We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“'Purely Magnificent'”

National Rhododendron Gardens
Ranked #1 of 16 things to do in Olinda
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: A spring spectacular! The National Rhododendron Gardens are host to brilliantly coloured blooms of rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias, cherries and daffodils. Seasonal changes ensure the gardens are a delight all year around. When not in bloom, you can still soak in the beauty of rich bark textures, seed capsules, foliage shapes and beautiful fragrance as you stroll through the grounds. While many visitors take their time and enjoy all of the constantly changing vistas of the gardens, others prefer to take shorter walks into specific areas. Walking the entire garden is a round trip of approximately 5km, and includes some steeper grades. Magnificent views overlook Silvan Reservoir, the Yarra Valey, Warburton Ranges and Mt Baw Baw. The National Rhododendron Gardens are open 10.00am to 5.00pm daily (last entry 4.30pm) except Christmas Day. Entrance to the gardens is free. The park is located 500 metres from the Olinda township along the Olinda - Monbulk Road. Turn into The Georgian Road, the entrance is 50 metres on the right. During the busy spring period, parking on weekends is limited. There is additional parking available at both the Olinda Recreation Reserve on the corner of The Georgian Road and Olinda-Monbulk Road, and the former Olinda Golf Course site on the Olinda-Monbulk Road. Both these sites are within a two minute walk of the main entrance.
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“'Purely Magnificent'”
Reviewed 18 May 2014

It doesn't matter what time of the year you go to the gardens, every season brings its own special unique something from the foliage of all the beautiful plants and trees. It has a gorgeous display of all types of plants, not just Rhododendrons. It is definitely a must see for everyone. The walk around the gardens is purely magical and so relaxing. Wear some good comfy shoes and stroll leisurely through the gardens, It's not a place that can be rushed. We even saw a lyrebird digging around the foliage, obviously used to people visiting as he wasn't the least bit taken aback by us. The views at the far end of the gardens across to the hills are just gorgeous. Truly a beautiful place.

Visited May 2014
1 Thank Jenny B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

354 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Indonesian first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Box Hill, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
87 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Beautiful :)”
Reviewed 16 May 2014

The Rhododendron gardens contain far more than Rhododendrons. The wide range of flowers make for beautiful displays across much of the year. It also means this is a fairly large park.

You can walk on foot through the sprawling gardens (up and down rolling hills). There is also a bus tour, that departs from around 200m inside the gates.

Our plan was to see the Tesselaar's Tulip gardens and see the Japanese festival at the National Rhododendron gardens, on the weekend of Sun 22 Sep.

A tip: the traffic that weekend, heading up that way is really slow. From what I heard, the traffic was experience an average speed of 7 km/h. If you can, go during the week, though it will be much more tranquil and will not have the crowd feel.

The gardens were beautiful. There are many, many types of flowers and flowering plants across this very large garden.

I thoroughly recommend a visit to this beautiful place. :)

According to the "only melbourne" website the best time to visit is between August and November but I think other tripadvisors say they've been in May and enjoyed beautiful displays.

Note: If you are less able, you may want to discuss options with the people who run the gardens. I found there was a 100m distance across a moderate slope, to get from the car park to the shop inside the gates. To get to the bus pickup point was another 100m down a slope.

Note 2: I think you can get coffee at the shop, and some souvenirs, but based on some of the reviews on this site, it might be wise to bring a snack and a drink if you'll be here a while.

Note 3: The grounds are extensive. I _think_ toilets are few and far between. If that's an issue, take note when planning your trip.

Visited September 2013
Thank a t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
270 reviews
148 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 216 helpful votes
“Absolutely Amazing Autumn”
Reviewed 15 May 2014

Okay, so I visited the National Rhododendron Gardens in May and didn't see a rhododendron display - the rhododendron flowering season is September to November in Australia. A waste of my time? Not by any means. In the absence of rhododendron blooms, the gardens were resplendent in the reds, yellows and oranges of a deciduous autumn. The scenic landscaping allows for sedate ambling along sealed paths over several acres, although for the young at heart, some 'hidden' bowers and paths will add a sense of 'off-road' adventure to your tour. Surely a delight for the children. Several small lakes provide magnificent reflection settings for the multi-coloured shrubs, trees and ferns. The surrounding paths and embankments are adorned with multi-coloured autumnal leaves like petals strewn before the Gods of winter. For those that appreciate the subtlety and soft hues of autumnal flora, the Rhododendron Gardens are for you. The gift shop at the entrance to the gardens is bright, well stocked and served by friendly staff. Easy to find, just a minute from the town of Olinda in the Dandenong Ranges.

Visited May 2014
1 Thank Denis C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
106 reviews
38 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Gorgeous in any season”
Reviewed 27 April 2014

These are lovely gardens with a beautiful blend of native and exotic plants. The rhododendrons are glorious in springtime and the gardens are gorgeous in autumn, when you might be fortunate enough to see a reticent lyrebird.

Visited April 2014
Thank MarlzL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Townsville, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Unexpected Pleasure”
Reviewed 1 March 2014

These gardens were an absolute delight - not over-commercialised, but very natural and peaceful with lovely settings. They were also affordable for us, as it was by donation, which we were more than glad to supply.

Visited February 2014
1 Thank Lori Anne T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed National Rhododendron Gardens also viewed

Olinda, Victoria

Been to National Rhododendron Gardens? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing