If your clients are tulip fanatics and missed the peak season in the Netherlands, there's hope! Fall in the U.S. (and Europe) is spring Down Under, so visitors to Melbourne can explore half-a-million flowers at the annual Tesselaar Tulip Festival from September 13 to October 9.
Located on a working farm in the Dandenong Ranges, less than an hour’s drive from Melbourne, visitors can take in the flowers and enjoy live entertainment, market stalls, garden sculpture exhibitions and multicultural theme days.
The program of events for 2012 includes:
Turkish Weekend: September 14–16
The tulip originated in Turkey and this weekend aptly celebrates Turkish culture, with more than 100 performers such as Turkish folk dancers, belly dancers and musicians.
Dutch Weekend: September 21–23
As far back as the 17th Century, the Dutch have celebrated tulips and this weekend the festival turns into mini-Holland with Dutch food, costume, windmills, games and traditional folk dancing (in clogs!).
Food Wine & Jazz Weekend: September 28–30
Tulips pair up beautifully with music, regional produce and complementary wine and beer tastings from boutique wineries and breweries.
Irish Weekend: October 5–7
Tiptoe through the tulip fields and relax with a pint of ale or sing along to favorite Irish songs.
Children's Days: September 25- 27 and October 2-4
These days will have child-friendly entertainment, craft, petting zoos and fairies to entertain younger fans.
Senior's Days: (Each Friday)
Seniors can enjoy Fridays at a less hectic pace and enjoy a complimentary tea or coffee.
Another festival highlight is Sculpture in the Tulips competition, Victoria's third richest annual sculpture prize. Run in conjunction with the Association of Sculptors of Victoria, the competition attracts entries from sculptors from across Australia. Visitors can choose their favorite sculpture for the People’s Choice Award. The winning sculpture becomes a permanent feature at the Tesselaar Gardens.
For more information, visit www.tulipfestival.com.au.