Our local cafes, bakeries, hotel and restaurants have re-opened in Clematis, Emerald, Cockatoo & Gembrook. You’ll find a great variety of cuisines to choose from and take-away food, everything from baked goods, family roasts, Italian, Argentinian & pub grub to warm you up. Support local, shop local. Shop here
WHAT'S ON NOW!
We may be a little biased but we might just have some of the best markets in Melbourne here in the Eastern Dandenong Ranges. We are definitely spoilt for choice in the market department and you would be hard pressed not to find one each Saturday and Sunday here in the hills.
If you are looking for “markets near me” this weekend why not come out to the hills and check out one of these amazing markets.
Best Markets in Melbourne!
Cockatoo Country Market
Held on the first Saturday of every month from 9am -2pm in the Cockatoo Community Hall and car park at 75 Pakenham Rd, Cockatoo. This country market provides a friendly ambience nestled in the Alma Treloar Reserve where you can buy locally grown, made and produced.
Grow it Make it Bake it Market
Run by Lions Club Emerald on the first Sunday of every month from 10am – 3pm at the Emerald Mechanics Hall – 400 Belgrave-Gembrook Road, Emerald. Just as the name implies the market features products from artisans that are homemade, home grown or baked fresh. And all market proceeds are invested back into the community!
Kallista Community Market
Held on the first Saturday of every month from 9am – 1pm in Church Street, Kallista. This market which is nestled amongst the trees is a vibrant country market close to the Kallista shops, Lyrebird Walk and Grants Picnic Ground – so why not make a day of it. Handmade and home crafted goods including jewellery, plants, wood crafts, soap, clothing and food is also available.
Held at the top of Main Street in Monbulk on the second Saturday of every month from 8am – 1pm. Supporting local growers and sellers who provide market goers fresh local produce including meats, fruits, vegetables, eggs, bread and much more.
Held on the third Sunday of every month from 9am – 3pm in Kilvington Dve, Emerald. A large vibrant street market that extends into the Community House Hall and surrounds. Located in the Puffing Billy precinct of Emerald, travellers on Puffing Billy along with locals can enjoy the bustling community village feel of this market. You can find organic produce, artisan speciality makers, local handmade goods and gourmet food. The market is run by the Emerald Community House which assists fundraising for the PAVE arts Festival held each year in April.
This market runs alongside Gembrook Puffing Billy Station in Main Street, Gembrook, and delights all who visit this historic and quaint heritage township. Held on the fourth Sunday of every month from 9am – 2pm selling crafts, plants, fresh produce, food and local made goods.
Are you looking for the best hikes Dandenong Ranges has to offer? On the Eastern side of the ranges you can find loads of hikes for different fitness levels located in amongst beautiful serene forests. Or if you are looking for more of a lively atmosphere try the walks between our gorgeous villages. There you can stop and grab some sustenance from one of our local cafes or bakeries.
We’ve listed three of our favourite Dandenong Ranges Walks to get you started below:
Emerald to Cockatoo Walking Track
The Emerald Cockatoo trail begins where the Puffing Billy Railway line crosses Kilvington Drive. You will find yellow arrow and signs guiding you to the right spot. These yellow arrows and signage point off to the right, heading down into the beautiful Emerald Park Lake. Pass through the main car parking area at the Lake and follow the main entry road around the lake to join the trail again onto Cockatoo.
For more visit Emerald Lake Park Walking Map here.
Emerald Heritage Walks
This is a self guided walk around Emerald, and perfect for those interested in history. The walk takes around an hour to complete and provides information on 11 remaining buildings around Emerald Village. Heritage Maps are available in Kilvington Drive at the Sign in the park next to Stockdale Leggo and outside the Emerald Museum. Or download one here: Emerald Heritage Walk Map
Bunyip State Park
If you are looking for a great area to visit with different hiking options try one of the walks in Bunyip State Park. Here you’ll come across woodlands, heathlands on river plains, Mountain Ash and natives.
Mortimer Nature Walk is 1.2km return and takes in William Wallace and Diamond Creeks.
Lawsons Falls is a short walk with the only waterfall in the park.
Buttongrass Walk is a 3km self-guided walk through a wet heathland area.
Weatherhead Range Circuit is a 10 km walk starting at Buttongrass Walk.
Lawsons Fall Circuit is a 5km return trip starting from Forest Rd at the east end of the park.
Mortimer Circuit is 9.5km return starting from the Mortimer Picnic Ground. You can then walk onto Four Brothers Rocks and take-in sweeping views across the park.
For more on the best hikes Dandenong Ranges visit:
The Eastern Dandenong Ranges are around one hour from the CBD, making it a perfect destination for day trips from Melbourne. Not quite as well known as the main tourist destinations in the Dandenong Ranges, like 1000 steps, we still have plenty of fun activities for everyone on offer and hidden gems you never knew were here. We are home to the mighty Puffing Billy Steam Train, stunning hikes, walking trails, cycling, kids activities, unique retail outlets, weekend markets, luxury accommodation and much, much more – so why not make it your New Years resolution to visit our beautiful little piece of Victoria this Summer?
Bring the family out to the stunning Eastern Dandenong Ranges and enjoy a picnic, paddle boat ride or walk around picturesque Emerald Lake Park (pictured above), or visit our gorgeous townships like Gembrook and Cockatoo where you can meet the friendly locals at our top level cafe’s and restaurants dotted around the area.
Being situated only an hour out of Melbourne you will feel like you are in the Australian countryside, and instantly calmer as you find yourself surrounded by beautiful forest and nature. We can offer accommodation from camping, budget to luxury making the Eastern Dandenong Ranges a perfect destination for romantic weekend trips from Melbourne or a great spot to take the family on a camping weekend away. Not to mention exceptional destinations for weddings and big events.
We have plenty of different and fun ideas for local Melbournian’s and tourists alike for day trips from Melbourne including wineries, local farmgates, horseriding and golf courses which we are sure you won’t be disappointed by. So why not come out and say hello? To find out more visit our attractions page to see what is on offer in the beautiful Eastern Dandenong Ranges in Victoria this weekend.
Or for more on what to do around Melbourne and Victoria go to visitmelbourne.com
Welcome Spring! Beautiful birdlife, daffodils, tulips, rhododendrons and camelia’s, paint the perfect picture. Take it all in and enjoy the smells, the sounds, the colour and the beauty of the Eastern Dandenong Ranges.
Winter Warmers – Looking for something to do that will warm the heart and the soul? Enjoy a walk along the Eastern Dandenong Ranges Trail or start with a ride on the paddleboats at Emerald Lake Park. Start or finish with a delicious meal at any of the local eateries to choose from. Small cafes, bakeries and restaurants with open fires and panoramic views.
Autumn Splendour – now is the time to visit Emerald Lake Park and enjoy the magnificent colours of Autumn. Make a family day out of it visiting the Emerald Museum, Model Railway Museum and a ride on the paddleboats, all located in the park.
What better way to kick-off PAVE 2019 than with Emerald’s biggest annual street festival, Funfest. Come and indulge in the festival atmosphere with your entire family and enjoy a stack of free entertainment and activities. Street performers, music and performance stages, workshops, kids activities, rides, street art, a diverse range of culinary delights and quality stalls, community activities and so much more. http://www.pave.org.au
Extinction at the Gem Theatre Mar 8 – Mar 23 This is a play about passion, ethics and what it means to live with the shadow of death (our own and other species). Does it matter if the tiger quoll’s days are numbered? Perhaps extinction is just part of the cycle of life or is human intervention necessary? No one in this play is wicked. No one is entirely virtuous. What unites them all is the one urgent question, in the age of global warming, how are we to live? Buy tickets
There are lots of summer events to enjoy in the hills. Markets, musics, festivals and valentine dinners.