You can’t visit Canberra in Spring without also visiting Floriade.
We previously visited Canberra for a mini family holiday in Spring of 2007 with our two toddlers who were aged 3 and 2 years old at the time. We had a fabulous time exploring the bright tapestry of flowers at Floriade, and it was hard to keep up with our two children who quickly migrated from one flower garden to the next!
We all really enjoyed spending several hours exploring the Floriade site which provided new discoveries around every corner.
Canberra and Floriade Trip Inspiration
Fast forward to 2014 and we have decided to revisit Canberra on a multi-generational family trip. This time around we are travelling with three children aged 9, 8 and 5 years old and my parents in law.
Our initial inspiration for the trip was for my parents in law to revisit some old stomping grounds in Cooma in the Snowy Mountains during their visit with us from interstate during the September school holidays. Once we looked at options we quickly realised that Floriade would also be on during the school holidays so we decided to extend our trip to visit both Canberra and the Snowy Mountains.
The Floriade Spring Festival commenced in 1988 to commemorate Australia’s Bicentenary and Canberra’s 75th birthday and has been a regular feature of Canberra’s Spring ever since. The month long Floriade festival attracts over 400,000 visitors each year between mid September and mid October. The Floriade site has free entry, which makes it a great affordable option for families.
In 2014 Floriade will run from 13th September to 12th October 2014. Floriade is open from 9.00am to 5.00pm from Monday to Friday, and from 9.00am to 5.30pm on weekends and public holidays. Each day has the Floriade program of events which includes gardening, food and wine, roving performers, sport, circus and crafts.
In addition there are some really quirky options like the collection of garden gnomes which are a regular feature (and you can paint your own…)!
An additional event which is run during Floriade is NightFest, which has now been in operation for seven years. NightFest is a fabulous festival of light with a diverse range of lighting installations across the site. The NightFest program includes live music, comedy, DJs, cooking demonstrations, night markets, roving performers and a great range of food options.
NightFest will run for only five days from 6.30pm to 10.30pm on 24th – 28th September 2014. Tickets can be purchased in advance from Ticketek.
Having just experienced the artistry of the Sydney Vivid Festival we are really looking forward to seeing the NightFest lights! Although this time we may invest in some glow sticks ahead of time…
Canberra Trip Highlight
We plan to visit both the daytime Floriade and the NightFest during our Canberra visit this September and we fully expect both events to be real highlights for our trip. So if you have any opportunity to visit Canberra while Floriade is occurring I strongly suggest that you plan to make the most of this great Australian event.
Have you ever visited Floriade or are planning to visit? Please share your experience in the comments below.