The Sydney Cherry Blossom Festival is a once a year occasion, that is organized around the blooming of cherry blossoms that happens annually, for a span of two weeks. The theme of the Cherry Blossom festival is tied to celebrating Japanese modern and traditional culture. The festival presents various aspects of Japanese culture, in the form of flora, music, food, movies and performance. For year 2017, the Cherry Blossom festival started on 18th of August and will conclude on 27th August.
Getting There, Entrance and Tickets to Sydney Cherry Blossom Festival.
The Cherry blossom festival takes place at the Auburn Botanical Gardens. Even though it tempts you to drive, we suggest you to take public transportation as you will have trouble with finding parking space. There is a massive crowd at the festival and from what we know, the parking spaces are not enough to accommodate for all. Public transport is easy, hassle free and lets you enjoy without worries.
We took the train from Paramatta to Auburn, hoping to catch a bus to the botanical gardens. We didn’t have to, as there was a free shuttle service running to the Cherry Blossom festival. As per the sign boards, the free shuttle operates from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm. Keep in mind that the shuttle will not function from 12.00 to 12.30 pm (Possibly the lunch break). It is always a good idea to go early, to avoid the rush and the long queue.
You can buy entrance tickets at the gate itself, but again, we suggest you purchase online. The entrance is AUD 5 each. The site asks you to bring the printed copy but we didn’t. If you have the PDF that is generated after the online purchase in your phone, the QR code can be scanned at the gates. So carrying a paper copy is not necessary.
What to expect
At the entrance, you get a map with all attractions within the Cherry Blossom Festival. On the day that we visited (19th August), it was mainly the Sumo Wrestling competition and a live cooking demonstration.
People mostly come to the festival to take a few photographs with the beautiful blooms. It would be a treat for photographers and of course the ladies, to visit the garden and snap a bunch of colorful pictures. The festival is crowded (during weekends I suppose), so be ready to wait in long queues, and have a dozen of people in the background of the photographs you take.
As for food and entertainment, there is Japanese cuisines, Vietnamese Street food, Gozleme too and other varieties of food in the form of food trucks or huts. There are two separate food areas, one within the festival boundaries and the other, right outside the park.
Origami workshops, Japanese costume making workshops and live cooking demonstrations are also available, and the planning to view these has to be done according to the leaflet that is handed to you at the entrance. When you do exit to the outer food area, be sure to stamp yourself and go out, or else, you won’t be able to get back in.
It is a good weekend day out in Sydney, and a great way to experience a different culture. To make it easier to decide and plan on visiting the Sydney Cherry Blossom Festival, here are the important factors in point form.
- Photographers and those who loves to get photographed will enjoy the festival
- Be ready to walk with massive crowds of people. This includes catching the free shuttle and getting tickets
- Buy tickets online
- Opt for Public transport and the free shuttle. You won’t regret it.
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