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Sassafras is a locality and township within Greater Melbourne, beyond the Melbourne metropolitan area Urban Growth Boundary, 43 km east of Melbourne's Central Business District, located within the City of Knox and Shire of Yarra Ranges local government areas. Sassafras recorded a population of 1,061 at the 2016 Census.
It is located at an altitude of approximately 500 metres, near the top of the ridgeline of the Dandenong Ranges, a few kilometres south of the highest peak of Mount Dandenong.
The name Sassafras is derived from a mispronunciation of South of France, which the area is said to resemble. The land was opened to small scale farming in 1893 and a small township developed. The Post Office opened on 1 June 1901 and has always been known as Sassafras Gully. In the early 1900s tourism began to increase and the township consequently grew. Today Sassafras is a tourist destination with several boutique stores including Devonshire tea outlets, antique shops and nurseries.
The area has had a history of bushfires, and areas near the town are known to have been burnt down since the 1850s.
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