27 September 2023

Floriade in bloom: Australia’s significant spring celebration

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“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.” ­­― Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

At least, that’s the way we are feeling now that spring is in the air!

While the nation’s capital is a great location for a quick weekend getaway, it’s never better than during the weeks of early spring, when Floriade takes centre stage.

Australia’s biggest celebration of spring is set to return to Canberra this month as we get the chance to explore the biggest flower festival in the southern hemisphere. It will not take long to be immensely interested in the exotic cultural efflorescence around Commonwealth Park, alongside picturesque Lake Burley Griffin, from Saturday, 16 September to Sunday, 15 October 2023.

The 2023 theme Floral Wonderland invites you to explore the magical charm of more than one million blooms. Even though the tulips may steal the show, there’s a lot more to this festival than first meets the eye. Take part in workshops like flower arranging, nature art journaling or photography. Meet the market traders and shop for a memento or join a guided tour and admire the floral, artistic displays that decorate Commonwealth Park.

Experience a diverse program of entertainment, cultural celebrations, food and wine, market traders, artistic displays and more as Floriade celebrates all things flowers, food and gardens.

Floriade’s after-dark extravaganza NightFest, from 28 September to 1 October, should not be missed. As the sun sets, garden beds become illuminated with cutting-edge light installations. Live music, comedians and DJs provide plenty of fun for the whole family. This ticketed evening event really draws in the crowds.

Every dog-lover’s favourite day of Floriade – this year on Sunday, 15 October – is Dogs’ Day Out. Why not take along your furry friends to frolic amongst the flowers.

This year, Floriade expands across the city with the introduction of the first satellite site at Lanyon Homestead, the return of Floriade Community and Floriade-themed promotions at businesses around the city through Floriade About Town.

You will also get a chance to step behind the scenes of Floriade with head gardener, Tim Howard, who shares how it all comes together and the creativity behind Floriade.

Other spectacular sites

As the weather warms up, there are other venues in NSW where flowers are stunning and diverse. You will be able to grab a basket ad hit the field to pick your own blooms – from sunflowers to dahlias and zinnias, wildflowers, wheat and cornflowers and many other fragrant options – at some picturesque flower farms.

The Giving Farm is a certified organic, small family farm growing flowers, fruits and vegetables, just a 20-minute drive inland from Wyee on the Central Coast. Here, sunflower picking is a mainstay from spring till May. During spring, tulips, Dutch iris, daffodils, ranunculi, lillies, cornflowers and more are also available for picking. Blueberry picking hits the scene around October to December.

Dooralong, on the Central Coast, is where you’ll find Horseshoe Valley Farm & Apiary. When you head along for a leisurely flower picking experience, you’ll be provided with a cup to fill to your heart’s desire. Explore rows of dahlias, sunflowers and cornflowers, then snip carefully and take home your colourful winnings.

Woodstock Flower Farm is a small-scale flower farm just 10 minutes’ drive from Milton and Ulladulla on the South Coast. The farm’s pick-your-own experience, called U Picks, sees visitors fill jars or buckets with as many blooms that fit – including dahlias, zinnias, snapdragons, celosia, amaranth and sunflowers.

For endless sunflower heaven, get yourself down to the pick-your-own experience at Hunter Valley Sunflowers, a family-owned farm in Largs, just outside of Maitland in the Hunter Valley. With 1.2 hectares dedicated to sunflower growing, visitors are welcome to harvest their own, frolic through the field, take photos among the stalks or even enjoy a picnic surrounded by blooms. Pets are also more than welcome, as long as they’re on a lead.

More sunflower fun can be found at a small-scale pick-your-own spot just outside of Mudgee in Country NSW. Picking season at Mudgee Sunflowers begins around February or March, weather depending, and goes for about four weeks.

Set in Kurmond in Sydney’s Hawkesbury region, Glenbernie Family Farms is a ‘slow flower farm’ that promotes local, seasonal and sustainable flower farming. The family-friendly destination offers a pick-your-own flower experience where visitors can wander the golden sunflower fields picking the perfect bunch to take home. There are also Australian wildflowers such as everlasting daises and pink paper daises available throughout spring, plus a wheat field to pick from, too.

Where flowers bloom … so does hope!



Prepare to be awestruck by the kaleidoscope of colours at the world-renowned Floriade Festival.

Sunflower picking in the Hawkesbury region.

This annual celebration of spring showcases millions of blooming flowers, transforming Commonwealth Park into a stunning tapestry of nature’s beauty.

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