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The Best (and Most Colourful) Flower Festivals Happening Around Australia

Pack the Zyrtec and get ready to frolic through glorious fields of tulips and cherry blossom trees.
By Concrete Playground and Gemma Plunkett
August 08, 2019

The Best (and Most Colourful) Flower Festivals Happening Around Australia

Pack the Zyrtec and get ready to frolic through glorious fields of tulips and cherry blossom trees.
By Concrete Playground and Gemma Plunkett
August 08, 2019


Pack the Zyrtec and get ready to frolic through glorious fields of tulips and cherry blossom trees.

Spring has almost sprung and we couldn't be happier as we're about to see the return of some of Australias most vibrant flower festivals. This year's events will make you feel like you're frolicking in Dutch tulip fields or wandering through the cherry blossom-filled streets of Japan (with plenty of photo opportunities along the way).

If the millions of flowers on display aren't enough, there are also food and wine festivals, loads of local markets and a bunch of music events to keep you interested. So, round up your friends, grab your camera and make the trip to these best flower festivals happening across Australia in 2019.

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    The event that floods Instagram feeds with thousands of vibrant flowers has returned to NSW’s Southern Highlands. Now in its 59th year, the annual Tulip Time festival features over 75,000 tulips planted throughout Bowral’s Corbett Gardens and the surrounding Shire.

    If the stunning sight of a tens of thousands of the bulbous flowers isn’t quite enough for you, you’ll be happy to know there’s heaps of stuff happening at the garden throughout the two weeks, which is located a 90-minute drive southwest of Sydney. Expect live music, as well as a food-filled festival marketplace, with this year’s event taking place between Tuesday, September 24 and Monday, October 7

    If you’re fond of Mary Poppins — and given that Australia now has a museum dedicated to the character, it seems plenty of folks are — you’ll also be in luck. Author PL Travers spent some of her childhood in Bowral, so, with 2019 marking 85 years since the magical nanny made her first appearance on the page, Tulip Time is celebrating the occasion as well.

    Image: Destination NSW

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    The oldest floral festival in Australia, the Grafton Jacaranda Festival focuses on the hundreds of lilac-blossomed trees that line the town’s streets. First held in 1935, the festival brings together art exhibitions, live music, markets and parades for a week-long celebration from October 25 through November 3.

    While the jacaranda blooms are of course the main attraction, it’s by no means the only event you’ll have to look forward to during the festival — think hot air ballooning, and a carnival sideshow, along with buskers, fireworks and stallholders aplenty.

    Grafton takes their tree heritage seriously and currently holds the title for biggest jacaranda on the National Tree Register of Big Trees (yes, it is a real registry). While in town, visit ‘The Gorge’, a tree which measures at a massive 30 metres high with a six-metre circumference. It deserves a nice big hug, we reckon.

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    Now in its 65th year, the annual Tesselaar Tulip Festival features over a million tulips planted across 25 acres of farmland. This huge collection of tulips is the perfect excuse to wander through endless fields of flowers to celebrate the start of spring.

    There’s heaps of stuff happening at the tulip farm throughout the month, which sits on the cusp of the Dandenong Ranges and the Yarra Valley (east of Melbourne). For the food fans, we would highly recommend pencilling the Food, Wine & Jazz Weekend (September 27–29) into your eating plans. Boasting locally brewed beer, wine and a tasty snacks from the area — including warm, buttery fire-baked scones, mini dutch pancakes and loaded baked potatoes among the tulips. If you’re still not convinced, entry includes complimentary wine and beer tasting.

    Similarly, the Dutch Weekend (September 20–22) will showcase the best that the Netherlands have to offer – other than tulips — with music, markets, unique crafts (wooden tulip-making, anyone?) and Dutch food available inside the festival. Or, head by on the Irish Weekend (October 11–13), where Irish pipers and dancing will perform (and plenty of Guinness and Kilkenny-drinking will take place) around the site’s floral rainbow

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    Floriade has been drawing crowds for decades — and its 32nd year will be marked with the theme ‘World in Bloom’. A celebration of all things floral, the festival will fill Canberra’s Commonwealth Park with more than one million blooms.

    But this month-long flower festival is more than just smelling the tulips. From Saturday, September 14 until Sunday, October 13, Canberra will be filled with music, food, vino, locally crafted brews and spirits, entertainment, markets and cultural happenings galore. Those with green thumbs can also take part in workshops, while live music and markets will be open for art lovers and bargain hunters alike. To top it all off, festival entry is free.

    For one day only (Sunday, October 13), you’ll also be able to take your four legged friend along for Dogs’ Day Out. Expect to pat lots of pooches and some pup-themed food, too.

    Floriade runs from 9.30am until 5.30pm each day. Plus, after the sun goes down between October 3–6 (hello, long weekend in Canberra), you can wander through the gardens at Floriade’s after-dark counterpart, NightFest.

    Image: Martin Ollman Photography

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    Every year, when spring hits Toowoomba, the regional city becomes the brightest place in southeast Queensland. Blooms blossom, greenery sprouts and flora reaches towards the sun — that’s right, it’s Carnival of Flowers time.

    Running from Friday, September 20 to Sunday, September 29, the annual event showcases all of the gorgeous florets, growths and gardens around town — usually including everything from park tours to ikebana displays to specific shows for orchids, bonsai, clivia and bromelaids each year. Outdoor dwellers can also expect daily live music in bloom-filled parks, while pub and dinner walks are also on the agenda.

    In total, more than 1100 hectares of public parks and private gardens will be on display in 2019. And, they’ll boast more than 180,000 blossoming bulbs and seedlings.

    The event also kicks off with a three-day food and wine festival across September 20–22, and features an illuminated night garden between September 26–28, so there’s no bad time to visit — and you might want to make the trek more than once. Indeed, when it comes to scenic spring sights, there’s no prettier place to be.

    Image: Tourism and Events Queensland


Image: Sydney Cherry Blossom Festival by Destination NSW

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