The Dandenong ranges is a popular tourist destination in Victoria. It lies about an hour east of Melbourne CBD. The area offers various breath-taking mountain and forest areas, fun tourist attractions and activities. It’s a wonderful place to get away from the city and enjoy the peace and serenity this wonderful place offers. If you’re coming here with a large group (30 people or more), finding suitable activities can be difficult. That’s why we’re come up with a few excellent suggestions for activities to do in the Dandenong ranges for large groups. Enjoy!
Explore the Treetops at Trees Adventure – Glen Harrow Park
A crowd favourite among our guests at Camp Belgrave. The Trees Adventure in Glen Harrow is one of the ultimate Treetop experiences in Victoria. The park features interesting and challenging tree top courses that become increasingly difficult each time that you get higher into the canopy.
The varied difficulty levels of their courses make it a great group activity for all ages and ability levels. There are nine courses (7 long and two short) containing more than 100 challenges including 23 flying foxes with the longest one 120 metres long. There is a challenge for all ages from 3 years old all the way through to the adults. Their courses range from 2 metres above ground level all the way up to the tree top canopy itself at 15 metres for thrill seekers.
You’ll swing up, leap up, climb and fly through this two-hour adventure. Hear the kookaburras laugh overhead and listen carefully for the sound of the Puffing Billy whistling in the distance.
Prices start from $28 for kids, $41 for youth, $51 for adults and $45 for concessions card holders. For more information and for availability check out their website here.
Distance From Camp Belgrave: 7mins
Spot A Platypus in Birdsland Reserve
Tucked in the hills of Belgrave Heights, in the foothills of the Dandenong Ranges, Birdsland reserve is situated around Monbulk Creek. Being a little off the beaten track Birdsland reserve doesn’t get as busy as the more popular tourist destination in the Dandenongs; making it a perfect place to go with a large group. The reserve is a wonderful place to go for a walk, ride or cycle. With numerous tracks meandering through the 75 hectare reserve.
You are likely to see plenty of animals around, as many native animals find sanctuary in this bushland reserve. In fact, there have been over 130 native bird species identified within the reserve including the wedgetail eagle. If your patient and keep your eyes peeled, you may even spot a platypus which have been sighted near the lake.
You can drive all the way into the reserve with a road entering the reserve off Mt Morton road. Drive to the end of the road until you reach a car park which is also the beginning of the Birdsland Reserve loop trail which takes you on an easy 2.4km loop around the lake. Nearby the carpark are BBQs area with picnic tables, toilet block, and large grassed area perfect for group activities and games.
Entry to the reserve is free. The road into the reserve is gated and it opens daily at 7:30am and closes at various times seasonally. Check out the Yarra Ranges council website for more info.
Distance From Camp Belgrave: 6mins
Be Amazed by the Puffing Billy Steam Train
The Puffing Billy steam train is perhaps the Dandenong Ranges most iconic tourist attraction. This century old steam powered locomotive has been recognised as Australia’s oldest, best preserved heritage steam railway. Jump on board and experience a journey back through time as the Puffing Billy travels takes its passengers on a breath-taking journey through the temperate rainforest with iconic mountain ash trees towering above and lush fern filled gullies below.
Passengers of the Puffing Billy are also given free admission into the Menzies Creek Museum. This 1160 sqm historic railway museum house over 80 different exhibits. If you’re seeking a nibble or a drink the atmospheric Little Toot Café has got you covered. The Museum is open for limited hours on days when the Puffing Billy’s operating days. Click here fore more info.
Journey times and prices vary according to the package you choose. You can buy tickets on the day but if you’re in a large group the best option will be to book well ahead to secure the number of tickets and seats you require for your group. A good option for groups is to hire out an entire carriage.
Distance From Camp Belgrave: 6mins
Explore the Dandenong Ranges National Park
No trip to the Dandenongs is complete without walking, cycling or riding on one of the many trails within the Dandenong Ranges National Park. The Park covers some 3215 hectares of lush temperate rainforest with the iconic mountain ash trees towering towards the heavens and lush green fern gullies. You can expect to find a large array of native animals from goannas, wallabies, echidnas, platypuses and an abundance of native birdlife. Here are just two of the many great places to explore in the Dandenong ranges national park:
Grants Picnic Ground
If you eager to see birdlife up close then Grants Picnic Ground on the edge of Sherbrooke forest is a must see. The location is renowned for it’s dense population of native bird species including rosellas and cockatoos and the elusive lyrebird.
The picnic grounds provide a peaceful setting and the perfect place for a leisurely picnic with large groups. If your wanting to go for a walk as a group activity then you’ll be pleased to know there are also a number of trails that start at the carpark.
There’s also a café kiosk there for refreshment, snacks and souvenirs.
As of Feb 2020, bird feeding is no longer allowed.
Entry to Grants Picnic Ground is free.
Distance from Camp Belgrave: 9mins
Walk/Struggle up 1000 steps
For groups seeking a challenge the 1000 steps walk is one of the most popular in the Dandenong Ranges National Park. Running up to the top is an excellent team building activity for those groups seeking to challenge themselves physically and mentally. The 4.3-kilometer loop (up the steps and down the lyrebird track) takes about 40mins to an hour depending on the pace of your group.
Get to the top on a clear day you’ll enjoy beautiful views of the surrounding area and possible even be able to see Melbourne CBD. Plaques on the trail are dedicated to Australian Military personnel who fought and died on the Kokoda Trail in Papua New Guinea.
Note that weekends can be hugely packed especially in the mornings so plan to go midweek if possible.
Entry to the 1000 steps memorial walk is free
Distance from Camp Belgrave: 15mins
Be Intrigued at William Ricketts Sanctuary
If your group is seeking an intriguing place to reflect in quiet contemplation or simply appreciate the beauty of this region then William Ricketts Sanctuary is just the place. This garden is dotted with 92 half hidden sculptures which represent the essence of indigenous spirituality, lifestyle and culture. You’ll also find some sculptures of Australian native wildlife.
To gain a deeper understanding of the work and passion of the artist William Ricketts you can hire an audio tour from the sanctuary for $5. The tour provides visitors with insights into the artists life, and his message to Australian people about our connection to our environment and to indigenous peoples. For more info about William Ricketts and his works you can visit the gallery in the northwest of the grounds.
Open daily from 10am to 4:30pm except Christmas or days of total fire ban and severe weather events. Check the Parks Website for more information.
Entry to the sanctuary is free. Audio tours are available for $5
Distance From Camp Belgrave: 19mins
Book early to secure your dates
While many of the group activites in the Dandenong ranges are free of charge it’s important to be proactive and book activites early to secure your desired dates. If you’re looking to spend a couple of days in this beautiful region of Victoria, you’ll need some where to stay. Camp Belgrave offers affordable group accommodation in the Dandenong ranges. Check out our facilities and contact us to secure your desired dates today.