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Cloudehill Gardens at Olinda

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by Sue Williams (subscribe)
Writer, bushwalker and dessert enthusiast. My first novel 'Murder with the Lot' was published by Text Publishing in March 2013. I'm currently working on the sequel.
Published June 7th 2012
Cloudehill Gardens - from their website
Cloudehill Gardens - from their website


There's a lot to enjoy in Olinda, perched at the top of the Dandenong ranges in the outer east of Melbourne and Cloudehill Gardens is right up there at the top of the list.

Strolling through these huge formal gardens is a lovely experience at any time of year. Following several walking paths, the visitor can meander through twenty garden compartments. There are masses of bulbs in Spring, dazzling colour in the Summer flower borders, magnificent beech and maple trees in Autumn and acres of colourful rhododendrons in Winter. Note that the paths are well-made but steep at times.

An array of colour - from Cloudehill website
An array of colour - from Cloudehill website


Established in the 1890's, Cloudehill Gardens and Nursery was originally a cherry and raspberry farm. It was converted to a nursery after World War 1 and took its current form in the 1990's. Cloudehill now consists of the formal gardens, a nursery and a restaurant. It's open seven days per week from 10am to 5pm.

Deck at Cloudehill restaurant by Sue Williams
Deck at Cloudehill restaurant


This is a lovely place for wedding photos and receptions too - there's information about arranging this here.

There's a fee of $7.50 (families $20) to enter the formal gardens, although you can also get excellent views from the restaurant deck and from inside the restaurant, which overlooks the gardens.

View from inside Cloudehill restaurant by Sue Williams
View from inside Cloudehill restaurant


The restaurant is open from 10am to 5pm, seven days a week for morning teas, lunches and afternoon teas. It's not the cheapest food option in Olinda, with cakes at $8.50 and lunches from $18 to $28. The menu changes daily and offers dishes such as Baked Lamb Moussaka with Turkish Bread and Dips for $18, Smoked Salmon Pasta and Seasonal Vegetable Tart for $22 and Fish Fillet of the Day for $28.

Detail of garden screen by Sue Williams
Detail of garden screen


Cloudehill's plant nursery is also well worth a look, with unusual plants and a collection of unique and attractive garden art for sale.

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Why? The gardens have an immediate calming effect
When: 10am to 5pm, 7 days a year
Where: 89 Olinda-Monbulk Rd, Olinda, Victoria
Cost: $7.50 entry fee to gardens
Comments
We visited here in mid August and felt it would be nicer to visit a few weeks later when Spring was well and truly springing. As the gardens are quite European in their styling and planting they are quite bare in winter. As you pay to go through the gardens it felt a bit dissappointing (I'm clearly no gardener and didn't think about this in advance). However, I can see the potential for it being lovely and would certainly pay another visit in Spring!
By jasmi40 - reader
Thursday, 1st of September @ 03:44 am
Thanks for your comment. I went a few days ago - there were lots of buds opening - Spring seems to be springing...
By Sue Williams - senior reviewer
Thursday, 1st of September @ 08:02 am
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