Tesselaar Tulip Festival 2014
With a touch of Dutch courage and a new 1:1.8 camera lens this week I headed out to the Yarra Valley for a colourful Dutch adventure.
At the foot of the Dandenong Ranges a reddish glow lights up the pre dawn sky as a soft, misty fog hangs over the valley
The enchanted forest has sprung to life and so has the colourful Tesselaar 2014 Tulip Festival.
It doesn’t take long for the sun to rise and the fog to clear unveiling a perfect blue sky, as the sunbas rays bounce of the tulip the early drop of dew glistens from blooming petals.
The fantasy and fables begin with ‘Once Upon Time’ and carry on as you delve into the majestic, colorful world of half a million tulips comprising of more than one hundred varieties.
Basking in the sun, neatly in rows the queen of this extravaganza shake off the water droplets dispensing a bursting display of colour. Like fine ladies all in a row they proudly wait for the first of their guests to arrive. From young children to grandparents, photographers and gardening amateurs the grounds fill quickly.
Speaking with third generation tulip farmer Paul Tesselaar he tells me that the festival developed out of popularity. “The public would jump the fence to see the tulips so my grandfather decided to put on a festival and this is the 61st year.”
Paul also gives me some useful growing tips just in case I finally get around to creating that garden I’ve always dreamt about.
Step – On April Fool’s Day, put the bulbs in the crisper in the fridge, make sure you label it otherwise someone will try and eat it.
Step – Plant them on Mother’s Day.
Step 3 – Sit back and watch them bloom in Spring.
Beyond tulips and other varieties of spring flowers, there’s live on stage entertainment and interesting art sculptures dotted through the tulips.
I am a little concerned about a goat that seems to have been let off his lead a little too closely to the tulip beds but he quickly finds his way back to the animal nursery that is also housing alpacas.
And it wouldn’t be a tulip festival without the added Dutch flavour, enjoy the special food treats, replica windmills and try out your ability to walk in a traditional wooden clog.
However you decide to spend the day, make sure you take some time to tip toe through the tulips.
All you need to know
Tesselaar Tulip Festival is open daily 10am to 5pm until October 7, 2014
Location: 357-359 Monbulk Road, Silvan (40km directly east of Melbourne)
Tickets are available at the gate:
Adults: $22, Concession: $18.00, Children (under 16): Free, if accompanied by adults.
The Dandenong Ranges and Yarra Valley have plenty of beautiful and diverse accommodation offerings with attractive options to suit all budgets.