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Mt. Dandenong Arboretum

Home > Melbourne > Free | Outdoor | Parks | Picnic Spots | Walks
by Neil Follett (subscribe)
I'm a retired photographer living in Lilydale mainly researching and writing on Australian aviation history. Now writing more on general subjects.
Published May 15th 2020
In Autumn it's Good
This 16-hectare site was established in 1928 with a collection of mature deciduous trees and conifers from around the world. There is an off-road car park off Ridge Road.

Entrance sign
The entrance on Ridge Road.

Adjacent to the car park, there is a relatively flat grassed area with two picnic tables, from which distant mountain views can be seen.

picnic tables
A picturesque setting for a picnic.

Very little of the area is level and you are either walking downhill or uphill. When damp, the few paths can be slippery making it totally unsuitable for wheelchairs or the mobility challenged.

Three is not a crowd here.

Entering from the car park, the arboretum is dominated by old tall conifers, many would be from the original plantings.

A shady walk anytime of the year.

I only saw one tree with a name plaque at its base. It was a Ponderosa Pine from North America.

ponderosa pine
Ponderosa pine needles.

Another conifer with most unusual leaves, unfortunately, had no name plaque.

conifer needles
Unusual needles.

After walking through and past these old conifers, the vista opens up to a relatively open grass area with many deciduous trees, nicely spaced giving the feeling of being surrounded by autumn colours.

autumn trees
Plenty of colour still evident.

My visit was late autumn and I was pleased to see many of the beautiful and colourful autumn leaves still attached to the trees.

autumn leaves
Not yet ready to fall.

The paths in this area were covered with already fallen leaves giving a soft colourful walkway.

autumn trees
It's a pleasure just to be here.

With sunlight shining through these autumn leaves it is a joyful sight, both from the distance and up close.

autumn leaves
The closer, the better.

The lower end of the area is heavily treed with undergrowth and appears to be the natural vegetation for the area. It is almost impregnable from most locations. I imagine it would be home to many faunae.

The bush area.

The only birds sighted were two magpies, which appeared to be swooping on one of the three others who were enjoying the scenery

The only bird photographed.

If your interest is old conifers a visit anytime would be rewarding. If your interest is autumn leaves, then autumn is the time to go.
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Why? It's autumn, so why not.
When: anytime
Where: Ridge Road, Mt. Dandenong. Melways map: 52 G.12.
Cost: Free
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