Touring the Tesselaar Tulip Farm

Tip-toe through the tulips at colourful festival

THERE'S an old and faded photo in a disintegrating album (most of us seniors have them, right?) of me, heavily pregnant and leaning - as much as a large tummy allows - over a row of colourful tulips. It was taken in Victoria's Dandenong Ranges, a week or so before my son was born.

He is now 42 so that's how old the photo is.

His birthday is October 16, which means the tulips in the Dandenongs bloom, around September-October every year, I like to think, especially for my son's birthday.


I remember that day in the photo 42 years ago. We drove to Silvan in the Dandenong Ranges from our home in Melbourne for something to do while we impatiently waited for our baby to be born. The aim was to while away another day and bring us closer to the birth date.

So how marvellous was it that we were in Victoria this past October and thought to make a small pilgrimage back to Silvan and to the Tesselaar Tulip Farm to see the tulips and quietly celebrate our son's birthday.

I am so happy we did.

In the country town of Silvan in Victoria, the tulip bulbs come to life and welcome spring with a firestorm of incandescent colour for the Tesselaar Tulip Festival.

It is so beautiful and uplifting that it's worth a visit even if you don't have fond memories as I do.

The farm's slopes are a thick blanket of colour with rows of beautiful tulips to the horizon. From fiery red to bright yellow, delicate pink, pale white, deep purple; the tulips are breathtaking in their natural and simplistic beauty.

You can tip-toe through the tulips, as the shallow trenches between the vibrant rows means you can get lost in the glorious cover of colour.

Writer Ann Rickard re-visited some fond memories at the Tesselaar Tulip Farm.
Writer Ann Rickard re-visited some fond memories at the Tesselaar Tulip Farm. Ann Rickard

Seven hundred and fifty thousand tulips are set across five acres of the 25-acre farm. The bulbs are planted in autumn and tended through winter to flower for the four weeks of the festival every spring. The festival has been running for 63 years, from very small family-run beginnings to the mega attraction it is today.

The facilities at the farm include the obligatory gift shop, a café - you are welcome to take your own food to enjoy at one of many picnic tables - and plenty of loos.    

Don't wait for a reason, put September-October in your travel diary for next year!

Full information, dates and entry costs at

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