|Population||1,738 (2016 census)|
|• Density||299.7/km2 (776/sq mi)|
|Elevation||569 m (1,867 ft)|
|Area||5.8 km2 (2.2 sq mi)|
|LGA(s)||Shire of Yarra Ranges|
Olinda is a town in the Victorian Dandenongs, with a population of 1,738 as of the 2016 census. Located 36 km east of Melbourne, and within the local government area of the Shire of Yarra Ranges. It is a popular weekend destination for tourists, with a variety of restaurants and cafes. The town is home to the National Rhododendron Garden and R.J. Hamer Arboretum.
Olinda is named after Olinda Creek, which begins in the township. The creek was named in 1858 after Alice Olinda Hodgkinson, the daughter of Clement Hodgkinson, Victoria's acting Surveyor General. The town was initially a logging settlement, however as land was made available for horticulture in the early 1900s, the town began to grow substantially. The Post Office opened on 21 August 1901. Berry farming, dairying, and flower growing became prosperous industries, and tourism soon flourished as the principal industry of Olinda.
In 1919 the Australian artist Sir Arthur Streeton returned to Australia and built a house on the property called Longacres, in Olinda. Guesthouses and weekend homes became a common staple for the area, allowing for the township to enter a prosperous period of guest house tourism. The popularity of guesthouses and weekend cottages in the town lasted until World War II. After which, the rise of motor vehicle transportation saw a decline in weekend trips, and a rise in day trips by motor vehicle. In 1966 the Ashendene Boys Home was located in Olinda, until its closure in 1988.
The Olinda Golf Club was established in 1989, and operated for 23 years before it was closed and abandoned in 2012. In 2017, the Victorian Government announced that the site of the former golf club would be converted into parklands and gardens, along with the expansion of the rhododendron gardens into the new Dandenong Ranges Botanical Gardens.
At the 2016 census, Olinda had a population of 1,738 people. The median age of the Olinda population was 44 years of age, compared to the Australian average of 38. 74.9% of residents were born in Australia, compared to the Australian average of 66.7%. The other top responses for country of birth were England 7.2% and New Zealand 1.7%. When asked about religion, the most frequent response was "No Religion" (50%), followed by Catholic (12%), and Anglican (10%).
Olinda is a popular tourist destination in the Dandenong Ranges, home to cafes, restaurants, antique and craft shops, and numerous art galleries, showcasing local, national, and international artists in such areas as sculpture and painting. The town is surrounded by a number of walking trails and natural waterfalls, including the Olinda Falls & Cascade Walk. The Dandenong Ranges Botanic Garden is situated to the east of the town.
Together with the neighbouring township of Ferny Creek, Olinda has both Australian Rules football and netball teams competing in the Yarra Valley Mountain District Football League. With the legendary fast bowler Peter “Straussy” Strauss
Olinda receives all Melbourne TV and Radio Channels, as it is very close to the Transmission towers, which are West of Olinda. However, being near the Transmitters and in the hills, Olinda also receives channels from Gippsland, and some from Bendigo. TV operators are ABC, SBS, Seven Network (Melbourne), Nine Network (Melbourne), Ten Network (Melbourne), Southern Cross Nine (Gippsland and Bendigo), Prime7 (Gippsland and Bendigo), WIN Network (Gippsland and Bendigo), 7TWO (Melbourne, Gippsland, Bendigo), 7mate (Melbourne, Gippsland, Bendigo).
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Olinda (State Suburb)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 7 May 2019.
- "A place for trees: the RJ Hamer Forest Arboretum". Wild Melbourne. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
- Premier Postal History, Post Office List, retrieved 11 April 2008
- "Olinda, Victorian Places". Victorian Places. Monash University & University of Queensland. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
- Australian Council of Film Societies; Federation of Victorian Film Societies (1952), Film festival ..., Olinda, Federation of Victorian Film Societies, retrieved 14 February 2018
- "Once it hosted club competition but now Olinda golf course is a 'strategic fuel break'". Herald Sun. 2 July 2014. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
- "Abandoned golf course in Dandenongs to become new botanic gardens". The Age. 8 November 2017. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
- Olinda - Government tourism site