A visit to Canberra’s annual tulip festival
Floriade is the name of Canberra’s annual tulip and spring flower festival which attracts hundreds of thousands of people over a four-week period (September to October). My friend from Sydney came to Canberra for the weekend and on the Sunday morning before she returned home, we went down to Floriade and walked around checking out the flowers for about an hour or so. I forgot to take my camera to take some photos of the lovely tulips but my friend helped me out…so thanks Tracey!!
Floriade started in 1988 to celebrate Canberra’s 75th birthday and has continued annually since then. Each year the tulips are planted to a theme. For example this year was ‘Reflection’ with flower displays depicting Australian war images. Last year the theme was ‘Embracing Passion’. It’s a little difficult to see the theme when you are walking past but once you see the diagram and information on little posts you take a step back and can see exactly what is depicted on the post. There is also the option of going up in the ferris wheel to see all the displays from above – but being scared of heights it was not an option for me.
This year there was also a gnome painting competition. Visitors are encouraged to visit Gnome Knoll during Floriade, purchase a gnome and enter the competition in one of the age or group categories. A special category and prizes for gnomes painted to highlight Floriade’s theme of ‘Reflection’ will be offered this year. And all proceeds are used for community projects.
As you would find at any festival or any place where there are hundreds of thousands of visitors, there are stalls and shops set up selling everything from food and drinks to jewellery/clothing/soaps/candles/gardening tools and many [many] other things. Tracey and I couldn’t resist walking through the shops and came away with three hats between us and two skirts. I did buy something else but have completely forgotten what it was [clearly it was something I ‘really’ needed].
As Floriade is situated on the shore of Lake Burley Griffin, there are also an array of birds, black swans and ducks waddling about…and as it’s spring here in Australia, the babies are out and about..nothing more cuter than a signet or duckling waddling along with mum and dad.
I think the last time I visited Floriade was in 2010 and really whilst the theme changes every year the flowers are still pretty much the same. It’s definitely worth a visit but for me not every year. No charge for entry which is wonderful especially for families.