Flower festivals worth travelling for
From the vibrant and vivid rainbow of Canberra’s Floriade to the pastel pinks of Cowra’s Cherry Blossom Festival, Australian flower festivals are more popular than ever. With many festivals combining the delicate beauty of nature with food, wine, music and culture, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
Angie Thomas, horticulture consultant to Yates says flower festivals are most definitely not exclusive to green thumbs: “In the past five years, I have noticed a visible rise in the variety of people attending flower festivals. Expanded programs are mixing flowers with food, wine, music, comedy, art and cultural experiences.” Here are six of the best fabulous floral festivals around Australia.
Tesselaar Tulip Festival, Victoria
This family-friendly festival features a dazzling display of more than one million tulips from over 150 different varieties. This year, the festival is themed ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and the program will include live entertainment and market stalls selling food and drink. Varied themes such as ‘Children’s Week’ and ‘Tulips in Wonderland Week’ are also set to flood the festival with colour. Tesselaar Tulip Festival is held over 30 days in September and October. — tulipfestival.com.au
Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show, Victoria
This immersive festival is the biggest annual flower and garden show in the Southern Hemisphere and offers visitors a fantastic range of experiences from food and entertainment to workshops and high tea. Seeking to inspire, this show presents the best the industry has to offer from the work of budding horticultural students right through to spaces created by the world’s leading garden designers. Not to be missed is ‘Gardens by Twilight’ which offers a whole new perspective on the fabulous displays. The festival runs in late March each year. — melbflowershow.com.au
Kings Park Festival, WA
The Kings Park Festival is a flower festival with a difference. Dedicated to wildflowers, the festival is held in the Kings Park Botanic Garden in Perth and involves a month-long celebration featuring free guided walks, talks, exhibitions and live music. The gorgeous velvety kangaroo paw and sweet fairy orchids are just two of the 3000 plant species on display. Held in September each year, this festival is a highlight on Australia’s annual gardening calendar. — bgpa.wa.gov.au/kings-park/events/festival
Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers, QLD
The Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers runs for 10 days in late September with a series of private and public gardens open to the public, a three-day food and wine festival and a street parade. The night garden will be filled with glittering interactive light displays and include the provision of a scented garden for the visually impaired which means the Carnival of Lights festival will include something for everyone. — tcof.com.au
Floriade, Canberra, ACT
With more than a million bulbs planted for the festival, Floriade in Canberra creates some of the most gorgeous garden bed designs in the world and is indeed the largest floral festival in the Southern Hemisphere. Workshops and art displays supplement the floral displays while a host of delicious food options are available onsite. The markets are particularly noteworthy as they showcase art and craft produced by local artists. Running throughout September and October, Floriade is the perfect time of year to make a trip to the nation’s capital. — floriadeaustralia.com
Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom Festival Cowra, NSW
This delightful display of soft pink blooms takes place for just one day at the end of September and is a celebration of both Spring and Japanese culture. There is plenty to do with activities such as tai chi and martial arts and the opportunity to participate in tea ceremonies. The intriguing bonsai is also celebrated with bonsai demonstrations available in the Bonsai House. — visitcowra.com.au/sakura-matsuri-cherry-blossom-festival/