Spring erupts in a unique way in Canberra. The weather is warming, spirits are lifting and deep underground, the bulbs are stirring, with one million blooms ready to burst into the light.
This, of course, is Floriade 2022, Australia’s largest flower festival. This year, the festival returns to Canberra’s beautiful Commonwealth Park for its 35th year. For 30 days across September and October, the city will come to life with beauty, colour and vibrancy.
Strolling amongst one million blossoms is certainly a fantastic way to welcome spring and celebrate the beauty of the season. As far as the eye can see, tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, irises and more sway and nod in the breeze. A spectacular array of bright colours – bold reds, bright oranges, hot pinks, deep purples and blues, not to mention trumpet yellows – treat the eye to a veritable kaleidoscope of colour. Take your time to soak up the sights, smell the roses and strike a pose against a spectacular floral backdrop.
Flowers, food and gardens
The festival theme this year is the Sounds of Spring. Not only will visitors be treated to a fanfare of fantastic blooms, but also to a soundtrack of atmospheric instrumentals, along with classical and contemporary tunes. Highlights include surprise performances amongst the flower beds, which could include an opera singer, a contemporary musician and even a string quartet.
There will also be a diverse program of music, cultural celebrations, food and wine, market traders, artistic displays, entertainment, recreational activities and more to enjoy, as Floriade celebrates all things flowers, food and gardens. For keen green thumbs, the festival program will also showcase the best in horticultural and garden design with workshops, demonstrations and engaging installations.
Explore the dark side
You can also explore Floriade’s dark side, as NightFest returns with an exciting program of after-dark entertainment. Running over four nights from 29 September to 2 October, light displays will illuminate and transform the gardens between 6.30pm-10.30pm, while roving entertainment, stalls, bars and food showcase Canberra’s local artisanal produce. Grab your buds, a glass of local wine and take a stroll through Floriade after dark.
Your four-legged friends can also enjoy frolicking amongst the flowers on the Dogs’ Day Out, an annual highlight of the program. This is on the final day of Floriade, Sunday 16 October, when visitors can bring their pooches along for a ‘paws-itively’ perfect day of fun and socialising.
As Australia’s biggest celebration of spring, local communities and organisations have also been encouraged to get in on the fun. Over 300,000 bulbs and annuals have been distributed to community groups, schools and organisations to plant in their suburbs, bringing bursts of colour across the whole city.
Make sure to stay and explore for a few days, because you’ll also want to experience all that Canberra has to offer, including world-class museums and art galleries, a lively restaurant and cafe scene, as well as gorgeous surrounds of natural beauty, small towns and wineries.
There’s no better way to celebrate spring than with Floriade 2022, a vibrant and beautiful festival with something for everyone. Entry is free, and the gates are open from 9am-5.30pm daily.
Floriade runs from Saturday 17 September to Sunday 16 October. Visit floriadeaustralia.com.
Want to see more of Canberra? Explore all its sights and surrounds over a weekend.