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A botanic name for the National Rhododendron Garden

Autumn in the garden 

What’s happening

The National Rhododendron Garden is the premier garden within Parks Victoria’s Dandenong Ranges Gardens estate and has become the premier cool-climate public garden in Melbourne. To recognise this, Parks Victoria is seeking to formally gazette the National Rhododendron Garden as a botanic garden. This will include a new name with the word ‘botanic’ in the title.

Parks Victoria invites local residents, businesses, visitors and the broader community to help decide the new name. Key industry stakeholders have shortlisted two names which you are invited to vote on, or you may suggest an alternative.

The two shortlisted names are: 

  1. Dandenong Ranges Botanic Garden
  2. Olinda Botanic Garden


The National Rhododendron Garden was established by the Australian Rhododendron Society to create a horticulture display with a representative collection of species and varieties of rhododendron. The garden has evolved and now has botanic significance with a diverse collection of plants. The garden boasts a large collection of rare and exotic plants, many of which are endangered, and adapted to the cool-climate of the Dandenong Ranges.

The National Rhododendron Garden is classified ‘botanic’ by the ‘Botanic Gardens Australia and New Zealand’ and ‘Botanic Gardens Conservation International’, in that the collection is:

  • Diverse
  • Labelled and interpreted
  • Open to the public
  • Used for scientific research

Formally classifying the National Rhododendron Garden as a botanic garden is in accordance with the Dandenong Ranges Gardens Strategic Management Plan 2014 and aligns with Parks Victoria’s role in conservation. It would deliver a range of benefits, including:

  • Improving the profile of the garden, and increasing visitation
  • Improving Parks Victoria’s ability to attract horticultural expertise to support botanic management practices 
  • Increasing opportunities for strategic partnerships with other botanic gardens, industry and educational institutions

Key stakeholders have been involved with the change of name and have recommended two options for further consideration and consultation:

  • Dandenong Ranges Botanic Garden - this name links the garden to the Dandenong Ranges which is an important tourist destination. This is the preferred option of key stakeholders
  • Olinda Botanic Garden - this name links the botanic garden to the local Olinda area

Have your say

  • Complete the online survey
  • Contact the Parks Victoria Information Centre on 13 1963 for information and a public submission form
  • Attend a community drop-in session on Saturday 27 May and Sunday 28 May from 11am – 3pm.  The session on 27 May will be held in the Olinda village township and the session on 28 May will be held at the National Rhododendron Garden.
  • Email

Submissions close on Friday 2 June 2017. 

Following the completion of a four-week consultation period (1 May – 2 June 2017), Parks Victoria will decide on the final name and communicate with key stakeholders and survey participants who have provided contact details.

More information

The naming rules for places in Victoria can be found at