Australian Rhododendron Society Inc.

email contact /feedback on this site

Contact Information for Society Branches

* 2010 Conference:'Rhododendrons in Australia', Melbourne 17-20 Oct 2010

- for details CLICK HERE






About the ARS

The Australian Rhododendron Society was formed in Victoria in 1960, on the initiative of a number of members of the Ferny Creek Horticultural Society having a particular interest in the rhododendron genus, with the objectives of: "encouraging interest in and disseminating information and knowledge about the genus Rhododendron, and to provide a medium by which all persons interested in the genus may communicate and co-operate with others of similar interest." (The FCHS is a long-established group with its own garden at Ferny Creek on Mount Dandenong east of Melbourne). Today there are ARS Branches also in South Australia, New South Wales, Southern Tasmania and North West Tasmania (the Emu Valley Rhododendron Society Inc). Total ARS membership is around 450, including numbers of overseas members. The Society also has strong relationships with international societies having similar interests.

The Society's Victorian Branch was responsible for establishing and planting out the National Rhododendron Gardens at Olinda, on Mount Dandenong, starting in 1960, on a site which was made available for this purpose by the State Government of the day.

Australian hybrids bed, & the Lake, National Rhododendron Gardens, Olinda

Now officially the responsibility of Parks Victoria, this garden of over 40 hectares (100 acres) still benefits greatly from the voluntary contribution of expertise and assistance, including labour, by ARS members. It includes the most extensive and diverse plantings of rhododendrons (and many other plants including plants from genera related reasonably closely to rhododendrons, for instance, the magnolias and the heaths or ericas) in a single garden anywhere in Australia. An important area is devoted to Australian-originated hybrids.

Kurume Bowl, National Rhododendron Gardens, Olinda

The Emu Valley (North West Tasmania) and Illawarra Branches (the latter now a separate organisation) also established large gardens, open to the public, which are planted extensively with plants of the rhododendron family.

The Emu Valley Rhododendron Garden, situated at Romaine on the outskirts of Burnie, on the north coast of Tasmania, was begun in 1984, and includes large areas featuring hybrid rhododendrons as well as many areas dedicated to species grouped according to their geographical origins in the wild.

Click here to go to the Emu Valley Garden website



Plantings at the Rhododendron Park in Wollongong (Illawarra District of New South Wales, south of the Sydney region) include large numbers of Vireya rhododendrons, and many hybrids of Australian origin are represented.






The South Australian Branch provides support with the extensive azalea and rhododendron plantings in the Mt. Lofty Botanic Gardens, a component of the Botanic Gardens of Adelaide and State Herbarium, and situated in the Adelaide Hills to the east of Adelaide, whilst the Southern Tasmanian Branch maintains a close relationship with the Royal Botanic Gardens of Hobart.




A separate group of rhododendron enthusiasts The Blue Mountains Rhododendron Society is based in the Blue Mountains, New South Wales (west of the Sydney region). They maintain a garden of 18 hectares (45 acres) at Blackheath. Contact: The Secretary, PO Box 238 Blackheath NSW 2785. The Blackheath Rhododendron Festival is staged in the Blue Mountains early in November each year.

Campbell Gardens, BMRS Blackheath NSW



Also In New South Wales The Illawarra Rhododendron Gardens Inc. which concentrates heavily on vireyas is based in Wollongong. Contact: President, Mr. David Stanton, 46 Parrish Avenue, Mt. Pleasant NSW 2519, Tel. (02) 42836092

ARS Membership information

Members benefits - include

Australian members - may select any of the following. Annual subscriptions cover the period 1 July to 30 June, and vary up to $30 depending on the Branch selected:

In Victoria The Victorian Branch of ARS meets in Nunawading, Melbourne (with other regular activities at the National Rhododendron Gardens, Olinda). Contact the Secretary: Mr. Michael Hare email: Or click here to go to Victorian Branch website

In South Australia The South Australian Branch of ARS meets in the Adelaide Hills. Contact the Secretary: Ms. Fay Abbott Email:

In Southern Tasmania The Southern Tasmania Branch of ARS meets in Hobart. Contact the Secretary: Ms. Helen Kilsby by email: or write to The Treasurer, PO Box 80 Battery Point Tasmania 7004 Or click here to go to Southern Tasmania Branch website

In Northwest Tasmania The Emu Valley Rhododendron Society Inc. meets near Burnie. Contact the Secretary: Ms. Charmaine Schafer, C/- P.O. Box 39, Burnie Tas. 7320, or by email: Or click here to go to Emu Valley website

Overseas members annual subscription is $AUD30, which includes affiliation with a nominated Australian Branch and The Rhododendron sent by airmail in the last quarter of the calendar year. Contact the ARS National Secretary: Mr. Simon Begg Tel. 03-97511610 (international dial 61-3-97511610), or email:

Overseas members' subscriptions may be paid by bank draft or cheque payable in Australian dollars (the Victorian Branch can accept Visa or Mastercard payments).

Contributions to Journal content original material for publication in The Rhododendron is welcomed, whether from members or others interested in rhododendrons (or allied subjects, for instance, companion plants or compatible plants). Contributors are requested to note that the closing date for each issue is August 1. All articles published in The Rhododendron are copyright. Written permission from the Secretary must be obtained prior to any republication of the whole or any part of an article. Contributions should be forwarded to the Editorial Committee Chair: Mr. Barry Stagoll, 170 Knees Rd, Park Orchards Vic 3114 Australia Tel. (03) 98441558 email: or to the Editor, Mr. Richard Francis, 18 Sinclair St, Colac, Vic Australia 3250 , (03) 52373231 (tel. & fax), email: Material for publication may be submitted in the form of a typed manuscript, or in digital form (Submission by email is fine, otherwise a CD or DVD can be forwarded). Any hard copy illustrative material, whether drawings, photographic slides or prints will be returned. Advertisers are also welcomed - for booking arrangements and rates contact the Editorial Committee Chair (details above) or the National Secretary (details under "Overseas Members"above).

Further information about submitting contributions, and suitable formats for contributions is available from the JOURNAL page (click on the link below).

Contents of The Rhodendron - latest volume CLICK HERE !

Registering Rhododendron & Azalea hybrids Persons seeking to register plants may contact the Australian Rhododendron Society's Plant Registrar, who acts in collaboration with the International Rhododendron Registrar, attached to the Royal Horticultural Society, UK. Contact details: Mr. Ken Gillanders, 2040 Huon Road, Longley, Tasmania 7150, Tel. (03) 62396455, email:

The Vireya Venture The Vireya Venture is an international quarterly newsletter for people interested in vireyas.  It is aimed at distribution by Email (for no cost) but includes hard-copy mail (for $2.00 per year inside Australia and $AUD5.00 per year to overseas).  The Vireya Venture is produced by Graham & Janet Price in Melbourne but includes letters, emails and articles about vireyas from around the world, many with colour photos.  Contact Mr. Graham Price, via Email: or 208/283 Spring Street Melbourne Victoria 3000; ph: (03) 9639 4493 (international 61-3-96394493)

Realm of the Rhododendron re-released 2010 on DVD - the ideal gift for the Gardening Enthusiast - Produced by Natural History New Zealand - Featuring: Over 60 rhododendron species & hybrids; the great NZ gardens of Pukeiti, Cross Hills, Ilam, Lanarch Castle, and many others; some of NZ's leading experts and growers of their time - Also hints on cultivating & propagating rhodos; combating pests and disease; planning & designing a rhodo garden.

ORDER TODAY - ONLY NZ$29.95 BUY ONLINE: EMAIL: PHONE: 64 3 479 9799 OR POST YOUR ORDER TO: NHNZ Limited PO Box 474 Dunedin 9016 New Zealand







Visits 1 June 2001 to 15 Oct2005 4630

Visits since 15 Oct 2005

Last revised: 06 January, 2011


Copyright 2002-2010 Australian Rhododendron Society Inc. All rights reserved.