IN his continuing search for the more weird, wacky and wondrous in the world of travel, David Ellis says gardens across the NSW Southern Highlands will erupt into a blaze of hot pink this Spring as part of the 55th annual Tulip Time Festival in support of the Garvan Research Foundation's "Love Your Sister" Breast Cancer Campaign.
Biggest displays will be at the Corbett Gardens in Bowral where the first 75,000 of more than 100,000 tulip bulbs and 16,500 flowering annuals have just been planted, while throughout the Highlands many private gardens – some of which are spectacularly large acreages that date back 100 years or more – are also being Spring-planted for opening at the same time to the public.
The Festival will run from September 15 to 27, and as one of Australia's oldest floral events draws over 35,000 visitors to the Southern Highlands – roughly 1.5hrs from Sydney and Canberra and just over an hour from the coast.
An extensive support program will include a Street Parade, afternoon Music in the Gardens as well as an afternoon Sounds of Spring concert, a sunset screening amid the tulips of sing-along movie "Happy Feet," a huge 2-day Street Market… even a Dogs Day Out with James and Anthony from Foxtel's Village Vets Australia.
With Corbett Gardens alone having over 100,000 tulips in bloom, it's certainly a long way from when the first Festival was held 55 years ago – Corbett Gardens then sporting all of 500 tulips.
For full details go onto www.tuliptime.net.au
 BLOOMIN' gorgeous, a small part of Bowral's Corbett Gardens during last year's Tulip Time Festival that attracts 35,000 visitors to the NSW Southern Highlands town. (Image Madylene Mendiola - WeekendNotes.com)