An outer eastern suburb of Melbourne, Boronia lies in the foothills of the Dandenongs. In fact it is just a short drive from Boronia to the Ferntree Gully entrance to the Dandenong Ranges National Park.
In its virgin state back in the 1850s, Ferntree Gully was described as ‘a whole forest of spars’, but logging and bush fires have taken a heavy toll. Today, you have to travel deeper into the park to discover native flora and fauna in conserved pockets such as Sherwood Forest for an inkling of how this country looked and smelt before settlement and development.
Happily, some of those developments - including the Puffing Billy steam locomotive which has been used to haul freight and passengers through the ranges for 100 years - fit into a natural environment which makes the Dandenongs a very special place in the Melbourne region.
The reserve remains a sanctuary for more than 20 species of native animals including echidnas, ringtail possums, sugar gliders and platypuses and huge colonies of birds.