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Dandenong Ranges Private Day Tour

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Melbourne, Australia
Dandenong Ranges Private Day Tour
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

From USD152.63

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Number of travellers
0 Adults1 Adult2 Adults
Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance. Learn more
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Safety measures
icon6 hours 30 minutes  (approx.)
Pickup from select hotels
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English
Good for avoiding crowds

Operators have paid Viator more to have their experiences featured here


Explore the rich history and amazing flora and fauna of the Dandenong Ranges on this scenic day trip from Melbourne. Enjoy a guided walk through an old-growth forest surrounded by towering eucalyptus trees and ancient ferns, before visiting the Alfred Nicholas Memorial Garden and soaking up the tranquility of the Japanese-themed lake gardens. Including return transport from the CBD, your private tour is limited to just three guests to ensure an intimate personal experience.
  • Experience the natural beauty of the Dandenong Ranges
  • Discover the tallest flowering trees in the world—the mountain ash
  • Enjoy the serenity of the Alfred Nicholas Garden in Sherbrooke
  • Learn about the rich history of the region from your local guide
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Local guide
Air-conditioned vehicle

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10:00 AM
Pick up time is 10.00am. The tour guide will pick up customers from the accommodation if it's in the city centre, or north of the city. Please make a request to be picked up in the notes and provide the name and address of accommodation, while making the booking. The tour guide will be in contact close to the date of travel, to confirm the pick up location.
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Visit to a cosy restaurant after forest walk
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Infants must sit on laps
  • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
  • Most travellers can participate
  • This is a private tour/activity. Only your group will participate
  • OPERATED BY Awaken Tours
You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.
  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s cancelled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What is the policy on sanitisation during Dandenong Ranges Private Day Tour?
A:The policies on sanitisation are:

  • Hand sanitiser available to travellers and staff
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitised
See all safety measures taken by Dandenong Ranges Private Day Tour.
What is the social distancing policy during Dandenong Ranges Private Day Tour?
A:The policy on social distancing is:

  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
See all safety measures taken by Dandenong Ranges Private Day Tour.
What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during Dandenong Ranges Private Day Tour?
A:The policy on staff health & safety is:

  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
See all safety measures taken by Dandenong Ranges Private Day Tour.

Traveller Photos

Traveller Tips

  • "Worth doing if you don’t have a lot of time and want to get outside of Melbourne." See review
  • "The William Ricketts Sanctuary is stunning and mythic and well worth the trip." See review


37 reviews
1 star

Reviews by Viator travellers

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Showing 1-10 of 37 reviews
Nature at its best
, Nov. 2021
Awesome nature immersion saw kangaroo lyre bird kookaburras cockatoos and many smaller birds amongst giant eucalypts
Pure magic
, Mar. 2020
I have wanted to go to the William Rickett's Sanctuary ever since I saw photos from there over two decades ago. I traveled across the world to see it and it did not disappoint. Jay was extremely knowledgeable and explained the significance of the place including both land and sculptures. He gave plenty of time to absorb this magical place. Afterwards, we had a delicious lunch followed by a walk in the woods. What a perfect day!
icon Response from Host , Mar. 2020
Hi Amy, Thanks so much for a wonderful review, and for persisting with tripadvisor. Enjoyed spending time with you both. All the best with everything. Regards, Jay
A great time
Christiane R
, Dec. 2019
I had a private tour with Jay and it was a great tour. It was very informative and the guide was as receptive to questions as possible. I highly recommand this tour.
icon Response from Host , Dec. 2019
Hi Christiane, Thanks for a wonderful review, much appreciated. Take care and all the best. Jay
Well worth the trek!
, Sep. 2019
The William Ricketts Sanctuary is stunning and mythic and well worth the trip. Our guide Jay was entertaining, jovial, and well informed. This was a highlight of our Melbourne stay.
icon Response from Host , Oct. 2019
Thanks for a lovely review guys, much appreciated. Take care and all the best. Jay.
Beautiful trip and amazing service
, May 2019
Dandenong forest was amazing! i have been to 1000 steps but didnt get the chance to visit forest and the sanctuary which is why i booked this tour. it was incredible and Jay was very helpful and kind. he brought some homemade fennel tea which was the best tea i ever had!
icon Response from Host , May 2019
Thanks Abdul, for an excellent review. It was a fun day. Talk soon. Jay
Something really special
, Apr. 2019
My friend and I went on the tour on 1 April, the day was overcast to start, but refreshing cool. Jay was a fantastic tour guide, prompt, efficient, a really delightful young man. His knowledge and passion for the William Ricketts Sanctuary was exceptional, really engaging us with the man behind the works, his relationship with our First Nation people, his life and his beautiful art. The experience was a once in a lifetime one. Lunch was perfect! Delicious, well prepared in a magical setting. The walk through the Sherbrooke Forest amongst majestic mountain ash eucalypts was stunning, we lucked seeing crimson rosellas and even a couple of lyrebirds! The drive was comfortable both ways, and we arrived back at our hotel refreshed, inspired and looking forward to the next visit to Melbourne when we can join Jay again for another adventure. Thank you SO much. We had a great time.
icon Response from Host , Apr. 2019
Hi Gail, Thanks for a wonderful review. Much appreciated. I looked into Tim Low's song bird research, very fascinating stuff. Thanks for that. Yea, look me up when you're down in Melbourne again. Take care, Jay
William Ricketts Sanctuary
David K
, Jan. 2019
An informative journey to an off the tourist trail location. Our guide Jay was enthusiastic and engaging throughout and the sanctuary as well as old growth forest walk afterwards both proved rewarding. Worth doing if you don’t have a lot of time and want to get outside of Melbourne.
A great day out!
, Nov. 2018
Jay was a wonderful tour leader who has an extensive knowledge of what he is showing, His driving was excellent and for interstate people it is good to have cultural experiences and enjoy the relaxing beauty of the Dandenongs whilst in Melbourne. Thanks Jay for a memorable day and for looking after us so well.
We joined this tour on 9 May...
, May 2018
We joined this tour on 9 May. William Ricketts sculptures mixed with the natural environment very well and inspire us a lot. Thanks for the guide, Jays explanation. He is friendly and considerate. We have lunch in a restaurant where we can see parrots at eye level through windows - an unique experience and the food is nice. Then, walking in Dandenong forest and exploring fern, mountain ash, Lyrebird, parrots that is something new to us who live in city. Relax and fun!
Quite expensive for what it is, a...
, Jan. 2018
Quite expensive for what it is, a 45-minute ride out of the city, entry into a national park with commentary and lunch.
Dandenong and William Ricketts...
, Aug. 2017
Dandenong and William Ricketts Sanctuary 1/2 day tour is a unique, beautiful, and moving experience. There are many perks to this tour: William Ricketts Sanctuary is like nothing I'd ever seen before, and the forests are amazing! Because the tour is limited to three people, you get to hear Jay's extensive knowledge of the aboriginal people, the sanctuary, and the wildlife. And another: the tour doesn't start super early and you are home to Melbourne with plenty of time to enjoy dinner, city life after a super day in nature. This was a wonderful tour in Melbourne. Suggestion: we went on a rainy day and I did have to buy new Uggs when I got back to the city. Bring some throw-away sneakers or rain boots just in case. Or buy new Uggs if it's muddy. :
Being a small group, you can tailor...
Bev H
, Jun. 2017
Being a small group, you can tailor the trip to suit you. We spent an amazing morning at the William Rickett Sanctuary followed by a fabulous lunch by the fire. We walked through the Sherbrooke Forest which was so peaceful then Jay drove me to show off the gorgeous Autumn colours in the Dandenong Ranges which was what I really wanted to see. Jay was so informative about Melbourne, it's history and the Dandenongs. Hopefully I can take another trip when spring arrives if I am still in Melbourne.
Excellent tour. Wonderfully...
, Apr. 2017
Excellent tour. Wonderfully knowledgeable guide. The lunch was amazing 5star. Not over taxing walking. Great half day tour. Highly recommended.
A pleasant enough day out. Jay...
Adele S
, Feb. 2017
A pleasant enough day out. Jay picked us up from St. Pauls on time and was very friendly and talkative on the drive up to the Sanctuary. He was very knowledgeable about the sculptures that Ricketts created and the beliefs and values of the people he depicted. Lunch was very nice at a restaurant 2 minutes away. I think it is a bit of a misnomer to describe the day as a 'nature' day trip as the walk in the Dandenong Ranges was simply a stroll along a very well-trodden path in the woods and Jay's knowledge of local fauna and flora was rather limited, focusing very much on trying to spot a lyre bird and the crimson rosella parrot.
I did this tour with Jay in mid...
Abigail S
, Jan. 2017
I did this tour with Jay in mid December, and it was fantastic! I was slightly worried about doing a tour on my own, but with such a friendly tour guide it was brilliant. The tour itself was very well planned, Jay's knowledge on the area and its history was very impressive, he taught me a lot about not only Melbourne's history but also also of other cities and parts of Australia. The William Ricketts Sanctuary is very impressive, and along with Jay's explanations of its development, history and meaning, it is a must to do! I was in awe and admiration of the whole Sanctuary, and I know if i had gone myself I would have missed such crucial parts that Jay taught. The lunch provided was also amazing, I wont ruin the surprise for anyone else, but just ask for the salad!! The walk through the ancient forest was so peaceful and calming after being in the city for a few days! Again Jay's knowledge on the area shone through, teaching me not only about the history but of the plant and wildlife in the area. This tour is a must do for anyone!! Thank you for a wonderful day!

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