Festival flower fever

Flower festival fever: see Australia in bloom


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FUN ON THE CARDS: Join the Mad Hatter for a tea party at the Tesselaar Tulip Festival, bookings essential.

FUN ON THE CARDS: Join the Mad Hatter for a tea party at the Tesselaar Tulip Festival, bookings essential.

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See tulips, roses and wildflowers on your travels

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Flower fans are in for a real treat this spring, with floral festivals sprouting up around the country.

Tesselaar’s tulip wonderland

Don’t be late for a very important date in Melbourne’s Dandenong Ranges, with the Mad Hatters High Tea being held during the Tesselaar Tulip Festival.

The theme of this year’s festival – now in its 65th year – is ‘Tulips in Wonderland’ and new to the annual event are the high teas which are being held four times a day.

The festival runs from September 15 to October 14 at Tesselaar Flower Farm, 357 Monbulk Road, Silvan and is the chance to see a rainbow of 900,000 tulips in flower. 

It kicks off with a Turkish weekend celebrating the origin of the tulip, with belly dancers and Turkish foods.

CARPET OF COLOUR: See 900,000 tulips in bloom over five acres at Tesselaar Tulip Festival.

CARPET OF COLOUR: See 900,000 tulips in bloom over five acres at Tesselaar Tulip Festival.

Wonderland week celebrates the classic tale Alice in Wonderland and there’s also a Dutch weekend; Superhero Children’s Week; Food, Wine and Jazz weekend and an Irish weekend.

Tulipmania is the last chance to tiptoe through the tulips before bidding them farewell for another year.

Renmark Rose Festival

If roses are more your thing, head to Renmark in South Australia’s Riverland region next month.

Since its beginnings in 1994, the Renmark Rose Festival has evolved into one of the largest of its type in the southern hemisphere.

COMING UP ROSY: One of the open gardens at Renmark Rose Festival. Photo: Chad Vigar.

COMING UP ROSY: One of the open gardens at Renmark Rose Festival. Photo: Chad Vigar.

The 10-day festival runs from October 19-28 with Renmark’s immaculate rose gardens providing a spectacular backdrop. 

The 51 garden beds with more than 3500 rose bushes are spread throughout the town, and it is well worth taking a walking tour to discover them.

Other attractions include a floral display in the Renmark Institute building, the festival fair and grand opening and Riverland open gardens.

Also check out the national rose collection at Ruston’s Roses, the Woolshed Brewery at Wilkadene Station and the historic Olivewood Homestead.

Wildflowers in the Grampians  

In Victoria’s Grampians, wildflowers will be front and centre as the local show returns for its 80th year. 

Held this year on the last weekend of September, the show concentrates on showing visitors flowers in their natural setting, but there will also be a great display in the visitor information centre, with experts on hand to identify flowers. 

SOMETHING SPECIAL: Nature lovers flock to the Grampians, home to 20 wildflower species found nowhere else in Australia.

SOMETHING SPECIAL: Nature lovers flock to the Grampians, home to 20 wildflower species found nowhere else in Australia.

Plants used by local Indigenous people for food and other uses will be on display, as will works from photographer John Tiddy and textile artist Lynne Stone. 

There will be guided walks through the Grampians Flora Botanic Garden, as well as a couple of tagalong tours further afield. 

Blue Mountain garden gems

Spring is the perfect time to visit the World Heritage listed Blue Mountains in NSW particularly the cool-climate gardens of Leura.

OPEN SEASON: See all the colours of the rainbow in the NSW Blue Mountains at Leura Gardens Festival.

OPEN SEASON: See all the colours of the rainbow in the NSW Blue Mountains at Leura Gardens Festival.

Leura Gardens Festival, now in it’s 54th year, will feature 10 spring gardens which will be open over two long weekends; September 30-October 1 and  October 5-7.

On show will be rhododendrons, azaleas, tulips, bluebells, peonies, and cool-climate trees such as maples, dogwoods and ornamental cherries. Tickets $25 (all gardens), $8 per garden. 

Read more: Bloomin Beautiful: Be a friend to fauna

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