Tesselaar Tulip Festival 2011

The Tesselaar Tulip Festival in Silvan (near Mt Dandenong) is currently open to the public. We were fortunate enough to have gone on a beautiful Sunday about two weeks ago while school holidays just started and the place was so full of people we had much trouble taking photos of flowers without anyone in the background. About one hour drive from Melbourne city, the Tulip Festival is set on a big farm that showcases over 'half a million tulips made up of more than a hundred dreamy varieties' every year. We chose a fantastic day to go too as that day was the Dutch Festival where live music, stalls and fancily dressed staff accompanied the beautiful flowers.

As we entered the farm, gorgeous alpacas caught my attention. Doesn't this one look like it's grinning very cheekily? It totally looked like it did something naughty and no one has found out.

The farm is quite spacious with a main dirt path running down the middle and tiny paths throughout the flower patches. We were smart enough to get there early. The farm opens its doors at 10am everyday and we got there at around 10:40am. There were already quite some people but no where near the numbers at lunch time.

There were tiny windmills throughout the place and sculptures of butterflies and birds to add even more colour and vibe to the place. Although I didn't quite understand some of the sculptures…

Of course, the day was all about taking photos of the flowers. Look at all the lovely colours! I can stare at these flowers all day…the lighting was fantastic (and I got lazy) so I didn't do any post processing for any of these flower photos. I felt sorry for some of the tourists who forgot to bring their cameras though. It was such a shame to not be able to capture all these fantastic images. I can't imagine what they could possibly have been doing for the few hours when everyone else was taking photos. Remember to bring one if you go!

Can't go without some close up shots of the beautiful flowers too. I'm glad I brought my macro lens because this was about the only chance I got to use it outdoors all year!

The flowers were so pretty that my camera moved like it had a life of its own. I couldn't stop my fingers from pressing that button…just…one more…or two..or three…So please bear with me while I indulge in a little self satisfaction.

Whenever I see photos of flowers, there are always ones that point upwards at the sky taken from below the flower petals. I always wondered how that is done since without a tilting LCD screen on the camera, how is one meant to see what the photo looks like and where to focus? I tried my theories out that day by taking many trial shots but still couldn't take one that I was happy with. The ones below are the best I could do. Any pointers from photo savvy readers would be greatly appreciated!

When I say there were lots of children at the festival, that's an understatement. Although there were very cute ones like this gorgeous little girl playing hide and seek:

And this one who picked up flowers that were accidentally dug up and left to wilt:

There were also little kids that didn't do the right thing. This poor flower bed was trampled on by a little girl who wouldn't listen to her grandmother. If you wish to bring children to events such as these, please keep them near you to ensure the surroundings are not harmed and teach them to walk between the flower isles, not through them.

Other than children, there were also many dogs at the festival. Thankfully, these dogs were either leashed or were very well disciplined (that I noticed anyway). These two cuties were so staring at each other!

Near the front entrance was a miniature secret garden inhabited by fairies, gnomes and mushrooms. A big tree shaded the area from the outside world and provided a very dreamy atmosphere completely secluded and unique to the tulip farm. It was as if I had just walked straight into a children's fairytale book. I loved finding little statues around every corner, hidden in grass and behind trees.

I was seriously starving by 12:30pm. Walking around all morning and constantly staring through the viewfinder of my camera was enough to drain all my energy. However, we were too late. The hordes of people at the festival were all lining up for their lunch by then. I had to hold in my starvation. We decided to eat pie at Pie In The Sky in Olinda, which was more or less on the way home. It has won many pie awards including gold and silver and is a very popular place for tourists, locals and foodies alike, especially on a sunny Sunday afternoon (stay tuned for my next post about Pie In The Sky!).

The only thing that kept me alive was a little mango nectar icy pole.

At least there was live music to keep people entertained! I was too starved to listen for too long though, shame. Next time I will bring my own food and sit leisurely on a patch of grass and enjoy the lovely sun.

I had been meaning to go to the tulip festival for many years now and I was finally able to do so this year. I'm so glad I did! For those of you still wanting to go, you'd better go soon because the tulips are starting to wilt in the warm October weather. The last day of the festival is on October 12, 2011 so get in quick! Also if you don't want to wait in line at the entrance, there is an option to purchase the tickets online and have them printed before you go.

Water lilies used to be my favourite flower but I'm falling in love with tulips, especially purple ones. What is your favourite flower and colour?

Tesselaar Tulip Festival
Location: 357-359 Monbulk Rd, Silvan
Melway Map: 123 B5
Dates: September 15 - October 12, 2011
Times: 10am - 5pm daily
Ticket prices: $18 adult, $15 concession, free for children under 16 if accompanied by adults

Public transport is also available, please visit http://www.tulipfestival.com.au/travel/ for more information.

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  1. woohhhhh amazing photos!!!~~ me likeee i didn't get to see some of them!! alpaca looked kinda evil XD hahah nice nice :D

  2. What a pretty festival full of colourful flowers and a fun day out for everyone! :) I love alpacas too! :P

  3. That looks absolutely beautiful. What a great day out. Just love tulips.

  4. @bunnyy, I love that evil alpaca! It makes my day looking at its face :D

    @Lorraine, it really was a gorgeous day and we all had fun. :)

    @Hotly Spiced, I'm now in love with tulips because of that festival! I hope the Melbourne weather will get a bit better so I can do something like this with my friends again. :)

  5. Lol, what a cheeky alpaca! Those flowers look marvelous, I love tulips and your pics did them justice :)

  6. I drove past the tulip festival the other week! I love tulips, they're my favourite flower. Your photos are just gorgeous :) ALPACAS RULE! They're so adorable :D

  7. @Choux-Fleur, it's become my favourite flower too! And I love alpacas :D