Nestled near the mountain village of Olinda, one hour’s drive from central Melbourne, is the Dandenong Ranges Botanic Garden, a showcase of stunning exotic and native flora.
A dazzling exhibit of the wonderments of nature, the garden is one of the key allures of the Dandenong Ranges, which is set in the low mountain ranges roughly 600 metres above sea level.
Formerly recognised as the National Rhododendron Garden, the vast 40-hectare Garden (100 acres) includes an extensive range of cool-climate plants along with 30,000 Rhododendron and Azalea species and hybrids.
Entry is free, and I spent a relaxed two hours meandering the 5 km of paved walkways during a recent summer visit and was delighted with the diversity of plant life and arrangement of the garden.
“The Dandenong Ranges Botanic Garden is Victoria’s premier cool-climate garden. With breathtaking views over the Yarra Valley, the garden features important collections of rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias and more, in a setting of native and exotic trees. Seasonal changes ensure the garden is a year-round delight,” Quote from the Parks Victoria website.
All images, text and content are copyright Steven Sklifas.