Top 10 Things To Do In Olinda, Australia

things to do in olinda
| 5 min read

Head out to the east of Melbourne in Victoria, Australia, and you will find the Dandenong Ranges. Nestled at the highest points of the Dandenong, Olinda is a beautiful little village that is fast becoming a top tourist destination. It is best known for its local arts scene, quaint cafes, and pubs, as well as a fascinating selection of boutique shops. Aside from these attractions, lush hills, forests, and gardens surround this lovely town, making it an ideal weekend countryside getaway. Olinda is only less than an hour’s drive from metropolitan Melbourne, so accessibility and distance won’t be much of a challenge for travelers as well. If you’re interested to know more about this lovely town, read on to discover the top things to do in Olinda, Australia.

1. Wander through the beautiful Dandenong Ranges Botanical Garden

The Dandenong Ranges Botanic Garden
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Malachy Tarpey used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Dandenong Ranges Botanical Garden is a real delight for artists, photographers, or simply anyone who appreciates the beauty of nature. It overlooks the gorgeous Yarra Ranges and is open all year round for tourists to admire it with every changing season. Under the watchful care of Parks Victoria, the Botanical Garden is home to over a hundred thousand species of plants and flowers native to the valley and a couple of bird species as well. There is also a café and events venue within the grounds.

Dandenong Ranges Botanical Garden

Address: The Georgian Rd, Olinda VIC 3788, Australia

Website: Dandenong Ranges Botanical Garden

Opening hours: 10am - 5pm (daily)

Price: Free

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2. Explore the lush Pirianda Gardens

Crataegus orientalis fruit d PG
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Melburnian used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Once a privately owned land, the Pirianda Gardens evolved into a lovely tourist attraction. It is home to 11 hectares (27 acres) of lush trees, shrubs, and plants, making it a botanical paradise. It is open all year round, but many say that the best time to visit Pirianda Gardens is during the autumn season for the warm colors and picturesque atmosphere. Pirianda Gardens is under the maintenance of Parks Victoria, and the folks over there make sure to provide different kinds of equipment for people with disabilities so they can also enjoy beautiful parks like this one.

Pirianda Gardens

Address: 5-9 Hacketts Rd, Olinda VIC 3788, Australia

Website: Pirianda Gardens

Opening hours: 10am - 5pm (daily)

Price: Free

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3. Experience tranquility at Olinda Falls

Olinda Falls
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user DJMan255 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Tucked away in the Dandenong Ranges National Park, Olinda Falls is a real hidden gem for visitors coming to the park. Getting to the falls will have you going on a trek that may be tiring but surely worth it in the end. You will be going through a trail surrounded by towering trees that will make you feel like you’re in an enchanted forest. When you reach the falls itself, it’s a great spot to relax, especially if you’re alone or perhaps have a picnic if you’re with family. Visitors must note that dogs are not allowed at the Dandenong Ranges National Park, and guests should not leave them inside their cars.

Olinda Falls

Address: Doughtys Rd, Olinda Falls Reserve, Olinda VIC 3788, Australia

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 10am - 5pm; Sat - Sun: 9am - 5pm

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4. Get a breath of fresh air at Woolrich Lookout

Woolrich Lookout
Source: Photo by Flickr user Matthew Paul Argall used under CC BY 2.0

Woolrich Lookout is a viewing outpost nestled within the R.J. Hamer Arboretum, a vast stretch of nothing but beautiful landscapes and scenery. Woolrich Lookout is perhaps one of the most popular viewing spots in the area because it gives a bird’s-eye view of the Dandenong Ranges National Park in the background. It’s a great place to stop and admire the view. You can go on a short walk or have a picnic with your family as well. You will also find two paintings from 1924 along the walking trails of Woolrich Lookout.

Woolrich Lookout

Address: 10 Chalet Rd, Olinda VIC 3788, Australia

Website: Woolrich Lookout

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Price: Free

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5. Enjoy dinner accompanied by beautiful views at Coonara Springs

Editor’s note: Establishment is permanently closed.

If you’re looking for a stellar and top-notch dining venue in Olinda, Coonara Springs is the perfect option for you. This fine-dining restaurant sits atop a hill within Dandenong Ranges and offers beautiful garden views stretching out to the Yarra Valley. Their menu is short but sweet, and the selections reflect the seasons and the lovely natural surroundings. The fancy ambiance and venue with the intricate menu selections make Coonara Springs a perfect spot for an intimate gathering or a date night.

Coonara Springs

Address: 129 Olinda-Monbulk Rd, Olinda VIC 3788, Australia

Website: Coonara Springs

Opening hours: Wed, Fri, Sat: 12pm - 3pm, 6:30pm - 9pm; Thu: 12pm - 3pm, 6pm - 9pm; Sun: 12pm - 3pm (closed on Mon & Tue)

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6. Catch up with friends at Pig & Whistle Tavern

Pig & Whistle Tavern, Mount Dandenong, Australia
Source: Photo by Flickr user Matthew Paul Argall used under CC BY 2.0

For a more casual setting, check out Pig & Whistle Tavern, a traditional English pub with friendly Australian hospitality. They have an impressive selection of food items and serve large portions, so this is an ideal place if you’re a big group. Their best-seller is chicken parma, so make sure to try that out. They also serve some of the best beers and wines in the town. Pig & Whistle Tavern also offers takeout, if you’re in a rush.

Pig & Whistle Tavern

Address: 1429 Mount Dandenong Tourist Rd, Olinda VIC 3788, Australia

Website: Pig & Whistle Tavern

Opening hours: 11am - 11pm (daily)

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7. Immerse yourself in nature at Cloudehill Nursery and Gardens

Gazebo at the End of the Path
Source: Photo by Flickr user Fernando de Sousa used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Internationally famous Cloudehill Nursery and Gardens has made a name for itself because of its collection of beautifully landscaped gardens that almost look like paintings coming to life. There are about 25 gardens, each one separated by stone walls and fences, giving you that feeling of stepping into Wonderland. Among these include peony gardens, bluebell woodlands, bulb meadows, and at its center, the best Japanese weeping maples you will probably ever see. There is also a shop, where you can take home some botanic goodies.

Cloudehill Nursery and Gardens

Address: 89 Olinda-Monbulk Rd, Olinda VIC 3788, Australia

Website: Cloudehill Nursery and Gardens

Opening hours: 10am - 5pm (daily)

Price: 10 USD

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8. Step back in time at Mangana Olinda

Mangana Arts & Crafts
Source: Photo by Flickr user Matthew Paul Argall used under CC BY 2.0

Rummage through this quaint gift shop in Olinda that houses pieces seemingly pulled out of time. Mangana Olinda, a family-owned business, has been around since 1983, but the building that houses it dates farther back to the early 1900s. Inside, you will find items collected from different parts of the world like India, France, and America, with each one carefully picked out because of its beauty and timelessness. Some of these items include jewelry, paintings, furniture, and other memorabilia. However, as of writing, the shop has been closed since July due to COVID-19.

Mangana Olinda

Address: 29 Olinda-Monbulk Road, Olinda, VIC 3788, Australia

Website: Mangana Olinda

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9. Relax and unwind at Balance Mountain Day Spa

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Balance Mountain Day Spa on Saturday, August 10, 2019

If you’re looking for a place to unwind and de-stress, Balance Mountain Day Spa is the perfect place to do so. It’s one thing to have a full spa treatment, and it’s another to experience it surrounded by beautiful gardens and scenery. The surroundings add a deeper tranquil touch to those at the spa, and this makes the experience even more relaxing than it already is. Balance Mountain Day Spa offers several services regularly, however, due to COVID-19, operations have been on a halt and are set to resume in November.

Balance Mountain Day Spa

Address: 226 Ridge Rd, Olinda VIC 3788, Australia

Website: Balance Mountain Day Spa

Opening hours: 10am - 6pm (daily)

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10. Browse through local handicrafts at Red Gum Gallery

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

One of the things Olinda takes pride in is its local arts scene. If you’re an artist or art enthusiast, you will enjoy visiting Olinda and places like Red Gum Gallery. Red Gum Gallery features artworks and crafts by locals and even artists from all over Victoria state. You will find art pieces like paintings, sculptures, woodwork, jewelry, cards, prints, and many more, so there is something for everyone to appreciate. Cafés and boutique shops surround the gallery, so a visit to the gallery won’t disrupt any lunch or shopping plans you may have had.

Red Gum Gallery

Address: Shop 3/47-53 Olinda-Monbulk Rd, Olinda VIC 3788, Australia

Website: Red Gum Gallery

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 11am - 4pm; Sat - Sun: 10am - 5pm

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Take a day trip to Olinda

There’s something about this charming little town sitting atop the Dandenong mountain range that will intrigue you to come and visit. Surrounded by some of the most picturesque natural views, Olinda has a lot to offer to its visitors, and this is why it’s a perfect day trip destination for tourists in Melbourne.

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Marga is a self-employed aspiring writer and budding artist from the Philippines. On days she's not writing, she paints and creates art which she later sells at craft bazaars. Marga also has...Read more

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