The Dandenong Ranges are located just east of Melbourne and for city folk, they are a convenient way to get out of town on the weekend and escape the big city for a day or even a few hours.
For photographers the Dandenongs are also a paradise. The cool Victorian climate means that foleage stays lush and green year round. It is also one of the best places locally to find Autumn colours.
The Dandenongs National Park itself is huge, and includes many walking trails making it a wonderful location to return to often as you will always find something new to photograph.Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens
Highlights: Giant Mountain Ash trees and lush dense ferns, colourful native flowers and Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens with its seasonal colour, man made lake and old boatshed.Autumn ColourÂ
Gear: Wide angle is generally what the scenery lends itself to, however you may want to consider a longer lens as well, or even a macro if you intend to shoot flowers. A polarising filter is also a handy tool to make the most of the green foleage.A longer lens is also an option if you want to photograph the local flowers.Â
How to get there: From Melbourne city centre, the Dandenong Ranges national park is a short 1 hour drive.Â Some tour companies also run daytrips.Sherbrooke Falls: Many walking trails uncover hidden gems for the photographer.
When to go: Personally, I find overcast conditions are best for photographing forest scenes, so winter generally is best. Many mornings in winter are also quite foggy which makes for some beautifully haunting scenes.