Botanic Gardens Trust, Sydney, Australia

Tomato Festival Sydney wins national award! 

We are thrilled and honoured to announce that the Tomato Festival Sydney 2014 won the Best Achievement in Marketing, Communication or Sponsorship category at the Australian Event Awards in November.

This achievement was made possible through the extraordinary collaboration with our partners the Diggers Club, Trippas White Group, Foundation and Friends of the Botanic Gardens and Grow It Local.

Other finalist in the category were: The TEDxSydney Partnerships Team for their work on TEDxSydney 2014; Fairfax Events for their work on 'The One to Run' Series; and Imagination for their work with Telstra on Sydney New Year’s Eve 2013.

Come and celebrate the tomato with us in 2015: 14-15 February, 10 am-4 pm both days, free and ticketed events.

They’re enjoyed all over the world, in all manner of ways. From salads to sauces, pizza to pastas, the fabulous tomato has become a key ingredient in all our lives. This is your chance to celebrate the tomato.

Pietro Demaio back by popular demand to share his enduring passion for the versatile tomato, culture, food, family and friendships. If appreciating other’s cooking is more your style book in for the 4-course tomato inspired degustation menu at the Botanic Gardens Restaurant.

The 2015 Festival will move down to the Band Lawn, where you can immerse yourself in the buzz of activity and revel in the surroundings with a wide range of local and organic produce for sale, pop-up cafe and bar, themed guided walks and children’s activities including hands-on pizza making, cherry tomato and spoon race!

Put your palate to the test and be a judge for the best tomato variety, over 20 varieties to taste! Last year’s winners were Wapsipinicon Peach and Green Grape.

The Maiden Theatre and Moore Room will be non-stop with workshops and talks on a range of topics including companion planting, the important role of bees plus a honey tasting, natural fermentation and pickling, growing tips for favourite heirloom varieties, practical guide to growing other Solanaceae plants and more.

Competition Registrations are NOW OPEN!

There are THREE Competition Classes

  1. Tomato Passata Sauce Challenge - download form
  2. Tomato Relish/Chutney Challenge - download form
  3. ‘Best in Show’ Home-Grown Tomatoes - download form

We want you to join in the fun and enter your best Homemade Tomato Passata Sauce or Tomato Relish/Chutney. For those with a green thumb we would love you to enter your home-grown beauties in ‘Best in Show’!

It’s time to plant! Growing Friends have been hard at work growing a large range of heirloom seedlings from seed generously donated by the Diggers Club, AVAILABLE NOW visit the Growing Friends Nursery (access via Mrs Macquaries Rd).

Not only the glory but wonderful PRIZES for competition winners! 

Click here to view the video of the Tomato Festival Sydney 2014.

Highlights - BOTH DAYS -  Saturday 14  and Sunday 15 February

Pizza Plants @ Lion Gate Lodge - Children's activity

Let your kids take their tastebuds on a delicious adventure to find pizza ingredients growing in the Garden. Plant some yummy herbs and then use plants to make your own munchalicious mini-pizza!

When: Two sessions daily 10.30-12 midday and 1 pm -2.30 pm
Where: Tomato Festival, Royal Botanic Garden Sydney
Cost: Members' children $15, Non-members' children $16,
Information: 9231 8134

Luncheon 12.00-2.00 pm

The Botanic Gardens Restaurant is creating a special tomato themed lunch for the Festival. Head chef Todd Hunt will be bringing his considerable talents to bear designing a delicious lunch for you. Todd has worked in some of Sydney’s top kitchens including the Quay with Peter Gilmore. The luncheon will be a 4-course menu for $69 in the restaurant’s enchanting open-air dining nestled within the Garden. Bookings: email or phone (02) 9241 2419.

Preserving the Italian Way with Pietro Demaio @ Maiden Theatre - Masterclass

When: Saturday 14 February: 1.30 - 3.30 pm or Sunday 15 February: 10 am-12 midday
Cost: $55 p/p Non-members, $50 p/p Members (Diggers Club, Foundation and Friends of the Botanic Gardens). Code ESYD3 Saturday, ESYD4 Sunday
Bookings essential: book online or phone 03 5984 7900.

Sensational Tastes - Volunteer guided walks - Free

Fewer than 20 species of plants provide 90 percent of the world’s food. Many of these species are in the Solonaceae family. Take this opportunity to join a themed guided walk, stroll through the Garden with one of the extremely knowledgeable and passionate Volunteer Guides who will take you on a journey of discovery. Walks 45 minutes in duration, 11 am and 2 pm.

Talks various times over the weekend - Free

  • Keith Edwards, Diggers Club: Companion planting and Growing tips for favourite heirloom varieties.
  • Paul Nicholson, Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney: Tomatoes are not the only fruit: a practical guide to growing other Solonaceae plants.
  • Doug Purdie, the Urban Beehive: Bees and their important role in our food chain (includes a honey tasting).
  • Steve Hogwood, 1910 Lifestyle: Natural fermentation and pickling - benefits of living food (includes a tasting).

Highlights SUNDAY various

  • Best in Show Competition for your home-grown beauties. Registrations from 10 am on Sunday until 12 midday, judging 12 noon -1 pm.
  • Best in Show winners and the Tomato Taste Test winning variety announced Sunday afternoon.
  • Winners of the Tomato Sauce Challenge and Tomato Relish/Chutney Challenge also announced Sunday afternoon.   

Event awards winner



Tomato festival

Tomato festival

Tomato Best In Show


Our supporters

Botanic Gardens Restaurant


Foundation and Friends