Dandenong Ranges Private Tour Including William Ricketts Sanctuary

Dandenong Ranges Private Tour Including William Ricketts Sanctuary

6 hours 30 minutes Melbourne, Australia

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Adults (age 18-80)

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Get out of the city and spend a relaxing and peaceful day out in the beautiful Dandenong Ranges which is less than an hour from Melbourne by road. In the serenity of the forest, discover unique sculptures of Aboriginal people, and learn about their culture and spirituality, at the wonderous William Ricketts Sanctuary. Enjoy a wholesome lunch at a homely and cosy restaurant. Spend time in nature and explore the majestic eucalyptus and fern tree forest on a leisurely and short walk . Due to COVID-19 and social distancing rules, private tours are available for a single person or a couple,so it's a more personal experience. Tour starts at 10.00am and finishes at around 4.30pm which means you don't have to get up early, and still have plenty of time in the evenings to do other things.
This is a typical itinerary for this product

Stop At: William Ricketts Sanctuary, Mount Dandenong Tourist Road, Mount Dandenong, Victoria 3767 Australia

In the serenity of the forest, discover sculptures of Aboriginal people that tell the story of their culture and spirituality.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Dandenong Ranges National Park, Mount Dandenong Tourist Rd Treemont, Melbourne, Victoria 3787 Australia

Take a leisurely walk in the main forest of the Dandenong Ranges, where you will be amongst the second tallest trees in the world, the Mountain Ash eucalyptus tree, and the ancient Fern tree forest. Soak in the sights and sounds of this beautiful forest.

Duration: 1 hour


  • Local guide
  • Air-conditioned vehicle


  • Drinks
  • Lunch

Departure Point

St Paul's Cathedral, Melbourne, Flinders St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia

Traveler pickup is offered
Pick up time is 10.00am.

The usual pick up location is in front of St Pauls Cathedral on Flinders St, in the city.

Hotel pick up is also possible if staying in the city, or north of the city.

For a request to be picked up from accommodation, please make this request 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.

Return Details

Returns to original departure point
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Please advise any specific dietary requirements at time of booking.
  • Operates in all weather conditions, please dress appropriately
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Infants must sit on laps
  • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
  • This is a private tour/activity. Only your group will participate
  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Since the tour is given in a 5 seater SUV, currently the tour is private for either a single person, or a couple. This way there is space between the tour guide/driver and the customers, who will sit in the back seat. Your guide will contact you a day or two in advance to confirm things.


14 Reviews

Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews

5 Stars
4 Stars
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1 Stars

christiane R December 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.

Nicole D September 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.

Abdul Q July 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!

Gail P April 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.

Fiona B November 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.

King San L 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!

Svetlana M February 2018

This tour was amazing!

Japandrea02 August 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. :

Bev H June 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.

helen.kurlapski April 2017

Excellent tour. Wonderfully knowledgeable guide. The lunch was amazing 5star. Not over taxing walking. Great half day tour. Highly recommended.

Abigail S January 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!

David K January 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.

Adele S February 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.

kimerama January 2018

Quite expensive for what it is, a 45-minute ride out of the city, entry into a national park with commentary and lunch.

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

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