See and Do
When you are a visitor to a place, there is nothing like the knowledge of a local to take you to some of the lesser known but equally interesting corners of a city. Melbourne has plenty of fascinating nooks and crannies, many of which a lot of the locals don't even know about. So if you are a visitor or a local and eager to do a little exploring on or off the beaten track, here are hundreds of suggestions to get you going.
When it comes to an enjoyable day out, the steam-operated Puffing Billy Railway has a been a favourite since it was resurrected as a heritage tourist railway in 1962. This popular attraction operates every day along 24 kilometres of narrow gauge railway line through cool temperate rainforest, lush ferns and towering timbers, semi-urban development and rural farmland. It starting point is Belgave station, which is on a suburban railway line, so you don't need a car to get there.
The nostalgic appeal of steam railways has led to the development of an offshoot hobby called Live Steam, where devotees can actually purchase and run their very own steam locomotives. Rideable, large-scale live steam railways have become a popular aspect of the live steam hobby. Few live steamers who own and run a rideable locomotive have the room in their backyard for their own track, so they band together and form clubs which in turn negotiate with local councils for the use of land, often in a local park or an area of bushland, on which to build a track and run their trains.
The closest wine region to the city of Melbourne, the Yarra Valley is Victoria's oldest wine region, with over 3,600 hectares under vine. It is also Victoria's most visited wine area, located just one hours drive from Melbourne's CBD. There is far more to the Yarra Valley than just wineries, however, it is equally well known for its art galleries, accommodation, restaurants, cafes, antique stores, markets, woodland nature walks and recreational attractions such as the Healesville Sanctuary, Paintball Skirmish, Ballooning (Global Ballooning and Balloon Sunrise), Hedgend Maze, Marysville Salmon and Trout Ponds, Lavender Farm and Tourist Railway.
Point Nepean, the eastern headland at the entrance to Port Phillip, is a former military reserve that today is open to the public. The various military posts and fortifications are now used by walkers and cyclists to access the tip of Point Nepean as well as the many beaches and vantage points in and around the point. Its coast and adjacent waters are included in the Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park, while its land area is part of the Point Nepean National Park.
Gently rolling hills covered in at times dense forest, interspersed by farms, orchards and picturesque villages is what the Dandenongs are all about. There are plenty of things to see and do along the way, just keep your eyes open and follow the signs to wherever takes your fancy. Scenic drives through the Ranges are just as popular today and are the best way to see and appreciate all that the Dandenongs have to offer. The Ranges are rich in wildlife with 130 native bird species, 31 native mammals, 21 reptiles and nine amphibian species recorded; these hills are the Lyrebird s most favoured habitat.