The Emu Valley Rhododendron Garden was conceived by three men and their passion for the genus Rhododendron in 1981. Hilary O'Rourke, the landowner and rhododendron breeder, Noel Sullivan, the learned expert and teacher, and Bob Malone, the talented breeder and nurseryman, discovered their shared interest in rhododendron culture and from it arose the concept of the garden.
The site was a scrub and blackberry infested hillside and the concept needed imagination and vision, to see the potential of the world standard garden it has become.
The garden is divided and space allocated to each part of the world in which rhododendrons grow in the wild, and each was named accordingly. Plants which originated anywhere from the icy Himalayas to tropical New Guinea and across the Pacific to the Americas adapt willingly to their new hillside home.
Emu Valley Rhododendron Garden was started in its present form in 1981 by members of the Australian Rhododendron Society, North West Tasmanian Branch (now Emu Valley Rhododendron Society).
An independent, non-profit organisation, most of the development has been achieved through voluntary effort by members. The Garden is owned by the Society and has acquired significant international acclaim in recent years.
Subject to seasonal variations, the huge large-leafed rhododendrons flower during August and September. This is followed by the main flowering period which peaks in mid October and finishes in December. Vireya rhododendrons flower all year. Autumn colours shown by the deciduous companion plants are spectacular during April and May.
The Garden is open from 9am - 5pm daily except for Xmas day and Good Friday. Admission fee applies. Accompanied children are admitted free of charge.