Canberra bursts into bloom

Each Southern Hemisphere Spring, during the months of September and October, Australia’s Capital Canberra bursts into life with Floriade, a celebration of new season flowers, which helps Canberra to thaw out from its winter chill.

Floriade is the largest flower festival in the Southern Hemisphere with over one million blooms creating a stunning backdrop for Canberra’s month-long celebration of spring. The event boasts an exciting entertainment program with local, national and international performers on show, kids’ activities, garden workshops, exhibitions, displays and plenty of fine food and wine from across the Canberra region. It also encompasses Floriade NightFest, five exciting nights filled with outdoor movie screenings, music, food, wine and much more to heat up the cool Canberra evenings.

But while the music plays and the wine flows, it is always the flowers that are the star of the show, all planted out in eye-catching and unusual designs.

The Floriade story began in 1986 when the ACT Parks and Conservation Society dreamed up a huge floral display to celebrate the 1988 Bicentenary and Canberra’s 75th birthday. Australia’s Floriade is now the largest springtime festival of its type. The inspiration was the Dutch Keukenhof flower display and Holland’s Floriade, which happens every 10 years.    

The home of Floriade is Commonwealth Park in Canberra, on the northern banks of Lake Burley Griffin. The spectacular spot is the perfect place to take in views across the lake to Canberra’s other landmarks, including Parliament House, the High Court and the classic National Library of Australia.

Persuading more than one million bulbs and annuals to bloom on cue is a big task, and one that takes some careful timing. Like a conductor leading an orchestra, the expert events team at Australian Capital Tourism is responsible for ensuring every flower unfurls itself at just the right time to become part of Floriade’s famous kaleidoscope of colours.

Floriade attracts about 360,000 visitors each year, and it’s not just about the flowers as there are concerts, displays, amusements and competitions to keep visitors entertained; plus Canberra’s many other attractions, it’s magnificent buildings and museums, remain open making Floriade an excellent excuse to visit Canberra to enjoy Australia’s Capital in its entirety.

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