Seven thousand people flocked to Wollongong Botanic Garden on Saturday for the inaugural Our Backyard Festival.
Scarecrow making, treasure hunts, train rides and a petting zoo kept the children entertained while the adults got to purchase produce and plants and pick up plenty of backyard tips.
Wollongong Botanic Garden curator Paul Tracey said organisers were thrilled with the turnout and the response to the day.
‘‘There were more people through the gate than we expected for the first year, and while it was a bit windy the sun’s been out and everyone’s been having a good time,’’ he said.
A variety of experts presented sustainable workshops including composting, caring for chooks, vegie gardening and harnessing solar energy.
Nigel Ruck, of Backyard Blitz fame, was on site to offer spring gardening tips.
Garden tours, live entertainment and a creative zone also kept visitors busy, including East Corrimal mother Sarah Crutchley and daughters Taylor, 5, and Piper, 3.
‘‘There’s plenty of fun, family activities to take part in out in the fresh air, and it’s free,’’ Mrs Crutchley said.
‘‘My kids are having a fantastic time, and they’re learning more about how to care for the environment too."