SkyHigh, Mount Dandenong, Dandenong Ranges, Melbourne

Melbourne City from SkyHigh

Melbourne City from SkyHigh

SkyHigh conjures up all sorts of high altitude adventurous images. Well, the SkyHigh restaurant and precinct is headed skyward, being 633 metres above sea level, located along the ridge of the Dandenong Ranges.  The commercial TV towers are also located in the area so if you see the TV towers looming in front of you, keep going as you are headed in the right direction.

Once you reach the gate, you need to pay the nice man $5 per car.  Once inside the park area, there is a range of activities on offer for all ages including a wishing tree, maze, 15 minute loop nature walk, gardens and of course the restaurant with an outside seating area and observation decks, perfect to sit with a coffee and enjoy the view (like we did). 

View

View

There are also various clever sculptures including one carved out of a tree

Tree sculpture

Tree sculpture

and a quirky Giant’s Chair which you can sit on and feel teeny tiny, unless of course you are already teeny tiny and…ok, not for everybody, but its there.  I think they are still building the Giant’s Table?

The Giant's Chair

The Giant’s Chair

The view is obviously the highlight of a trip to the SkyHigh precinct.  You are treated to expansive views of greater Melbourne and to Melbourne city, Port Phillip Bay and beyond.  It shows you how very flat, topography wise, Melbourne is.

Viewing decks showing greater Melbourne

Viewing decks showing greater Melbourne

You can easily spend a couple of hours here, enjoying a meal or a drink. 

Grab a meal at SkyHigh

Grab a meal at SkyHigh

Probably best to try and time your trip for a sunny, clear day which, given we are talking Melbourne may be tricky but definitely possible.

Views

Views

Like they say “If you don’t like Melbourne’s weather… wait a minute”.

Alex and I recently had a lovely day out at SkyHigh with Alex’s parents who were most impressed.  SkyHigh is about an hour from Melbourne city so it is really a day trip (done at a leisurely pace).  If you set your own itinerary and stop at the lovely villages of Sassafras and/or Olinda along the way, you won’t regret the peaceful pleasure that a day in the hills can offer.

SkyHigh fast facts
In the 1970s and ’80s, the site was an iconic Melbourne attraction, and was well-known to most Melbournians; however, in the early 1990s the site fell into disrepair, and the building began to look aged and dilapidated.  What had previously been a large tourist attraction quickly slipped from the minds of Melbournians.  This culminated with the site being shut down completely in 1997.  In 2004, a new lease was negotiated with Parks Victoria, the government authority in charge of the land.  The restaurant and surrounding gardens were given a $3.5 million facelift, and the site re-opened in December 2004, with the name officially being changed from “Mount Dandenong Observatory” to the current “SkyHigh Mount Dandenong”. 

SkyHigh architecture

SkyHigh architecture

The renovations to the site included construction of an upstairs balcony and an enlarged viewing window. Besides work on the building itself, the land around was also graded and landscaped, with many new plants going in. In addition, the beginnings of a hedge maze were started.  Fast fact information courtesy of Wikipedia

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