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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.

153 Comments

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    • Hi Julie,

      It was announced last Tuesday on the 25th September 2018 that the cherry trees have started blossom.

      It mentions that depending on the weather conditions, they flower for 4-10 days.

      I actually had to Google this, but apparently once the flowers bloom, they last around 2 weeks. So based on the timing, this week would be an ideal time to visit.

      Thanks
      Michael

    • Hi Nancy,

      I have been checking the Parksvic website on a daily basis and their last update was 2 days ago on September 19, where it’s still stated that “The cold weather has delayed the flowering for some magnolias and the cherry trees”.

      Blossoms usually reach their peak in mid-September to early October – but with the above statement, this will likely be pushed back. Once open, flowers last from 4-10 days, depending on weather conditions.

      So based on this information, I would say to hold out visiting just yet.

      Thanks
      Michael

        • Hi Nancy,

          Unfortunately, I can only go by what the ParksVic website is telling me, which on the 19th September still said “The cold weather has delayed the flowering for some magnolias and the cherry trees”. Be that the Tesselaar Tulip Festival is also having issues with the cold weather, i would say the issue is somewhat widespread.

          Rest assured i am checking the official channels on a daily basis and once i have word of things being ready, i will update the website.

          Once the flowers have blossomed, they should last between 4-10 days.

          Thanks
          Michael

        • Hi Nancy,

          Just sending you a quick update. As of this morning, it has been announced that the cherry trees have started to blossom. Depending on weather conditions, they will continue to flower over the next 4-10 days.

          Thanks
          Michael

  • Hi Kate,

    I have been checking the Parksvic website on a daily basis and their last update was on September 10, where it’s still stated that “The cold weather has delayed the flowering for some magnolias and the cherry trees”.

    Blossoms usually reach their peak in mid-September to early October – but with the above statement, this will likely be pushed back. Once open, flowers last from 4-10 days, depending on weather conditions.

    I am going to be checking the updates multiple times per week and will be updating this website as soon as any new information becomes available.

    Thanks
    Michael

    • Hi Elizabeth,

      According to the ParksVic website it’s stated that “Dogs and other pets are not permitted”.

      My guess is that it falls under the region of the Dandenong Ranges National Park, where pets usually aren’t allowed (except assistance animals).

      Thanks
      Michael

      • Hi Crystal,

        Reading the latest flower update from the Dandenong Ranges Botanic Garden that only came out today (Monday 10th Sep, 2019), it’s still stated that “The cold weather has delayed the flowering for some magnolias and the cherry trees”.

        Blossoms usually reach their peak in mid-September to early October – but with the above statement, this will likely be pushed back. Once open, flowers last from 4-10 days, depending on weather conditions.

        I am going to be checking the updates multiple times per week and will be updating this website as soon as any new information becomes available.

        Thanks
        Michael

    • Hi Jason,

      According to the flower update provided on 3rd September 2018, it’s noted that the recent cold weather has delayed the flowering season for the magnolia and cherry trees.

      As the Dandenong Ranges Botanic Garden is at an altitude of 500 metres, the cherry trees bloom later than they do in the suburbs of Melbourne. The blossoms usually reach their peak in mid-September to early October, and once open, the flowers usually last from 4-10 days, depending on weather conditions.

      On a side note, it’s recorded that rarly rhododendrons and camellias are now in flower, along with hellebores, proteas and daffodils.

      Thanks
      Michael

    • Hi Julie,

      According to the What’s On section of the Parksvic website, the Cherry Blossom is scheduled for mid-late September. Be that your visit date is around that time, there is a good chance it will be occuring then.

      I would suggest checking back closer to to the date for an update.

      Thanks
      Michael

      • Hi Freda,

        The cherry blossom gardens are located at the “Dandenong Ranges Botanic Garden” on The Georgian Rd in Olinda.

        The “Cherry Tree Grove” is located towards the rear of the park. Although there looks to be a side entrance called the “Carmellia Gate”, I can’t tell if this gate is open – as it will save a lot of walking. So it would be worth driving down Falls Rd first along the left / west side of the park.

        Please note that the Cherry Blossoms are estimated to occur in mid-late September.

        Thanks
        Michael

    • Hi Bec,

      Hi Michael,

      According to the What’s On section of the Parksvic website, the Cherry Blossom is scheduled for mid-late September.

      Having visited there just over a week ago, there was no indication that it was occuring just yet. I would suggest checking back closer to to the date for an update.

      Thanks
      Michael

    • Hi Michael,

      According to the What’s On section of the Parksvic website, the Cherry Blossom is scheduled for mid-late September.

      Having visited there just over a week ago, there was no indication that it was occuring just yet. I would suggest checking back closer to to the date for an update.

      Thanks
      Michael

    • Hi Julie,

      According to the What’s On section of the Parksvic website, the Cherry Blossom is scheduled for mid-late September.

      Having visited there just over a week ago, there was no indication that it was occuring just yet. I would suggest checking back closer to to the date for an update.

      Thanks
      Michael

    • Hi May,

      The Parksvic website is a little light on an update, but according to their What’s On section around flowering, the Cherry Blossom is scheduled for mid-late September.

      Having visited there just over a week ago, there was no indication that it was occuring just yet. I would suggest checking back closer to to the date for an update.

      Thanks
      Michael

    • Hi Jen,

      I have checked all of the official websites of the gardens, but none of them mention the current status of the gardens.

      Be that I personally can’t get out to the gardens until the weekend, it would be worth contacting Parks Vic on either 13 19 63 or emailing them at [email protected].

      Thanks
      Michael

    • Hi Chen,

      We are currently in the middle of winter, so not much will be flowering at the moment, however Vireya rhododendrons flowers throughout the year.

      Nevertheless, it is still a lovely time to visit (rugged up in your warmest winter woolies) as there is often a low mist over the gardens with Hellebore and Cyclamen flowers falling to the ground creating a beautiful carpet of flowers.

      Best regards,
      Jess

    • Hi Ingrid,

      The Garden Explorer bus tour is for people of all ages, but would be great for those wanting to explore all the Rhododendron Gardens but dont have the stamina to walk the entire grounds.

      Have a wonderful time in the Dandenong Ranges!
      Jess

        • Hi Ingrid,

          It appears that the Garden Explorer has ceased operations for this season. It is anticipated that they will offer a similar service for Spring 2018.

          Best regards,
          Jess

    • Hi Julie,

      October is the best time to visit in my opinion, as it is in the middle of Spring. Most of the flowers are in full bloom by late-October and the cherry blossoms are also out at this time. April is also a beautiful time to view the changing colours of the leaves as the garden transitions into Autumn. Those are my two favourite times to visit!

      Have a wonderful time at the National Rhododendron Gardens!
      Jess

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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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