This is not the Netherlands, this is Australia!
Each year during the months of September/October, there are two big tulip festivals. One is in the Wynyard Tulip festival in Tasmania, and the other one is the Tesselaar Tulip Festival in Victoria. The later is only 40km East of Melbourne, which makes it easily accessible by car. Don’t worry, if you don’t want to drive, you could also get there easily by a train which departs from Melbourne, then board a shuttle/bus to get you to your destination.
This year, the Tesselaar Tulip Festival was from the 8th September till the 4th October. I arrived Melbourne on the 3rd afternoon, which means the only day I could go was on their last day. During the 4 weeks of the festival, they have different events on every weekend. I would highly recommend you to check out their schedule before your visit.
According to Google Map, the journey shall only take approximately 45 minutes. Since it’s not a long ride, I have decided to have lunch at Melbourne first before we head over to the festival.
Well, a 45 minutes journey ended up being a 2 hours ride! Instead of using my Google map on the phone, I was using a GPS which I borrowed when I rented my car. For some strange reason, this GPS keeps directing me to roads that either did not exist, or was too narrow for my 4WD to get thru… Ok, it may also have to do with my bad sense of directions, and lack of skills in driving too. BUT, thanks to the GPS, we went on a route thru the Dandenong Ranges National Park, which was an extremely bumpy, yet fun ride – I encountered a wild deer in the middle of nowhere!! I have no idea where it came from, but it was there, starring at us. So sometimes, a little detour on a journey aren’t so bad at all.
Finally, I arrived the Tesselaar Tulip Festival at around 3:30pm. The weather was super nice when we got there.
About 10 minutes after entering the festival, it started pouring, and it was so windy and cold and wet, all I could do (and most of the others as well) was to hide in the shelter to wait for the rain to past by. The weather was not very nice that day, it keeps raining, then sunshine, then raining, then sunshine… but it made the flowers look very pretty, with the rain dew drops on the flowers.
Later on I was talking to one of the lady who helped in the festival, and she told me that every year, the weather is like that. After talking for a while, she knew that I was a tourist, and told me that I should not waste the chance to see the beautiful flowers, so she gave me a poncho for free! (They sell them at the store) Oh my, aren’t Australians so kind!!
In the festival, there are food stalls, beer garden, and little stores where you can purchase crafts and tulips. Remember also to take photos with the cute signage and the giant clogs!
So, if you are in Melbourne around September/October time next year, be sure to check out the Tesselaar Tulip Festival! Ooh, and perhaps take a little detour into the Dandenong Ranges National Park, you may get a little surprise there!
Finally, some little advises for visiting the Tesselaar Tulip Festival
- Use Google Maps instead of the GPS (personal preference)
- If you do drive thru the National Park, it is better to go with a 4WD, it does get quite muddy, and there are lots of bumps and holes on the way especially after the rain
- Make sure you bring a water resistant windbreaker/jacket, or an umbrella
- Wear shoes that you don’t mind getting dirty – no sandals/heels/flip flops (You are actually walking in a farm, and when it rains, it gets very muddy)