Get ready to turn up the heat.
The spice enthusiasts of Australia are gearing up for a sizzling weekend as the 12th annual Herb and Chilli Festival, presented by Milk Bottle Projects, is set to ignite taste buds on March 16 and 17, 2024.
Hosted among the picturesque grounds of Wandin in the Yarra Valley, the fiery celebration is set to be a mouth-tingling experience, complete with an array of sweat-inducing products, live music, and entertainment.
Founded in 2012 by Clive and Di Larkman, owners of Romantic Nursery, the Herb and Chilli Festival has become a dynamic platform for both indulgence and education. The festival showcases the best of Australia's herb and chilli products — a testament to the couple's dedication to sharing their passion for exotic flavours.
Clive Larkman, the festival's founder, says of the event: “Our event is about bringing people together who have a love for flavour and spice. It introduces people to the world of herbs and chillies; not just in their food but also in drinks, general health and the many cultures for which they are basic parts of life.”
This year's festival boasts new additions, including chilli-infused ice creams by Bill Choi from Mrs C Chilli Oil. With nearly 100 vendors participating, the festival is a wonderland for exploring new tastes and flavours.
Hot Sauce Alley, a perennial favourite, returns with an expanded lineup of 11 vendors, each unveiling at least one new hot sauce product in 2024. From established favourites to innovative newcomers, stalls will showcase an array of sauces, rubs, herb mixes, and even Renaissance Herbs, including various chilli plants.
The festival caters not only to spice lovers but also to those interested in clothing, accessories, and more. It’s also set to feature immersive entertainment and live music, including the Harmaniax, a 6-piece band making its debut in the 2024 lineup.
A new honey show, featuring offerings from four honey vendors, adds a sweet twist to the program. Attendees can participate in chilli cook-offs, observe cooking demonstrations from local chefs, and test their spice tolerance in various competitions.
The festival, designed for all ages, ensures the younger audience is equally entertained with free activities like horse riding, jumping castles, and face painting. Celebrating multicultural cuisine, the weekend invites festival-goers to taste a diverse range of food and drink, representing 20 distinct cultures from around the world.
Tickets for the Herb and Chilli Festival can be purchased online through Trybooking, with various pass options available, including day or weekend passes, individual tickets, and family packages.
For added convenience, attendees can opt for the Chilli Express Bus, an exclusive collection and drop-off service from Lilydale station.
For more information and to purchase tickets, check out the Herb and Chilli Festival website.