Spring School Holidays
Spring is a lovely time of year - it's still warm enough for a day at the beach but cool enough for an exhilarating hike through the bush. The flowers are blooming, wildlife is thriving and the children are on holidays for at least part of Spring.
Carnival of Flowers
Each spring, destinations throughout Australia hold massive flower festivals to commemorate the season. Toowoomba is known as "Garden City," so it's no surprise that its Carnival of Flowers is one of the biggest events of its kind. In fact, it's one of the country's longest-running horticultural festivals. It spans 10 days, running from Septemebr 20 to September 29, 2014. It attracts thousands of people every year with a wide variety of activities. There's live entertainment, food vendors, wine tastings and, of course, flower displays galore! Events take place all throughout the city, and some of the highlights include the Chronicle Garden Competition, Classic Cars show, Kids Day Out and the Grand Parade.
Beautiful arrangements are a feature of the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers
Spring Racing Carnival
Hosted each year in Melbourne, the Spring Racing Carnival is one of Melbourne most anticipated events, that showcases the very best horse racing that Australia has to offer. In 2014, it runs from September 20 through to November 22, and the races take place at a number of different courses throughout Victoria - the four main venues being Moonee Valley, Caulfield, Flemington and Sandown. There are a multitude of races held throughout this three-month event, including the popular Caulfield Cup, Victoria Derby and Cox Plate. But the main feature of the carnival is the Melbourne Cup, which is held on the first Tuesday each November and is celebrated across the country. Along with hosting exhilarating races, the Spring Racing Carnival also features live musical entertainment, fashion shows and other cultural activities.
The Spring Racing Carnival is an unforgettable event (Photo courtesy of Jupiter Firelyte)
The Daintree Rainforest
Spring is a wonderful time of year to visit the Daintree Rainforest - the temperatures are pleasant, the storms haven't kicked in yet and the greenery is at its most lush during this season. Located at Cape Tribulation just outside of Cairns, this site is the oldest tropical rainforest on earth, dating back more than 135 million years. Holidaymakers can sign up for guided tours, or trek the rainforest on your own. Keep your eye open for blooming orchids and delightful creatures over head - there are more than 430 species of birds here, such as the large-tailed nightjar, spotted catbird and wompoo fruit-dove. In fact, more than a dozen species that live here can't be found anywhere else in the world. Those who choose a guided walk will get a magical experience led by a member of the indigenous Kuku Yalanji tribe. These people are the forest's traditional owners, so they have a deep knowledge of the land and culture of the area. You'll explore the Mossman Gorge and learn how the aboriginals used the resources of the rainforest to survive - such as what they ate, how they made tools and which plants they used for medicine. You'll also be taken to a waterfall that is believed to have healing properties - you can take a dip in the pool at the bottom!
The Daintree has walks you can take either by youself, or with a guide
Another huge flower festival in Australia is Floriade, held September 13 through October 12, 2014 in Canberra. This is the city's biggest tourist event, attracting more than 400,000 people from all over the world for a month of activities celebrating one of Mother Nature's loveliest products - the flower. Visitors gather in the 4-hectare Commonwealth Park along the beautiful waterfront of Lake Burley Griffin, where the grounds are filled with more than a million vibrant, blooming flowers. You'll see an assortment of themed garden beds that are designed to fit into the year's motif. But there's more than just flowers at the festival. Guests can get gardening tips from professional horticulturalists, sit in on cooking demonstrations, enjoy live entertainment and take part in gardening workshops. There are also recreational activities geared toward children and families.
Some amazing centrepieces can be seen at Floriade in Canberra
Margaret River is a delightful place to visit any time of the year, but it's particularly gorgeous in spring. You can take in the views of lush, green expanses of vineyard that run as far as the eye can see as well as clear blue waters lining the pristine coast. While the area is best known for its wineries and breweries, there's plenty to do for the whole family. You can go snorkelling, swimming or surfing at the beach, explore dense forests and discover mysterious caves. Be sure to check out Geographe Bay's Cape Naturaliste lighthouse. It's a magnificent structure itself, but you can also use the vantage point here to spot whales and dolphins out in the water.
Margaret River is a beautiful part of the world, just waiting to be explored!