Thursday, 24 September 2015

Tulipomania at the Tesselaar Tulip Festival

I visited the Tesselaar Tulip Festival during my recent trip to Australia.

You may wondering why I chose to visit a tulip festival in Australia which is not known for its tulips. The reason is because I've never seen a tulip in real life (how sad is that). And I don't know when I'll be able to visit The Netherlands.

Anyway, back to the story.

The Tesselaar Tulip Festival is located in the town of Silvan which is about an hour drive from Mount Waverly in Melbourne where I was staying with my aunt. It was a pleasant drive as we had to pass Mount Dandenong area to get to the farm.

Entrance to the festival is UD24.00 for adults.

So what do you get to see for AUD24.00?

First thing that caught my eye were these cute alpacas, which, according to Wikipedia, is a domesticated species of South American camelid.

These alpacas look like miniature llamas to me. Can they dance salsa since they come from South America? ;-) 

It's a pity the tulips were not in full bloom when we were there.

My aunt said that the tulips would have been in full bloom the following week, which by then I would already be back in KL.

Looks like I have to make a trip to Keukenkof in The Netherlands if I want to see tulips in all its glory.

Despite a lack of blooms at the festival, there were a variety of tulips including this one called Malaysia:

 I wonder what the colour of Malaysia will be.

They even have a tulip named after my mum's dog:

Of course Rambo is also the movie character made popular by Sylvester Stallone.

Do you know that tulips originated from Turkey? Don't believe me? Read here:

According to the Tesselaar Tulip Festival broucher, Turkey hosted the world's first Tulip Festival more than 400 years ago.

Soon the Dutch brought the flower to greater heights and now everyone thinks tulips originated from The Netherlands. Interestingly, the Tesselaar Tulip Farm were founded by Dutch couple, Cees and Johanna Tesselaar who left Holland on their wedding day in 1939 and headed to Australia with one suitcase. Today the farm is a family business into its third generation. Trust the Dutch to popularise the tulip wherever they go.

First time seeing a boot scraper:

They probably put up this signage because there were people from China around:

I like that the organisers had placed sculptures amongst the tulips like this:

I guess it's mandatory to have a windmill at a tulip festival.

Reminded me of the legendary Steve McQueen, go figure.

Looks like a Proton Wira sedan.

Of course they had to put kangaroo sculptures too.

This is my favourite sculpture:

I would have bought this if I had a big garden or space at home.

To those who were unable to drag themselves across the 25-acre tulip farm, this mode of transportation is a good option:

Not sure whether there's a fee to get onto this tram.

You can buy tulip bulbs from the Tulip Station:

If only tulips are able to grow in tropical climate, I would have bought some home.

What would a festival be without souvenir shops:

The young lady in the shop was wearing a traditional Dutch costume. Too bad I didn't take a photo of her. 

They were selling all sorts of souvenirs from The Netherlands:

So preeeeeeeetty ... Now must wait for LvH to balik kampung so that I can ask him to get me a porcelain windmill.

There were shops to give the festival a Dutch flavour:

Dutch food were also on sale:

This is called poffertjes. My sister says it looks like kuih cara from Malaysia. From this, I deduce the Dutch must have adopted this recipe from Malaysia when they colonised the land in 1641. Or they could have taken the recipe from Indonesia when they were rulers there between the late 1800s - mid 1900s. Malaysia and Indonesia share similarities in their food and culture.

Not forgetting that tulips originated from Turkey, there were Turkish stalls and souvenirs on sale:

I like the riot of colours here.

A band was belting out Turkish songs on the Holland Stage:

I think water got into my lenses.

This is the 62nd year of the Tesselaar Tulip Festival and the organisers had planned different themes for each week like Turkish Weekend, Yarra Ranges Week and Food Wine & Jazz Weekend till the festival ends on 1 October 2015.

If I had stayed longer in Australia, I would have visited the festival a little later when there would have been more blooming tulips and maybe join the Dutch Weekend too.

Now I'll have to make a trip to The Netherlands for some real tulipomania, but it's so 'painful' these days to travel to Europe now that the value of the Malaysian Ringgit have fallen significantly. But at least I can now say that I've seen a tulip in real life, all at the Tesselaar Tulip Festival.

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