Explore your capital during Floriade
- Written by Modern Australian
The countdown to Australia’s biggest celebration of spring is on; there are now only days to go until Floriade opens its gates for the 28th year.
Final preparations are being made at Commonwealth Park ahead of the event’s opening on Saturday 12 September to more than one million blooms and an engaging line-up of demonstrations, activities and entertainment for all ages.
In recognition of the 100th anniversary of the Anzac landings at Gallipoli, Canberra’s flagship event will pay tribute through the theme of Reflection, while embracing a future full of brilliant possibilities. The world-class flower beds will depict iconic symbols like the poppy, the Southern Cross, two-up and the famous slouch hat.
Visitors to Australia’s biggest celebration of spring can pick up gardening tips from experts in the field, listen to inspiring musical performances, enjoy culinary demonstrations by world-renowned chefs and keep the kids entertained with an exciting line up of entertainment.
As the sun sets on Commonwealth Park, Floriade NightFest will take visitors on a journey of discovery for five nights only with spectacular lighting designs, roving performers, bustling night markets and a fantastic line-up of entertainment.
For the first time in 2015, Floriade NightFest’s VIP Experience will present an exclusive opportunity to enjoy the after-dark event in style. The VIP Experience will include a twilight ferry ride across Lake Burley Griffin, entry to NightFest, as well as drinks, canapés and an exclusive set by comedian Hannah Gadsby in the VIP marquee. Event tickets are now on sale.
Step outside the gates of Floriade to discover the city The New York Times says features ‘big-sky beauty, breezy civic pride and a decidedly hipster underbelly’.
Canberra’s food scene is red hot and its people laid back. You may need to dig a bit deeper to uncover the city’s gems but you’ll be rewarded by discovering a thriving local arts scene, a city with an abundance of outdoor activities, emerging precincts and plenty of family friendly attractions that both entertain and educate.
Take advantage of the capital’s fabulous spring weather by hiring a bike or segway and riding around Lake Burley Griffin or enjoy a bushwalk through Tidbinbilla spotting platypus, possums, wombats, echidnas, emus and many other birds and reptiles.
For a great view across the city, venture up to the National Arboretum Canberra where you can take a guided walk, admire the bonsai pavilion, let the kids explore the pod playground and grab a bite to eat inside the Village Centre. Set alongside Lake Burley Griffin, the Arboretum features 94 forests of threatened and symbolic trees from around Australia and the world.
Explore the stories of the nation inside Canberra’s national attractions. Come face to face with the famous, the infamous and the sometimes forgotten icons of Australian history at the National Portrait Gallery. See Australia’s national art collection at the National Gallery of Australia and celebrate the spirit of democracy at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House.
See glass artists in action at the Canberra Glassworks in Kingston and try your hand at making your own glass product. On Sundays, head next door to the Old Bus Depot Markets where you’ll find stallholders selling food, art and craft, clothing, furniture, toys and more.
The Canberra district also has 140 vineyards with more than 30 cellar doors within 35 minutes of the city centre to explore. You can also sample the best Rieslings from the Canberra district and across the world at the Canberra International Riesling Challenge Public Tasting Day on 17 October at the Albert Hall.
So what are you waiting for? Delve in and explore the capital and spend a weekend enjoying a range of exciting and unique experiences that Canberra has to offer.
Floriade will be held in Commonwealth Park from September 12 to October 11, 2015. For more information, visit floriadeaustralia.com and discover what else is on in Canberra this spring at visitcanberra.com.au
Floriade is now in its 28th year