Bloomin’ Beautiful on the Cradle Coast
Whether you’re flying into the Burnie-Wynyard airport or driving along the beautiful coastline from Burnie, you can’t miss the imposing landmark that is Table Cape. Projecting out into Bass Strait, with its sheer sides and flat top, its rich volcanic soils make prime farming land. Take the short drive through the lush paddocks to experience the explosion of colour that is the Van Diemen Quality Bulbs Tulip Farm in spring.
From late September through to mid October the fields transform into a rainbow of dozens of varieties of tulips, sweeping down towards the lighthouse perched on the edge of the cape. The largest field in the southern hemisphere where you are welcome to tiptoe among the tulips to your heart’s content is the perfect spot to grow your Instagram followers with your enviable snaps. Then join in the farm’s celebration of the flowering season at the bush dance, Tunes in the Tulips and activities for children.
In 2017 the fields will be open from September 22 till October 23, 9am to 4.30pm. Entry is $12 adults, $10 seniors and concession, $8 students, children 16 and under free.
Wynyard’s big party
After your visit to the tulip farm head back down into Wynyard where on October 14 you can party with the locals at the town’s premier annual event, the Bloomin’ Tulips Festival. Make your way to the picturesque Gutteridge Gardens on the banks of the Inglis River, browse the stalls for some tasty local produce to eat and drink then find a spot to sit and listen to the live music. For a stunning view of the tulip farm you can hop in a helicopter for a scenic ride, or why not take part in the colour fun run. To keep the kids happy there are roving entertainers, face painting and rides, all topped off with a fireworks display at 9pm.
History and horticulture
The following weekend venture further west along the stunning coast to the quaint fishing village of Stanley, nestled under the imposing volcanic outcrop know affectionately as The Nut. Brave the chairlift or take the steep trek to the top for the amazing view. Then take a walk along the beach or wander through the boutique shops before heading up the hill to the historic Highfield House, once home to the chief agent of the Van Diemen’s Land Company. Built in the 1830s, the elegant Regency building is surrounded by a large ornamental garden, convict barracks, barn, stables and a chapel. On October 21, the site will again host the Circular Head Garden Spectacular, where you can enjoy floral works of art, plants, food and wine, children’s activities and interesting guest speakers, including crowd favourite Tino Carnevale from ABC’s Gardening Australia.
Tips for taking some top Instagram photos at the tulip farm:
- Don’t forget your background when you frame your photo – perhaps try to incorporate the lighthouse or even pieces of farm equipment to add interest.
- Try using different angles – crouch low and shoot down between rows of flowers.
- Utilise depth of field and perhaps pick out an individual flower to focus on – sometimes a single differently coloured tulip will be mixed into a row.
- Get your friends and family involved; tiptoe through the tulips, strike some poses, throw little children into the air – have some fun!
- Golden hour – the hour following sunrise and before sunset – is optimum for beautiful pictures. While you may not be able to access inside the property at these times you could find a good vantage point just outside. But please be careful if you are near any roads!
Words: Claire Turfrey
Photos: Claire Turfrey, Jessie Watson/Tourism Tasmania