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National Rhododendron Gardens

National Rhododendron Gardens

The National Rhododendron Gardens (formally known as The Dandenong Ranges Botanic Garden) is a popular destination located in the Dandenong Ranges. This serene setting houses a variety of colourful blooms; including azaleas, camellias, rhododendrons and daffodils.

With an international reputation, this group of magnificent gardens attract up to 50,000 – 60,000 visitors every year.

National Rhododendron Gardens Hours, Map & Cherry Blossoms, Olinda

The gardens are known to house some of the rarest and most popular Australian flora and fauna. You will come across a number of garden and fern gullies at this park, apart from its variety of seasonal blooms.

Visitors to the garden can explore the habitat of rare lyrebird species, with a number of visitors heading to this park in winter in order to watch this rare bird. You will also find several other bird species; including king parrots, ducks, peacocks and crimson rosellas.

Whether it is spring or autumn, the gardens always stay vibrant and colourful with its wide variety of blooming gardens; with the gardens also renowned for the flora Mount Ash, the world’s tallest flowering plant.

Set at the foothills of the blue Australian Alps, these gardens offer the best scenic views of the surrounding landscape and its adjacent verdant forest.

Those interested in visiting can take a self-guided tour across the 103 acres of scenic botanic gardens. In addition, a number of tour operators offer mini-bus tours to these gardens during spring. You can take a 20 minute narrated tour across the charming gardens and explore what the place has to offer.

Seasonal changes ensure the gardens are a delight all year round, so there is no best time to visit. However, as you would expect, spring brings with it a seasonal bloom and warmer weather, so is a good time to visit as the days are warm and the evenings cool.

As the botanic garden houses a number of picnic grounds, you can come here for a picnic as well. Also, enjoy watching the native birdlife and the stunning views of the Alps from various the lookouts within the garden’s vicinity.

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    • Hi Natasha,

      Unfortunately the cherry blossoms are pretty well finished for the season. However the gardens are still magnificent at this time of year with rhododendrons and azaleas combining to create a magnificent garden filled with mauves, pinks, oranges and reds.

      Have a great time at the Rhododendron Gardens!
      Jess

    • Hi Rae,

      October (and Spring in general) is a great time to visit the Rhododendron Gardens. Throughout October, the colours build with rhododendrons and azaleas combining to create a magnificent garden filled with mauves, pinks, oranges and reds.

      Have a great time!~
      Jess

  • Hi,

    I’m planning a visit to Melbourne in November and I’m interested to visit the garden. May I know is there any floral blossom during the month? Or will there be any attractive happenings around during the month?

    Appreciate your advice.

    Thanks

    • Hello,

      Unfortunately the Cherry Blossoms will have finished flowering by November. However the gardens are still very much alive and beautiful in November as it is still Spring. Throughout October, the colours build with rhododendrons and azaleas combining to create a magnificent garden filled with mauves, pinks, oranges and reds. Most of these colours will remain through November with the colours muting sometime in December.

      Have a great time at the National Rhododendron Gardens!
      Jess

        • Hi Diana,

          In January, you will be in the height of summer and will be able to enjoy blue and white hydrangeas in full flower and beautiful shading trees. Walk through the nature trail through the cool rainforest and enjoy the shade of the large conifers.

          Have a great time at the National Rhododendron Gardens!
          Jess

    • Hi Lisa,

      As of Tuesday this week on the 26th, it was reporting by Parksvic that “The cherry blossoms are now 90 per cent in bloom. It is hoped they will last for the next few days, weather depending.”

      So based on that information, it sounds like this weekend will be the last chance to view the blossoms. Perhaps give Parksvic a quick call on 131963 before you make the trip out to make sure things are conditions are still worthwhile.

      Thanks
      Michael

    • Hi Jackie,

      No, there aren’t any BBQs located inside the gardens themselves. You are welcome to pack a picnic however to enjoy in the gardens or, if you want to still enjoy a BBQ in the area, head to the nearby Hamer Arboretum. There are free electric BBQ’s located there.

      Regards,
      Jess

  • Hello,

    I would like to see the cherry blossoms in full bloom. May I please know if they have fully flowered?

    I am considering to go this Saturday or next Friday. Which date will be better?

    Thanks and looking forward to hearing from you.

    Tina

    • Hi Flora,

      There are currently a few buds and flowers starting to appear at the National Rhododendron Gardens, but there is still a way to go until flowering. With this cold weather, it is expected they may be out in flower sometime in late September.

      Best regards,
      Jess

  • Hi I visited last week but the cherry blossoms weren’t in bloom yet. Looking for an update as to whether they’ll be good this weekend or next weekend is better? I don’t want to miss it! Also whether the garden explorer is available as we would like to bring some old folks but they can’t walk very far. Thanks!

    • Hi Yuki,

      There are currently a few buds and flowers starting to appear at the National Rhododendron Gardens, but there is still a way to go until flowering. With this cold weather, it is expected they may be out in flower sometime in late September.

      The Garden Explorer commenced as from Monday 18 September 2017 through to Friday 3 November 2017. Bookings are required for groups only. The Garden Explorer vehicle is a 24 seater bus which provides comfort and protection to its passengers and high seating for better views of the magnificent garden.

      Best regards,
      Jess

    • Hi Eliza,

      September is a great time to visit, with mild weather and sunny days. However, I would wait until the end of the month when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. Early October is probably even better to visit, as we have had a very cold winter, the flowers are taking an extra week or two to fully flower.

      Have a great time!
      Jess

  • Hi, Love to visit National Rhododendron Gardens in mid Feb. would we get to see flowers at this time of the year? And will the weather be very hot and shall I worry about bush fire?

    Thanks,
    Lucy

    • Hi Lucy,

      The Melbourne weather will be at its hottest in February, with temperatures around 35 degrees Celsius on any given day. There are typically beautiful blue hydrangeas and multi-coloured lilies in flower during this time, so you will still get a beautiful experience even during the hot months.

      Check the local weather reports regarding bush fires. The Dandenong Ranges is certainly a bush-fire zone during those months, but just check the local Bureau of Meteorology Website for updates in the days leading up. The park remains open all year, unless there is are dangerous weather conditions. The area hasn’t been affected by bushfires in the last few years, so hopefully 2018 remains the same!

      Have a great time at the National Rhododendron Gardens!

      Kind regards,
      Jess

  • Hello Jess. By any chance we can see Cherry Blossom in full bloom this weekend or next? Am thinking of going there with my friends this weekend but not sure what is our best option. Please advise. Thank you and have a great day.

    • Hi Angie,

      The magnolias are looking wonderful and there are early flowering rhododendrons and camellias, as well as daffodils, proteas and hellebores.

      As the gardens are at a 500 metre altitude, the cherry trees bloom later than they do in the suburbs of Melbourne. Blossoms usually reach peak bloom in mid-September to early October. “Peak bloom” starts when at least 70% of the blossoms are open. Once open, flowers last from 4 to 10 days, depending on the weather conditions. There are a few buds and flowers starting to appear, but there is still a way to go until flowering. With this cold weather, it is expected they may be out in flower sometime from mid to late September.

      Therefore, I would wait another week if possible.

      Best regards,
      Jess

    • Hi Vivian,

      I would wait another week. As the National Rhododendron Gardens are at a 500 metre altitude, the cherry trees bloom later than they do in the suburbs of Melbourne. Blossoms usually reach peak bloom in mid-September to early October. “Peak bloom” starts when at least 70% of the blossoms are open. Once open, flowers last from 4 to 10 days, depending on the weather conditions. There are a few buds and flowers starting to appear, but there is still a way to go until flowering. With this cold weather, it is expected they may be out in flower sometime from mid to late September.

      Therefore, I would wait another week if possible.

      Regards,
      Jess

    • Hi Lisa,

      No, not yet. It is still too early to predict when the cherries may be in flower but, if the weather remains cold, it will potentially delay the flowering season until late in September. Still a couple of weeks to go!

      Regards,
      Jess

What is the National Rhododendron Gardens address?
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Entrance to the gardens is free.

Fees for the Garden Explorer Bus Tour
Adults: $10
Concession: $8
Child: $5
Child (Under 12yrs): Free
Family (2 adults and 2 children): $25.00

Please visit our website for more information on the National Rhododendron Gardens.
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