DEVELOPMENT OF VAN DIEMEN QUALITY BULBS:
property has been in the family for 3 generations and has in the past been dominantly
involved in vegetable production and stud Dorset sheep. In this latter pursuit
the property has achieved a considerable reputation over the past 40 years.
Bulb production represents a re-orientation of the specialist
production side of our business from stud sheep, in recognition of the productive
potential of the unique soils and temperate climate of N.W. Tasmania.
business was begun in 1984 with the express purpose of becoming a top quality
tulip bulb producer for the Australian and possibly export markets. It started
with 1000 tulip bulbs imported under the (then) current 1000 bulb quarantine limit.
3 years of trials the business imported 20,000 tulips in 1987 and 7 tonnes of
nerine bulbs (an autumn flowering bulb). This container was the first container-full
of bulbs to enter Australia. Concurrently with commercialisation of the bulb
venture, Paul and Bronwen spent 6 weeks intensively studying the Dutch bulb industry.
Since then, the business has continued to expand through
production and import and this year has a total of approximately 27 ha of bulbs - 15 ha tulips, 5 ha dutch iris, .25 ha of miniature daffodils
and 7 ha of lilies.
total farming operation creates 9 full time jobs and as well as a large amount
of seasonal work. The tulip bulb harvest alone will employ approximately 30
people for one month. The annual full time equivalent workforce is approximately
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due to public demand, the farm is becoming a major tourist attraction in the tulip
season which runs from the end of September to mid October. The beauty of the
blooms, the broad bands of colour traversing the fields and the scenic location
makes the farm a photographer's delight in spring.
Visitors to the farm have the opportunity to wander
among hectares of tulips amid the spectacular N.W. Tasmanian scenery.
local community organised the inaugural Wynyard
Tulip Festival in 1991 which attracted several thousand people to the area
during the second weekend of October. This event is now a major attraction on
the Tasmanian tourist calendar. The farm tourism performs an important role as
both an icon of the area and an example of rural tourism.
2006 the business opened it's Farm Interpretation & Visitor Centre along side
a farm gate shop. This is open every week day and on weekends when visitor numbers
make it viable.
The farm is only 5 minutes drive from the Burnie/Wynyard
airport which has a number of daily one hour flights to and from Melbourne, by
car it it one hour from Devonport (airport, Spirit of Tasmania), two hours from
Launceston and four hours from Hobart.
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