Blooming Rotorua – Tulip Fest

The Government Gardens in Rotorua are beautiful at any time of the year, but especially when the tulips are blooming during the annual Tulip Fest. Te Runanga Tearooms in the gardens is Tulip Fest HQ and it’s the meeting place for a lot of the events held from 1 – 9 October 2016.

Tulip Fest - Government Gardens, Rotorua

Tulip Fest – Government Gardens, Rotorua

I went to hear Maree from Galaxy Travel talk about Avalon River Cruises, one of the cruises includes a visit to Keukenhof Gardens in Holland. I’ve always associated tulips with Holland, but I learned from Maree that tulips were imported to Holland from Turkey in the 16th century.

Window display at Galaxy Travel for Tulip Fest

Window display at Galaxy Travel for Tulip Fest

Did you know there are thousands of gerbera plants flourishing in a geothermally heated greenhouse only 15 minutes from Rotorua?  PlentyFlora produce around half a million gerbera flowers each year and supply florists and the general public.

Gerbera plants at PlentyFlora

Gerbera plants at PlentyFlora

PlentyFlora open the doors of the greenhouse at certain times during Tulip Fest for visitors. Outside they have a tulip display and a cute model windmill. (Take some cash for the honesty box if you’d like to take home a bunch of gerbera flowers or a gerbera plant).

Tulip display at PlentyFlora

Tulip display at PlentyFlora

Other guest speakers at the festival this year included chef Michael Van de Elzen and landscape designer Xanthe White. Still to come on Saturday 8 October are editor of NZ Gardener magazine Jo McCarroll (free), and designer David Trubridge ($28pp).

David Trubridge designed light fittings at Stratosphere Restaurant, Skyline Rotorua

David Trubridge designed light fittings at Stratosphere Restaurant, Skyline Rotorua

I went to Tulip HQ to listen to Darryl from Palmers talk about edible gardens. Darryl’s worked in the garden industry for 30 years and is really knowledgeable and enthusiastic. He said it’s possible to grow your own coffee beans in Rotorua, although whether the coffee tastes any good is another story.

Tulips outside Fat Dog Cafe on Arawa Street

Tulips outside Fat Dog Cafe on Arawa Street

I’ll end with a few of my favourite photos ……..

My favourite tulip garden - near Children's Art House in Government Gardens

My favourite tulip garden – near Children’s Art House in Government Gardens

Aroma Cafe on Fenton Street

Aroma Cafe on Fenton Street

Beautiful Lily Schreyer tulips at Tulip Fest HQ

Beautiful Lily Schreyer tulips at Tulip Fest HQ

Tulips blowing in the wind

Tulips blowing in the wind

Tulips at the lake front end of Fenton Street

Tulips at the lake front end of Fenton Street

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