The three-day Queensland Garden Expo, the Sunshine Coast’s largest annual event, took place at Nambour Showgrounds recently, attracting a crowd of gardening enthusiasts and plant lovers from near and far, with tens of thousands of plants swapping hands for new homes, both local and interstate.
Event Manager, Marion Beazley said the Expo continues to be a massive drawcard for tourism on the Sunshine Coast, with approximately 65% of visitors travelling from outside the region.
“The economic impact of this event is estimated to be more than $10 million, and the queues at the gates on the first day of the event were testament to how popular the Expo is,” Ms Beazley said.
“The sunny days saw excellent attendance numbers, as visitors young and old connected over a shared passion for plants, chatted with experts and exhibitors, and gained valuable gardening knowledge.”
Visitors saw the return of crowd favourites on the eight speaker stages which included Costa Georgiadis, Claire Bickle, Sophie Thomson, Millie Ross, and Phil Dudman.
ABC’s Gardening Australia presenter Jerry Coleby-Williams spoke on home food growers, foliage plants, and touring the Galapagos and the Amazon Rainforest.
“There’s not much that beats connecting with fellow gardening enthusiasts, discussing new ideas, and contributing to the gardening community,” said Mr Coleby-Williams.
“This year was my 19th year at the Expo, and what we as speakers enjoy is the opportunity to connect with Queensland’s largest audience of gardening lovers, answering all kinds of gardening-related questions, and inspiring future generations with our love of gardening. The enthusiasm at the event is just incredible.
“There are so many amazing connections made at this event that lift my spirits from one year to the next – everyone who is anyone is here; it really is the gardeners’ Christmas!”
International award winner and accredited floral art judge Mark Pampling said visitors were wowed by the Australian Floral Art Association’s National Convention ‘Nature’s Expressions’ competition, hosted for the first time at this year’s Expo.
“This year’s competition offered Expo visitors a showcase of extraordinary and innovative designs that you would be unlikely to see with everyday floral arrangements,” said Mr Pampling.
“We are thrilled to announce that Ngaire Gamack has emerged as the winner of the 2023 Australian Floral Art Association’s National Convention ‘Nature’s Expressions’ competition, taking home the $300 prize.”
This year’s event also saw the Expo announce a new partnership with Queensland Country Bank.
“Events like the Queensland Garden Expo would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors,” Ms Beazley said.
“We are delighted to partner with an organisation with aligned values, and that shares our passion for regional events and the impact they have on local economies and building local communities.”
Queensland Garden Expo is an annual event held in July, promising a great experience for gardening enthusiasts. To find out more about this event and to plan for next year, visit www.qldgardenexpo.com.au