Ever seen a lotus with 88 petals? Witness this blooming miracle and more at Yarra Valley

By Our Reporter

Visit Australia’s largest display of lotus flowers and giant waterlilies this summer in Melbourne as the Cochranes open their 14-acre garden to the public

From giants of the Amazon to ancient Japanese flowers, discover a colourful new world of lotus and waterlilies in Melbourne’s Yarra Valley at Blue Lotus Water Garden, on display till 22 April.

Each year Geoff and Yvonne Cochrane open their 14-acre garden to the public to share in the beauty of these exotic flowers and the serenity of their surroundings.

The tropical style gardens feature dozens of man-made lakes, ponds, lagoons and even a waterfall, each filled with hundreds of varieties of flowering lotus, waterlilies and a plethora of stunning plants.

A special feature of the Garden is ‘Monet’s Lake’ which is the largest lake on the property holding 11 million litres of water. The lake contains over 70 varieties of waterlily flowers including a prized collection of Claude Monet’s original waterlilies from his garden in Giverny, France.

Their Lotus Lake is so beautiful you will never want to leave! The lake produces the largest display of lotus flowers in the Garden with over 10,000 blooms on display including Carolina Queen Lotus and Cream Lutea. Visitors can wander the sandy pathway shaded by banana and coccus palms and enjoy the wonderful vistas of salvias, impatiens, succulents and canna lilies.

A special feature of this walk is the Golden Lotus exhibit. This spectacular double yellow flower was discovered by Geoff after sourcing ancient seed from China. It has more petals than any other lotus in the garden—88 in fact. The Golden Lotus grows in its own pond on the eastern side of Lotus Lake and is at its peak in February-March.

Giants of the Amazon are on display in the Tropical World Complex, housing the largest species of waterlily known to man including the Victoria Longwood (hybrid) Waterlily. These amazing waterlilies are distinguished by their massive leaves, known as lily pads, which can reach over 2 metres in diameter with flowers bigger than a dinner plate.

Lotus flowers have been around for thousands of years, possibly even before dinosaurs. In the Garden’s Japanese pond, visitors will see one of the oldest varieties of lotus flowers known to exist, believed to be over 2,000 years old. This ancient flower was discovered by Dr Ichiro Oga during an archaeological dig in 1951 at the Hanamigawa River, Chiba, Japan. Dr Oga successfully germinated 1 of three seeds found and named it the Oga Lotus. Blue Lotus Water Garden is fortunate to have received seed progeny of this stunning lotus and it is now on display in the Japanese styled pond.

The kids will love…

You can also take kids on an adventure to meet the mystical Red Dragon. The journey will take you into the Belly of Dragons as it snakes its way through magical fields of white lotus flowers, cascading ponds and tropical gardens. At the end of the trail you will find our Red Dragon, who protects fantasy falls and all the garden’s waterways during the summer. The falls themselves gently cascade into a beautifully landscaped pond surrounded by palms, bamboo and ferns. It’s believed that if you throw a coin into the pond, the Red Dragon will bring you good luck for the rest of the year.

Children are not forgotten at this stunning oasis with a Flower Fairy Garden located on the shores of Silver Lotus Lagoon complete with fantasy cubby houses, a rainbow slide, wishing well and weekend appearances from the Flower Fairy Queen. There is also garden adventure spotto. And the best bit, kid’s entry is free!

Perfectly located for a day trip, the Gardens have numerous picnic areas, shelters, BBQ facilities, café and ice-cream shop. Also on site is Australia’s best lotus and waterlily nursery, a fabulous gift shop and Rod’s Garden Shop.

The garden is open 7 days a week till 22 April, from 10am-5pm
Address: 2628 Warburton Hwy, Yarra Junction 03 5967 2061 www.bluelotus.com.au
Tickets: Adult $18, Students and Seniors $16. Children free (Under 16 when accompanied by an adult)


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