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Spring Floral Festival at National Rhododendron Gardens

Home > Melbourne > Escape the City | Free | Gardens | Parks | Picnic Spots
by Lorraine A (subscribe)
Avid trail runner, freelance writer and a mother of four with a healthy obsession for the great outdoors. Join me in my discoveries along the Mornington Peninsula and further afield by subscribing to my articles.
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Be surrounded by beauty
Entry at the National Rhododendron gardens

What better way to spend an enjoyable afternoon in the beautiful Dandenong Ranges than at the National Rhododendron Gardens in Spring.

The flowers are in bloom and cover the landscape into sensational coloured hills, a little like Autumn but instead of leaves, it's flowers.


The gardens are lovely at any time of year, we visited towards the end of July and the flowers were just starting to bud and deciduous trees are still bare. The focal point goes beneath the trees with mass plantings of Hellebores flowering and with the clearing through the trees you get a magnificent view over the ranges towards Warburton.

Through the shrubs to the ornamental lake

The garden is large, covering 40 hectares with lots of untouched Australian natives such as the towering gum trees, fern gullies, grasses and more. There is an ornamental lake toward the bottom of the gardens complete with a small rotunda and places to sit to admire the reflections on the water.

Map of the gardens

The garden is also a perfect place to take a picnic lunch, there are many lawn areas and picnic tables dotted throughout the entire garden, even on a cold winters day people were enjoying picnics in the gardens and kids were running about keeping warm.

Rhododendron flower

The Spring Festival is an annual event at the gardens and has an impressive amount of flowers in bloom. To give you an idea there are 12,000 Rhododendrons, 12,000 Azaleas, 3,000 Camellias and 250,000 Daffodils which is just to name the largest planted varieties that flower in Spring at the gardens.

Some of the pathways

When visiting make sure you take some walking shoes, with over 3.5km of paths to cover you don't want sore feet.

If you haven't been to the Rhododendron gardens before, this spring would be a great time to see these internationally renowned gardens that attract on average 50,000 - 60,000 visitors a year.

Gift shop

There is a gift shop that you need to enter to go through to the gardens, plants can also be purchased from here. Cafe Vireya will reopen on the 14th of September for the busiest time of year.

The Garden is open 7 days 10am- 5pm and entry is free but donations are welcome. Seasonal bus tours are available, for more information check the Parks Victoria website.

Outside the gift shop

How to get there:
The garden is located on The Georgian Rd, Olinda, a one hour drive from Melbourne (mel. Ref 66 K6).

For public transport travel by train to Upper Ferntree Gully and bus to Olinda, the gardens are a short stroll from the township.

Enjoy being surrounded by the spring time blooms.

Picture in Spring by Villages Of Mount Dandenong website
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Why? For mass displays of Spring flowers
When: 7 days a week 10am - 5pm
Phone: 131963
Where: The Georgian Rd, Olinda
Cost: Free
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