Published 15.10.2019. Any post on this site may contain affiliate links which could result in Many Journeys Blog receiving a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Firstly, let’s start with the quirky origins of the Tesselaar Tulip Festival which has been running since 1954. Essentially, people kept jumping the fences to look at the tulips being grown on the working farm, and instead of making the fences higher, they started an annual Tulip Festival!
Tulips originate from Turkey, but have become a symbol for Holland
Here is a quick summary of what’s on offer since there is no point me repeating the website information in detail!
- Over 1,000,000 flowing bulbs, over 900,000 of these are tulips
- 25 acre working farm with 5 acres of flowers
- Festivals runs for 30 days from mid-September to mid-October
- Welcome to bring a picnic but no BYO alcohol
- Dogs welcome on lead and clean-up after them
- Food stalls
- Entertainment in multiple locations plus roving entertainers
- Special themed weekends such as jazz, Irish, Turkish, Dutch and Children’s
- Children’s activities such as lawn games (also for the adults!) and a Mythical Creature Treasure Hunt
- Traditional Dutch Games
- Tractor Ride ($5 for unlimited rides)
- Souvenir shop, Fairy Shop, Gift Shop, Plant shop, Lolly Shop
- Lots of interesting varieties of tulips to purchase (potted or cut) or pick yourself
- Sculpture Display
- World Largest Clog
- Fairy Gardens and Show Garden
- Replica windmills
Mythical Creature Treasure Hunt
Tractor Rides $5
Pick your own tulips
Flowers and gardens
The flowers are the main reason for attending the Tesselaar Tulip Festival and they do not disappoint. Not only is there the main field of flowers, but gardens scattered throughout the property. I was blown away by the varieties of the flowers (believe there is over 120 varieties) and the never knew tulips could have different petal shapes such as pointed, fringed and be single or double. Amazing!
The children’s activities were perfect – outdoor, simple and technology free (the way I like it!). How many times have you been to an event and you can’t escape the noise of the jumpy castles and games? Not at the Tulip Festival! The games were wonderful lawn games like croquet, quoits (ring toss) and some great wooden obstacle equipment.
The Mythical Creatures Treasure Hunt encouraged the children to search for information boards detailing legendary and mythical creatures. The prize was small toy or a few lollies.
Roving performances mostly scared the younger kids (opps!) and I think the adults enjoyed them far more!
Tractor rides at $5 each for unlimited rides were excellent value and lots of fun to go from one end of the Tulip Festival to the other.
Dutch game – Sjoelbak. You get three chances to slide the wooden discs (or pucks) into the compartments.
Food and Drink
Huge range of food and drink available, although I ate it all before I took photos. So, you will just have to trust me that the triple cooked chips and oliebollen (Dutch doughnuts) were delicious.
Poffertjes – Dutch Mini Pancakes
Nestled between the rows of tulips was a sculpture display with a variety of works and some were for sale if you want to take home a bigger souvenir!
Whilst there were plenty of signs informing people not to go into the tulip beds, many people ignored them. Whilst you might end up with a great selfie, you are damaging the tulips and ruining it for others. So be respectful and take photos only from outside the roped area. This applies to the sculptures too!
Oh, and do not pick any tulips from the beds! They have tulips for sale if you want to take one home.
You have been told!
The Tesselaar Tulip Festival website has details on getting to the festival which is located in Silvan, Victoria, Australia. Silvan sits within the Dandenong Ranges region and is a truly beautiful area. The festival is around 1 hour from Melbourne and easily accessible by car.
As this is a large festival many coach tour operators run direct buses if you prefer not to drive.
If you are catching Public Transport from Melbourne, take the Train to Lilydale the Bus 663 to the festival. On the weekends there is a Tesselaar Tulip Festival shuttle bus (bargain at $3 return) from Lilydale.
Please check the Tesselaar Tulip Festival website for current prices. When we visited in 2019 costs were $29 adult, under 16 free, concession $25. There were also some cheaper tickets for Spring Fever Week at $19 adult, concession $15.
Tickets can be purchased online or at the festival either from the self-serve kiosk or ticket booth.
Parking was free.