Everything you need to know about the Ballarat Begonia Festival 2024

The 72nd annual Ballarat Begonia Festival is just around the corner and it is time to get up to speed with how to make the most out of Ballarat’s biggest celebration.

The 2024 festival, held across the upcoming Labour Day long weekend (9-11 March), promises to offer three days of fun with something on offer to suit everyone.

Featuring live music, show-stopping performances, delicious food and drinks, markets, celebrity guests, family activities, workshops and of course, the stunning Begonias and garden displays, the Begonia Festival promises three days of fun for all.

And the best part of all? It is free to attend.

Whether you are a first-timer to Begonia or a seasoned campaigner, we are here to help you make the most of the weekend.

Check out everything you need to know below.

Getting there

Planning your trip to the Begonia Festival?

This year’s event has a large range of transport options to get you and the family to the Ballarat Botanical Gardens for the three-day festival.

Free shuttle buses to and from Ballarat Train Station, free carparks, a close walk to Wendouree train station or maybe even a vintage tram ride once you’re there, there are plenty of ways to get to this year’s festival.

To learn more about how to get to the festival, plus all the information about road closures and shuttle bus times, visit the transport page on the Ballarat Begonia Festival website.


The main stage will feature Closed Caption (CC) for all stage presentations and cooking demonstrations. Reserved front row seating and wheelchair allocation will also be provided.

To access some of the lawns with higher kerbs, ramps have been installed for easier access. There will be up to 15 ramps placed around the Ballarat Botanical Gardens to allow access onto the existing raised beds. The locations of ramps are noted on the festival map which can be obtained at the festival gates or on the event website.

Accessible entry in and out of the Ballarat Botanical Gardens is available at all gates.

Accessible Parking will be located in the North Gardens, with the entry point off Wendouree Parade into Zoo Drive.

During the Festival, Parent Place will host a pop-up marquee offering: a breast-feeding location, bottle heating facilities, access to change facilities and a sensory place.

To learn more, visit the accessibility page on the Begonia Festival website.

The Begonias

What would a Begonia Festival be without the star of the show?

With more than 500 Begonias to be displayed this year, get ready to be dazzled by the array of colours in the Robert Clark Conservatory.

Although the Begonias are the focal point, the 166-year-old gardens are always in spectacular condition.

This year will see the debut of a never-before-seen begonia flower, with the new colour remaining a closely guarded secret until the festival.

The brand-new begonia cultivar, which was bred by the Gardens and Nursery team at the Ballarat Botanical Gardens, is named after the Gardens’ inaugural curator George Longley.

To learn more about the new Begonia, follow this link.


Visitors to the 2023 Begonia Festival will no doubt remember being blown away by aerial showstoppers SWAY. The good news is, they are coming back and will launch the world premiere of their new show ‘These Things’.

The entertainment certainly doesn’t stop there, however, with boundless options on offer.

The Begonia Maze, Integra Tiny Town, Sports Zone and Marvellous Minibeasts are just some of the family-friendly highlights.

When it comes to the Main Stage, the line-up of horticultural presentations and cooking demonstrations by television personalities Paul West, Hannah Moloney and Courtney Roulston and resident begonia expert Jerry Coleby-Williams will be sure to entertain and inform.

There will also be an array of live music on offer, with at least seven different acts to take to the stage over the three days.

To learn more about what is on offer to keep you enthralled, visit the entertainment section on the Ballarat Begonia Festival website.

Food and drink

Get ready to eat and drink your way through the Ballarat Begonia Festival.

Food Trucks will be located in two large food court areas within the festival site, open 10am – 5pm daily.

There will be at least 25 different food and drink vendors to ensure you don’t go hungry.

The Begonia Bar will be in a new location this year, close to the South Food Lawn and new music stage. Run by The Western Hotel and Kilderkin Distillery, the bar will have local beverages for everyone to enjoy.

The PowerFM Begonia Festival Parade

The traditional Power FM Begonia Parade will return once again, beginning at 11am on Monday 11 March.

The parade will start at the South Gardens and travel along Wendouree Parade, concluding at the North Gardens.

The parade is expected to attract 10,000 spectators as they line both sides of the road to catch a glimpse.

This year’s parade features almost 40 community groups, schools and businesses, promising a vibrant and celebratory procession along Wendouree Parade.

For a full list of entrants, see the Begonia Festival Parade website.

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