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Sassafras, Victoria

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A well-worn road leads to Sassafras in the lush Dandenong Ranges, which has retained its original charm since it became a popular destination for city dwellers in the nineteenth century. There are enough choices in Sassafras' cafes and restaurants to account for all your main meals, but it's recommended to save room for seconds in the quaint old tea rooms. Take Devonshire tea at Miss Marples tea room, an authentic English cottage inspired by Agatha Christie. Sassafras village is dotted with antique stores and local specialist shops. Wine from the neighbouring Yarra Valley wine region and fresh local produce are readily available. Accommodation around Sassafras ranges from quality boutique accommodation to elegant period guesthouses. The area around Sassafras includes some of the Dandenong Ranges' famed gardens - the beautiful Alfred Nicholas and George Tindale gardens, as well as the lush sun-dappled fern gullies at nearby Sherbrooke Forest. Traverse the nature walk trails past waterfalls and picnic grounds or hike the 13-kilometre track to Emerald along the mountain stream on the Sassafras Creek Forest Trail. Sassafras is approximately 45 kilometres from Melbourne, or around 50 minutes by car along the Eastern Freeway and the Eastlink tollway.

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