From native greenery to exotic blooms, exquisite parklands have pride of place in this leafy town on the eastern slopes of Mount Dandenong.

Olinda is picturesquely situated within the rolling Dandenong Ranges, where tracts of native wilderness are peppered with manicured gardens and forest-fringed estates. Spend some time in this leafy township to find antiques stores, boutiques and charming restaurants. Follow one of the forest roads that lead from the town into the wild fringes of the Dandenong Ranges National Park. Explore the stunning bushland trails that wind around the park or wander around one of Olinda’s idyllic European gardens.

Make your way to one of Olinda’s major commercial areas. One lies at the junction that connects with Monbulk and the other is on the route to the peak of Mount Dandenong. Check out craft shops, antiques stores, boutiques and cafés. Meet local artisans and stop by one of the restaurants to enjoy some of the region’s local produce. Olinda is renowned for its European influence and features a selection of German- and French-style restaurants.

Experience more of this European flair in Olinda’s beautiful gardens. The National Rhododendron Gardens has a breathtaking array of camellias, rhododendrons, azaleas and daffodils that explode into colour in the springtime. Nearby, you’ll find the RJ Hamer Arboretum, which showcases a huge range of native and exotic tree species throughout its expansive grounds. There are also barbecue facilities and scenic lookouts in this park. The terraced plots at Pirianda Gardens are another highlight.

Check out the region’s magnificent wilderness at the Dandenong Ranges National Park, which contains a network of pretty walking trails that lead to the tumbling cascades of Olinda Falls and the spacious Valley Picnic Grounds.

Olinda is situated between Mount Dandenong, Sassafras and Kallista and is 49 kilometres (30 miles) east of central Melbourne. Drive or use the local transit network to reach the town. Stay in one of Olinda’s leafy boutique lodgings and listen to the call of kookaburras in the treetops as evening falls. With its idyllic gardens and beautiful bushland, Olinda is a beautiful place to visit at any time of the year.

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