You’ve seen tulips from Kashmir to Keukenhof. Now, with Bendigo in Australia promoting its floral wealth as a tourist attraction, you can celebrate Spring in the southern hemisphere too.
Fifty thousand, saw I, at a glance. Well, tulips, not daffodils. And five times as many as poet William Wordsworth said he did. But these exuberantly coloured and yet oh-so-elegant flowers are the central point of a spring festival in the City of Greater Bendigo, just a two-hour drive from Melbourne in Australia. While the Northern hemisphere is in Fall mode, Spring has sprung down under, and how.
The blossoms can be seen along Pall Mall and the Conservatory Gardens – either online or in-person. There’s even a Tulip Cam that gives you full access to the beauty! That’s how I enjoyed the experience in India. You can watch a talented tulip curator discussing the history of Bendigo tulips, the best way to grow them, and some fun and whimsical elements of this year’s designs.
Other activities at the Bendigo Bloom
The festival, aptly named Bendigo Bloom, will continue until November 2021. It will celebrate Spring 2021 with a mixture of wine, heritage, arts, and outdoor experiences. From a family-friendly Augmented Reality Tulip Hunt to wine experiences such as Bendigo Uncorked Week there’s a lot going against the backdrop of the tulips and the stunning and unique buildings across Bendigo. There’s a thrust on architectural heritage (more than 20 public projects, buildings, spaces and programmes will be showcased through Open House Bendigo on October 23-24), beer (Bendigo On The Hop, one of Australia’s best indie beer festivals, will take place on October 23), art (the Loddon Valley Arts Trail on October 23-24 is created by artists for artists to showcase talents in painting, knitting, metal, wood craft, mosaics, and garden art), and sports (the Apiam Bendigo Cup will be played on October 26), horticulture (Castlemaine and District Festival of Gardens from October 30 to November 7, where gardeners are opening their front gates and welcoming visitors in to enjoy the fruits of their labours), and much more.
The city of Bendigo grew when the gold rush pulled in people in the mid-1800s. Bendigo boasts some of Australia’s most impressive architecture, public sculptures, fountains, and gardens. And while Bendigo’s built heritage is certainly historic, it’s far from old hat. Today this place has inspired creativity and innovation on show for all to enjoy.
Seven things to do in Bendigo apart from eyeballing those stunning tulips…
- It’s Australia’s only UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy. Explore the vibrant eating out scene, where heritage halls, banks and even factories have been reinvented as restaurants and wine bars! Check out the close-knit community at Lyttle Eat Street. Sample the local craft beer, cider, gin, and wine too.
- Do an underground tour to see the Central Deborah Gold Mine.
- Visit Australia’s oldest working pottery that’s still in full production at Epsom, try your hand at the potter’s wheel. Buy the perfect souvenir – a piece of genuine Bendigo pottery, that’s authentic, handcrafted and truly local.
- Jump aboard a talking tram for a unique guided ride through some of the city’s most significant streets.
- Amongst all the grand old buildings, the Visitor Centre here is perhaps one of the grandest – a former Renaissance Revival Post Office from 1887.
- Bendigo’s arts and cultural precinct is also home to indie boutiques showcasing local designers, lost trades, vintage goods, and darling little cafes with some of the best views in town.
- The former 19th century mechanics hall, fire station and even the gaol are now top-class theatres, playing host to annual cultural festivals and almost daily performances.