Foodie and garden lovers get set for three colourful days of floral displays, culinary delights and live entertainment at The Ginger Factory when their annual festival around ginger hits in January. It's a stunning event the whole family can enjoy with regular attractions, Overboard and the Ginger Train, running.
The festival will showcase a spectacular range of ornamental ginger and heliconia plants in various colours that will have your camera lens clicking away and an array of over three thousand plants will be available to purchase with expert advice on suitable choices for potting and planting.
Garden experts in the Garden Gazebo will provide walks and talks on a number of items. Subjects such as tropical plants will be discussed in detail, including how to grow breathtaking gingers in your garden, as well as growing healthy herbs and vegetables in small spaces. Find out about attracting bees to your garden and which bees are the best.
Over in the Blue Ginger Room, an exciting line-up of Sunshine Coast cooking experts await to show you a variety of uses involving ginger. Chris Bond will share with you the making of Ginger & White Chocolate Creme Brulee with Ginger & Mango Sable Tower; whilst Kelly Lord will demonstrate Fresh Mooloolaba Leader Prawns with Ginger Szechuan Butter & Thai Aromatics, along with Cream Cheese & Honey Foam with gingerbread crumb; and Dhom Chotipimai makes three easy Asian Salad Dressings using Gingers, followed by fresh Tropical Fruit on Ice in a Ginger-Infused Syrup.
Other highlights in the kitchen include Linda Brennan cooking with edible flowers, Shane Bailey getting the kids in with how to cook the best Beef & Ginger Tacos and Peter Wolfe stepping back in time with a dessert developed on the west coast of Tasmania by wives of miners in the early gold rush days.
After you're done salivating over the above, wander over to the Market Place where you can meet the makers and sample some of the delicious products on show from local food producers. For further bites, grab something to eat at the Ginger Cafe and then cool down with a treat from the Ice Creamery.
Nice and light ginger scone with ginger marmalade from the Ginger Cafe
Not far away in Ginger Town, there's some shopping to be had with market stalls selling a variety of products and the wonderful resident village shops open – Macadamia & Co, Giuseppe's Workshop and Traditional Herbs & Scents. There's lots of lovely things for the home and garden as well as wooden toys and novelty items.
Between them, the village shops cater for all your gifts
After all that shopping, relax a bit and take a ride on Moreton the Ginger Train. Now 116 years old, this historic sugar cane train journeys around the 9 hectares of gardens and grounds past exotic flowers, roaming wildlife and old farm equipment.
The other ride you can take is Overboard, a fun boat adventure that involves the gingerbread man on a journey around the world trying to escape the clutches of the hungry chefs. There's lovely music with it and animal puppetry that features over two hundred handmade moving puppets. It reminds me of It's A Small World in Disneyland.
Overboard - a beautiful way to relax as you pass through magical scenes
Entry is free to the Ginger Factory and the festival, whilst a ride on Moreton will cost $8.50 and a ride in Overboard $12.50. You can bundle these rides together and save a little.
For more information on the festival and timings, click here and don't forget to get some ginger from the Ginger Shop on your way out. There's yummy ginger biscuits and sweets, ginger drinks, sauces, spreads and a whole lot more.
You won't believe it, Irenke, but I'm in the middle of my article for the Ginger Flower and Food Festival 2019, but with all the Christmas festivities had decided to put it on hold until January. Of all the writers, I'm glad you covered it, as sometimes I feel local events are not given the credit they deserve, when only a para or two is written. Without a doubt you have done a fabulous job! Now to scratch that one off my list ....Happy New Year!