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10 things not to miss at Floriade 2016

Beatrice Smith

There are some things in Canberra that are constant.

A lack of cheap flights during sitting weeks, a kilometre-long traffic jam on Parkes Way at 6pm every weeknight and, with every spring, the arrival of warmer weather, coaxing Canberrans out of hibernation.

For born-and-bred Canberrans like myself, warmer weather means Floriade – I can’t remember a Spring that wasn’t ushered in by this larger than life floral celebration. Floriade turns 29 this year, and will present a program promising to excite everyone from foodie to interior enthusiasts, floral fanatics, fashionistas and everyone in between.

Here are 10 must-do experiences


If you’re not a complete Adriano Zumbo fanatic (Zumbothusiast?) already then you’ll no doubt have seen the ads during the Olympics for Zumbo’s Just Desserts, which looks like the MasterChef of sweet treats.

Floriade will be bringing the charismatic chef and his eponymous Zumbarons to Canberra over the weekend of 15-16 October. Are we excited? Yes.

See for more details.

Take a slice of Floriade home with you

Nothing incites floral envy more than Floriade’s rows upon rows of glorious blooms…but this year there’s no need to be green. The Floral Society’s flower truck will be parked at Floriade until 9 October and they’ll also be running flower crown workshops! The wonderful Moxom + Whitney will also be running a series of terrarium demonstrations so you can learn how to bring the lushness of Floriade into your own home!

See for more details.


Make your signature scent

There’s nothing quite like getting completely lost in the scent of hundreds of flowers as you walk through Floriade. Imagine being able to bottle that feeling to take home with you?

Floriade have partnered with Capital Hotel Group to bring the grandmaster of perfume Kate Snowden to Canberra this year so you can learn how perfume is created and even make your own signature scent. Spaces are limited and if you’re interested we’d encourage you to sign up sooner rather than later.

Happening 1 & 2 October. $75 per person. Register now at

Spring in the Hamptons (without the airfare)


No need to shell out for a ticket to upstate New York this season, the understated luxury of The Hamptons is coming to you! The inaugural Spritzer Garden Party will sprawl across one of Floriade’s lush green spaces with picnic blankets, live music and a private garden bar courtesy of Campbell 5. Tickets are $25 per person and include a glass of sparkling. You can also order gourmet picnic hampers. Cutest date arvo ever? We think so.

Happening 1 and 8 October. Make sure you dress to impress and reserve tickets soon at

The sweetest of High Teas

For us, spring and High Tea go hand in hand – think floral styling, delicate pastels and the perfect cucumber sandwich.

This year’s Floriade’s High Tea demonstrations will be the perfect way to learn the art of high tea as presented by Floriade and Hyatt Hotel Canberra in the Kitchen Company Tasting Plate. Of course, the demo will include notes on “the fluffiest of scones and the plumpest of strawberry jams”

See for more details.

Spring into motion

Spring is often the time that we start to shape summer resolutions and (spring) clean out bad habits. To help you gear up for a summer of outdoor activity, The Heart Foundation are offering free walking groups each morning of Floriade, and lululemon athletica will be running free Sunday morning yoga sessions courtesy of Canberra Centre. Grab your housemate, partner or friend and shake off those winter layers!

See to find out more.

Turn inspiration into action

To showcase the artistry, styling and experience that goes into the beauty of Floriade, The Makers’ Marquee will be a haven of creativity at Floriade 2016.

Stathnairn Arts, the Canberra Potters Society, PhotoAccess and Craft ACT have collaborated to make a home for all things creative.

If you’re inspired by the talent behind Floriade (who isn’t?) you’ll be able to pour your creativity into any of the pop-up shops, exhibitions, workshops and demonstrations of the Makers’ Marquee.

Find out more at

Mini Floriade


It’s obvious why kids love Floriade. Colour + open space + warm weather = a kid’s delight, but their experience is going to be taken to the next level this year. Think potting-up workshops and flower craft classes to inspire budding gardeners, dinosaur shows and a reptile enclosure for the curious, a petting zoo and a pink-haired Shetland pony called Nadia for the gentle, and an obstacle course and free play area for the adventurous.

The Kids’ Corner will be open every day at Floriade.

The Parlour

Get ready for the weird and the exotic, The Parlour will bend your mind and tickle your funnybone over the first four weekends of Floriade and all evenings of NightFest.

Complementing performances by Jimeoin will be the comedic stylings of Becky Lucas, Nick Cody, Tom Walker, Katie Burch, Michael Hing and the Stevenson brothers.

There will also be some (even more) daring acts from performance artists Lisa Lottie, Oskar & Strudel, Elouise Green the Hula Queen and Dr. Rube’s Imaginarium.

As Floriade describes it, The Parlour “sings of a by-gone era, of the exotic and unfamiliar”.

Find out more at

NightFest Premium Experiences

floriade 2016

NightFest needs no introduction, but the experience of balmy nights spent wandering through scented gardens glistening with one million bulbs is going to be taken to the next level in 2016.

Over five nights of illumination there will be some very special premium extras available. Think champagne, ferries and live music.

There will also be even more fairy lights this year, which means even more opportunities for the perfect NightFest selfie with a whole parkland of lighting installations.

Keep an eye on floriadeaustralia/nightfest for more details

the essentials

What: Floriade 2016: Life in Bloom
When: Saturday 17 September until Sunday 16 October
Where: Commonwealth Park


Beatrice Smith

Bea loves that her job as HerCanberra’s Online Editor involves eating, drinking and interviewing people - sometimes simultaneously. The master of HerCanberra’s publishing schedule, she’s usually found hunched over a huge calendar muttering to herself about content balance. Otherwise, you’ll find her at the movies or ordering a cheese board. More about the Author

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