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Published March 5th 2019
Views from the edge of Melbourne
Lookouts are amazing places. They allow a glimpse over the horizons and sometimes make you feel like you can see forever. They are places for dreamers and for romantics, or just places to take in the wonders of nature. In the Dandenongs, the Skyhigh on Mt Dandenong is the obvious place to go for a lookout, but it is a place that requires you to pay for the view. Here instead are four alternative which are free, and which give outlooks in all directions.
Burkes Lookout gives a spectacular view over the Eastern Suburbs
Outlook: West. Views over the Eastern Suburbs to City, Port Phillip Bay and Mt Macedon. The Best alternative to the Sky High, Burkes Lookout give views similar to the top of the mountain. It is in many ways even better though, being both less busy and more open. This lookout is definitely more of a spectacle though, as the lookout seems to open up as you get closer to it, giving a great sense of anticipation about the view as you near it.
Location: Mt Corhanwarrabul. Access: Either via a Walking Track from Eyre Road to Burkes Track, Or up the Channel 10 track from Doongalla.
Outlook: East/South East. Views over Silvan Dam, and to the Yarra Ranges. For Views to the East, the lookout at Kalorama is your best option. This can be a perfect place to watch the sunrise on a clear morning, but even during the day the open space and rolling hills makes the outlook here something very special. Clouds just seem to hang in the air here, in a way that they don't in many other places. Location: Mt Dandenong Tourist Rd, Kalorama. Access: Carpark just off the road.
R. J. Hamer Arboretum
Even on hazy days, the Yarra Ranges can be clearly seen
The Arboretum is a popular picnic ground, and a good starting point for many walks through the Dandenong Ranges Botanic Gardens. But it is also a great place to simply stop and enjoy the views over the Yarra Valley and Yarra Ranges. In winter, you might even be able to see the snow on some of the higher peaks of the Ranges. Location: Chalet Rd, Olinda. Access: Either Drive to the Car Park on Chalet Rd, or walk through the Botanic Gardens to the lookout.
On a clear day Western Port Bay can be easily seen
Outlook: South. Views over Cardinia Reservoir, South Gippsland and to Western Port Bay. A bit further away from Mt Dandenong than the other three lookouts, situated above Menzies Creek, John's Hill gives a very clear view to the South. On a clear day these views can extend all the way to Western Port Bay. On the way, views extend over the other side of the road to the north as well. Location: Ridge Rd, Kallista. Access: Via Grantulla Rd, either from Menzies Creek or Kallista. The lookout is near the end of Ridge Road.
Across the road, the view extends over the Yarra Valley