Subscribe      List an Event or Business      Invite a Writer      Write for WN      Writers      Other Locations      HubGarden      Recipes

Tesselaar Tulip Festival 2013

Home > Melbourne > Day Trips | Escape the City | Festivals | Fun Things To Do | Gardens
by Carole Kelly (subscribe)
An avid reader,writer,traveller, sports enthusiast living in beachside Melbourne & working in the city. Always curious about what's around the corner.
Event: -
Tulips, Clogs & Poffertjes on offer at Tesselaar's Festival
Striking Blooms at Tesselaar's Tulip Farm

Row Upon Row Upon Row......

The annual Tulip Festival at Tesselars Farm, just a short drive from the city is in its 60th year and the event just keeps getting bigger. The Tesselaars began to grow their tulips on arrival from Hollland in 1939. To accommodate the curiosity of the day trippers, the first festival opened its gates to the public in 1954. The farm is still a family business and the festival now includes much more than just tulips.

Dutch Greetings

Among the more than a million spring -flowering bulbs, half of them are tulips. I visited on the weekend which happened to be "Dutch Weekend" and on arrival, was greeted by a young lady and gentleman dressed in traditional Dutch costume. I couldn't recall where the male national dress was from, but I do know that the lady's was from the well known fishing village of Volendam.

Pink, Pointed and Pretty

An Extensive Range of Delftware

There was so much to see and do that I wished we'd arrived a little earlier. Deciding to leave the spectacular acres of tulips until later, our first discovery was the famous Deftware pottery. There were small ornamental clogs, clocks, teaspoons, vases, money boxes, salt & pepper shakers, milk jugs and sugar bowls. Wait, there's more.. there were also Delftware cows and pigs and windmills. Next door were two very cute little alpacas and a whole range of clothing made from quality alpaca products. On sale were such items as scarves, gloves, hats and special festival tee shirts.

This is Seriously Cute... Alpaca

Quality Alpaca Goods for Sale

Following the trail of visitors, we next visited The Clog Shop.There were clogs of every conceivable colour, and in fact some had no colour at all and were, I suspect, for the more talented than I to paint with their own design. There were varnished dress clogs, motor car clogs, flowered clogs and clogs with a Lunar Park face adorning them. There were red clogs with windmills and blue clogs with windmills painted on them. There were lilac, lemon, pink, orange, blue and green clogs and a range of Delftware clogs. How one could make a decision beats me!

Gaint Clogs- just for the Adult Kids to have their photo taken in them?

Choose Any Colour You Want

As we left Clog Heaven, we noticed that there were various items and activities on offer. Tractor rides were available so you could visit the rows of tulips without muddying your shoes. There was a large sign with a smiling policeman asking you not to pick the flowers. You could purchase CDs of dancing organ music for just $ 15 or for just $1.20 per stem you could wander around a selected area of tulips and pick your own bunch.

Brmm Brrmm Clogs

Lunar Park Clogs

Next we visited the clock stall where all types of fancy timepieces were displayed. Not in the market for a new clock, we wandered over the the Stone Fruit display where bottles of preserved organic stone fruits were up for sale. My eye then spotted a beautifully made Dutch organ with lively dance music wafting from it's pipes. The symbolic monkey, clutching a money box clung to the nearby pole hoping for donations to enable the purchase of new music.

Decorated Timepieces

Preserved Stone Fruits

Fairground organs were popular in 1800-1939 era with organ makers originally working in Europe and America. Organs played the popular music of the day but electric amplification saw them fade from use. However, in 1950s & 60s in the UK, the Fairground Organ Preservation Society was formed and their popularity returned. This particular organ was made in Australia and is locally owned.

Fairground Organ- Made in Australia

Pink Stripes

After watching the Tukkers Dutch Folk Dancing (in clogs), it was now time to wander up and down the rows and rows of brilliantly coloured tulips. Among the bright orange, purple, pink , red and white flowers were stripes and pastels, mottled and two toned varieties. Visitors are able to walk between the rows and photograph the flowers (or each other).

Multi-Coloured Rows

Frilly Yellow Tulips

Not all of the land contains fully blooming tulips. There are also acres with younger plants and others that are tilled, ready for sewing. Tesselaar's is a working farm and the ground is unsealed and usually a bit muddy so you need to make good use of the shoe scapers at the end of most rows before returning to your car. It is advisable to wear old shoes for your stroll among the tulips.

Converging Rows of Colour

Extensive Fields

There are over 60 festivals celebrated over the period of the Tulip Festival and one of them is the "Sculpture Among the Tulips". Sculpture exhibits by budding artists are scattered along the central walkway between the beds of tulips. Visitors can vote for their favourite piece in the People's Choice Awards, the winning entry receiving $250.

Three's a Crowd

It was now time to eat. Having spent considerable time meandering among the goods stalls and rows of coloured blooms, we headed off towards the eateries. Two of my favourite Dutch foods are croquettes and poffertjes (mini pancakes) so there's no surprise in which direction I headed. While the croquettes were good, they didn't quite measure up to ones Oma always made, but I think the poffertjes did.

Dutch Croquettes

Poffertjes- Yummeeeee!

Many visitors seemed to dine in at The Tulip Cafe but other choices were The Potato Man and the Tulip Take Away Cafe. As the weather was warm and sunny, most took the option of sitting on the grass or relaxing in chairs scattered around the venue

Mr Potato Man

Relaxing under the Cherry Tree

Before heading off for home, we wandered around the grounds and discovered even more items of interest. I loved the little pottery flowerpot men selling for $25 ea. and the colourful garden spikes featuring young ladies, exotic parrots, frogs and ladybirds. There were even three ceramic flamingos in the garden bed among the plants, and kites flying above the tents.

He Looks Kind of Orphaned ?

Decorative Garden Spikes

Discovering that Tesselaar's also had a daffodil display, we made our way in that general direction, passing some interesting topiary along the way. I was particularly taken with an image of a young lady with a parasol who was walking with a young girl . There were other shapes including the form of a man holding out two bird feeders. We passed several small windmills before we arrived at the daffodil gardens.

Mother and Child

Windmill amonst the Daffodils

While the daffodil display was not extensive like the one full of flowering tulips, it did have a variety of flowers. The rows were full of white, yellow, two-toned and salmon coloured flowers and there were many many rows of daffodil heads blowing in the breeze. It was certainly worth taking the time to check the display out. After quite a full day, we headed off for home.

Dutch Wallpaper

There is still time for you to visit, so pack the kids in the car, don your garden boots and head for Tesselaar's Tulip Festival right next to the Silvan Dam.

Tesselaar's Tulip Farm
357 Monbulk Rd, Silvan (right next to the dam)
Ph: (03) 9737 7722

12th Sept to 8th October 2013
10am - 5pm daily

$20 Ad: $17 Conc: Under 16 yrs free
$7 school holiday program

Festivals still to run:
Food, Wine & Jazz Weekend: Fri 27th-Sun 29th Sept
Features Moonee Valley Jazz Band & Cheek to Cheek Trio

Irish Weekend: Fri 4th -Sun 6th October
Non stop music from Red Cat and Knot O' The Gate
Irish pipers, dancers, Irish coffee, beer & Celtic arts & crafts
Mon 7th & Tues 8th- Music & songs among the tulips by Piet van Abel Music Man

Children's Days: Mon 23rd - Thurs 26th Sept:
Mon 30th Sept - Thurs 3rd Oct
Dance to MilMaks,Paul Jamieson (The Music Man) & fairy Monica
Benny the Balloonist & Flash Twinkle Toes Magician Extraordinaire

There is plenty of parking
Chartered bus service on weekends from Lilydale station to the farm ($3pp) Information on website.

Wear old shoes as in between the rows is muddy.
Help us improve  Click here if you liked this article  53
Share: email  facebook  twitter
Why? Festive atmosphere, family day, children free& bulbs only bloom at this time of the year
When: 10am-5pm daily 12/9 to 8/10
Phone: 97377722
Where: Tesselaar's Tulip Farm
Cost: Ad:$20, Con $17, Under 16 free,
Your Comment
Wow, theres a lot more going on than you would expect from a flower festival. Tulips are my favourite flour; it's lovely to see all the different varieties.
by Bryony Harrison (score: 4|11279) 1371 days ago
More Melbourne articles
Articles from other cities
Foodi Photoh Classie
by JoM on 27/07/2015
by Ian Gill on 01/07/2016
by Petite.Capote.Rouge on 24/09/2012
by Lorraine A on 10/08/2013
by Alice Ribosa on 07/08/2016
by Ian Gill on 08/07/2014
by Lionel on 22/09/2012
by Alice Ribosa on 28/08/2015
by Carmen on 02/11/2015
by Happy Mom on 02/07/2014
by Kate Blake on 08/08/2016
by Naomi Parry on 12/09/2012
by newintstudents on 15/10/2014
by Mama To Two on 25/09/2016
Top Events
Popular Articles