The biggest spring festival for the 28th year in the running is back at the Commonwealth Park in Canberra.
Floriade began in 1988 to celebrate Australia’s Bicentenary and Canberra’s 75th birthday. Colleagues Peter Sutton and Chris De Bruine proposed a grand floral display. Presently there are one million blooms and 400,000 visitors every year.
This year, Floriade Spring Festival is open from September 12, 2015 to October 11, 2015 from 9 am to 5 pm. “Reflection” is this year’s theme and so the garden beds are designed after symbols of war and peace as tribute to the 100th year of Anzac landings at Gallipoli.
Visitors can expect to get gardening tips from the experts and enjoy cooking demonstrations from world famous chefs. Relaxing and inspiring musical performances and fun activities for kids are also available.
There are new and exciting activities to do every week:
Week 1 (12 Sept.- 20 Sept): Stories behind food, culture, music and fashion with guest Ms. Gretel Killeen on 19 to 20 September.
Week 2 (21 Sept. – 27 Sept.): A display of our country’s national pride. This week, visitors will have a taste of Canberra’s cultural institution with interactive demonstrations, workshops and displays and on 27 September, guest speaker will be Mr. Peter Fitzsimons.
Week 3 (28 Sept – 4 Oct.): A celebration of our nation’s identity is the theme on the festival’s third week. Mr. Mark Olive will drop by on 3 and 4 October to share his talent in making a fusion of native food and culture with contemporary lifestyle. This is in line with the week’s theme of looking into ACT’s Indigenous heritage through dance, art, and dreamtime story workshop by Wiradjuri Echoes.
Week 4 (5 Oct. – 11 Oct): A display of unique artwork inspired by plants and animals are featured on the last week. Painting and sculpture demonstrations are also available. Chef Karen Martini will visit to showcase her passion for food on 10 October.
Children will also enjoy the festival with all these wonderful activities lined up for them:
These activities include Face Painting, Play Up and Get Active running throughout the whole festival. Other activities running only for several days are:
Snow White Story Time (12 and 13 September)
ACT Dental Health (14-18 September)
Matilda’s Farm Yard (12-28 September)
ACTSES Storm Safe Activities (19 September)
Kid’s Pot-It-Yourself Workshop (21-24 September and 6 October)
Kid’s Craft (22-24 September)
Constable Kenny (26 and 27 September)
The Circus Playground (28 September – 4 October)
Reptiles Inc (29 September – 11 October)
Balloon Benders and Craft Activities (5-7 October)
Tuggeranong Art Centre Arts Workshop (8 October)
The Gigalees Crazy Circus Workshop (10 and 11 October)
These activities are open from 10am to 4 pm unless otherwise advised.
Pet lovers also have a day devoted to enjoy their time in the park together on 6 October. For other details and registration, please check the festival’s website.
Those hunting for unique items may rummage in Trader’s Village for things like clothing, arts, crafts, food, gardening equipment, home ware, toys and furniture open daily.
Entrance is free of charge although additional costs may incur for activities and items that may be bought in the park.
The park is a 5-minute walk from Canberra City center. Free shuttle buses from Canberra city locations to Floriade are offered from 9 am to 5pm. Shuttle buses are available every 45 minutes.
If you do not feel doing activities during the daytime, Floriade also offers a spectacular program at night. Floriade’s Night Fest runs 23 – 27 September, 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm. Enjoy dazzling lights, roving performers, night markets and all sorts of entertainment for $27 per adult.
If you are coming with a child in tow, a ticket for one child is at $12. You may save a couple of dollars as a family for $60/ticket. (All rates charge an additional transaction fee and Visa/MasterCard/Amex fees per ticket).
Floriade’s night fest also offers a VIP ticket worth $120 for an unforgettable experience including a ferry ride across Lake Burley Griffin with a three-hour beverage and canapé package and a gift bag.
Everyone from all over is invited:
Floriade Commonwealth Park is a short trip from different cities within the territory. If you are coming from a different state, a plane would be the fastest way in:
Travel Time to Canberra Airport
1 hour and 5 minutes
1 hour and 35 minutes
1 hour and 50 minutes
3 hours and 50 minutes
If flying is not for you, visitors coming from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane may also drive to Floriade but expect longer driving or commute hours and toll fees.
There is an additional 9-12 minutes drive or a 1 hour commute from Canberra Airport to the Commonwealth park. Hotel accommodations by Capital Hotel Group are also available within Canberra.
You may contact Floriade for more details and reservation through: http://www.floriadeaustralia.com/visitor-info/contact-us/
or call 1300 852 780 for Canberra and regional numbers
or through Access Canberra: 13 22 81.
You may also reach Floriade using their Facebook page: Floriade Community
So, come and enjoy all the spring festivities in our nation’s capital.
Special thanks to Jen Wood for the main image.