Parks near the Dandenong and Yarra Ranges

Parks near the Dandenong and Yarra Ranges

Not too far from Melbourne, the Dandenong and Yarra Ranges region is a favourite for food and wine lovers, but there’s also incredible nature to explore. These mountainous regions of cool temperate rainforest are perfect for discovering cascading waterfalls, picturesque picnic spots and incredible views. Explore by car on a scenic drive, try one of the many walks or jump on your mountain bike. Don’t miss the opportunity to get into nature in this beautiful region.

Parks near the Dandenong Ranges

Perhaps the most famous spot in the Dandenong Ranges is the 1000 Steps, but there are many quieter walks that are just as spectacular. Visit the Dandenong Ranges National Park after rainfall and see the waterfalls flow. You might also spot a lyrebird out to feed too!

The open lawns of Silvan Reservoir Park are surrounded by impressive eucalypt forest, making it perfect for a picnic or barbecue. Dandenong Ranges Botanic Garden is another great spot for a picnic. Visit in spring to see the Rhododendrons bloom.

Two retired men go on a long walk through lush temperate rain-forest near Eagles nest picnic ground.

Dandenong Ranges National Park

Protecting the tall forests of the Dandenongs, this park is well known for its spectacular Mountain Ash trees and lush fern gullies, and is ideal for relaxing picnics and tranquil forest walks.
Two men mountain biking at Silvan Reservoir, Dandenong Ranges National Park.

Silvan Reservoir Park

Set in the foothills of the Dandenong Ranges, Silvan Reservoir Park is an easy drive from Melbourne and ideal for a great day out.
A man with an afro wearing a leather jacket and woman wearing a cream knitted jumper walk past a tree with splendid autumn leaves.

Dandenong Ranges Botanic Garden

The Dandenong Ranges Botanic Garden (formerly the National Rhododendron Garden) is host to brilliantly coloured blooms of rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias, cherries and daffodils. Seasonal changes ensure the gardens are a delight all year around.

Gardens of the Dandenongs

The Dandenong Ranges is well known for its cool climate gardens, with stunning collections of rare plants and flowers. Enjoy the seasonal changes of nature in the beautiful Gardens of the Dandenongs.

From the extensive water features at Alfred Nicholas Memorial Garden to the striking sculptures of William Ricketts Sanctuary, each garden has something unique to explore. Enjoy peaceful walks or picnics on the lawns. The gardens are all located close to Olinda, so why not make a day of it and visit a few?

The lake and linking bridge at Alfred Nicholas Memorial Garden

Alfred Nicholas Memorial Garden

Delightful all year round, choose your own adventure along the many linking paths beneath the canopy of Mountain Ash trees as you stroll through the garden.
Park bench on a lawn surrounded by trees and shrubs

George Tindale Memorial Garden

Extensive collections of magnolias, rhododendrons, camellias, azaleas, fuchsias and hydrangeas will delight visitors to George Tindale Memorial Gardens.
Pirianda Gardens

Pirianda Garden

With magnificent views and a backdrop of ever-changing colours, photographers and bird watchers are in for a treat at Pirianda Garden, while the lawns are perfect for spreading out with a picnic feast.
The view from the RJ Hamer Arboretum in the Dandenong Ranges National Park.

RJ Hamer Arboretum

Take a quiet, peaceful stroll along the many walking tracks and roads of the Arboretum and take in the tranquil beauty and stunning scenery across the Yarra Valley out to the Warburton Ranges and beyond.
Sculpture by William Ricketts

William Ricketts Sanctuary

Situated in a ferny glade in the Dandenongs, William Ricketts Sanctuary is a place of beauty and tranquillity, featuring extraordinary sculptures of people and animals half-hidden in the natural environment, just waiting to be discovered.

Parks near Gembrook and Emerald

Set in the foothills of the Dandenong Ranges are the towns of Gembrook and Emerald. Not too far away, there are more great parks to be explored. The adventurous will love Bunyip State Park. Explore the diverse eco-systems on foot, horseback, trail bike or in your four-wheel drive.

Kurth Kiln Regional Park is another great spot for horse-riding. The park is also popular for camping, picnicking and walking.

Enjoy the many lookouts and vantage points of Cardinia Reservoir Park. You’ll be rewarded with panoramic views. Keep an eye out for Eastern Grey Kangaroos feeding at dusk!

A view of Bunyip State Park

Bunyip State Park

Escape where you can breathe fresh air and enjoy native plants and animals. See a mosaic of green from heathland on river plains to Mountain Ash forest covering steep slopes.
Family picnicking on the grass with trees in the background

Kurth Kiln Regional Park

Kurth Kiln Regional Park features a range of forest types awaiting exploration. The park is mostly known for its kiln, used during the Second World War to make charcoal for gas producer units fitted to motor cars.
Aura Vale Lake at Cardinia Reservoir in Melbourne's east.

Cardinia Reservoir Park

Cardinia Reservoir Park is a great place for a family day out. The open parklands, picnic and barbecue areas and native bushland are abounding with native wildlife and flora.

Parks near the Yarra Ranges

For snow-lovers, Mount Donna Buang in Yarra Ranges National Park is one of the closest spots to Melbourne for snowplay. The park is spectacular all year round, with its rainforest scenery and epic views. Don’t miss the stunning lookouts in the park.

Photographers will love a visit to Maroondah Reservoir Park in Healesville. The historic Rose Stairway is best in Autumn, while azaleas and rhododendrons are in full bloom in spring. Or visit in the wetter months to capture the water tumbling over the spillway.

Visitors to Upper Yarra Reservoir Park will find carefully maintained gardens and picnic grounds. The park is due to reopen in May 2021.

Donellys Weir in the Yarra Ranges National Park.

Yarra Ranges National Park

Situated between Melbourne and the Victorian Alps, the Yarra Ranges National Park is a place of epic views, majestic rainforest scenery and fun-packed snowplay. Enjoy the panorama from Mount Donna Buang, or go deeper into the park on the Black Spur Drive, and wind through towering Mountain Ash forests to Lake Mountain.
A Rotunda at Maroondah Reservoir Park

Maroondah Reservoir Park

Spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and reservoir and colourful gardens with many exotic trees coupled with native bush make Maroondah Reservoir Park one of Melbourne's most attractive parks.
Echidna in the grass

Upper Yarra Reservoir Park

Nestled at the top of Yarra Valley lies the popular Upper Yarra Reservoir Park – the uppermost point of the Yarra River accessible to the public.
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