40km (25 miles) E of Melbourne
Melbournians traditionally do a "day in the Dandenongs" from time to time, topping off their getaway with Devonshire tea, scones, and jam at one of the many cafes en route. Up in the cool, high country, you'll find native bush, famous gardens, the Dandenong Ranges National Park, historic attractions such as the Puffing Billy -- a vintage steam train -- and plenty of restaurants and cozy B&Bs. The Dandenong Ranges National Park is one of the state's oldest, set aside in 1882 to protect its mountain ash forests and lush tree-fern gullies. Parts of the Dandenongs were affected by the 2009 summer bushfires, but by the time you visit the process of regeneration will be well underway.