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Guide to Floriade - Canberra's Flower Festival

The largest flower show in the Southern Hemisphere.

Floriade in Australia is a major event - it’s Australia’s biggest flower festival! Held in the city of Canberra, in the Australian Capital Territory, this floral display is also the largest flower festival in the whole southern hemisphere, making it well worth the visit.

WonderDog at Dogs Day Out
WonderDog at Dogs Day Out. Mandatory credit: Martin Ollman Photography
NightFest lights
NightFest. Image credit: Visit Canberra

Floriade 2023

In 2023, Floriade's theme is Floral Wonderland. This year, guests will enjoy a diverse program of entertainment, including captivating circus and cabaret performances in the Floriade Wonderland Spiegeltent. Visitors will also be delighted by the Circus Wonderland: A Neverland Adventure show, where attendees of all ages can enjoy interactive workshops nestled amongst an enchanting backdrop of flowers, structures, and sculptures.
The Floral Wonderland features vast flowerbeds boasting designs and arrangements to capture your attention and imagination. Wander through the Wonderland displays and take the experience in from varying perspectives as you escape into the beauty of over a million blooms.
Clear skies and colourful flowers on display at Floriade Canberra
Clear skies and colourful flowers on display at Floriade Canberra. Image credit: Visit Canberra
Friends enjoying NightFest Floriade Canberra
Friends enjoying NightFest, Floriade Canberra. Image credit: Martin Ollman Photography

About Floriade Festival

While Canberra is a great location for a quick weekend getaway, it’s never better than during the weeks of early spring, when Floriade, Canberra takes centre stage. Marvel at over one million flowers in bloom throughout Canberra’s Commonwealth Park, alongside picturesque Lake Burley Griffin, at Floriade Festival 2023. The winner of Canberra's 2022 People's Choice of Best Event/Attraction, Floriade is an iconic event in the Canberra Calendar. Floriade always coincides with the start of spring, from mid-September into mid-October every year. The festival features extensive displays and over one million blooms of a range of flowers. As Australia’s biggest celebration of spring, spring flowers, and flowering bulbs, Floriade is not something to miss. And with free entry, you'll want to come back day after day to catch more.
The annual flower and entertainment festival welcomes over 400,000 visitors each year. Attendees come from nearby and from afar, all looking to bring in spring in style - day and night. While the tulips may steal the show, there is a lot more to this festival than you may think. Take part in workshops like flower arranging, nature art journaling, or photography. Meet the market traders and do some shopping for a memento to bring home or a gift for a loved one. Join a guided tour and admire the floral, artistic displays that decorate Commonwealth Park. You can even enjoy some live music and entertainment. Grab a bite to eat from one of the food stalls and sit back as you enjoy live performances or just take in the beauty of the flowering bulbs.

Flowers at NightFest.
Flowers at NightFest. Image credit: Martin Ollman Photography
DJ at Floriade Nightfest
DJ at Floriade Nightfest. Image credit: Visit Canberra

What’s on at Floriade?

Australia's biggest celebration of spring and floral artistic features is more than just a few flower arrangements. Integrated sculptures, cultural celebrations, and other artistic features make up this unique festival.
Floriade NightFest
Floriade’s after-dark extravaganza NightFest is not to be missed. As the sun sets over Commonwealth Park, garden beds become illuminated with cutting-edge light installations. Live music, comedians, and DJs provide plenty of fun for the whole family. This ticketed evening event really draws in the crowds, so it’s worth booking in advance to secure your spot at the nighttime flower and entertainment festival.
Food at Floriade
With Floriade running day and night, you might start to get a little peckish. Fortunately, there are plenty of food vendors throughout the Canberra flower festival. Grab some street food that you can enjoy as you stroll amongst the flowers, a refreshing drink to cool you down as Australia heads into the warmer months, or a cold drink to keep you warm and cosy at night. 
Live entertainment at Floriade
Throughout the festival, live entertainment is scattered amongst the flowers. Activities for kids at Floriade mean the little ones can learn and have a great time during the day, then live music makes Floriade NightFest come alive.
Dogs' Day Out
Every dog-lover's favourite day of Floriade, this year Sunday the 15th of October is Dogs' Day Out. Visitors are encouraged to bring along their furry friends to frolic amongst the flowers.
Great Big Bulb Dig 
If you've ever wanted to bring a piece of Floriade home with you, be sure to get your ticket for the Great Big Bulb Dig! Proceeds from the event tickets support local charities, and the friendly team will be happy to offer advice to help you care for your bulb when you get it home for your own flourishing floral scene.
Sensory Hour
Every day from 9:30-10:30am, visitors can enjoy a dedicated sensory hour. For the whole hour, there will be no stage programming and no loud or amplified music throughout Floriade so that people with sensitive or sensory needs can enjoy a peaceful morning amongst the blooms.
Kids enjoying fair ground rides at Floriade Canberra.
Kids enjoying fair ground rides. Image credit: Visit Canberra
Floriade NightFest. Image credit: Martin Ollman Photography

Travel Tips for Floriade Festival

When does Floriade start and end?
Floriade 2023 runs from the 16th of September to the 15th of October. Floriade NightFest runs from the 28th of September to the 1st of October.
When to Visit Floriade?
This can really depend on what you are hoping to get from the festival. If you are wanting to snap some great photos of the flowers in their best light, then we recommend visiting Floriade at the start of the festival, ideally in the morning.
However, the morning is a popular time to visit Floriade. If you want to avoid the crowds, then the afternoon is much better. You can also avoid crowds by visiting during a weekday.
The first and last weeks of the festival also tend to be the quietest – however it’s worth remembering that the flowers may not be in their best form, come the last days of the festival. 
Where is Floriade?
Floriade takes place in Canberra at Commonwealth Park.
What to bring to Floriade, Canberra?
Refillable water bottle—there are water refill stations around the grounds
Hat & sunglasses
Comfortable walking shoes 
How to get to Floriade
The main festival gate is located on Regatta Place, off Commonwealth Avenue.
Consider leaving your car at home and instead taking public transport when visiting Floriade, as parking is limited, and festival traffic congestion will mean it takes longer to enter and exit festival parking.
Bus – buses stop on both sides of Commonwealth Avenue, opposite Regatta Place which is only a short walk to the festival entrance.
Light Rail - Once at Alinga Street stop you can walk 20 minutes to the festival or jump on a number 2, 4, 6, 7, 57 or 58 bus to Commonwealth Avenue
Are there places to eat at Floriade?
Floriade includes dedicated market stalls, including various food and drink stalls that offer snacks, street food, and drinks. 
How much are tickets to Floriade?
It is free to attend Floriade Festival! However, you will need to buy tickets for NightFest and certain workshops that run throughout the festival, as only the main festival offers free entry.

Leave your car at the hotel, jump on the Floriade courtesy bus from the Canberra Centre, hire a bike or enjoy a 15-minute stroll to Commonwealth Park from the CBD

- Nathaniel Crouch, Car park attendant at Novotel Canberra
Delicious breakfast at ONA Coffee House Fyshwick
ONA Coffee House Fyshwick. Image credit: Visit Canberra
Mandalay Bus at the food truck village
Mandalay Bus at the food truck village. Image credit: Visit Canberra

Things to do Around Canberra When Visiting

There are so many great things to see and do in the national capital while visiting for Floriade Canberra – including some great free attractions in Canberra. Packed full of natural beauty, art and culture, and great places to grab a bite to eat, Canberra really is the perfect weekend escape.
If you are planning on avoiding the crowds and visiting Floriade in the afternoon, then you’ll have the whole morning free to explore the city! If in Canberra on a Saturday, then be sure to stop by Capital Region Farmers Market for some hand-made goodies. Stretch your legs around the National Botanic Gardens and don’t miss a visit to Parliament House, Australia’s War Memorial, the National Library of Australia, and the National Gallery of Australia which houses over 150,000 artworks through its art exhibitions. Canberra is also great to explore at night - from evening photography classes to dinner cruises, there is always something going on.
The pool at Novotel Canberra
The pool at Novotel Canberra
The lobby area at The Sebel Canberra Campbell
The lobby area at The Sebel Canberra Campbell

Finding Accommodation During Floriade

When visiting Canberra and the Capital Territory for Floriade Festival, you need a comfortable home base that's centrally-located and has access to public transport options. Whether you are travelling as a family, and need space for the kids to play, or looking for something luxurious for a romantic couples' getaway, Accor offers a range of central accommodation in Canberra, for any budget and style.

While in Canberra visiting Floriade, try and find a hidden gem called ʺMolly'sʺ a 1920's speakeasy bar. Only known location is 35°16'44.5ʺS 149°07'42.0ʺE

- Rohit Chavan, Rooms Division Manager at Novotel Canberra

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