. 0412 951 280 facebook website 

Emerald Model Railway image

Emerald Lake Model Railway
Emerald Lake Model Railway & Miniature World is the largest model railway in the Southern Hemisphere. Located in beautiful Emerald Lake Park and adjacent to Puffing Billy Emerald Lakeside Station, the model railway delights children and adults of all images. There are viewing platforms inside the model railway so you can get up close to all the action. Open 7 days a week except Christmas Day 11am – 4pm Oct to April and 11am – 3pm May – Sept. 5968 3455 website

Trout Farm

Australian Rainbow Trout Farm
Try your luck at catching your own Rainbow Trout or Atlantic Salmon.  The Australian Rainbow Trout Farm is nestled in lovely bush surrounds in Macclesfield. There are a number of fishing ponds to choose from, gas barbecues, playground, picnic area and mini golf. website  email 

Emerald Lake Park
Emerald Lake Park is the perfect spot for a family picnic. There are gas barbecues and picnic shelters, cafe, playgrounds, and lovely walks. You can try your hand at fishing, see Puffing Billy as it makes it journey through the Eastern Dandenong Ranges, visit the model railway or take the short walk through the park to the Emerald Museum (open Sundays) and Nobelius Heritage Park. 1300 131 683 ELP_walking_brochure_final


Aura Vale Lake

Aura Vale Lake
The perfect spot for canoeing and sailboarding, Aura Vale Lake is popular all year round and to enjoy family activities or a picnic under a shady tree.  Aura Vale Lake Park Notes

Emerald Museum - Neil Creek - Family activities Eastern Dandenong Ranges

Emerald Museum
The Emerald Museum is situated in the Nobelius Heritage Park in Emerald. The Museum tells the story of Emeralds’ history, the oldest town in the Dandenong Ranges. The Nobelius Heritage Park is of national significance and a lovely spot to enjoy a picnic. You can enjoy a self guided walk around Emerald to learn more about Emeralds’ rich history. Emerald Heritage Maps are available from the Museum anytime and takes around an hour to complete. The Museum is open Wednesday 10am-3pm and Sunday 1.30pm-4pm. 5968 2152 website Emerald Heritage Walk Map

The Motorist Museum

The Motorist
The Motorist is a Vintage Motoring Museum situated in the main street in Gembrook and nearby Gembrook station. A small and detailed private collection of vintage and classic cars including a bus are on display. Visitors can also book a chauffeured drive to take in the beautiful Eastern Dandenong Ranges. Opening times vary so ring David on 0411 465 098 to confirm.

Cardinia Reservoir - Naomi Creek - Family activities Dandenong ranges

Cardinia Reservoir Park
Perfect for a picnic and to see Kangaroos along the Kangaroo Viewing Trail. There are 3 picnic areas to choose from, barbecues, large playground, walking tracks and reservoir viewing areas.

Mt Burnett Observatory - Family activities

Mt Burnett Observatory
Mt Burnett Observatory is the Southern Hemispheres only community run and owned observational telescope. One of the best family activities in the hills the Observatory is open to the public every Friday evening from 8pm – 11pm. 420 Paternoster Rd, Mount Burnett 0409 703 929



Kurth Kiln - Neil Creek - Family activities

Kurth Kiln
Kurth Kiln was built in the 2nd World War to make charcoal and gas producer units for cars as a substitute for petrol.  Small cottages nearby the Kiln were used to house workers and their families.  The Kiln and cottages is situated in Kurth Kiln Regional Park in Gembrook. The park offers camping, short walks and areas suitable for bike riding. Kurth Kiln Parks Notes & Map