Local Attractions

Explore the local region and discover the sights and sounds of the Dandenong Ranges and surrounding region. Enjoy local activities, food and more.

Puffing Billy Railway

Puffing Billy is Australia’s premier preserved steam railway and operates every day except Christmas Day! The journey aboard Puffing Billy takes you through the magnificent Dandenong Ranges, located only one hour east of Melbourne. With lush fern gullies brushing past and Mountain Ash trees towering overhead, Puffing Billy makes for a wonderful opportunity to relax and breathe in the fresh air whilst the train makes its way through the temperate rainforest.

Australian Rainbow Trout Farm

Right in the heart of the Dandenong Ranges, in Macclesfield Victoria, lies the Australian Rainbow Trout Farm. We pride ourselves on our trout farming and have been serving the public for years with fresh fish and fish for their dams. Come on out with the family and enjoy a lovely day in picture perfect scenery, but less then an hour from Melbourne CBD.

Emerald Community Market

Emerald Community House runs the Emerald Market (Victoria) on the 3rd Sunday of every month. September-May from 9am – 3pm & June-August from 9am-2pm. The Emerald Market (Victoria) is vibrant and colourful featuring locally made products and home grown produce right in the centre of town. Visitors can expect a variety of goods including preserves, cakes, hot food stalls, local specialties, vegetables and plants, jewellery, clothing, food, lifestyle products and massage. Our market is plastic bag free, so don’t forget to bring along your own bags.

Emerald Lake Park

Emerald Lake Park is Cardinia Shire’s premier park and a major tourist attraction in the Dandenong Ranges. As one of the destination points for the iconic Puffing Billy, the park offers a range of activities including picnics, walking trails, paddleboats and fishing – something for everyone!

Day out with Thomas

Puffing Billy welcomes Thomas the Tank Engine during Autumn and Spring. Children and adults can enjoy a train ride with Thomas and Diesel from Gembrook Station and have the chance to meet the Fat Controller. There are many other child-friendly activities the whole family will love. Thomas fans are invited to the picturesque Gembrook Station to enjoy all activities on the day including a 35-minute train ride with Thomas and friends, silent disco, jumping castles, family photos and more.

Cardinia Reservoir

Want to see a Kangraroo or two? This is the place to go! Visitors who view the huge expanse of water that is Cardinia Reservoir by the morning light will understand why this is one of Melbourne’s most popular outdoor destinations. The open parklands, picnic and barbecue areas, and native bush areas that are home to abundant wildlife and natural flora are a draw card to those seeking a day in a natural setting.

Places to Eat

Emerald and surrounding areas boast a wide variety of excellent cafes and restaurants.

Emerald Village Bakery and Cafe

8 Kilvington Dr Shop 8, Emerald, Vic

By far the most popular place in town! This traditional country bakery and cafe attracts visitors from all over Melbourne, offering a wide ranges of breads, pies, pasties, sausage rolls, cakes, biscuits and bakery favorites.

The General Foodstore

377 Belgrave-Gembrook Rd, Emerald T 03 5968 3580

At The General Food Store we are committed to creating an ever evolving menu using seasonal ingredients mainly sourced from the local and greater Victorian food regions. Our direct trade coffee is roasted in Melbourne by the talented team at Coffee Supreme and our providore is stocked with Victorian produce and house-made goodies.

Incy Wincy

SHOP 12, 5–7 Kilvington Drive, Emerald

We’re an incy wincy, seasonal, grab-and-go coffee shop located within the gorgeous giftware store, Behind the Trees. So pop on by, place your order at the hatch, browse, perch on a stool and watch the world go by!

Bam Bam Italian

445 Belgrave-Gembrook Road, Avonsleigh

We are a modern Italian restaurant in Avonsleigh, providing breakfast, lunch and dinner, seven days a week. Our focus is simple. Create authentic, but interesting, Italian food which represents the seasons and local produce, in an environment that is relaxed yet professional. Our restaurant is suitable for all. Families, friends, couples, kids, solo diners, and big groups. We’ve got it all covered. There’s also a great undercover playspace for the kids!

The Independent

79  Main Street, Gembrook,  Victoria

In Main Street Gembrook, an hour South East of Melbourne’s CBD, a modest door leads to a spacious dining room with an open kitchen and sounds of tango. The heritage listed building was once a motor garage. Its retro-industrial interior -designed by Gordon & Henry Architecture- is the setting for chef-patron Mauro Callegari’s modern Argentinian cuisine. His Argentinian, French and Italian roots are exemplified in his menu, most of which is sourced from nearby growers and suppliers.

Elevation @ Emerald

374 Belgrave Gembrook Rd Emerald, Victoria T 5968 2911

Elevation at Emerald is a modern and unique venue, complementing the local area. We offer a comfortable and casual dining space. The menu provides a range of delicious wood-fired pizza, steak, pasta and much more.

Zest Bar & Restaurant

374 Belgrave Gembrook Rd Emerald, Victoria T 5968 2911

Zest is a vibrant new cafe in the beautiful hills of Emerald, Victoria. Combining a modern and industrial design, Zest is a breath of fresh air to the cafe community of Emerald. We offer an extensive all-day breakfast menu, as well as lunch items and a variety of cakes and desserts. Our Italian coffee blend is mild, smooth and flavorsome. We also now stock a range of amazing organic teas from Zest coffee roasters in Berwick. Zest is the perfect place for a delicious meal or a catch up with friends over coffee.

Emerald Thai Restaurant

12 Kilvington Drive Emerald, Victoria

Authentic Thai food with a range of traditional dishes and vegetarian options.

Paradise Valley Hotel

249 Belgrave-Gembrook Rd, Clematis VIC

At the heart of it we love to cook traditional food. We have created spaces that are inviting. We apply a modern hand, to our food which results in soulful, surprising dishes, each one with its own story to tell.