SPRING 2017 DIARY OF EVENTS
THE BLUE MOUNTAINS BOTANIC GARDEN MOUNT TOMAH
Celebrating our 30th Birthday, the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden is located under 2-hours’ drive from Sydney & is home to some 21,000 species. It is the only Botanic Garden located in a World Heritage Area and is focused on the conservation of cool climate plants.
Our educational, cultural and artistic events including exhibitions and workshops are set against the breathtaking backdrop of the Garden, reflecting the stunning surrounds.
A LEAF, A TREE, A FOREST…WILD GARDENS OF THE BLUE MOUNTAINS BOTANIC GARDEN
Domestic gardens are designed by gardeners whilst wild plant communities arise from natural processes. Sometimes random and chaotic, wild gardens can reveal order and beauty by allowing the underlying rules of nature to prevail. In this exhibition Ian Brown explores the richness and beauty of wild Blue Mountains bush in fine art photographs …from leaf, bark and flower tomassive eucalypts, rainforests and heathland. Free entry.
Mountain Forest, Boyd Plateau [Ian Brown]
Join astronomers from The Sydney Observatory for a night of sky viewing from Mount Tomah. There’ll be lots of interactive fun for the whole family, including The Gravity Machine, a binocular-tour of the night sky, plenty of opportunities for chatting with astronomers and telescope viewing of the Moon, planets and stars. Cost: $15 adults (16+ years); $8 children (up to 16 years); $30 per family (2 adults & 2 children). Bookings essential Gibbous Moon [Geoff Wyatt, Sydney Observatory]
Let’s make and mix, build and test, investigate and experiment with super-cool science! Every month we’ll explore a new theme with a mini science-show and lots of making and experimenting for everyone to get involved, with all the tools, equipment and ingredients provided. Cost: $20 per child. Bookings essential
WILD ABOUT WARATAHS FESTIVAL
Celebrate the waratah at our popular annual Wild About Waratahs Festival. This year’s festival includes the state-wide waratah bloom competition, children’s science workshops and theatre performance, local waratah farm open day, photographic exhibition, guided tours, spectacular wildflower arrangements and plant sales. Sponsored by Proteaflora. Free entry. Image: Telopea Speciosissima [Greg Bourke]
WARATAH SCIENCE + ART
Saturday 23 & Sunday 24 September – 11.30am – 12.30pm & 1.30pm – 2.30pm at Waratah Education Centre: Kids will discover the secrets of Waratahs on a Garden walk – learning how these beautiful plants fit into the Blue Mountains environment and their special relationship with birds and fire. Back in the Learning Centre, we’ll examine the flowers by dissecting them and viewing under a microscope. We’ll see preserved waratah specimens and botanical illustrations used by Botanists to study these amazing plants, and make our own waratah artworks to take home. Cost: $12 per child. Bookings essential
THE KING AND QUEEN OF GREEN: THE REALM OF RUBBISH
The King and Queen of Green love the planet earth and in particular things that are green! Princes and Princesses of all ages will enjoy this interactive show that explores the topic of landfill and the simple things we can all do at home to reduce the amount of waste going to the tip. Cost: $8 all tickets. Bookings essential
Wednesdays 27 September & 4 October – 1pm-3pm – Waratah Education Centre
We’re going on a BIG adventure these holidays! Let’s stomp around the Garden to discover megafauna and dinosaurs, and the plants they enjoyed eating. We’ll plant a small dinosaur garden to take home, and make our own delicious ancient plant snack: chocolate-crackle Wollemi Pine bark. Yum! Cost: $20 per child. Bookings essential
GARDEN AFTER DARK – SPOTLIGHT TOUR
Visit the Garden after hours! We’ll start with a short, entertaining talk on the nocturnal animals of the Blue Mountains. Then, as darkness falls, we’ll go on a prowl of the Garden, using “bat detectors” to help find micro-bats, and red-light torches to spot other nocturnal animals. We may see insects and spiders, brush-tail and ring-tail possums, gliders or nocturnal birds and other creatures.
Cost: $20 adults; $12 children (8-16 years). Bookings essential
GADARA WILDFLOWERS FARM OPEN DAY
This local plantation has around 1,000 waratah plants including the unusual white waratah and is only open to visitors for one day during the Wild About Waratahs Festival. Access to the plantation is by a relatively steep rough track so is not suitable for people with mobility issues. Cut blooms for sale. Cost: Gold coin donation. Image: White Waratah [Greg Bourke]
FLOWERING OF THE PUYA – TBC end Oct until end Nov – The Beach
One of our most popular events at the Garden in Spring is the flowering of the Puya which is uniquely blue. The Puya is a genus of the botanical family Bromeliaceae, subfamily Pitcairnioideae. These terrestrial plants are native to the Andes Mountains of South America and southern Central America. The ones you will see in our Garden are wild collected from Chile. Many of the species are monocarpic, with the parent plant dying after one flower and seed production event. We are selling them in the Visitors Centre this Oct/Nov.
SPRING BIRD WALK & TALK
Join birding guide Carol Probets on a morning walk to see some of the Garden’s beautiful birds and learn about their habits. In spring, many species are nesting and singing their most elaborate songs. Get some tips from Carol on how to use binoculars and how to spot birds. Suitable for beginners or those who have already done some birding. Cost: $30 per person. Image: Male Superb Fairy Wren [Carol Probets] Bookings essential
BOTANICA & BIRDLIFE
Wednesday 1 – Thursday 30 November – 9.30am – 4.30pm – Visitor Centre
Birds are natural companions of every landscaped, tamed or wild garden. This exhibition will feature depictions of the flora and birdlife of the Blue Mountains environment in many genres including floral artistry, woven objects and feather work. Additional sites around the Garden will contain harmonious unions with ephemeral works in natural materials or mixed media by local Blue Mountains artists. Free entry.
THE GARDEN OF EARTHLY DELIGHTS
Saturday 11 & Sunday 12 November – 10am – 4.30pm – Garden
Come join us for a weekend of artistic flamboyance and celebrate the 30th Birthday of the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden. The Gardens will become a spectacular stage for new work by visual and performing artists from the Greater Blue Mountains creative community. A program of arts to amuse, astonish and entertain will include music and dance, poetry and plays, exhibitions and environmental artworks along with delicious food and garden games.
Don your goat-skins and fig leaves, diaphanous gowns or other dress-ups, grab your flutes and lutes, sketchbooks and cameras and head to the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden. Free entry.
THE BUZZ ON NATIVE BEES
Join Megan Halcroft PhD to learn about bees and how they drive biodiversity and support food security. While most bees live solitary lives and don’t store honey, they are the world’s most efficient flower pollinators. They are beautiful, diverse and fascinating to watch with about 200 species of native bees calling Sydney and the surrounding regions home. Learn how to encourage many bee species into the garden by conserving or providing nesting habitat. $25 per person.
Image: Reed bee Exoneura species [Robert Luttrell] Bookings essential