Emerald and Puffing Billy.

There comes a time when you absolutely have to get out of your house away from routine and what feels like duty and into the real world. Last Thursday was one of those days.

I headed up into the hills, to a nice little village with the delightful name of Emerald. It’s one of the stopping points for the Puffing Billy Heritage Railway. The century-old steam train runs for 24 kilometres on its original track through the forests and farmland of the Dandenong Ranges, from Belgrave to Gembrook.

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William Ricketts Sanctuary Dandenong Ranges Melbourne

After my serious dose of nature in Sherbrooke Forest, and my communing with my first-ever lyre bird, I headed up the Tourist Road to Mt. Dandenong and the William Ricketts Sanctuary.

Entrance to the Sanctuary
Entrance to the Sanctuary:  God Love – pulsating in a rhythm that moves and sweeps through all life. To understand your highest self you must live in that rhythm.

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A Dose of Nature in the Dandenong Ranges

Just 30 kilometres out of Melbourne’s city centre are the Dandenong Ranges. The Dandenongs are a set of low mountains, their valleys and hills covered in thick, temperate rain forest. Scattered throughout are walking tracks, magnificent gardens and pretty villages, with names such as Ferny Creek, Gembrook, Sherbrooke, Sassafras and The Patch.

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