The Dandenong Ranges
The charms of the Dandenong Ranges - the majestic call of the lyrebird, steam whistles in the distance, the unmistakable smell of the forest after rain, the colours of spring and autumn, the timeless atmosphere of the Cuckoo Restaurant...The Dandenong Ranges are a series of ridges and gullies of great natural and man-made beauty, situated 40 km to the east of Melbourne. Originally explored and exploited for its magnificent stands of tall timber, permanent settlement soon followed, with the rich volcanic soil and high rainfall making the region perfect for agricultural pursuits. Boasting fresh air, majestic forests, intriguing wildlife and beautiful gardens, the Dandenongs became a tourism favourite, and a multitude of charming guesthouses, tea rooms and restaurants sprang up to cater for the demand. By the 1950s, Melburnians were flocking to attractions such as the Puffing Billy Railway, the Cuckoo Restaurant, the Tesselaar Tulip Farm and the William Ricketts Sanctuary, and today the hills are more popular than ever. This publication explores the fascinating history of the Dandenongs, with tales of timber, gold and pioneer settlers, along with the tragic story of the Kyeema airliner disaster, and chilling accounts of the 1962 and 1983 bushfires. The unique fauna and flora of the Dandenongs is featured, including the famous Superb Lyrebird - one of Australia's most alluring creatures.