11 Days Inside NSW Gardens Tour

From $4795
One departure only

This Inside NSW tour includes all of NSW’s spring flower festivals; Tulip Time Southern Highlands, Floriade in Canberra, Cowra Cherry Blossom and Leura Garden Festival.
It will be a celebration of spring and we’ll do it in style with time to enjoy the fine food and wines of each region.

Air-conditioned motorcoach throughout tour
4 star accommodation for 10 nights with breakfast daily
6 lunches and 3 dinners
Entrance fees to all gardens and sightseeing
Fully escorted by Kirsty Noble

Departure Dates

September 2020

SEP 30th

Our first garden is a country gem, hidden in a beautiful valley just beyond Camden. Mickey Robertson will host our visit of her charming garden surrounding historic Glenmore House. Tour Mickey’s kitchen garden, perennial borders, roses and the beautiful farm buildings all lovingly restored. Lunch is in the Loggia – you won’t want to leave! Next is the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan. It’s the largest botanical garden in Australia and is spectacular in spring when paper daisies put on a breathtaking display! We finish our first day in the beautiful Southern Highlands and check into the Gibraltar Hotel in Bowral, our home for 3 nights. Time to relax and enjoy this serene location before our Welcome Dinner tonight in the hotel restaurant.

A treat this morning at The Kaya in Wildes Meadow, where horticultural know-how and exceptional garden design come together. Wander through the low water gravel garden, parterre and meadow garden. It’s stunning, nurtured by a born plantsman, Les Musgrave who will amaze you with his outstanding low maintenance plant selection and combinations. Elaine is a renown botanical artist who will show us her studio of incredibly beautiful botanical art. Morning tea will be served in the garden.
It’s Tulip Time in the Southern Highlands, so we’ll tiptoe through Corbett Gardens, then enjoy free time in picturesque Bowral. A grand old garden this afternoon, Retford Park was established in 1887 in the English Landscape Style by Samuel Hordern. It was handed to the National Trust by the late James Fairfax. Today the garden in the caring hands of Rick Shepherd. Rick will take us through the gardens followed by a special private tour inside the historic house.

First stop this morning is Red Cow Farm in Sutton Forest. This impossibly beautiful garden is the result of its tender loving care by consummate plantsman, Ali Mentesh. Ali will show us through the garden and explain the structure of garden rooms that make the design work so brilliantly. You’ll be enchanted and surprised by the Walled Garden, a sanctuary where solitude invites reflection, the exuberant cottage garden and the Monastery Garden. Discover a stunning collection of unusual perennials, old fashioned roses and clematis in the Abbess Garden. Wander through the beech walk, around the lake, through the bog garden, into the orchard and kitchen garden. Afternoon visit to Harper’s Mansion, built by James and Mary Harper soon after 1834, when they bought land in Berrima township. James Harper was the only son of William Harper and Margaret Morgan, both convicts. Local rosarian and consultant, Heather Cant recommended the planting of historic old garden roses. There is now an expanding collection of heritage roses and camellias, fruit and vegetable garden, hazelnut and woodland Walks. Free time in Berrima to enjoy a coffee or browse the local stores.

Australia’s answer to Keukenhof is our destination this morning as we head into Canberra. With spring blossom overhead and tulips carpeting below, Tulip Top Garden is a celebration of spring, opening for just a month each year. We’ll drive into Canberra and visit an exceptional Aussie garden in Red Hill where you will be inspired by their use of natives species in the garden. Check into The Sebel, our home for the next three nights and enjoy some free time in Canberra.

Walking shoes today as we head to Lake Burley Griffin and Commonwealth Park to Floriade. This celebration of spring is counted in flowers: tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, violas, pansies, wallflowers, all colour and fragrance. The four-hectare site is filled with over a million blooms in a variety of themed garden beds designed to fit within an overarching theme each year. The National Arboretum is next, a vision for the future. It’s home to 94 forests of rare, endangered and symbolic trees from Australia and around the world. More than 48,000 trees grow on this 250 hectare (618 acres) site, with species from over 100 countries represented. Located at the western end of Lake Burley Griffin, just 6km from the centre of Canberra. This still new arboretum has panoramic views over Canberra, Lake Burley Griffin and beyond. Our guide will board our coach for a guided tour. This afternoon is a real treat – High Tea at the Hyatt Hotel! Be surrounded by luxury in the elegant Tea Lounge where tables are laden with petit fours, scones, macaroons, filo parcels, sandwiches and tiny glasses of white and dark chocolate pannacotta – it is an afternoon of sheer heaven!

Start today at Old Parliament House. The Gardens were laid out in the emerging capital of Canberra in the late 1920s and early 1930s, a welcome refuge for parliamentarians, and a pleasant escape from daily debates and party meetings. Maintained for the private use of members and senators, the Gardens contributed to their enjoyment and general well-being over many decades.
The original quadrant layout was established by Robert Broinowski, secretary of the Joint House and Usher of the Black Rod. He sought and obtained permission to start a campaign in 1931 asking Australians to buy roses for the ‘Rex Hazlewood’ garden for one shilling and fourpence each. The gardens continued for nearly five decades until the opening of the new Parliament House in 1988. After that, these gardens were largely forgotten. In the late 1990s, the National Capital Authority began a major project to return the gardens to their former splendour, conserving the significant heritage value and improving amenities. Next is the Australian National Botanic Gardens with the largest living collection of native flora where we will have lunch in their beautiful garden restaurant. Tour Rouge is our afternoon visit. It’s a stunningly designed private garden with such exquisite detail that you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a French provincial garden!

It’s an enchanting drive this morning as we head for Cowra. Golden canola should be in full flower, fields of it decorating the Lachlan Valley. Lunch today in the Cowra Japanese Garden. In 1977 world-renowned architect Ken Nakajima was commissioned to design the garden, a copy of the first Japanese landscape garden (strolling garden) built by the first Shogun Tokugawa in the 16th century A.D. The Shogun had the garden constructed from drawings he commanded of Japanese geography from every corner of Japan and thus the garden became a landscape of Japan in miniature. Ken Nakajima, the master of the visual art of Japanese landscape design, followed the principle aspects of Japanese landscape design meticulously and as a result, the Cowra Japanese Garden is now a miniature replica of the landscape of Japan.
The main features of the design incorporate the mountains of Japan, the waterfalls from the mountains that flow into the mountain lakes and from there the water flows into the rivers then the ocean, the hills from the mountains to the ocean are represented by trimmed hedges and the pine trees of Japan are represented throughout the perimeter of the landscape. It has become a visual representation of Japanese landscape design. Before we leave Cowra we’ll visit the site of the former POW camp and the cemetery.
Travel into Orange and check into Byng Street Boutique Hotel for 2 nights. Dinner is included tonight at the hotel.

Learn all about iris this morning at a speciality iris garden in Millthorpe. Crabapples and cherries should be in full flower in this beautiful country garden. Lunch is included today in the heritage town of Millthorpe that has remained unchanged since the 1900s. The whole village is classified by the National Trust. This afternoon visit Colleen Southwell, The Garden Curator. Underpinned by the “SLOW” philosophy upon which the Slow Food movement has been built, “Slow Gardening” encourages us to savour our gardens, engage our senses throughout the seasons and live in the here and now. There’s lots to learn in Colleen’s garden. Afternoon tea on her back verandah is a special treat!

We are heading to Katoomba today with a lunch stop in Oberon to visit Mayfield Garden that nestles in a quiet valley in the Central Tablelands of NSW. This large cool climate garden started modestly within a 5000-acre working farm. It’s now huge with a new 6-acre water garden at its heart and attracting visitors from around the globe. Leon, the head gardener, takes us on a walking tour through both the private and public areas of this world-class garden. Morning tea & lunch are included at Mayfield. Later, we head to the Blue Mountains and check into the historic Carrington Hotel in Katoomba for 2 nights.

Leura gardens are cool-climate stunners, famous for their magnificent spring flower displays. Today we explore a selection of private gardens open especially the Leura Garden Festival. Lunch and free time in Leura to explore this pretty mountain village with its stylish shops and lovely galleries.

Enjoy more Leura gardens this morning including Everglades, constructed in the 1930s by Danish-born landscape gardener Paul Sorensen, a good example of the inter-war period with a fine Art Deco home as its centre. Return to Sydney Central mid-afternoon.


  • Air-conditioned motorcoach throughout the tour
  • 4-star accommodation for 10 nights with breakfast daily
  • 6 lunches and 3 dinners
  • Entrance fees to all gardens and sightseeing including Glenmore House, Mt Annan Botanic Gardens, Retford Park, The Kaya, Red Cow Farm, Tulip Time Bowral, Corbett Gardens, Harper’s Mansion, Tulip Top, National Arboretum, Australian National Botanic Gardens, Japanese Garden Cowra, The Garden Curator, Mayfield Garden, Leura Gardens Festival, Everglades.
  • Fully escorted by Kirsty Noble


  • Domestic or international flights to and from Sydney.
  • Any other services not listed on the itinerary.

Optional Activities & Fees

** Departures from Sydney. Ask us about departures from other cities

** Single supplement surcharge apply.

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