6. As well as an overriding theme (Floriade’s focus for 2014 is Passion), the event program shifts over each of its four weeks so that return visitors can see something new. This year, these themed weeks highlight arts and culture, food and wine, family fun, and outdoors and adventure.
7. When Floriade comes to an end, its flowers are put to good use. The remaining blooms are cut and sent to local hospitals and nursing homes so that even more people can enjoy their beauty.
8. Make like royalty and take a boat ride across ornamental Lake Burley Griffin: in 2011, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip took a stately open-air boat ride from Government House to visit Floriade. Three ferry operators take passengers right to the gates of the event.
9. On Tuesday 7 October visitors will be able to bring along their four-legged friends to Floriade for the first time. For one day only the event will relax the rules around animals in Commonwealth Park to hold a Dogs Day Out in collaboration with 2014 charity partner RSPCA ACT.
10. Keen gardeners and DIY hopefuls can get inspiration from a variety of display gardens at Floriade. Whether its insightful presentations from celebrity guests in the Bunnings Garden, or tips and tricks from experts in the Permaculture Garden, visitors will leave with plenty of ideas to replicate in their own backyards.
What to look out for
Serious photography enthusiasts can apply for a coveted early-morning, crowd-free peek at the flowers. Participants can also opt to take a photography workshop that includes tips and techniques before they start shooting, followed by a critique and debrief, to help improve their work. Applications for these spots close in August.
Hot to get there
From Sydney, Canberra is a 55-minute flight, three-hour drive or four-and-a-half-hour train ride; from Melbourne, it’s a 65-minute flight. During the festival, free shuttle buses take visitors to Floriade from the city centre; three ferry operators also drop passengers nearby. The park is also an easy stroll or bicycle ride from the city centre.
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