Take a good look up that hill – you’re going up. Way up. The steep and fern-lined 1000 Steps and Kokoda Memorial Walk is one of Melbourne’s most popular walking trails, and is your gateway to the beautiful paths of the Dandenong Ranges, skyscraping gums and native fauna (we spotted a mother wallaby with joey on our visit).
For a real village feel, head to the winding mountain roads of Olinda and buy quality locally made goods (and don’t forget to stock up on lollies at Olinda Sweet Co). Stay on the shopping train and head to the Emerald Market; the largest market in the Dandenong Ranges. Stalls range from locally grown plants and homemade alpaca fleece knits to artisan cheese, honey and bread.
When dusk begins to fall, head to Sky High Mt Dandenong; a lookout point that offers an unrivalled view of the sunset over Melbourne’s city skyline.