Thousands of people flocked to the Ballarat Botanical Gardens for the first day of the annual Begonia Festival.
It was a sunny 26 degrees and families from all over Victoria came out in droves to enjoy the abundance of free children’s activities, live music, flower shows and art displays.
The ever-growing begonia display has intrigued people of all ages for decades.
This year, the spectacular display inside the glasshouse is made up of more than 600 flowers along with advanced trees and ferns, while floating lanterns will be suspended from the conservatory ceiling.
The festival will also feature a photo from every decade of the garden’s 160-year history.
The nursery collection has grown to more than 2500 plants and requires some form of attention for nearly 10 months of the year.
It was medical students Courtney Robertson and Peter Malek’s first time at the festival and they weren’t disappointed.
“So far so good, it’s been amazing,” Mr Malek said.
“We’ve got really good weather and lots of people are out and about.”
The duo took a break from the buzz of the festival and opted for a cold drink at the Mitchell Harris Wine Bar.
Young Ballarat couple Damian and Lauren Larkin brought their son Harry,1, along to the festivities.
Mr Larkin said it was the family’s second time at the festival.
“It’s always a really relaxing day out so that’s what brought us back here again this year,” Mr Larkin said.
“Harry loved the children’s activities and we just love having a wander around and looking inside the glasshouse which seems to be getting bigger and better each year.”
The festival will continue on Monday, with the begonia parade expected to be standout part of the event.