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