Pack your trainers and your active wear – the Dandenong Ranges is a playground for the health conscious with loads of activities that take your training out and about in new places, fabulous fresh food options that fully deliver on the ‘healthy choice’ options and luxe accommodation with massages close at hand.
Arrive in time for a locally grown brunch. The General Food Store in Emerald highlights Victorian seasonal fare and is your go-to for a Buddha Bowl or a ‘build your own’ protein-plus meal.
There are plenty of wanders in the Dandenong Ranges but if you are looking for something that tests your fitness, choose from these challenging walks that are graded ‘reasonable fitness required’ – the rest is up to you!
The 1000 Steps is well known as a destination for intense climbing training (think Kokoda Trail), but may be best attempted mid week as it can get crowded on the weekend. Perhaps try the extension walk – the Lyrebird Track, or the One Tree Hill lookout walk as well!
Take the long way select from a range of walks including the Ferntree Gully Walk – a 3 hour, 8 km return walk that boasts steep forested paths, or put the day aside and pack your knapsack with plenty of water and trail mix as you rise to the challenge of the Kurth Kiln Regional Park walk – a 9 hour, 20 km return walk – or the Emerald to Gembrook Trail – a similar time and distance – on forest tracks with some bridge and road crossings. Trail runners will of course be home sooner!
Indulgent massages for rest and recovery
Think Dandenong Ranges, think relaxation, and after a day on the trails you’ve earned yourself a massage. Try Balance Mountain Day Spa (Olinda) for a real treat – they also have yoga options and naturopathy services.
At Nourish Day Spa there is a one-hour couples deal so that means no one misses out!
Dinner is up to you. There are plenty of wonderful restaurants in the Dandenong Ranges that cater for all your dietary needs and tonight just might be the night you have a ‘cheat meal’ so you can enjoy all the region has to offer!
May we suggest some accommodation?
At Billabong Falls in Olinda you can enjoy the natural swimming pools and private waterfalls that surround your room – a private oasis among the tree ferns complete with fresh air bomb! There is a hot outdoor shower and you have full access to the seasonal veggie patch so you can prepare an amazing dinner at home!
Or stay at Risehill House Kalorama, a unique self-contained house that is built in the shape of an octagon - the most recognisable symbol of Feng Shui. Octagon homes are believed to bring health and happiness to their occupants! Sleep yourself healthy!
If your accommodation absolutely must have a gym, try Canterbury International Hotel in Forest Hill, which offers easy access to the foothills of the Ranges.
Check out from your accommodation and head to Sassafras. Ripe Cafe in Sassafras is your first stop for the day for lots of housemade treats, big breakfasts or lingering lunches on the back deck. Plenty of vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options too. Take a brisk walk around town but be sure to pause at Tea Leaves for a range of healthy, hand-blended teas (take home packs!). There are plenty of forest walks to access from the township too.
Need a place for a morning swim or work out? Try:
As part of Melbourne’s food bowl, the Dandenong Ranges leaves you spoilt for choice when it comes to farmgate produce. Your afternoon can be spent in the delightful pursuit of fruit. Pick your own, or purchase the finest quality, just picked fruits direct from the farmgate!
Rayner’s Orchards in Woori Yallock has more than 400 fruits on offer throughout the year and autumn is abundant with the stuff you love, and many delights you may have never tasted before. Warrantina Lavender Farm in Wandin is also worth a visit to explore the health-promoting properties of lavender. Checkout our U-Pick Trails map for more places you can stock up on cherries, berries and more!
After 48 hours in the Dandenong Ranges you will be feeling healthy, ready and revived. Your healthy break begins with booking tday.