The area that gave this scenic corner of the Melbourne metropolitan fringe its name is part of the Ferntree Gully National Park which, in turn, is part of the mosaic of the Dandenong Ranges National Park.
The park was dedicated in 1927 to protect the natural environment as weekend retreats of the Melbourne social set led a development push that threatened to over-run the forest. Although the electric train and urbanisation has established a distinct residential commuter colony on the border of the bush, the park preserves a wonderland of southern rainforest interspersed with quaint villages.
The park not only conserves natural reserves and forests, which harbour a wide range of native flora and fauna, but it also boasts an alluring array of public gardens and ornamental flower nurseries.
In the area
Puffing Billy - a small train with open air carriages and restaurant car that travels 25 km through tree ferns and bushland.
Dandenong Gardens - one of Australia's best known gardening areas - with cool weather plantings and fern gullies. Magnificent Rhododendron Garden and Forest Arboretum.
Yarra Valley Wineries - just a short drive to the
Yarra Valley area with premium red and white grape varieties. Tasting and cellar door sales at over 30 wineries.