Hello petal! Australia's must-see flower festivals

Must-see flower festivals blossoming around Australia this spring


Around the States
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Get your flower fix and celebrate the return of spring with these blooming brilliant events around the states.

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IT MAY not feel like it in some parts of the country right now, but spring IS around the corner.

And with springtime comes a raft of flower festivals around the states where you can and soak in a riot of colours while enjoying music, food, wine and entertainment.

Horticulturalists and flower afficionados have have been busy planting, pruning, priming and preparing their bulbs and blooms ready for thousands of visitors to enjoy this September and October.

Here's a round up of the flower festivals which will be blooming around Australia this spring.

Tesselar Tulip Festival, Silvan, Victoria: September 14-October 13

SEVENTY years ago, Cees and Johanna Tesselaar left Holland on their wedding day and sailed to Melbourne, on one of the last ships to leave Europe before the outbreak of World War II.

They chose the Victorian capital, after hearing it was the place to go if they were to grow bulbs, eventually settling on a couple of acres in Ferntree Gully where they grew their first crops of tulips, gladioli and daffodils.

After five years, the pair moved to new land in Silvan in the Danendong Ranges. On impulse, Cees walked in and asked the farmer if his property was for sale. It was and Cees bought it instantly.

With its rich volcanic soil and cool climate, the new property was perfect for growing bulbs. It was also on the main road so attracted passers-by on weekends, who would often stop and admire the exotic flowers.

By 1954, the crowds were so great that Cees and Johanna decided to officially open the farm to public. Entry was by a 'silver coin' donation to the Red Cross, as the saying goes, the rest is history.

Fast forward 65 years and third generation nurseryman, Paul Tesselaar is continuing this family's strong tradition with the annual Tesselaar Tulip Festival.

Now in it's 66th year, the festival draws in visitors from Australia and internationally, to experience a display of over a million spring bulbs in bloom including more than 900,000 tulips.

Attracting over 100,000 over four weeks the festival has become one of Victoria's premier spring time events.

This year there will be well over a million spring flowering bulbs will be on display including tulips, daffodils, ranunculus and anemones.

The Festival starts with an explosion of colour on Turkish Weekend, celebrating the origins of the tulip with Melbourne's Turkish community.

The event turns into a mini Holland during Dutch Weekend, while the Kids LOL Week brings daily entertainment for little ones. There's also a Food, Wine and Jazz Weekend, a Rock the Fields Weekend and the festival closes with an Irish Weekend

www.tulipfestival.com.au

Floriade, Canberra: September 14-October 13

Canberra's premier tourist event Floriade is set to return this September - attracting thousands of tourists to the nation's capital.

World in Bloom is the theme of this year's event. Visitors will see the theme reflected in flowerbeds and programming throughout the free event in Commonwealth Park.

With over one million blooms on display and free entry, Floriade is the perfect place to experience the beauty of spring.

With a diverse and ever expanding program of music, cultural celebrations, food and wine, horticultural workshops, market traders, artistic displays, entertainment, recreational activities and more, you'll find something for everyone.

If you're in the capital from October 3-6 experience the dark side of the flower festival with Floriade NightFest which returns for four nights to take in the Labour Day long weekend. During this ticketed event, the illuminated playground lets visitors see Floriade's theme, World in Bloom, in a whole new light with giant interactive lighting installations, live entertainment, pop-up performances, markets, cuisines from around the world and more.

And if you can't get to Commonwealth Park for all the Floriade action, the state government will be bringing a taste of the famous festival to five town centres across the ACT this September and October.

Floriade in the Suburbs will be popping up in Gungahlin (Sep 14), Belconnen (Sep 21), Tuggeranong (Sep 28), Molonglo (Sep 29) and Woden (Oct 5).

floriadeaustralia.com

Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers, QLD: September 20-29

This year's 10-day carnival takes place across 1100 hectares of public parks and private gardens with a record 77 events hining and over 180,000 bulbs and seedlings in full bloom.

Perfect for families, the highlight of the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers in is its spectacular floral street procession that travels through the city accompanied by carnival entertainers such as street performers and stilt-walkers. Get there early for a bird's-eye view of the parade.

This year, reigning Interflora World Cup champion and world-renowned floral designer, Brisbane-based Bart Hassam, will create a spectacular floral installation for the opening weekend in Queens Park.

And for the first time, a carnival choir will perform two rock anthems on September 22 at 5pm at the Heritage Bank Festival of Food and Wine in Queens Park.

The carnival also features a live concert series, and kids activities. For a chance to relax amongst nature's beauty, don't miss Pictures in the Park. Happening over two nights, bring along blankets, mats and cushions to watch a family-friendly flick for free under the stars in Laurel Bank Park.

www.tcof.com.au

Renmark Rose Festival, SA: October 18-27 

Rose lovers will love this South Australian floral event, which this year celebrates its 25th year as one of the region's largest and most supported festivals.

Since its beginnings in 1994, the rose festival has evolved into a major event and today runs for 10 days, spans towns across the Riverland and provides a range of events and attractions.

From open gardens, cocktail nights and the popular gala dinner - everyone will find something that will tickle their fancy. Throughout the festival program there are also art galleries and photographic exhibitions as well as quilting, town and garden walks, open gardens, cake decorating and flower arranging.

Renmark is also the home of Ruston's Rose Garden which houses the National Rose Collection and has 27 acres planted out to roses and ornamentals. After wandering through their rose gardens you can relax and enjoy a cuppa at the David Ruston Visitor Centre which is incorporated within the complex and has a display of classic cars.

www.renmarkroses.com

Kings Park Festival, Perth, WA: September 1-30 

Around half a million people are expected to visit the the Kings Park Festival according to organisers -that's the entire population of Tasmania!

Western Australia is home to the largest collection of wildflowers in the world, 60 per cent of which cannot be found anywhere else on the planet. Grab the opportunity to dive into the largest presentation of Western Australia's wildflowers at Kings Park Festival in West Perth, not far from Perth's central business district.

Started in 1964, the festival is a celebration of all things Western Australian, so the only wildflowers you'll see are native to Western Australia.

There is an army of passionate horticulturists and volunteers behind the scenes in Kings Park, who produce all the plants you will see in gardens from seed. This year alone, the Kings Park Nursery has grown more than 25,000 plants which will bloom for the first time at the 2019 Kings Park Festival.

Join free guided walking tours while taking in the picturesque scene, outdoor exhibitions and art installations.

Festival highlights include the park's largest ever community art project, with more than 400 woven and crocheted 'wildflowers' created by people from all walks of life on display.

Click HERE for more details.

Tulip Time Festival, Bowral, NSW: September 24-October 7

Tulip Time, now in its 59th continuous year, is one of Australia's oldest floral festivals, attracting tens of thousands of visitors to the NSW Southern Highlands.

Corbett Gardens, the centrepiece of the festival is mass-planted with over 75,000 tulip bulbs and 15,000 annuals, in a spectacular spring time display. Additionally there are another 40,000 tulips planted across the shire.

As well as stunning tulip displays there's also entertainment, special events and private gardens to check out.

www.tuliptime.net.au

Blooming Tasmania, Launceston TAS: September 21-22

Held at Albert Hall, Launceston the Blooming Tasmania Flower & Garden Festival is the premier event during Blooming Tasmania's spring calendar.

More than 60 exhibitors are expected to fill the venue and spill out into City Park for the festival, which launches with a cocktail party at the University of Tasmania Arts Centre at Inveresk with the Tasmanian Governor Kate Warner on the Friday night, with the event itself running on September 21 and 22.

Biosecurity Tasmania will attend the festival this year, eager to help people understand the rules around transferring plants in and out of Tasmania. With about 70 activities to join inside and outside Albert Hall, there is plenty to occupy garden lovers of all ages.

One of the most popular events from 2018 was the children's floral class in The City Park Conservatory. And the mayoral challenge is happening again, with City of Launceston mayor Albert van Zetten challenging local mayors to put their best garden displays forward.

Gardening Australia viewers will recognise a familiar face in Tino Carnevale, who will be broadcasting via ABC radio during the festival. Festival visitors can gain knowledge, buy plants, admire floral displays, try fresh produce and ask all their burning gardening questions throughout the weekend.

www.bloomingtasmania.com.au

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