With the arrival of spring, Victoria’s gardens, parks, paddocks and pastures burst to life with seasonal blooms flowering in the golden sunshine. From visiting botanic gardens within Melbourne to heading further afield on a wildflower viewing road trip, springtime is the right time to visit Victoria.
The Tesselaar Tulip Festival (14 September – 10 October 2017) is a colourful celebration of tulip growing. Visitors can witness the spectacle of almost a million tulips spread out over 25 acres of farmland at this popular event, located 60 minutes from Melbourne. A rotating list of food, wine, entertainment and activities ensures all ages are taken care of, with Over the Rainbow week seeing twice daily performances of the Wizard of Oz and Dutch Weekend celebrating the farm’s European heritage with traditional Dutch food, dance and costume.
Located in Spa Country just ten minutes north of Daylesford, Lavandula Swiss Italian Farm is a rustic property home to European-style gardens that come to life in spring. For a $4 entry fee guests can wander the grounds of the property, admiring the 1850s stone buildings and romantic gardens that have been carefully curated for generations. While the lavender may not be in full bloom until summer, spring is still a good time to visit, with the La Primavera Festival (22 October 2017) featuring parades, song, dance and workshops. With the onsite café providing everything from lavender scones with jam and cream to grazing platters overflowing with olives, cheese and cured meats, Lavandula is ripe for a weekend getaway.
An easy drive or train ride from Melbourne, the Ballarat Botanical Gardens was established in the mid-1800s and has grown to include one of the world’s most impressive begonia collections. Enjoying prime position right on Lake Wendouree, Ballarat Botanical Gardens is visited by resident native birds all year round. Visitors can wander the impressive grounds to find the blooming azalea and camellia gardens and visit the conservatory where spring bulbs bloom during spring.
An often overlooked branch of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Cranbourne Gardens is home to many species of Australian wildflowers including native daisies and lilies. A 50 minute drive from the city centre, Cranbourne Gardens is a good spot for people of all ages and life stages to see wildflowers at their springtime best. The 3.5km Possum Gully Wildflower Walk is a good way for fit and able visitors to view native wildflowers in bloom, while the Garden Explorer open air vehicle offers the chance to see more without getting too tired.