Best Hikes Dandenong Ranges

February 2, 2020 1:02 pm

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

Best Hikes Dandenong Ranges

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

eastern dandenong ranges business association

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

Best Hikes Dandenong Ranges

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.

Bunyip State Park Map
Bunyip State Park Walks Map
Buttongrass Walk Map 

For more on the best hikes Dandenong Ranges visit:

Or download a tourist map of the area here:
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Welcome 2020!

January 20, 2020 9:58 am

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?

Eastern Dandenong Ranges Perfect day trip from Melbourne


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 

Spring is in the air

September 3, 2019 3:04 am

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

July 6, 2019 10:15 pm

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

May 4, 2019 10:57 am

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.

PAVE kicks off with Emerald Funfest April 7

March 16, 2019 9:00 pm

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

March 6, 2019 7:36 pm

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

Eastern Dandenong Ranges Rail Trail

January 1, 2019 5:03 am

The 12.5k trail goes from Emerald to Gembrook and is truly unique. You’ll travel alongside Puffing Billy, take-in the magnificent Nobelius Heritage Gardens at Emerald Lake Park, the tall eucalypts and tree ferns in Wright Forest and the rolling hills and rich agricultural farmlands in Gembrook. Download Trail Maps

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August 3, 2018 10:27 pm

Cockatoo Country Market is on today from 8.30 – 1.30pm. Situated in the lush surrounds of Alma Treloar Reserve, this is a great market to pick-up some locally made goodies and enjoy a picnic with the family. While you’re there its worth a visit to the Ash Wednesday Bushfire Education Centre and a visit to artisan producers Medita Chocolates & Chieftains Smokehouse located in McBride Street.