Visit Tasmania from September to November, when blooming gardens provide a backdrop to breathtaking scenery and historic attractions. Embrace dozens of cultures and hundreds of tulips at Hobart’s Spring Tulip Festival and wander the grand gardens in Huonville and Richmond. See elms and oaks planted by convicts in Port Arthur. Do the daffodil walk in Launceston’s Cataract Gorge and skip between the gorgeous gardens of Tasmania’s north-east. Join the tulip festivities in Wynyard and bushwalk past tulips on Table Cape.
Start your floral trail at the Spring Tulip Festival, which hits Hobart’s Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens for a weekend in October. It’s a celebration both of spring and Tasmania’s cultural diversity. Amongst the colourful crowds of tulips, you’ll find a multicultural carnival of food, dance and music. Savour the spring scents while deliberating over the smorgasbord of cuisines. Afterwards, join a tour through the groomed parklands and themed gardens or join a community gardening class with a local green-thumbed expert.
Follow the heady scent of blossoms a short drive south to Huonville, on the peaceful Huon River. More than half of Tasmania’s apples are produced here, along with apricots, plums, cherries and pears. Drive through the blossom-covered orchards, explore the majestic private gardens and lunch on the Huon River. North in historic Richmond, you can do a guided tour of the gardens before walking across Australia’s oldest bridge and standing in the cell of its oldest jail.
You might associate Port Arthur more with convict era floggings than flowers, but in fact the gardens and parklands are some of the site’s key attractions. Many of the brick buildings have worn away but the oaks, elms and conifers planted by convict hands still stand. Wander through the ordered Government Gardens, step into the reconstructed 1850s Commandant's Garden and see the early 20th-century flower and vegetable gardens at Trentham Cottage. Find your own piece of history in the seed nursery, where seeds from 19th century plants are on offer between November and January. After Port Arthur, head to nearby Highcroft, where you can stroll through acres of blooming peonies.
The spring blooms don’t restrict their show to one side of the island, and you’ll find more garden delights in and around Launceston, in the state’s north-west. In Launceston’s inner-city wilderness of Cataract Gorge, the 1896 gardens offer daffodil walks, picnic grounds, a music pavilion, cliff top promenades and giant exotic trees.
To the north-east, a garden lover’s trail winds you between open gardens from Scottsdale to Branxholm. Go bushwalking, visit a specialist nursery, see intimate rose gardens and sprawling park-like country gardens. Nearby, visit the world’s largest and oldest lavender plantation in Nabowla and see 4,000 roses in the rose garden at Longford.
You’ll find more tulip celebrations in Wynyard, to Launceston’s north-west. Held in late September to early October, the Bloomin’ Tulips festival is three weeks of flower-themed fun. Browse the rhododendron gardens, watch brilliant night fireworks across the Inglis River and attend a Tulips at Twilight cocktail party. See the spring tulips enjoy their guest-of-honour status on nearby Table Cape. Visit the topiary town of Railton and get lost in hedge mazes near Sheffield.
From the island’s south to north, you’ll love the way Tasmania’s blooming spring gardens bring colour to an already stunning environment.