Local Attractions in the Dandenongs

The Dandenongs are home to an amazing range of unique, fascinating and downright beautiful places that you should visit while you’re staying at Holly Lodge.  Here’s a list we’ve put together for you.

  • William Ricketts Sanctuary

    William Ricketts Sanctuary

    Situated in a ferny glade in the Dandenongs, William Ricketts Sanctuary is a breathtaking combination of compelling sculptures and natural beauty and tranquility.  As you walk down the pathways, you’ll delight in finding extraordinarily lifelike sculptures of Aboriginal people set amongst the ferns, the rocks and the towering Mountain Ash. This is a unique experience that should be number one of your list of things to do.

  • Mt Dandenong Sky High Observatory

    Mt Dandenong Sky High Observatory

    Located on the highest point of  the Dandenong Ranges, the observatory provides a panoramic view from the Mornington Peninsula across the waters of Port Phillip Bay, Melbourne’s ever-growing outer suburbs to the Young Yangs. At night this view turns into a spectacular carpet of lights. During the day you can also enjoy the garden maze, acclamined English garden plus a range of barbecues, picnic grounds and a cafe/family bistro.

  • Puffing Billy

    Puffing Billy

    Puffing Billy is Australia’s favourite steam train and one of the finest preserved steam railways in the world. The railway travels for 25 kilometres through the beautiful forests and fern gullies of the Dandenong Ranges. Located in Belgrave, Puffing Billy travels to Emerald Lake Park and Gembrook and return. You can ride in the open carriage, taking in the wonderful sights and smells while you listen to the clack-clack of the wheels on the track. The lunch and dinner trains, which are both licensed, provide Devonshire tea or full gourmet lunch and dinner in enclosed first class carriages from Belgrave to Emerald Lake Park. A delightful way to spend a few hours. Recommended time to set aside to truly enjoy the experience: lunch train 3.5 hours, dinner train 4.75 hours. Shorter normal train rides without the meals are available.

  • Healesville Animal Sanctuary

    Healesville Animal Sanctuary

    Healesville Sanctuary is one of Australia’s most acclaimed wildlife sanctuaries dedicated to showcasing Australian wildlife. tucked into the foothills of the stunning Yarra Valley, the Sanctuary’s 30 hectares of bushland provides a distinctly Australian setting. Visitors can experience close-up encounters with some of Australia’s most unique and captivating wildlife, including koalas, kangaroos, wombats, emus, dingoes, birds of prey and platypuses.

  • Trees Adventure

    Trees Adventure

    Trees Adventure is an exhilerating eco-adventure in the Dandenong Ranges. It comprises five tree-top obstacle and flying fox courses that weave through the awe-inspiring canopy of Glen Harrow Gardens. Participants adventure from tree to tree, taking on thrilling mid-air challenges up to 12 metres high in a magic forest featuring Victoria’s only two Japanese Oaks and under the canopy of one of the largest Algerian Oaks in the world. Gaze at Californian Redwoods, Tasmanian Ash and the Douglas Fir. The forest features some of Australia’s rarest and most remarkable trees, while the obstacle courses running through range from easy to thrilling. Bookings are essential.

  • 1000 Steps Kokoda Trail

    1000 Steps Kokoda Trail

    1000 Steps Kokoda Trail in Fern Tree Gully. Commencing in the National Park in Upper Ferntree Gully, the 1000 stony and deep steps offer a unique physical challenge through beautiful bush, concluding at One Tree Hill picnic grund. While visiting the steps a series of 14 memorial plaques will give you a glimpse of the physical effort taken by Australian soldiers during 1942.

  • National Rhododendron Gardens

    National Rhododendron Gardens

    The National Rhododendron Gardens in Olinda provide a feast for the eyes with a stunning variety of brilliantly coloured blooms, mainly rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias, cherries and daffodils. These magnificent gardens attract thousands of visitors during all seasons. During the Spring Floral Festival( held from August to November) visitors can enjoy a series of undercover floral displays, including the largest undercover display of daffodils in the Southern Hemisphere.

  • Cuckoo Restaurant

    Cuckoo Restaurant

    Nestled in the forest in Olinda, this restaurant on the Mount Dandenong Tourist Road is known for its amazing smorgasboards created by world class chefs. The charming building is decked out in Bavarian Chalet Style and offers live entertainment including slap dance and yodelling. The Cuckoo is open for lunch all-through the week and offers dinner from Friday till Sunday.

  • Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens

    Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens

    These gardens were part of the historic Burnham Beeches Estate, home of Alfred Nicholas. It’s a beautiful setting that’s ideal for a relaxed walk through a garden that’s sheltered by the canopies of towering Mountain Ash a features a picturesque lake complete with a boathouse.

  • Grants Picnic Grounds in Kallista

    Grants Picnic Grounds in Kallista

    Nestled in Sherbrooke Forest, Kallista, Grants Picnic Grounds are a great place to have a picnic or barbecue or just enjoy one of the many walks through the amazing forest. It’s also the only place in the Dandenong National Park where you’re allowed the feed the birds. And it’s a really easy way to get close to flocks of colourful birds including crimson rosellas, sulphur crested cockatoos and pink galahs.

  • Tesselaars Tulip Farm and Festival

    Tesselaars Tulip Farm and Festival

    Delight in the magic of Spring at the Tesselar Tulip Festival , with more than half a million tulips in every conceivable colour blooming in the fields. There is live entertainment, themed weekends and food and wine. The festival runs from mid September to mid October annually.