Discover the best day trips from Melbourne with a mid-week visit to the Dandenong Ranges.
Welcome to the Dandenong Ranges, with high overarching mountain ash trees, quaint mountaintop villages and lush gardens, a cosmopolitan lifestyle and climate that invites year-round visitors. From the mountaintop village of Olinda to overlooking the city of Melbourne from Sky High, the region offers endless outdoor adventure including picturesque walking trails, a delicious food and dining scene, and a lively calendar of events (an excuse for multiple day trips from Melbourne) that all add up to an unforgettable mid-week day trip to the Dandenong Ranges.
So what are you waiting for? Jump in the car, crank Smooth FM and get those classics playing as you make your way up to the Dandenongs!
Kick start your day trip from Melbourne with the most important meal of the day.
The Dandenongs is famous for its great dining scene and has an endless choice of options scattered throughout the mountaintop. One noteworthy option worth adding to your checklist is Burnham Beeches, the Piggery Cafe. Housed in - yes you guessed it - a restored piggery and stables, serving the finest in organically sourced dining. Get those senses tingling with five senses coffee and enjoy breakfast (eggs, bacon and all the trimmings!). Oh, and don’t forget to grab a lemon tart on your way out!
Meet William Ricketts.
Weave your way along the beautiful Mt Dandenong Tourist Rd to William Ricketts Sanctuary. The sanctuary is described as a jewel in the crown for those wanting to experience not only the thick rainforest but the iconic work of William Ricketts. Walk the sanctuary and engage yourself with the peace and connection that Rickett shared with the Dandenong’s local Aboriginal people. A truly magical experience.
Discover an all-ages playground.
Cloudehill Gardens is a spot to add to your day trips from Melbourne bucket list. The gardens are situated at the top of the Dandenong Ranges and are an all-ages playground of discovery. Walk the maze of stone walls and jewel-like garden rooms, listen out to the natural wildlife as birds chipper to one another and immerse yourself with the cool climate trees. The garden has herbaceous borders which focus on two stunning Japanese weeping maples - Definitely worth a snap or two!
"Ohhh ahh that's the spot".
A visit to the day spa is the perfect way to unwind, relax and re-find your balance during your mid-week day trip. Balance Mountain Day Spa is a tranquil wellness centre, a mecca of luxury massages, facial treatments, beauty therapies and more. Be still, knowing that you are surrounded by nothing but nature, picturesque mountain backdrops and incense.
Watch the afternoon escape at Coonara Springs.
Overlooking the Silvan Reservoir and parts of the Yarra Valley, discover the Dandenong’s oldest and cosiest restaurant, Coonara Springs, with food inspired by country-style, contemporary Australian cuisine. Find the fireplace and take time out with a glass of red and watch the afternoon escape into the evening. Coonara Springs has quite a reputation in presenting a mid-week speciality menu that encapsulates the flavours of the Dandenong Ranges; a delicious and organically-sourced three-course Al La Carte menu - Delicious!
Those city lights.
On your way home don’t forget to drop into Sky High to gaze on Melbourne’s city lights. The lookout is breathtaking during the day and mind-blowing during the night. For those who think they’ll be too tired to drive home, we recommend booking some accommodation in advance. Our pick is Villa d’Amour - a cute mountain cottage for two that’s situated in the middle of all the action. Oh, and if you don’t get a chance to “pack it all in” make sure you add it to you ‘Day Trips from Melbourne’ bucket list!
For other ideas on mid-week visits: Download Free Trail Maps