Araluen is a stunningly beautiful botanic garden located in a protected valley in the Darling Ranges, approximately 35kms from Perth. Araluen is an Aboriginal word that means "singing waters".
The major drawcard for our visit was the tulips - tens of thousands of them are planted each year by a huge team of volunteers. It was our luck that the day out to Araluen was a perfectly sunny day. We (and hundreds of other visitors) walked, explored and spent a wonderful afternoon amongst the flowers, native Australian bushland and waterfalls.
Tulips have been growing at Araluen since the 1930's - the bulbs were originally imported from Holland. When WWII broke out, the bulbs were imported from New Zealand. Today, they are sent to Perth from Tesselaar Bulbs in Victoria. Araluen Botanic Park is home to Perth's biggest display of Tulips. In 2018 there are more than 145,000 Tulips blooming throughout the gardens.
The colours of the Tulips are captivating and simply take your breath away. It's difficult to look past them and notice that there are many other glorious spring flowers in bloom in the gardens as well.
While I've never been to Araluen before so can't compare the gardens season by season, I'm pretty sure that Spring would have to be the best season to visit. There are garden bed after garden bed of Tulips, Camellias, Azaleas, Magnolias, Roses and thousands of other Springtime bulbs.
The pathways at Araluen are well defined but are very steep in places. There's a little train to help people get around and it's a bonus that it's fun for the kids too! There's oodles of car parking available.
The main entrance could have been an overcrowded hotspot if it weren't for the incredibly well-organised system at the gate. Plenty of staff to take your entry payment without having to get out of the car (my receipt was emailed to me on the spot!) and lots of friendly staff on hand to help get us to the first available carpark.
There's lots of open space for a picnic and a play and there are free electric BBQ's available too. We had a coffee from one of the pop-up food vans and enjoyed listening to music coming from the main lawn area. There were people all over the grassed areas - just chilling and enjoying this most impressive garden. Toilets are clean and there are maps available to help you find your way around.