Botanic Gardens Trust, Sydney, Australia


Join us for the Tomato Festival Sydney

14-15 February 2015, 10 am-4 pm

Come and celebrate the tomato with us! Wander around the event village on the beautiful Band Lawn, try free tastings, join a guided walk (free), take part in talks and activities (some free, some ticketed) and so much more!

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.


Click here to see the Tomato Festival program.

Tomato making and growing competitions

HURRY ENTER NOW - closing soon!

 There are THREE Competition Classes:

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

Judges for the Relish/Chutney Challenge and Passata Sauce Challenge included the discerning palates of Ashley Hughes, Group Executive Chef Trippas White Group, Mark Proudfoot, Head Chef, Centennial Parklands Dining and chef Simon Lawson from Agape Organic Restaurant and Bar

Judges for the ‘Best in Show’ home-grown tomatoes include ABC Gardening host Costa Georgiadis, and gardening expert and radio presenter Judy Horton.

Prizes include:

  • Three x 1-year household memberships to the Foundation and Friends of the Botanic Gardens
  • Two x 2-year memberships to the Diggers Club
  • Two x $100 vouchers for the Botanic Gardens Restaurant
  • Three x packs of four complimentary swims at the Andrew (Boy) Charlton Pool
  • Copies of the book The Australian Fruit And Vegetable Garden by Clive Blazey and Jane Varkulevicius

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

Tomato Festival Village (free entry)

Immerse yourself in the buzz of activity and revel in the surroundings: 

  • Local and heirloom produce for sale
  • Relish, pop-up cafe and bar
  • Tomato Taste Test - you be the judge (10 different varieties to test, 11.30 am daily)
  • Sensational Tastes guided walk (free, 11 am and 2 pm daily)
  • Plants and botanically inspired gifts for sale
  • Children’s cherry tomato and spoon race, plus other games - gold coin donation

Local producers include:

Sorbello Family Fresh Produce who specialise in heirloom tomatoes plus heirloom cucumbers and also have a great range of herbs.

Highland Gourmet Potatoes who grow in the fertile potato District of Robertson NSW around 40 different varieties of potatoes! Norman will also be giving a fabulous talk on potatoes (

Australia on a Plate will be showcasing cheeses from Shaw River Buffalo Chees who craft milk from their own herd of water buffalos into delicious cheeses, such as the multi award winning Annie Baxter a pecorino/romano style cheese and mozzarella the perfect accompaniment to tomatoes ( along with Yarra Valley Dairy who make a range of delicious fresh artisan cheeses from both cows and goats milk such as fresh goat cheese dusted in ash and Persian fetta (

Pukara Estate from the Upper Hunter Valley produce a wonderful range of distinctive regional olive oils, vinegars and condiments  (

Masterclasses, Talks and Luncheon

Click here to see the full program.

Free Talks in the Moore Room

  • Growing in containers: From creativity to compost: Making use of space around you, Costa Georgiadis: Sunday 12 noon
  • Natural fermentation and pickling - the benefits of living food, Steve Hogwood, 1910 Lifestyle: Saturday 10.45 am and 3 pm
  • Potatoes don’t grow on trees, Norman Gair Highland Gourmet Potatoes: Saturday 2.15 pm
  • Tomatoes are not the only fruit: a practical guide to growing other Solanaceae plants, Paul Nicholson, Royal Botanic Garden: Sunday 2.15 pm
  • Growing tips for our favourite heirloom varieties, Ian Magnus, the Diggers Club: Both days 10 am
  • Companion planting, Ian Magnus, the Diggers, Club: Both days 1.30 pm
  • Bees and their important role in our food chain, Doug Purdie, The Urban Beehive. Doug manages the beehives at the Royal Botanic Garden. The Urban Beehive and Bloomberg are proud supporters of honey bee conservation: Saturday 12.15 pm and Sunday 10.45 am

Masterclasses in Maiden Theatre

Preserving the Italian Way with Pietro Demaio

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).
Bookings essential: book online or phone 03 5984 7900. Code ESYD3 Saturday, ESYD4 Sunday

The History of Heirloom Tomatoes and Why I Fell in Love with Them! - Talk by Clive Blazey

A wonderful opportunity to meet Clive Blazey, founder and Chairman of the Diggers Club, and enjoy his fascinating talk and slide show. There will be an opportunity for Q&A with Clive after his presentation as well.

When: Saturday 14 February: 11.00-11.45 am or Sunday 15 February: 2.00-2.45 pm
Cost: $25 p/p Non-members, $20 p/p Members (Diggers Club, Foundation and Friends of the Botanic Gardens). Foundation and Friends of the Botanic Gardens, please call us on 03 5984 7900 for your discounted ticket price of $20.
Bookings essential: book online or phone 03 5984 7900. Code: ESYD5 Saturday, Code: ESYD6 Sunday.


The Botanic Gardens Restaurant has created 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.

When: Saturday 14 February or Sunday 15 February: 12 midday - 2 pm
Cost: $69 p/p
Bookings essential: email or phone (02) 9241 2419. 

Pizza Plants - Children's Activity at Lion Gate Lodge

Pizza Plants, hands-on pizza making at Lion Gate Lodge. 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! Suitable for children aged 6-12 years old.

Pizza_Plants_flyer  Download flyer

When: 10.30 am-12 midday and 1 pm -2.30 pm
Where: Lion Gate Lodge, Royal Botanic Garden Sydney
Cost: Members' child $16.50, Non-members' child $18 (materials provided)
Information: 9231 8134
Bookings essential: Book online Saturday 14, 10.30 am OR Saturday 14, 1 pm OR Sunday 15, 10.30 am OR Sunday 15, 1 pm or phone 9231 8134

Please note: program may be subject to change

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 finalists 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.

Event awards winner



Tomato festival

Tomato festival

Tomato Best In Show





tomato festival





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Botanic Gardens Restaurant


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