Botanical Bazaar Connecting the Community

By David Baguley

The Botanical Bazaar is a unique grass roots community event that educates and inspires nature enthusiasts of all ages. Staged by the Rotary Club of Gold Coast, it has become the Gold Coast’s premier gardening and sustainability living festival.

Not only is the Botanical Bazaar the club’s major fundraiser, it is also a high-profile event that enhances Rotary’s public image by promoting environmental sustainability, providing exposure for local suppliers and community groups, and creating a unique and relaxing environment among the community gardens with live music, delicious food and drinks, and plenty of activities for the kids. Several volunteers have subsequently joined Rotary.

Attendees interact with a huge variety of knowledgeable green exhibitors, attend workshops, and listen to educational talks by celebrity gardeners and horticulture experts. Everyone comes away with hints and tips about growing your own food, urban and small space gardening, sustainable living concepts, health, and medicinal herbs. It is a plastic-free event encouraging best practice waste management. In 2019, less than seven per cent of waste generated at the event ended up in landfill.

Covid restrictions have impacted heavily on the event. In 2020, the event was postponed once then finally abandoned when Queensland shut its borders. In 2021, the stage was set, the grounds looked beautiful, all the exhibitors were set up and ready to trade … then, an hour before the gates were to open to the public, a snap COVID lockdown of Southeast Queensland was announced, forcing the event to be abandoned. It was heart-breaking for all concerned – for the organisers, for the more than 100 exhibitors and food vendors who missed out on over $350,000 in turnover, and for the thousands of ticket holders.

This year is another story, and an enthusiastic committee is writing the script for a festival of good times and feel-good vibes: A community-driven event full of exciting educational speakers, demonstrations, eco shopping, plants, flowers, live music from the award-winning band The Vegetable Plot and some laid-back earthy folk music from Kate Leopold, along with a sprinkling of buskers and roving entertainment. There will be plenty of entertainment for the kids, Flower Queendom by the insanely talented Flowers by Julia Rose, garden walks and so much more.

The butterfly is the theme of this year’s festival, symbolising spiritual rebirth, transformation, change, hope and life. More than 40 local artists have accepted the challenge to create works of art from a butterfly template to display throughout Country Paradise Parklands during the Bazaar.

The 2022 Botanical Bazaar will be held August 6-7 at Country Paradise Parklands, Nerang. For tickets see