Garden Festival Planner: Nambour
Garden lovers flock to Nambour in winter for their fill of new plants, gadgets and ideas.
Here’s how to turn a day at the show into a real garden festival.
The Queensland Garden Expo is the perfect excuse to head north this winter. Photo - Robin Powell
What sets the Queensland Garden Expo at Nambour apart from other garden festivals around the country is the quality and quantity of the advice on offer. There are eight stages spread around the showgrounds, each with a full program of free lectures and workshops across the three days of the show, as well as a daily Q & A hosted by a panel of gardening experts and a Plant Clinic for plant ID and help with plant problems.
When and where?
Queensland Garden Expo
Friday 7- Sunday 9 July
Coronation avenue, Nambour
The gates open at 8am, so plan to arrive early, check out the nurseries and display gardens, and then as the day heats up grab a cool drink and a chair in one of the shaded stages and settle in for some quality garden info.
Show gardens are not the only attraction at the Queensland Garden Expo, Nambour. Photo - Robin Powell
Gardens to visit
Noosa Botanic Gardens
These gardens are a short drive from the hinterland town of Cooroy, on the shores of Lake Macdonald. The stunning site was a rubbish tip until local resident Ida Duncan decided to do something about it. The Gardens opened in 1990 and feature a fern house, lily pond, bush chapel, clever full-sun planting ideas and a riotous array of bougainvillea.
Lake Macdonald drive, Cooroy, open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Information at www.noosa.qld.gov.au
If you love edible gardening, don’t miss the garden and shop at Green Harvest, just outside the lovely hill town of Maleny. Green Harvest is a family-owned and operated mail order business, specialising in organic edibles and its edible landscape shows just how beautiful a productive garden can be.
Maleny Botanic gardens
This is a private garden developed by Frank Shipp. It now covers 14 acres, and continues to expand, with lakes and waterfalls providing focal points for the many gardens that look towards the dramatic Glasshouse Mountains. There is also a large walk-through aviary, home to more than 300 birds. Try a Devonshire tea on one of the gazebos overlooking the gardens.
233 Maleny-Stanley River Road, Open 9am-4.30
Information at www.malenybotanicgardens.com.au. Entry $16, $31 including the aviary
Maleny Botanic Gardens. Photo - Katische Haberfield
Where to stay
Garden designer Cheryl Boyd’s Stringybark Cottage, in the hills outside Eumundi in the Sunshine coast hinterland, is one of Australia’s finest gardens. Experience all its moods by staying in the original cottage on the property. Find it on Air BnB.
Our choice when we’re on tour in south-east Queensland is Sheraton Noosa Pacific Resort, right on Hastings Street and across the road from the beach. The recently renovated rooms are luxurious and spacious and the restaurant, Noosa Beach House, is under the control of celebrity chef Peter Kuravita.
Yandina Station is a 220-acre cattle station with three beautifully renovated two-bedroom cottages that look out through eucalypts and Moreton Bay figs to lush grazing pastures. A good choice if you’re travelling with friends.
The pool at Stringybark Cottage. Photo - Robin Powell