One of the highest villages in Victoria’s Dandenong Ranges, Olinda’s pronounced seasons are reflected in its gardens and scenery. Spring blooms, autumn colours, crisp summer days and occasional light snowfalls are all on show throughout the year.
Olinda is well known for its magnificent public and private gardens. A particular jewel is the National Rhododendron Gardens, which contain thousands of rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias and daffodils. There are also the quirky sculptures hiding in the William Ricketts Sanctuary, rare and historic plants at Cloudehill, and botanically important trees at Pirianda.
Lyrebirds lurk amid the tree ferns in the Dandenong Ranges National Park, there is tranquil forest in RJ Hamer Arboretum, and Olinda Falls reward a strenuous walk. Resident emus, wombats, possums and echidna companions can be found if you look carefully as you tour the area.
Olinda village reveals a treasure trove of art and handicraft galleries and antique and vintage stores, as well as eateries serving famous Dandenong Ranges Devonshire teas. Local restaurants treat regional produce with respect and serve up delicious meals to cap off a day full of fresh air and spectacular scenery.
Olinda is 44 kilometres east of Melbourne or just under an hour’s drive. Travel along the Eastern Freeway and continue onto Eastlink tollway. Exit at Burwood Highway and follow the road to Upper Ferntree Gully, or exit at Canterbury Road and follow the road to Montrose and onto the Mount Dandenong Tourist Road.