Situated in the foothills of the Dandenong Ranges in sub-alpine country, Cockatoo is a stop on the famous Puffing Billy Railway, which runs from Emerald to Belgrave.
It is an area marked by beautiful fern gullies, small farms and tree-draped hills. Emerald Park Lake and Cardinia Reservoir are standout tourist spots. The lake, which is equipped with a delightful picnic and swimming area, is abreast of the 40 kilometre Dandenong Walking Track which begins near Cockatoo and Gembrook and ends at Sassafras.
A few kilometres to the north you will find the township of Olinda and the National Rhododendron Garden.
Cockatoo is also within short driving distance of the Healesville Wildlife Sanctuary, one of the three superb zoos in the Melbourne region.