The Burwood and Mountain highways, which define Wantirna’s southern and northern boundaries, provide direct access to one of the wonderlands of the outer Melbourne suburban ring, the Dandenong Ranges National Park.
Extending over 3215ha, the park’s dense rainforest and fern canopy is a sanctuary for more than 30 species of orchids and a wide range of native animals, including platypus, echidnas, ringtail possums, sugar gliders and koalas.
The forests are also home to more than 130 species of birds. The bird population includes rosellas, cockatoos and kookaburras which are always on the lookout for a handout in the picnicking areas and the amazing lyre bird which is the animal kingdom’s most talented mimic. Importantly, the park represents an ark preserving remnants of the original vegetation which once draped the entire Melbourne area, but which has steadily receded in the face of 200 years of white development.