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Mount Dandenong, Sassafras and Olinda

Written by Annie O'Riley ( on August 18, 2012

View from Mt. Dandenong. Rose Stereograph Series. Courtesy of The State Library of Victoria.

The townships of Mt. Dandenong, Sassafras and Olinda are beautiful mountain villages tucked into the hillsides of the Dandenong Ranges. Originally settled as a logging area it became evident that a better source of income could be had by catering to Melbourne’s weary workers. With tall forests, beautiful fern gullies and clean fresh air the locality was a popular holiday destination during the early 1900’s. They stayed in the guest houses and resorts that dotted the hillsides and they wandered amongst the gardens and picnic’d in the orchards of Silvan and amongst the the waterfalls of the mountain.

In the 1950’s it became fashionable to own your own slice of paradise and little bungalows and shacks soon popped up. In 1956, television came to Melbourne when the transmitting mast was built at the top of Mt. Dandenong, just in time for the Olympics.

Today the mountain is home to thousands of people who have the good fortune to live in an environment of such beauty.  Many thousands more visit each year to enjoy the wonderful shops, cafes, restaurants and tea houses of this truly magical place.

Mr. J.L. Toole and the Picnic

Strange Lights