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Montrose is the northern gateway to the Dandenong Ranges National Park, situated at the start of the Mount Dandenong Tourist Road which then commences its scenic ascent into the mountains at Kalorama.

The commercial centre of Montrose is a compact shopping precinct located at the large roundabout which marks the very start of the Mount Dandenong Tourist Road. The towering peaks of Mt Dandenong and Mt Corhanwarrabul provide a stunning backdrop to this shopping area. Smaller shopping strips can also be found on neighbouring Leith Road and within a residential area on Stradbroke Road.

On the northern side of Mount Dandenong Tourist Road, between Leith Road and Swansea Road, is the Montrose Town Centre. It consists of a public library and a hall where concerts and stage performances are held. The Montrose Town Centre is surrounded by landscaped gardens which feature a war memorial and Robert Riddett's cottage which was built nearby in 1877 and relocated to its present site. The Montrose Brickworks Heritage Trail extends through the gardens and commemorates the town's only main industry in the 1920s - the brickworks. Bricks originally manufactured there have been used to create a series of educational signs along the trail.

Montrose has an extensive array of parks, reserves and sporting grounds, providing ovals, tennis courts, bicycle tracks and horse riding trails.

The residential areas of Montrose are situated along undulating roadways lined with established gum trees and native vegetation.

With its scenic mountain backdrop, plenty of open space and the feel of a mountain community, it is easy to forget how close Montrose is to Melbourne's populated eastern suburbs.

A few minutes drive north of Montrose along Swansea Road is Lilydale, which is the gateway to the rich grape growing areas of the Yarra Valley.