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Named after the Sassafras tree, this gorgeous little town will enchant you with its charms. Located only 50 kilometres from the centre of Melbourne, the eclectic mix of old world antiques and devonshire teas, mystic tarot and wizardry, and rare plant nurseries makes it well worth spending a few days out of the city.
The town of Sassafras is nestled in the middle of rich Australian forest and provides many opportunities for walkers and nature lovers. The town's commercial centre is based around the junction of the Mount Dandenong Tourist Road and the Mountain Highway and features a diverse collection of cafes, antique and craft shops.
Stroll throughSmits and Bits Market tucked out of sight but with a facinating range of antique furniture, glassware and crockery as well as a huge selection of vinyl records, books, stamps and coins. There is also a huge marvelous dolls house on display and an open fire in the court yard during the winter months.
For something unique, visit The Oracle to have a Tarot Reading, browse books on magic, participate in story telling or request a magical deed.Peruse the fairytale Geppetto's Workshop where you will find old-world, hand-made toys, spinning tops, marionettes, hand puppets, kaleidoscopes, wooden puzzles and games.
For facinating browsing, visit Images of Yesteryear a store dedicated to providing reproductions of real photographic images of Australian scenes and life from the 1850s to the 1950s.
For the fasionista Simply Sassy offers quality jewellery and coordinated leather and fabric accessories.
Walk the 13-kilometre Sassafras Creek Walking Track along the mountain stream and through the tree-fern forests to Emerald.
Located in the center of town, Sassy Plants is a large nursery specialising in bonsi, box hedges and original timber-slab furniture.
Take in a scrumptious Devonshire Tea of huge scones piled with lashings of jam and whipped cream. Almost all of the cafes along the main street offer Devonshire Tea - see the 'Eat' section for more details.
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Take the metropolitan Melbourne train from Flinders Street station along the Belgrave line to either Upper Ferntree Gully or Belgrave train station. Trains on this line are operated by Metro and run approximately every 20 minutes between 7am and 7pm Monday - Friday. On weekends and public holidays you may need to wait up to 40 minutes for the next train. Check the Belgrave Line Train Timetable for more information. Ticket prices are available on the Public Transport Victoria website.
The 40-50 kilometre drive from Melbourne via Burwood Highway or Canterbury Road is approximately 1 hour. Easy freeway access is along the M1-South Eastern Freeway (to Ferntree Gully Road) or the newly opened M3-Eastlink (to Cantebury Road). For driving directions visit http://www.whereis.com.au
From Belgrave railway station, take the 694 bus via Belgrave-Hallam Road, Monbulk Road, Sherbrooke Road, Mt Dandenong Tourist Road. Check the time table for the 694 bus for departure and arrival times.
From Upper Ferntree Gully railway station take the 688 bus via Burwood Highway, Mt Dandenong Tourist Road, Ridge Road and Obvervatory Road to the Sassafras township. Check the time table for the 684 bus for departure and arrival times.
Many Melbourne based tour companies also run day tours to the Dandenongs by air-conditioned coach.
Whilst you won't need a car to see the sights in the township of Sassafras itself, a car is by far the easiest method to travel between the close nearby townships throughout the Dandenong Ranges.
Local buses are the only public transport available in and around Sassafras.
Bike riding within the Dandenong Ranges is extremely popular, particularly on weekends and public holidays. If traveling to Sassafras by car or bus, you will see large numbers of dedicated cyclists riding up and down the hills. There is not currently a place to hire bikes within Sassafras, however some Bed & Breakfast accommodation does provide complimentary bicycles for guest use.
Internet cafés are very common in the larger Australian cities and popular tourist destinations. However, once you leave the major population centres, you might have trouble finding somewhere to log on. Free wifi is getting more and more common (either with or without a code) in places like restaurants, some bars and coffee places and hotels. Sometimes a fee is required.
See also: International Telephone Calls
Australia is on a GSM 900/1800 network, so if you have an unlocked phone that works on those frequencies, you will be able to buy a prepaid SIM-card and stick into your phone when you're in Australia. You will receive a new Australian phone number with the SIM-card.
To dial out of Australia use the prefix 0011, followed by the calling code of the country you are trying to reach, followed by the area code of the city/town (without the 0!) and finally the phone number.
Within Australia, it is necessary to add an area code to the phone numbers if you are calling from outside the area. Below are Australia's area codes:
000 is the emergency telephone number in Australia, but the international GSM mobile emergency telephone number 112 also works on mobile phones.
Australia Post is the government's postal service. Most suburbs will have at least one post office. Opening times are mostly from around 8:00 or 9:00am to 5:00pm though larger ones keep longer hours sometimes. A standard letter or postcard sent within Australia will cost $0.60. Internationally, it costs $1.70 to send postcards anywhere in the world. Letters cost $1.85 to send within the Asia Pacific region and $2.60 to anywhere else in the world.. It is also possible to send things as parcels or by express mail. You can also use use private courier companies like TNT, UPS or DHL as they are competitive and reliable.
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