David has risen early to join a bus tour that definitely gives him something to sing about.
A Tour with a Difference is a family owned and operated company living up to its name, showing the best of the Dandenongs.
They operate Mercedes Benz convertible minibuses the only buses of their kind in Australia. The roof comes off and the windows come out. They take a maximum of 11 passengers through some of Victoria's prettiest towns and villages to see some rather wonderful gardens.
You will be picked up at your hotel at around 8am and head to Grant's picnic area in the Dandenongs for a cup of billy tea. Just five minutes further on is a 40-minute bushwalk to the Sherbrooke Falls. The track winds past rough and smooth tree ferns, fine sassafras and mountain ash, some up to 200 years old.
Then comes a 25-minute ride on the famous Puffing Billy steam train, with wonderful views of the surrounding countryside. The railway is the sole survivor of four experimental lines used to develop rural areas in the 1900s. Its operation depends on the dedication of volunteers.
Next stop is Lillydale Estate Restaurant for some wine-tasting and a delicious barbecue lunch. Lillydale is part of the well-known McWilliam family's group and is a particularly beautiful place, overlooking 15 hectares of vines.
A stop at Arthur Streeton lookout shows just how perfect the purple and indigo hills were for his art. Broad strokes captured the beauty of the area in many of his works.
Next stop is the village of Olinda, one of the Dangenong's highest. This is such a lovely place for browsing through galleries and craft shops, and who can resist Devonshire tea in a pretty village!
Here you can purchase home-made edibles, plants, fresh eggs, flowers and unusual goodies such as chestnuts.
Last stop is at the privately-owned Bimbimbie Wildlife Park, which has kangaroos, wallabies, dingoes, emus, wombats, bettongs, lizards, turtles, deer and many varieties of birds. In the farmyard are rabbits, guinea pigs, lambs, calves, goats, ducks and chickens just waiting for a bottle at feeding time.