I didn’t think that I would get to the tulip farm this year. Every year the farm opens to the public for about a month while the tulips are blooming. Naomi and I went last year and the year before but this year she will be away on holidays for all of October. The farm did open in late September but Naomi had lots to do for the trip and we had some very bad weather as well. It didn’t seem a good idea to drive up there and risk getting bogged parking in a muddy field.
So, I was almost resigned to not going but then I heard that on Saturday there would be a complimentary bus operating between the Tulip Festival in Wynyard and the farm. I decided to spring for a taxi to Wynyard and go anyway if the weather was not too bad. Thursday and Friday were horrible but Saturday morning the forecast was cloudy with a chance of showers. I called a taxi.
If you call a taxi from Sisters Beach you will have to wait at least twenty minutes for it to come from Wynyard, more than half an hour if it has to come from Burnie. I had a long wait and by the time we got to Wynyard the weather had changed, there was a cold shower of rain and some light hail. The taxi driver reassured me that he didn’t think it would carry on all day. I missed the shuttle bus and had to wait half an hour for the next one so I took a walk through Gutteridge Gardens where the festival was in full swing. It was lunchtime and crowds round the food and coffee stalls were long so I decided to wait till I got to the farm to eat. I didn’t want to miss another bus.
Part of Goldie Street had been blocked off with detour signs but just in case they were not a big enough deterrent someone had parked a cement mixer across the road.
This is the first year that the festival has been held since Covid. The previous two years there was a program of events throughout the month, art exhibitions, concerts etc. Those are still being held as the it was quite successful but everyone was glad to have the big day in the park back. There were fireworks planned as well although naturally I was not planning to stay for that. Too long to leave the pets on their own and I didn’t like my chances of getting a taxi at night.
It was very muddy in the park if you came off the path but most people were dressed for the weather and enjoying themselves. If I had arrived earlier, I would have spent more time there but for me the tulip festival is really about the flowers and I was anxious to see them before it rained again so I got the next bus to Table Cape.
Once I’d arrived, I paid the admission fee and had a quick look at the floral displays before heading out to the field. This year the tulips are in a different location to our last two visits when we could see the Table Cape Lighthouse as a backdrop to the flowers. It is normal for the crops to be rotated every now and again. Last year’s fields had been sewn with cover crops to enrich the soil.
This field sloped upwards slightly so I thought I’d walk up to the highest point first and take some pictures from there. I then continued around the far end of the field to the fence. These unusual pink and yellow open tulips were the first to catch my eye. I really love the traditional tulip shape but my visits to the farm have made me appreciate some of the more unusual ones that don’t look so tulip like.
This area was fenced off from the public but the tulips there were not fully grown yet.
The nice thing about visiting the farm is that even when there are a lot of people there like there were on Saturday it doesn’t feel all that crowded except inside the building.
The view from the farm is spectacular too but I could also see that there was some rain in the distance.
Sure enough, there was another hail shower. Luckily it did not last long because I was about as far away from shelter as I could be.
It soon cleared though and by the time I got back to the other side of the field the sun had come out.
My feet were tired and my back was hurting a bit from carrying the camera so I stopped and sat down for a bit before going inside for a cup of tea and a scone. They do a good Devonshire tea at the farm. There were bulbs for sale as well as potted plants and various floral themed souvenirs and paintings. It was a little crowded in there though so I didn’t stay long.
I got back to Wynyard around three o’clock and called a taxi to take me home. Another half hour wait and I was on my way.
I did take some photos of individual tulips that I particularly liked. I always take photos of the labels too so I’ll remember their names when I order them later. Here are a few.