Monday, October 1, 2012
Visit Floriade, Canberra
Aaaaah fantastic, funky, flowery, Floriade! By glistening Lake Burley Griffin, under the bluest of Australian skies grow the pampered floral beds of Floriade. Located in Commonwealth Park, Canberra, Floriade is Canberra's premier festival.
The stiff Canberra cold must be the perfect breeding ground for bulbs, because the flowers of Floriade were just perfect when I visited on Thursday. I visited again today, and some of the heads were a little less vital after the weekend wind and rain. Nevertheless, the flowers were brilliant. Not quite as spectacular as the Dutch tulip fields, but pretty great all the same.
Free entry to the festival means you can come and go as you please. There is plenty of parking available off Corranderk Street, or you can catch a free shuttle bus from the city. There is disability parking adjacent to Commonwealth Park. We parked in the CIT carpark off Constitution Avenue, where a couple of dollars in the parking meter is all it takes to secure a worry free outing to Floriade.
Budget-conscious as ever, we took our own lunch. There are many wonderful spots for a picnic lunch and many other families appeared to be taking advantage of the perfect weather and picturesque locale to do the same. There is an assortment of food choices available, in kiosks scattered throughout the gardens. There are coffee vans and a wine garden too.
Kids are well catered for with a small selection of carnival rides, including the must-do attraction, the Ferris Wheel. Atop the Ferris Wheel one can appreciate the full extent of Floriade. Only from this point of view can one make out the pictures and patterns created in the floral arrangements. This year there are shoes, lips and top hats to reflect the inspirational spring style and fashion theme.
For kids there is also an area that has craft activities, spray-on tattoos and face-painting, reptiles and a circus.
Free entertainment on the Big Stage is high quality. We saw a children's choir and an orchestra performing. There was also an old fashioned organ that was pumping out well-know tunes. "The Day We Went to Bangor" had me singing along enthusiastically.
The crowds at Floriade were perfectly behaved and I didn't see a single person having a bad time. Our group consisted of a couple of women and a bunch of little kids, yet getting around was no problem.
Meander the flower beds, revel in mother nature's glory, and just try and keep your hayfever at bay at Floriade. Visit Floriade's website here