As Australia enters full bloom and we begin the home stretch of spring, what better way to enjoy the beauty of Mother Nature’s loveliest blossoms than by attending a flower festival?
Poppies, tulips, chrysanthemums – and those are just the ones we can pronounce. With the weather finally turning for most of Australia, it’s the perfect time to hop in your hire car and set your destination to one of these quaint festivals.
If you live in WA are or a planning a trip there soon, we have good news for you: you’re headed straight into wildflower country unlike anywhere else on Earth. Unlike the other destinations on our list, WA’s Wildflower Trails aren’t an organised event. Rather, the long wildflower season (lasting through mid-December) and the ideal conditions for long road trips means you can take on these journeys at your own pace.
There are too many of these amazing self-drive journeys in WA to explain here, but we’ll point you toward some of our faves:
6.5 hours | 593 km
If you have plenty of time, then we highly recommend taking a long drive from Perth to Kalgoorie. Along the way you’ll see a variety of landscapes, from sandy plains to Eucalyptus forests. Be sure to check the weather before or call the Kalgoorie Boulder visitors centre before you go, as conditions can impact the visibility of the blossoms.
7.5 hours | 714 km
This slightly longer trail will take you from Perth to the coastal town of Esperance. As you drive, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to take spectacular pictures of vast wildflower meadows, along with some excellent coastal scenery and classic WA desert. If you have a long weekend, you can easily make this a several-day trip and loop back on a different, yet equally beautiful road to Perth.
5-day loop trail
If you have plenty of time on your hands and want to experience several days of beautiful, brightly coloured wildflowers, then the Coastal Widflower Trail is for you. You’ll be able to pick up and drop off your hire car in Perth, since the trail begins and ends there. In between you’ll be treated to stunning coastal views, quaint country towns, and of course, blankets of blossoms as far as the eye can see. The full itinerary takes 5 days, but it can be done in more or less time depending on your schedule.
20 – 29 October 2017
It’s no wonder Renmark is known as the Rose Capital of Australia. Each year, in the third week of October, the Renmark Rose Festival Committee stage a spectacular Festival of Roses across the Riverland. The ten-day festival, which has been running for the past 23 years, boasts 51 garden beds of more than 3,500 rose bushes throughout the town, stalls of local produce, and a range of events for locals and rose aficionados alike!
Renmark Rose Festival is a perfect opportunity to experience the beauty of the Murray River – by river cruise or canoe. And why the third week of October? Because it’s when the first roses bloom in the region.
Feeling florally inspired? What better way than to attend one of these festivals and let your creative juices bloom! Let Thrifty Car Rental take care of the transport, and enjoy a relaxing drive to the festival.
October 28 – 29 2017
The small city of Bathurst hosts one of the most creative flower festivals, in part because it’s held in a number of small gardens throughout the region. Thanks to Bathurst’s history, rooted in the gold rush, and its village atmosphere, you’ll feel like you’ve taken a step back in time as you wander from garden to garden. Each garden has its own unique feel, and some of them have incredible views of the countryside.
The Bathurst Gardners’ Club puts on the event every year, and judging by the brochures, the 2017 festival is set to be spectacular. What’s more, if you’re in Sydney, the road trip to Bathurst is just three hours and includes a beautiful drive through the heart of Blue Mountains country. May we suggest packing a picnic, picking up your Sydney rental car, and making a day trip out of it?
21 October – 7 November 2017
Set in Victoria’s picturesque high-country, Bright Spring Festival is a real treat for the senses.
Expect fireworks, flea markets, foodie events, art exhibitions, and a range of open gardens and workshops. But perhaps the biggest drawcard for budding gardeners is that you can speak directly to the experts. Now in its 29th year, the Bright Spring Festival has cemented its place as one of the leading flower festivals in Australia.
The region is known as a starting point for exploring the peaks of Mount Buffalo, Alpine National Park, and Mount Hotham, so bring your hiking boots and enjoy the breathtaking views and foliage on your route.