Published 29 May 2019
Long weekends are made for slowing down, and the Queen’s Birthday weekend (June 8-10) is a perfect time to take your time in the Dandenong Ranges.
Pack your woollies, pack the family and pack in all you can as you explore a world of wonder just one hour from Melbourne.
Don your finery, take a ride and get fed too!
Puffing Billy is more than just a train, it’s a whole experience that can be whatever you’re seeking. Want to dine on the Puffing Billy train? No problem – there are Steam and Cuisine luncheons every day of the week, and dinners too. (And there’s a special weekday offer with a 20% discount for lunch during winter.) Travel the forests and hills for three hours and three courses with drinks too. You can even find a little mystery along the way at one of the ‘Murder on the Puffing Billy Express’ special events (selected dates). Dress to the era, or dress in your finest regalia and enjoy being part of the show.
Explore winter wonderlands at Cloudehill Gardens
This is a garden for all the seasons and in winter it comes alive in its own special way. Wander the carefully cultivated pathways and enjoy these stately gardens made for simple pleasures and fit for royalty. In winter, the Dandenong Ranges can experience snow falls and this is an extra special time to see these gardens turned into a truly memorable winter wonderland. Warm up after your wander with wine and a meal in the Seasons Restuarant in the gardens.
Eat like a Queen
Mary Eats Cake in Montrose is offering High Teas all weekend with delicious house baked goodies by Patissier Jess and personally blended teas by Tea Sommelier Sarah. Raise a pinky finger and nibble on delicate cucumber sangers, while toasting all the good things in life. Queens like you need a good birthday celebration. You’re worth it.
Walk the high road in the Ranges in less than an hour
Take a royal tour and enjoy a walk in nature that will have your ‘nature-deficit’ restored in less than an hour. These walks are all 'absolutely fabulous' for a gentle stroll, or you can set a royal pace if you wish. Your royal subjects might just be native Australian wildlife. Here’s our quicklist of great short walks to try.
Take a drive and wave to the people
Mr Dandenong Tourist Rd is the perfect drive for an all-in explore of the best of the Dandenong Ranges. Start at the southern end of the Dandenong Ranges from Ferntree Gully Rd and weave your way through the hill top villages that make this area of the world so special. Make sure you stop at The Piggery Café at Burnham Beeches for a ‘keep you going all day’ brunch or some delicious pastries. Lady Diana is reputed to have stayed at Burnham Beeches in the 1980s and it still retains its air of majesty and mystery. The Mt Dandenong Tourist Rd ends at Montrose with easy access back to the city, or turnaround and drive this gorgeous windy, sealed road back to Ferntree Gully so you can see all the things you missed the first time.
See our website for places to stay, places to eat and more things to do. It's a long weekend after all!
Want to go further? See our blog for fabulous things to enjoy this Queen's Birthday weekend in the Yarra Valley.