Winter in the Dandenongs – a time of rainy days, frosty mornings and if you’re fortunate enough, hot meals and a cosy fireside.
But rather than just staying in – something most of us have probably had quite enough of – why not take advantage of the extra time you’ve got at home now to explore your community? Check out these suggestions for inspiration on surviving the remaining months until spring breaks.
Things to do indoors
You’ve exhausted most of your indoor activity ideas, already finished Netflix and binged out on banana bread during quarantine? Get some new ideas and materials – visit your local library to borrow a cookbook, dvd, or grab some other new books to curl up with during Winter.
Eastern Regional Libraries branches will be open from Monday June 22nd, with COVID restrictions in place. In the meantime, you can discover the complete range of books, DVDs, CDs, magazines and video games available from the library, place free reservations & renew items or download free audiobooks and ebook titles by visiting https://www.yourlibrary.com.au/
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Winter Nature Walks
The beauty of the Dandenongs shines in all seasons. Bundle up in your warmest clothes and take a walk through the Hills.
Visit Explore The Dandenongs for a comprehensive guide to walks throughout the Ranges. Download their free e-book here https://explorethedandenongs.com.au/e-book-30-walks-dandenong-ranges/ or click the image below.
Markets in the Hills
Markets are an intrinsic part of Hills living. Get to know your neighbours, local makers, growers and artists as you shop for seasonal, fresh produce (a great health booster in Winter!) or unique items handmade locally with care.
Cockatoo Country Market
Market day is the 1st Saturday of every month – 8.30am to 1.30pm 77 Pakenham Road, Cockatoo. https://www.facebook.com/cockatoocountrymarket/
Kallista Community Market
1st Saturday of the month – 9am to 2pm. Main Street, Kallista. https://www.facebook.com/KallistaMarket/
2nd Saturday of the month. 73 Main Road Monbulk. https://www.facebook.com/monbulkproducemarket/
Belgrave Big Dreams Market
2nd Sunday of the month – 9am to 2pm. St Thomas More Primary School, Belgrave. https://www.facebook.com/belgravebigdreamsmarket/
Seed of Life Farmer’s Market
3rd Saturday of the month from 9am until 2pm, at IFTI Community Hub, 2 Francis Crescent, Ferntree Gully Village. https://www.facebook.com/solfarmersmarket/
Montrose Craft Market
3rd Saturday of the Month, 9am – 1.30pm Cnr Leith and Mt Dandenong Tourist Rd, Montrose https://www.facebook.com/montrosemarket
Emerald Craft and Produce Market
3rd Sunday of the month – 9am to 3pm. Kilvington Drive and Main Street, Emerald. https://www.facebook.com/emeraldmarket/
Grassroots Market Upwey
Usually every 4th Saturday in March, June and September, with a special Foothills Festival Market in October. Currently on hiatus due to COVID restrictions, like and follow their facebook page for updates – https://www.facebook.com/GrassrootsMarketUpwey/
4th Sunday of the Month, 9am – 2pm. Puffing Billy Railway Station, Main Street, Gembrook https://www.facebook.com/GembrookMarket/
Every Saturday 9am to 3pm and Sunday 10am – 3pm at Upper Ferntree Gully station Burwood Hwy, Upper Ferntree Gully. https://www.facebook.com/gullymarket/
Celebrate the Winter Solstice
Celebrating Solstice and the heart of Winter, the Belgrave Lantern Parade is usually the glowing epicenter of events in the Hills. This year, due to COVID restrictions, the festival has been re-imagined as a public art installation.
Wander the Main Street of Belgrave between June 20 and July 4th to see the lanterns light up the heart of winter in the Hills.
Join in with the community by placing your own lantern up for display at home, school, work or play – then take a pic and post it to the Belgrave Lantern Parade event page.
Find Community Support
Winter in the Dandenongs can be bitter, especially for those who are struggling with accommodation or access to meals. The following services provide resources to help survive the coldest months in the Hills.
Dandenong Ranges Emergency Relief Service Inc. assist people facing crisis, for reasons such as illness, unemployment, domestic violence, homelessness, and other hardship. Showers, free grocery items, financial assistance & food vouchers are available for those in need.
Find out more about DRERS and what they do at https://hillslocal.online/listing/dandenong-ranges-emergency-relief-service-inc/
Donate at https://www.givenow.com.au/dandenongrangesemergencyrelief or add a $2 donation to DRERS to your purchase at Belgrave Community Pharmacy by using the “tap and go” paypass featured below.
Showers are also available at:
• Monbulk Care Network Op Shop
61 Main Road, Monbulk.
Monday, Wednesday & Friday 10am-1pm. Ph. 9756 7800
Fresh hot take away meals or food parcels are available at:
• Foothills Community Care
Providing fresh hot take away meals at the following locations:
1. Upwey Baptist Community Church
cnr Darling Ave & Burwood Hwy,
Upwey (opposite Upwey train station). Mondays from 5.30pm.
2. Ferntree Gully Guide Hall
Underwood Rd, Ferntree Gully (opposite
train station). Wednesdays from 5.30pm.
https://www.foothillscare.org.au/ Ph 8711 8677
Home delivered meals and care packages can be ordered online through their Community Casseroles program
Other food resources are available at the following locations:
• Hope in the Hills Friday
Free grocery packs available on Friday mornings at
3 Clifford Grove, Tecoma. During COVID-19 restrictions, bookings are
essential to ensure social distancing can be maintained. Ph: 9754 6809
• Food is Free Tecoma
Groceries, meals & fresh food available 24/7.
Verandah of Tecoma Uniting Church at 1566 Burwood Highway, Tecoma
• Open Door Church Monbulk Verandah Pantry
cnr David Hill and Moxhams
Rds, Monbulk. Available 24/7. Ph. 9756 6700
Main St, Upwey, beside Bendigo Bank. Hot soup plus blankets,
clothing and etc available. Fridays 3pm-7pm. Ph. 0409 607 610
Additional support services are available. Reach out to Yarra Ranges Council for more information with the contact details pictured below or visit the Yarra Ranges website page on Community Relief and Support Agencies
There’s so much to love about Winter in the Dandenongs.
What’s your favourite aspect of living in the Hills during Winter? Share your thoughts in the comments below.