What’ll You Do At The Hurstbridge Wattle Festival?
The Hurstbridge Wattle Festival is a picturesque and fragrant bouquet timed to coincide beautifully with the flowering acacias situated along the Diamond Creek. The very first Hurstbridge Wattle Festival was held back in 2004, and since then it has blossomed into a huge community event that not only heralds the arrival of Spring, but also celebrates the local rail heritage, stunning environment and local community at large.
Being held on Sunday 28th August 2016, the program has to be thoroughly studied to ensure in advance you make the most of this tremendous event. The centrepiece of this event is most decidedly the stream train rides in the fully restored K class team engine courtesy of Steamrail Victoria. Visitors planning to spend the day at the Hurstbridge Wattle Festival can board the train at Flinders Street Station, then enjoy a shuttle service between Hurstbridge and Eltham. Steam Train Shuttle Rides are $10 per ticket. Limited tickets will be available at the train station on the day, so organisers recommend buying tickets in advance from online prior. An evening train will return passengers from Hurstbridge back to the city.
From trains to buses - for something completely different and unique, you can then enjoy free rides on a double-decker bus or a 'bongo' tuk tuk around the Festival throughout the day.
The Hurstbridge Wattle Festival is divided into various precincts and spans along and around the main street. The main stage is in the Bands/Shows/Events area. It is here you can enjoy a huge array of live musical performances. Last year, performers included the local schools, the Doowlla Drumming Group, Bebop59 Rock'n'Duo, Victorian Folk Music Club, FREE open singing workshop, Miss Wattle and her ukuele group and more. Hopefully, some of those will return again this year.
In the Graysharps Road Precinct kids can have their faces painted, hear stories, play games and meet Snow White in person. There'll be carnival rides, showbags, food and even a mini makers market to keep everybody busy.
In the Station Precinct enjoy fresh coffee and something to eat, cruise along the vintage cars and motorbike displays, absorb the "Going Loco" Victorian rail adventure – preserved railway display, and this is also where you can find the Treasure Hunt maps for some extra special family fun that spans right across the day.
In the Main Street (East End) precinct there'll be more food and product displays. Last year the program also included the Raining Spirit Dojo-Hoshin Jutsu demonstration here, alongside collectables and books for sale, as well as an American Muscle Car display.
Primary School and Ferguson Paddock Precinct is yet another market area with food stalls galore, face painting and buskers. Another live stage will showcase more live talent and you can skip across to the 'gallery' for a showcase of inspired and creative pieces by local artists. Enjoy boutique wine tastings and sales and kids can step into the animal nursery for some farm friendly fun before climbing aboard Thomas the trackless engine more free train riding fun. There will be a huge display of retro BMX bikes and you'll be astounded by the skateboarding competition.
At Allwood House, Brownhouse and Anzac Park sit back you can enjoy more live music as well as something to eat out in the countyard. While down at the Tennis Club, sausages will be sizzling and there'll be a spot of tennis along with a massage on offer after.
The Community Hall is where you'll find those amazing CWA ladies serving up their scrumptious Devonshire tea amid their quilt exhibition, while also selling quality crafts and preserves.
But the fun doesn't set with the sun, not at the Hurstbridge Wattle Festival. From 4pm the Wattle Festival Night Market comes alive with over 30 stalls, plus food and even more great live music and entertainment. You'll find candles and craft, art and jewellery and more. The Wattle Festival Night Market is held at the Station Precinct at the Hurstbridge Train Station. This family friendly, alcohol free night element of the Festival concludes at 8pm.
You will find The Hurstbridge Wattle Festival running along the Heidelberg-Kinglake Road, Hurtsbridge from 9am on Sunday 28th August 2016.
Hurstbridge is located roughly 50 minutes North East of the Melbourne CBD along the M3 Eastern Freeway to the Heidelberg-Kinglake Road.
A full program of events and a map of the layout is available on the Wattle Festival website and regular updates being posted on their Facebook Page.