Whether you’re visiting the area or are a social carer looking for places to spend the day with your clients, Emerald is a beautiful part of Melbourne full of picturesque parks and lakes. The town has popular attractions such as the Puffing Billy and the Emerald Heritage Walk, along with an array of cafes, museums, and festivals throughout the year.

We’ve rounded up four must-dos you must do when visiting Emerald:

1. Emerald Lake

With 52 hectares of beautiful bushland, gardens, murals and other fun things to see and do, Emerald Lake is a thriving hub of activity.

 The 3-4km loop around the park will take around 49 minutes to complete if you’re not too distracted by the beautiful scenery. Emerald Lake has seven walking tracks that range from easy to difficult and take anywhere from five to 20 minutes to walk:

  • Link Track: 5-minute walk that’s moderate to difficult. It’s short but steep.
  • Lake Nobelius Loop Track: A 1.2km loop that takes around 15 minutes and is wheelchair friendly.
  • Pine Track: 1km walk that takes up to 15 minutes and is ideal for walkers who like an easy to moderate trail.
  • Wishing Well Track: The 700m track takes 10 minutes and is also an easy to moderate walk.
  • Fern Gully Track: Another 700m track that’s difficult and has steep sections takes up to 15 minutes one way.
  • Nobelius Track: This track is 1.4km and takes 20 minutes to complete. It’s moderately challenging, with one steep section.
  • Eastern Dandenong Ranges Trail (part): 1km of this trail is within Emerald Lake Park and takes up to 20 minutes to complete. It suits walkers who like an easy-to-moderate track.

Even better, the lake has an abundance of wildlife, so it’s great for spotting Australian natives! You may see birds, ducks, moorhens, echidnas, and black wallabies.

You can also enjoy the free pool to cool off if you visit the area between December and March. Lifeguards patrol it, but adults should always supervise children. If you’re looking for something a little more active, you can spend time out on the lake on paddle-boats. 

Photo by Zoe Eley

2. Visit Cardinia Reservoir Park

When you visit Cardinia Reservoir Park, you’re taking in a cultural landscape of aboriginal culture in the traditional country of the Bunurong People.

The area encompasses an expanse of water and native bushland, where native flora and wildlife are abundant. It’s worth taking the time to see the Kangaroo viewing trail, where you get a close-up look at the Eastern Greys feeding at dusk. You may also see some wallabies, Wedge-tailed eagles, and echidnas. 

For those who love flora, you may spot some of the following when exploring the area:

  • Silver Banksia
  • Showy Bossiaea
  • Tea-Tree Wattle
  • Stringybark
  • Narrow-leaf Peppermint
  • And more!

If you have a four-legged pal, your pup is welcome to visit the area with you if they’re on a leash.

We also love that the picnic areas, including the public toilets, are friendly for people living with disabilities. The open parklands are well-maintained, making it easier for wheelchairs or strollers to enjoy the space.

3. Take a Ride on Puffing Billy

As one of Melbourne’s most popular family attractions, Puffing Billy is a must-stop while visiting Emerald. You will make some new memories when chugging along the tracks of the stream railway. Often referred to as the “heart of the Dandenong Ranges,” it’s a combined nostalgic and cultural experience full of adventure.

From the moment you step into the railway station, you will smell the chimney smoke and hear the whistling sound of the train. Your journey will take you across timber bridges and into the valley, forest, and mountain track. The trip will take you from Belgrave to several other stations, and your dog can also make the trip on a special Puffing Billy Dog Express Lakeside to Gembrook service.

Taking the day to enjoy the steam train is a great way to enjoy the lush ferns and trees and experience the fresh air and feel of the rainforest. The Puffing Billy Railway offers educational experiences, special events, and other experiences. 

Image via Aussie Towns (Photographer / Bruce Elder)

4. Pop in and Say Hello to Our Team!

Did you know our offices are in Emerald, Victoria and we love visitors! While you’re out and about in the area, we welcome you to visit our offices and learn more about what we offer clients and caregivers. 

Want to get in touch? Please drop by and see us, call (03) 9000 4141 or email us at info@care-professionals.