The 29th International Horticultural Congress | Sustaining Lives, Livelihoods and Landscapes | 17-22 August 2014
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Technical Tours

One-day technical tours

Technical tours have being organised for IHC2014 participants during and after the Congress. A comprehensive range of one-day technical tours (tours 1 to 8 below) have been organised, some following relevant symposia. Refreshments, lunches and technical notes will be provided and included in the tour cost.

Bookings are essential and numbers are strictly limited.

Please note:

  • Prices for each tour to be advised when registration opens in September.
  • All prices will be in Australian dollars.
  • If there is insufficient interest in a technical tour to make it economically viable, the trip will be cancelled and refunded.
  • Registration will be via the website and space will be allocated in order of registrations received.
  • The closing date to book is 31 May 2014. Late tour bookings may be available, subject to availability.

Tour 1. Turf Industry Tour

Friday 22 August 2014

Tour Leader: Shane Holborn

A one-day tour showcasing turf-related activities in and around the Greater Brisbane area. Join a tour hosted by some of the leading turf industry researchers and consultants for an introduction to private and university turf research programs in Queensland. The tour will encompass visits to premier horse racing, purpose-built sports stadia and sporting facilities as well as one of Australia’s largest turf production farms. Finish the day on a lawn bowls green overlooking the Brisbane River where you can stay on for an optional game of ‘barefoot bowls’ or head home early.
(Photograph from Turf Queensland).

Tour 2. Landscapes – Brisbane’s Premier Parks and Gardens

Saturday 23 August 2014

Tour Leader: Lawrie Smith

Coaches will deliver delegates to the Edward / Alice Street gate of the City Botanic Gardens to provide the opportunity to walk through the most significant sections of the Gardens.

City Botanic Gardens

This Garden was established in 1828 to provide food for the early penal colony. The City Botanic Gardens were officially designated in 1855 with an active planting and experimental program to trial crops and plants as well as ornamental plant gardens, from around the world to determine their suitability for growing in the local subtropical climate. The plant collection is comprehensive and sourced from many areas of the once British Empire as well as Australian regions.

We will cross the Brisbane River to Southbank over the Goodwill Bridge which provides an excellent overview of the city buildings and parklands on each side of the city reach. Then walk through the Southbank parklands to the Cultural Centre forecourt.

Southbank Parklands

World Expo 88 was staged on the south bank of the river leaving Southbank Parklands as the major legacy of this event. Southbank opened in 1992, and provides a diverse mix of innovative horticulture, passive recreation as well as commercial, educational and entertainment facilities. One of Brisbane’s most successful parklands, more than 11 million people visit Southbank each year.

Board the coach at Southbank Cultural Centre forecourt and travel across the Grey Street Bridge to Roma Street Parkland to alight at the Restaurant on the Boulevard, and then walk through Celebration, Spectacle Garden and Subtropical Forest to re-join the coach at Boulevard west.

Roma Street Parklands

This new16ha inner city parkland was opened in 2001. It was developed on disused railway land and planned to specifically celebrate the world of the subtropics though a range of innovative horticultural displays and plant collections set within varied topography, with lakes, cascades and waterfalls integrating a number of old mature avenues and individual trees planted from the 1860’s.

The coach travels via Milton Road to the Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens alighting at the Auditorium.

Mt Coot-tha Botanical Gardens

The Mt Coot-tha Botanical Gardens are recognised as Queensland's premier subtropical botanic gardens, the 52 hectare gardens were established in 1976 on the foothills of Mt Coot-tha. This Garden boasts the nation’s most comprehensive collection of Australian rainforest vegetation as well as a diverse collection from other world regions with a similar climate to Brisbane. The collection is arranged in themes and geographical displays.

The coach departs Mt Coot-tha and returns delegates to their hotels.

Tour 3. Production Nursery Tour

Saturday 23 August 2014

Tour Leaders: Cynthia Carson, John McDonald

The mild climate of the Brisbane area supports the growth of a diverse range of both sub-tropical and tropical ornamental plants. Queensland has a thriving ornamental plant industry based on relatively low environmental inputs by world standards. This tour of production nurseries in Brisbane’s Bayside will focus on: how enterprises stay competitive where labour costs are high, production efficiency and industry best management practice, environmental stewardship, crop protection and the challenges of servicing a predominantly national domestic market and distant export clients. Expect to see a mix of Australian indigenous plants and introduced species produced under different cropping systems. Although not far from Brisbane, the Bayside area offers picturesque vistas out to adjacent bay islands and passes through areas of natural vegetation. The program provides for a pleasant lunch, and will allow time to network with colleagues.

Tour 4. Urban Horticulture Tour

Saturday 23 August 2014

Tour Leaders: Paul de la Motte, Theresa Scott, Bob James

This tour will include a visit to the popular Northey Street City Farm, which undertakes permaculture in the heart of Brisbane and has particular interests in sustainable development. In addition, we will have the opportunity to visit the small, dynamic James Street community garden, where plot rentals are available and which is run by a group of active volunteers. A State School Kitchen Garden will also be on our itinerary. This is where primary school children learn to propagate, grow, harvest and cook locally grown vegetables. If time permits, we will also visit a residential aged care garden where horticultural therapy is incorporated as an intervention, and the University of the Third Age, a world-wide self-help organisation, that provides leisure and educational courses to local seniors.

Tour 5. A Taste of Sunshine and Subtropical Fruits Tour

Saturday 23 August 2014

Tour Leaders: Noel Vock, Peter Rigden, Grant Bignell

Within an hour’s drive from Brisbane, Queensland’s Sunshine Coast region is one of Australia’s leading producers of subtropical tree fruits including avocado, macadamia, custard apple, lychee, persimmon and low chill stonefruit. The tour will feature visits to two farms, a scenic drive along the Blackall Range and a tour of Australia’s premier subtropical tree fruit research and extension centre – the Maroochy Research Facility at Nambour. Tour participants will have the opportunity to taste a range of subtropical tree fruits in season, as well as strawberries and pineapples for which the region is also famous.

Tour 6. Macadamias and Blueberries Tour

Saturday 23 August 2014

Tour Leader: Justine Cox, Mark Hickey

The picturesque Northern Rivers area of New South Wales (2 hours south of Brisbane, near Byron Bay) supports the majority of the Australian macadamia industry. Macadamia is Australia’s only commercially grown native nut crop and the productive Australian macadamia industry is expanding steadily. Delegates will be shown macadamia research undertaken at the Centre for Tropical Horticulture at Alstonville including entomology (IPM), physiology (canopy management) and soil/orchard floor management undertaken by NSW DPI scientists. The tour will also include viewing innovative ground harvest and nut processing methods on site.

The lunch stop at House With No Steps ( highlights a very effective horticultural processing/orchard/tourism/conference and catering facility which employs disabled members from the local community. State-of-the-art colour sorting of nuts can be seen here, plus an opportunity to shop for Australian produce and gifts. Delegates will also visit a commercial sub tropical blueberry orchard ( where a biochar and compost experiment was established in October 2011. Due to the distance covered, this tour will begin earlier and return later than the others and include morning and afternoon tea.

Tour 7. Vegetable Production Tour - Gatton/Fassifern Valleys

Saturday 23 August 2014

Tour Leader: David Carey

The Lockyer and Fassifern Valleys are areas of rich farmland that are situated 30-60 minutes west of Brisbane, and east of Toowoomba. The Lockyer Valley is rated among the top ten most fertile farming areas in the world. The intensively cultivated area grows the most diverse range of commercial fruit and vegetables of any area in Australia and is often referred to as "South East Queensland's Salad Bowl”.

The Lockyer and Fassifern Valleys are major production areas for a range of Queensland vegetable crops. These include lettuce, potatoes, brassicas (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and chinese cabbage), onions, carrots, sweet corn, tomatoes, capsicums, green beans and celery. Rich fertile alluvial clay loams are the dominant soil type in these valleys, eminently suitable for irrigated vegetable crop production. The major source of irrigation water is groundwater from alluvial aquifers. Vegetables are produced year round in both the Lockyer and Fassifern Valleys, with milder winter minimum temperatures allowing high-quality, cold-tolerant crops to be produced. Vegetable production is in full swing throughout Autumn, Winter and Spring, with Lettuce, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Potato, Carrots and Green Beans the principal crops. Warmer summer temperatures see Melons (water and rock), Pumpkins and Sweet Corn dominate plantings.

The Lockyer and Fassifern Valley production areas are close to Brisbane, the state capital city. Brisbane is home to the Rocklea Markets, the central distribution hub for fruit and vegetables in Queensland. From there, market agents co-ordinate local, interstate and export sales. In addition, a number of fresh fruit and vegetable processors and packers are located both in Brisbane and within the production area. These operations use local ingredients for a range of value added products, such as bagged salads and baby leaf products, as well as peeled and specialty branded packaged products.

The highly fertile, intensively farmed valleys are nestled in the folds of the surrounding Great Dividing Range, which provides a picturesque backdrop to the vibrant and bustling farming operations.

Tour 8. Organic Tour

Saturday 23 August 2014

Tour Leader: Linda Brennan

The tour begins with an on-bus talk from Food Connect representative about community supported agriculture and local organic food production systems for our city. We visit the Rochedale community garden and enjoy morning tea featuring organic ingredients with members of this amazing garden being encroached upon by urban development.

On the way to an organic farm at Redlands, another on-bus talk will feature organics and the certification process in Queensland, including development, challenges and the latest industry information. During the farm inspection, farmer Franco and son Joshua will discuss their family run business that grows a range of snappingly fresh organic vegetables for the local markets and the community-supported agriculture organization, Food Connect. Franco’s farm is enveloped by urban development. How do they manage the tension between suburbia and organic farming?

Linda will host a visit to Ecobotanica in Capalaba, giving an introduction to her garden on the bus. Ecobotanica is a small permaculture acreage on the urban fringe, currently undergoing the certification process. Linda is an eco-educator, consultant and organic specialist. Her organic property features an eco-home, renovated in 2013 using eco-principles of recycling, waste minimisation, and use of natural materials with low to no VOCs and no environmentally damaging materials. The garden also produces edible flowers and unusual organic produce for discerning restaurateurs who forage in the garden. Your organic lunch will be loving prepared from home grown and organic ingredients and showcases local and regional produce.

After lunch, we travel to Ian Burow’s organic biodynamic farm at Mt Cotton, with a talk on nutrition during the journey. Ian is a passionate organic farmer who also practices Biodynamics and Radionics. We’ll take a farm walk over the gorgeous property with wide open views. Ian is looking forward to sharing some of his outstanding successes using natural fertilisers- predominantly worm liquid and on-farm composted manures. He is also excited about his new setup, a world first, that supports his flourishing farm. His specialty products are Lychees, avocadoes, pawpaw, mango and sprouts.

Expression of Interest