Tulip time: Bowral Sydney Southern Highlands

Many Red tulips

In 2008 the Bowral Tulip Time Festival is scheduled to start on 25 September and close on 8 October 2008.

Bowral was founded in the 1860’s and has become a summer retreat for Sydney residents. Many of Bowral’s earlier visitors built stately mansions and some of these historic homes and gardens can be appreciated by visitors today.

Tulip Time in Bowral during September – October is one of Australia’s leading floral festivals enjoyed by the public.

In the late 1880’s, a tree planting program was begun in the town and today this has left a legacy of a beautiful garden town with avenues of mature, deciduous trees and well planned expansive public and private colourful gardens.

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The most famous of the public parks are Corbett Gardens which are the focus of Bowral’s Tulip Time festival in September each year. The colour and grandeur of the town’s plantings are best appreciated during this renowned annual festival which attracts and entertains thousands of visitors.

Tulip Time had its beginnings in 1958, when a group of community citizens met to organise a festival to publicise the town of Bowral.

Floral and other festivals were ‘all the rage’ half a century ago in country areas.

Local people took advantage of the opportunity to organise festivities to bring a focus to the community, to attract tourists and travelers, and generally to introduce some gaiety into life.

A number of such festivals existed in the Southern Highlands and Tablelands in the past, but only Tulip Time has stood the test of the years.

2001 marked the 40th anniversary of the official Bowral Tulip Time – one of Australia’s largest floral garden festivals.

2 Pale tulips

The photos used in this article were taken by me (Neerav Bhatt) during Tulip Time 2005 in Corbett Gardens, Bowral.

If you’re a keen photographer make sure you take a camera with a good macro (close up) lens to take photos of the flowers, preferably a good Digital SLR or Ultrazoom not a point and shoot small digital camera.

If you’re driving from Sydney go south on the Hume Highway and stop in Mittagong at the Tourism Information Centre if you want maps or other information about the Southern Highlands.

Then take the left turn in Mittagong where there’s a sign pointing the way to Bowral. When you reach the main display at Corbett Gardens you will probably find many other cars and coaches parked around the surrounding streets so be prepared to park a few minutes walk away.

Visit the official Bowral tulip time website for information about entry fees and opening times for the various gardens

Bowral’s other main attraction is the Donald Bradman Museum. Bradman, played his first cricket in Bowral as a boy and the museum which is situated on Bradman Oval, honours Sir Donald’s amazing career and documents Australia’s cricketing history with many pieces of fascinating memorabilia.

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