A visit to the little piece of Holland in the Dandenong Ranges during spring (September – October) is all it takes to experience brilliant colours in quaint Dutch surroundings. The farm situated in Silvan, 50km east of Melbourne CBD, hosts Tulip Festival every spring since 1954. Tesselaar Tulip Festival has evolved over the years to include music, food, and wine to attract visitors from around Melbourne and even overseas. The festival also features Turkish, Irish and Dutch weekends, market stalls and other modes of entertainment.
From 2019 onwards during autumn, KaBloom Festival – a rainbow of fields filled with blooming Marigolds, Salvias, Cosmos, Cleomes, Petunias, Gomphrena and Celosia is prepared for visitors. Kabloom festival also features circus performances and other cultural shows.
Cornelius Tesselaar and Johanna, natives of Beverwuyk near Amsterdam got married in 1939. The war clouds were already descending on Europe and the newlyweds realised that there is not much scope for them in their native land to bring up a family. When they planned to emigrate, they choose Australia for it had most to offer in living conditions, space and opportunities. They had six children in Australia and never regretted their decision to migrate to Australia.
The couple purchased two-acre land in Ferntree Gully and began growing their first crops of gladioli, daffodils and tulips. After 5 years the Ferntree Gully property became too small, so they moved to their current site in Silvan. They were one of the first to plant Tulips in Dandenong Ranges, and this ensured a good number of people stopping their cars to have a closer look. Tesselaar’s employed three Dutch families to work at the farm and built separate cottages for them. His children attended St Patrick’s Convent School in Lilydale and on Sundays the family joined twenty other families at Roman Catholic Church in Monbulk.
In 1954, Tesselaars decided to officially open their farm to the public and the first Tulip Festival was held.
Address: Tesselaar Flower Farm, 357 Monbulk Road, Silvan
How to reach there by public transport: By train to Lilydale or Belgrave Station and board Route 663 Bus from Lilydale or Belgrave Station to Tesselaar farm
2020 dates for Tulip Festival and Kabloom Festival
Tesselaar Kabloom Festival – March 28th – April 19th
Tesselaar Tulip Festival – September 12th – October 11th
Dogs on lead allowed. Free off streetcar and bus parking