Klein Bosheuwel Guesthouse

Klein Bosheuwel Guesthouse, Cape Town

 

Klein Bosheuwel is set on Bishopscourt Ridge overlooking the beautiful Constantia Valley near Cape Town, South Africa. The Constantia Valley is a wine-making region and also a cultural and historical centre for Cape Town.

Klein Bosheuwel Guesthouse is a combination of old world charm and luxury with many warm and cosy places to relax in. It is surrounded by a beautiful garden filled with an amazing variety of birdlife, insects, squirrels and many other shy little creatures. You can enjoy walking through our roses, discovering the scented herb patches and vibrant flower beds, There is also an ornamental pond and a sparkling sun-splashed salt water swimming pool.

Start your day with one of our famous breakfasts and then take an easy 5 minute walk to the world-renown Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens – Klein Bosheuwel is the closest guest house to Kirstenbosch and guests receive a free entrance pass.

For a more active adventure, you can take a 2 hour walk to the top of Cape Town’s iconic Table Mountain and enjoy spectacular views of Cape Town.

Klein Bosheuwel is only 15 minutes drive from Cape Town’s airport, its buzzing waterfront cafes and restaurants, and beautiful beaches.

Children are welcome at Klein Bosheuwel and they love playing with Feather, the Sheepdog.

 

Klein Bosheuwel
51A Klaassens Road
Bishopscourt
7708
Cape Town

Phone: +27 21 762 2323

Email: kleinbosheuwel@iafrica.com

Tabu Bed and Breakfast, Cairns

Tabu Bed and Breakfast, Cairns

 

‘Tabu’ is located in the foot hills of Cairn’s rainforest, in northern Queensland. An exclusive pavilion style room (1 only), opens onto a furnished deck with a view of the exotic tropical gardens. Guests have their own private entry to their room.

Your accommodation has a comfortable king size bed, personal ensuite and is fully air conditioned. Your room boasts fine designer linen, quality towels, coffee, tea & ironing facilities, the bar-b-que is available if you wish to ‘fire up a feast’.

The serene azure pool is set amongst cool plantings of mangos, lychees, bananas, gingers and palm trees, and is designed for your own private enjoyment.

A self served continential breakfast of fresh tropical fruit, baguettes/croissants & muesli for your enjoyment on your deck or in the garden.

Tabu is located 10 mins drive from the airport and 15mins from the city centre of Cairns, set in the leafy rainforest of Freshwater. Local community shops include an exquisite French artisan bread & Patisserie are easily reached within a quick walk. Tabu is situated a 3 minute walk from the Freshwater station which is your hop on point for the famous “Kuranda Rail” journey.

The local bar/hotel provides a large menu, occasional entertainment and courtesy bus to and from the venue.

Facilities

  • King Size Bed
  • Luxury linen
  • Quality towels
  • Pillow selection
  • Private ensuite
  • Airconditioned
  • Large wardrobes
  • Wi-fi
  • Tea, coffee and milk
  • Beach/pool towels
  • Hairdryer
  • Iron & iron board
  • Clock radio
  • Bedside lamps
  • Personal deck

Fairlie & Mark at Tabu can book and organise many of the reef trips & tours which Cairns has to offer.

Nursery Cottage in Ojai Valley, California

Nursery Cottage in Ojai, California

 

The cottage is situated on the grounds of Australian Native Plants Nursery, a specialist nursery growing drought tolerant plants from Australia and South Africa.

The cottage sleeps 6 and is fully self contained and private from the nursery and owners next door. There are 3 bedrooms, one with a queen sized bed, one with a full/double bed, the third has a day bed and a single bed. The house has one bathroom, however, there is another toilet attached to the bunkhouse near the cottage. It has a kitchen-dining area and living room. Fast internet and Netflix available.

There is additional accommodation in the original small barn, “The Bunkhouse” (seasonal) that sleeps 2-4. The bunkhouse is available during the warmer months for an extra $100/night (additional $100 cleaning fee). This bunkhouse has 2 double beds (one a futon), a kitchen and toilet facilities.

There are plenty of outdoor sitting and eating areas.

The house is ten minutes from Ojai and 7 miles from Ventura and the beach. It is 40 minutes south of Santa Barbara and one and half hour (traffic permitting!) from LAX. Excellent location for day trips to Los Angeles Botanical Gardens and Art galleries and all that LA has to offer. Also close are the Santa Ynez and Santa Barbara wineries.

Please contact Jo O’Connell at jo@australianplants.com if you wish to check dates and book the cottage or visit the nursery.

Garden Tours to China – find and compare

TEA TOUR OF CHINA WITH STEPHEN CARROLL

 

Once again Australian On-line tea company Tea Total and China’s foremost professional tour company Easy Tour China bring you the Tea Tour of China for 2016.

Forget the “get on get off” coach tour. This experience will immerse you in tea culture and production in areas and with people that other tours never reach. This Tea Tour has been developed personally by Tea Total and Easy Tour China over many years. The tea farmers and artists we visit are now our friends and we want to introduce them to you. This tour will take you to places that are not seen by any other group.

This tour is aimed at the tea professional and serious amateur alike. All major tea areas are covered from an agricultural, processing and production view and also the cultural and local mores that locate tea as the special and unique phenomenon that it is. As each tea needs to be appreciated for its special qualities you will learn the essentials and more to good tea brewing from across China.

We also take the opportunity to include special cultural experiences local to where we are visiting. This ensures that we capitalise on your journey and give you glimpses of Chinese life.

The complete tour is escorted with Tea Total Tea Master Stephen Carroll and local Easy Tour China English speaking guides with a knowledge and interest in Chinese tea and tea culture.

Group size is kept small to allow personal interaction, education and experience to make this a remarkable tour. The small size also means we may respond to particular requests from guests.

Once you experience our Tea Tour you will understand why we are so proud.

What some of our past guests have said:

Tea Total’s Tea Tour of China is an extraordinary, up-close and personal adventure into all the main tea-producing areas. Led by two extremely knowledgeable (and fun!) tea and travel experts who are joined by local guides, the tour exceeded all my expectations!
Candice.

As far as I’m concerned the Tea Tour China 2015 was a resounding success. Being able to sample yancha in Wuyishan, phoenix oolong in Guangdong and puerh in Yunnan was extraordinary. Highly recommended.”
Richard.

Itinerary

 

Day 1 Sat 11-June-16
Arrival / Xi’an. Your own arrangements for travel to Xi’an. Easy Tour China will assist if requested.
Program: Be met at the airport and transfer to your hotel for check in.
Evening: Meet with your fellow travelers and hear about the tour.
Xi’an is an undiscovered delight and the home of Fu Cha fermented tea. You will visit the Fu Cha factory and tea shops and learn about this unique tea. This ancient city needs exploring and our hotel is located right inside the old city walls. Xi’an began the Norther Tea Horse Road transporting tea to Russia and into Europe.
Accommodation (4*): 3 nights.

Day 2 Sun 12-June-16 (B, L)
Xi’an
Program: In the morning transfer to join the Tea Expo. After lunch, visit Ancient City Wall, Big Wild Goose Pagoda and Muslim Quarters.

Day 3 Mon 13-June-16 (B, L)
Xi’an
Program: In the morning visit The Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum. In the afternoon, enjoy your free time at leisure in this ancient city, or taste tea with us in the many Tea Houses of Xi’an.

Day 4 Tue 14-June-16 (B, L)
Xi’an / Hangzhou
Program: In the morning, transfer (2hrs drive) to visit Famen Temple, you will see the excavated tea sets which were made circa 868-871AD. In the afternoon, transfer (1.5hrs drive) to visit Jingwei Fu Tea Factory. Have dinner, and then transfer to airport for night flight to Hangzhou. Be met and transfer to hotel for check in.
Accommodation (4*): 3 nights.

Day 5 Wed 15-June-16 (B, L)
Hangzhou.
Program: After breakfast, visit the Old Street with a Traditional Tea House still using the long spout tea pot the tea server is often called a Tea Doctor. Visit a Traditional Chinese Medicine (herbal) Pharmacy and then a traditional umbrella shop. In the afternoon, visit the traditional Arts and Crafts precinct followed by a cruise on the Grand Canal and then visit The Great Canal Museum. In the evening, enjoy the spectacular West Lake Water Show, this is a traditional Chinese story based on the “Tale of the White Snake”.

Day 6 Thu 16-June-16 (B, L)
Hangzhou.
Program: After breakfast, visit the world famous Tea Museum and Tea Research Center, Travel to the Longjin Tea Farms, taste and learn about this famous tea visit and the famous Dragon Well spring still used today for its high quality water.

Day 7 Fri 17-June-16 (B, L)
Hangzhou / Huangshan
Program: Pick up at the hotel and transfer to Huangshan (3.5hrs). Check in at hotel and later visit Tunxi Old Street. Sample tea at the many traditional tea shops, visit calligraphy and painting shops and other sites of cultural interest. There are special teas in this area as it is near to the Keemun Black tea producing areas, also many Oolongs of original production methods.
Accommodation (4*): 2 nights

Day 8 Sat 18-June-16 (B, L)
Huangshan
Program: In the morning, visit the Base of Huangshan Maofeng Green Tea and participate in the tea-making process. In the afternoon we visit to Qiyun Taoist Mountain, ‘Cloud High Mountain’, one of the four sacred mountains of Taoism. Here we shall spend time with a Taoist tea monk to learn something of the Taoist culture and the importance of tea and tea production to their way of life.

Day 9 Sun 19-June-16 (B, L)
Huangshan
Program: In the morning transfer to Huangshan. Huangshan is justly famous for its spectacular mountain scenery and views and is represented in many famous and historic ink paintings and scrolls. Take a cable car up to the mountain, then visit the Brush Pen Peak, Lion Peak, West Sea Grand Canyon and some other attractions. Down the mountain via Taiping cable car, transfer (1hr) to your hotel which located at Taiping Lakeside.
As we are so close to this mountain it was important to take a “Tea Break” day and experience this phenomenon of China’s cultural heritage.
Accommodation (5*): 2 nights

Day 10 Mon 20-June-16 (B, L)
Huangshan
Program: In the morning a 1.5hr drive followed by a short walk to a tea production area making Taiping Houkui. The labour intensive production of this green tea assures its place as one of the Top Ten Teas of China. You will see tea plantations and processing on the way. After lunch, around 2hrs walking down the mountain through this area. Transfer back to hotel, enjoy the rest time at leisure.

Day 11 Tue 21-June-16 (B, L)
Huangshan / Wuyishan
Program: Transfer to the Railway Station, take high speed train to Wuyishan (1.5hr). Be met and then visit a Rock Tea production center and other selected producers for tea tastings and education.
Accommodations (4*): 3 nights

Day 12 Wed 22-June-16 (B, L)
Wuyishan
Program: After breakfast we drive to the Wu Yi Mountain Reserve. This UNESCO World Heritage site has spectacular scenery and is the birthplace of rock oolong tea. We shall walk Tianyou Mountain and punt along the Nine Bends River in a bamboo raft through “Oolong Mountains and Cliffs”.

Day 13 Thu 23-June-16 (B, L)
Wuyishan
Program: Walk through the rock tea gardens to Dahongpao where you will see the 350 year old mother bush. In this area you will see many small tea gardens growing different tea plant varieties and cultivars for producing oolong tea. Walking on to the Great Water Curtain Cave we shall visit Qing Shi Yan and Green Lion Rock. Later we shall visit tea factories to learn about the process of oolong production and sample their teas. Evening weather permitting, you will enjoy the outdoor theatrical performance “Impressions of Dahongpao”, one of the greatest shows in China.

Day 14 Fri 24-June-16 (B, L)
Wuyishan / Xiamen
Program: In the morning we visit Xiamei, an ancient tea Village and part of the old Tea Horse Route. From here for centuries tea was transported north by horse up in to Russia. This is still very much a working village with many tea shops. Have lunch at the village. In the afternoon we shall visit local tea producers to learn the art and skill of tea judging and cupping. Take late afternoon flight to Xiamen. Be met and transfer to hotel for check in
Accommodation (4*): 2 nights

Day 15 Sat 25-June-16 (B, L)
Xiamen
Program: In the morning, drive about 2hrs to Anxi, and the capital of Tieguanyin. Visit Xiping Village, the home of the original Tieguanyin bush; then visit Tieguanyin Cultural Garden and a Tea Factory for the history and production methods of Tieguanyin. Later today drive back to Xiamen. Xiamen is a spectacular city that was once a Portuguese port and retains that charm and character.

Day 16 Sun 26-June-16 (B, L)
Xiamen / Nanjing
Program: Drive 3hrs to Nanjing County to visit the Earth Tower (Tulou). Building commenced in the 12-13th centuries by the Hakka people as accommodation and fortification, the largest of these can house 800 people. Now a UNESCO World Heritage site. The area is also a tea growing area with cultivation on the mountain slopes. Stay overnight here and experience life in the Earth Towers.
Accommodation (4*): 1 night

Day 17 Mon 27-June-16 (B, L)
Nanjing / Chaozhou
Program: In the morning, drive to Chaozhou. Be met and transfer to have lunch and then visit the Kaiyuan Temple. We shall meet and spend time with Mr Wu, Provincial Cultural Master tea pot maker at his shop and studio. Chaozhou is the birth place of Gongfucha. Chaozhou tea pots are of a particular local clay and design to allow correct brewing and enhance the flavor of the local strip oolong teas. Mr Wu also stocks a large selection of Yixing tea pots and tea wares. As Chaozhou is also a leading porcelain area this is an ideal place to look at tea wares. Visit to the floating bridge, the city wall and other local sights if time permits.
Accommodation (4*):2 nights

Day 18 Tue 28-June-16 (B, L)
Chaozhou / Phoenix Mt tea tour.
Program: Following breakfast we drive to Phoenix Mountain (Fenghuang). Phoenix Mountain oolong tea are some of the most fragrant traditional oolongs still produced in China. We shall meet Mr Zheng, a renowned oolong tea farmer and processor. With him we shall spend the day learning about the farming, the processing and the tasting of these teas. Mr Zheng will take us to the original tea trees from the year 1200 (the Song Dynasty) from which many of his bushes are descended.

Day 19 Wed 29-June-16 (B, L)
Chaozhou / Guilin
Program: After breakfast take morning flight to Guilin. Be met and transfer to hotel for check in. After lunch we shall visit Mr Han junior and senior. Their knowledge of tea is unsurpassed. Sample their handcrafted teas and learn about ‘Tea In China’.
Accommodation (4*+): 2 nights

Day 20 Thu 30-June-16 (B, L)
Guilin / Yangshuo / Guilin
Program: After breakfast pick up at your hotel and drive 40mins to the Li River. Here we shall cruise for 3.5 hrs down the spectacular Li River surrounded by monumental karst mountains. We shall lunch on board. Arriving at Yangshuo we visit the local market and then drive back to Guilin (1.5hrs). Make sure you bring your tea and tea sets for drinking whilst on board.

Day 21 Fri 1-July-16 (B)
Guilin / Kunming
Program: After breakfast we shall visit a local, family run tea shop that specializes in Phoenix Mountain oolongs. Take the flight to Yunnan in the early afternoon. Be met and transfer to hotel for check in. Enjoy “Dynamic Yunnan” Show in the evening.
Accommodation (4*): 1 night

Day 22 Sat 2-July-16 (B, L)
Kunming / Jinghong
Program: After breakfast drive to the Lu Yu Tea House and Tea Culture Centre. Here we shall have a morning of introduction to Pu-er Tea culture. We shall have the opportunity to sample many types of pu-er tea and learn about this unique Chinese treasure. After lunch transfer to airport, take flight to Jinhong. Be met and transfer to hotel for check in.
Accommodation (5*): 3 nights

Day 23 Sun 3-July-16 (B, L)
Jinghong / Yiwu / Jinghong
Program: After breakfast, drive along a winding road through rubber plantation to Yiwu (4hrs). Arrive at Yiwu, walk along the Tea Horse Trail which begins in Yiwu village and goes all the way to Tibet, and see a small tea museum (opening times and days are not fixed). Visit local tea workshop where you drink tea and see the stone blocks used to press tea cakes and try your hand at pressing tea cakes. Drive up the mountains to see local aged tea trees and visit tea farmers. On the return road, visit Jinuo ethnic people and see the aged tea trees around village.

Day 24 Mon 4-July-16 (B, L)
Jinghong / Menghai / Menghun / Jinghong
Program: Drive to Menghun where we visit village of the Dai ethinic minority people, who still make paper in the traditional way with Mulberry tree bark. These products are mostly used for packing tea and tea products. Drive back to Jinghong via Mount Nannuo one of the most famous tea producing areas in Menghai. The Hani ethnic minority people have been producing tea here for 800 years and it is here we will meet the Hani and sample their tea. Return to Jinghong.
Evening: Group dinner and Big Goodbyes.
Day 25 Tue 5-July-16 (B)
Jinghong / Exit
Program: Morning transfer to airport for connecting flights to major exit cities of China. Your personal arrangements to your port of embarkation (Easy Tour China is able to assist with bookings). Don’t forget your big suitcase of memories and your head full of tea knowledge and skill!

Japan Cherry Blossom Tour

Japan Cherry Blossom Tour

 

Day 1 04APR16
Depart East Maitland by Coach
Arrive Sydney
Night at your Leisure at the Rydges Sydney Airport

Day 2 05APR16
Tokyo
Flights with Japan Airlines
Depart Sydney 08:15
Arrive Narita 17:05
Arrive Tokyo. Upon arrival, transfer to hotel in Tokyo by Airport Limousine Bus. Check in at hotel in Tokyo for 2 nights. Land only arrangement members: Check in at hotel in Tokyo after 3:00pm

Day 3 06APR16
Tokyo
Tokyo walking tour using metro, enjoy visiting Tokyo metropolitan office observatory deck, Meiji shrine, Harajuku & Omotesandou and Asakusa Senso‐ji Temple & Nakamise Shopping St. Visit Tokyo’s most famous temple and walk its souvenir shop‐lined promenade. Welcome Dinner (B,D)

Day 4 07APR16
Kanazawa
Morning, travel by new Hokuriku Line Shinkansen (Bullet train) for Samurai town Kanazawa. Upon arrival visit a enjoy the gold leaf manufacturing work‐ shop and Kanazawa’s Geisha house district. Visit Kenrokuen Garden, one of the three most famous gardens in Japan. 3 nights accommodation in Kanazawa. (B)

Day 5 08APR16
KANAZAWA—TAKAYAMA ‐ SHIRAKAWAGO – KANAZAWA
Today enjoy full day tour of Takayama & Shirakawago region. Travel to Takayama whose isolation has allowed Edo period streets, lined with tiny shops, museums and eating place to be preserved. Next visit Shirakawago and Gokayama, a World Heritage listed small village. Experience Washi Japanese rice paper making hands on. (B)

Day 6 09APR16
KANAZAWA
Day at leisure.

Day 7 10APR16
KANAZAWA-KYOTO
# Travel with overnight baggage. Your suit case to be transferred from Kanazawa to Kyoto to meet you on 11th April in Kyoto. Morning, travel for Kyoto by train. Check in for 3 nights at hotel in Kyoto. [B]

Day 8 11APR16
KYOTO
Sightseeing tour of Kyoto visiting Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion) and Nijo castle.
Afternoon, visit Kiyomizu temple overlooking the city. Part of the fun of visiting Kiyomizu temple is the approach to the temple along the steep and busy lanes of the enchanting Higashiyama district. Japanese Dinner with Geisha accompaniment & traditional dance performances. (B,D)

Day 9 12APR16
KYOTO-HIROSHIMA & MIYAJIMA-KYOTO
Leave for Hiroshima by JR bullet train. Upon arrival, Miyajima Itsukushima floating Shrine and five‐storied Pagoda sightseeing. Visit Hiroshima Peace Park and Atomic Dome. Return to Kyoto by bullet train. [B]

Day 10 13APR16
KYOTO– KISO VALLEY/TSUMAGO
# Overnight baggage transfer service from Kyoto to Tokyo. Travel to
Tsumago/Kiso Valley with its quaint historical post towns. Tsumago, seldom visited by group tours, where cars are banned and signs of modernity such as power lines are hidden to maintain the old style ambience. Relax in an old inn for 1 night. Finish a wonderful day with a traditional Japanese bath and sleeping Japanese style on futon.

Day 11 14APR16
KISO VALLEY—TOKYO
After enjoying Japanese style breakfast, travel on to Matsumoto/Nagano, situated in the centre of Nagano and known as the gateway to the Northern Alps’ climbing routes, Matsumoto prospered as a castle town at the foot of Matsumoto Castle, which we visit. Afternoon, leave for Tokyo. 2 nights accommodation in Tokyo. Farewell dinner at hotel. (B,D)

Day 12 15APR16
MT FUJI & HAKONE TOUR

Day 13 16APR16
TOKYO
Enjoy your last day in Japan with some last minute souvenir hunting or an optional half day activity. Afternoon, board Airport Limousine bus for Narita. Check‐in for flight to Australia. Land only arrangement: Tour concludes at noon. (B)
Flights with Japan Airlines
Depart Narita 19:30

Day 14 17APR16
Arrive Sydney 06:15
Depart Sydney by coach
Arrive East Maitland
Welcome Home!

To book call 0249330874!!

Owl Pen Cottage at Chapel House, Rydal NSW

Chapel House, Rydal

 

The Owl Pen Cottage is a cosy, self-contained cottage in the grounds of Chapel House, a private country estate in Rydal, NSW, Australia.

This historic cottage was originally built in the 1830s as the kitchen for the Queen Victoria Inn (now Chapel House).

Owl Pen Cottage sleeps a maximum of four people, providing a beautiful and romantic retreat for 1 or 2 couples.

There are 2 generous double rooms with queen-sized beds (all linen provided), a fully equipped kitchen, and a cosy loungeroom with a wood-burning fire.

The large bathroom also has a luxurious spa bath.

Come and immerse yourself in history, the quiet of the country and enjoy the magnificent large garden with picturesque lake. The garden features carpets of bulbs and also pretty blossom trees in spring, spreading shade trees and flowering perennials through summer, a blaze of foliage colour in the autumn and the delicate tracery of bare branches in the winter, plus the quiet beauty of occasional snow.

Chapel House garden is open during the spring Daffodils at Rydal Festival (middle two weekends of September). Its large 9 acre cool-climate garden has featured in many magazines including Country Life, Australian Country, Central West Lifestyle, and Burkes Backyard magazine and TV. Our two lakes are home to many resident geese and ducks which you can watch from the pontoon.

 

Rydal
Rydal is a small heritage-listed village with two churches, a hotel and the railway station, but no shops. The nearest shops are in Wallerawang about ten minutes drive away.

Mid September is a special time as many hundreds of people visit Rydal for the annual Daffodil Festival. It’s a springtime delight as Rydal becomes awash with yellow, and many in Rydal open their gardens to visitors.

Rydal is right on top of the Great Dividing Range with an altitude of almost 1,000 metres (about the same as Mount Victoria). Summers in the district can be dry and warm, with the changing seasons of Spring and Autumn, delightful. Winters are often very cold and crisp, an early morning frosts turn everything into a silver-white fairyland.

It is rarely very hot and never humid in Rydal, and cool weather can unexpectedly arrive any time of the year. We frequently have cool nights, and it sometimes snows in Rydal. So, be sure to bring your warm clothes with you.

 

Owl Pen Cottage is only 2 hours drive from Sydney CBD.
Short 20 minute drive to shops and cafés in Lithgow.
Nearby Lake Lyell – Enjoy fishing, swimming and water sports.
Only 45 minutes from Jenolan Caves or the Bathurst Wineries.
Pet friendly (max 2 small dogs) conditions apply.
Set on 200 acres – no fencing for dogs.

For bookings, contact Chapel House

The Jungle Lodge, Mount Tomah NSW

The Jungle Lodge

 

Blue Mountains Botanic Gardens
Bells Line of Road
Mount Tomah NSW 2758

The Jungle Lodge includes:
Bedroom 1 1 x Queen Bed, 1 x Port-a-cot & adjacent bathroom
Bedroom 2 1 x Queen Bed & Ensuite
Bedroom 3 1 x Double Bed, 1 x Single Bed & Ensuite
Bedroom 4 2 x Single Beds & 1 Trundle Bed & adjacent bathroom (share
with bedroom 1)
 After hours access to the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden, Mount Tomah
 Sole use of the Jungle Lodge
 Large lounge/dining room/LCD TV/DVD/Stereo System with MP3 docking station.
 Modern kitchen with all appliances including oven, griller, microwave, dishwasher,
fridge, kettle, toaster
 BBQ with gas supplied
 Main bathroom with bath, shower and toilet
 Two ensuite bathrooms with shower and toilet
 Additional separate toilet
 Electric blankets on beds
 Ceiling fans installed in bedrooms
 Iron & ironing board
 BBQ facilities & Outdoor setting overlooking the beautiful Devil’s Wilderness of the
Grose Valley across to the Wollemi National Park
 Slow combustion fire with firewood included
 Basic cleaning products
 Midweek & weekend bookings available
Guests are encouraged to bring all bedding/towels required for their stay (including linen,
pillows and doonas/blankets). Bedding packages are available at a price on application

 

The Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Mount Tomah features 28 hectares of gardens, including a southern hemisphere woodland, many conifer species, a bog garden, the Brunet Meadow, a Proteaceae collection including waratah and south African protea, remnant rainforest, formal garden and rhododendrons.

Havelock House, Hawke’s Bay

Havelock House, Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand

 

This elegant colonial style home offers a quiet semi-rural oasis for leisure or business. Designed for relaxation and comfort, enjoy its spacious ensuite rooms, elegant gardens, personalised friendly service, and amazing breakfasts. Havelock North’s finest accommodation awaits you.

Luxurious suites and sitting room
Unwind and relax in one of the three luxurious and spacious king bed and ensuite guestrooms, in their own private guest wing, all enjoying wonderful quiet garden vistas.

Enjoy afternoon tea or a drink on the quiet verandas or by the fireplace in the comfortable guest lounge and browse through the brochures on Hawke’s Bay to plan your next day’s activities.

Snooker or swimming anyone?
The guest lounge is large and comfortable and for the sole use of the guests. A huge games room with full sized snooker table and many books and board games offers a place to relax. Enjoy a game of snooker, get some exercise on the all weather tennis court, or cool off and refresh in summer in the landscaped swimming pool.

Great breakfasts daily
Breakfast at Havelock House is a real highlight of the day and many of our guests return because of it! Breakfast is served in a lovely dining room overlooking the garden or outside on the veranda. The tables are set with crisp white table cloths, linen napkins and fine Wedgwood china. Start each day with a delicious cooked breakfast with eggs, from our own hens, served on individual tables overlooking the gardens.

Relaxing Gardens
The stunning gardens have been described as an oasis with lots of bird song, roses, shady gum and palm trees. With Hawke’s Bay known as “the fruit bowl of New Zealand” of course there are fruit and citrus trees in the 4 acres of garden which you are free to explore. Palm trees surround the swimming pool and there are lots of fragrant roses in the garden.

Location
Havelock House is approximately 4.5 Hours drive from Wellington and 6 hours drive from Auckland and 2.5 hours from Taupo. Havelock House is short 4 minutes drive from Havelock North village, and signed off Middle Road. There is plenty of parking, including for boat trailers.

Hawke’s Bay is a centre for visiting Te Mata Peak, great food – Hawke’s Bay is known as the ‘fruit bowl of New Zealand’ and offers superb dining experiences, lots of wineries, the art-deco city of nearby Napier, craft and food markets, overland safaris to see the gannet nesting grounds at Cape Kidnappers and, of course, loads of outdoor activities like cycling, swimming, walking and golf. And other gardens to visit!

Havelock House
77 Endsleigh Road
Havelock North 4130
Hawke’s Bay 4130. New Zealand

Millgate House, Yorkshire

Millgate House, Yorkshire

 

Historic Millgate House, dating from the early 18th century, is only a few steps away from the cobbled town square of Richmond in Yorkshire.

Overlooked by an unfinished 11 century castle and enjoying sweeping views across the River Swale and the surrounding Yorkshire Dales, Millgate House is a premium B&B property surrounded by what has long been considered one of England’s finest gardens, since it won the Daily Mail’s National Gardens Competition in 1995.

Millgate House has 2 rooms, one king and one twin, both with views out over the garden. Each has a well-appointed, period-style ensuite bathroom.

Millgate House is also renown for its magnificent breakfasts.

Richmond’s attractions include many historic buildings such as Easby Abbey, a busy marketplace, restaurants, shops, theatre, and pubs.

The surrounding district includes Bolton Castle, Kiplin Hall and several historic abbeys.

Self catering:

The Coach House is at the bottom of the site of Millgate House and is the converted stable block.It has its own separate access and parking and is available for rental via English Country Cottages on a self catering basis.
Sleeping up to 10 people, it has five en suite bed rooms, large living room, “farmhouse” kitchen and dining area. Whilst staying in the Coach House visitors can enjoy the garden of Millgate House.
The Coach House is in a secluded quiet setting set well back from the hustle and bustle of the town but within two or three minutes walking distance of the shops and facilities. It has lovely views of the river side and the waterfalls. You can book on line with English Country Cottages directly.

 

Cedar Park Gardens, Rolleston, NZ

Cedar Park Gardens, Rolleston, NZ

 

Two rooms available

BELLBIRD ROOM

1 – 3 persons, details as below.

 

  • 1 Queen bed.
  • 1 King single bed.
  • En Suite: Shower, Toilet, Basin, Heater, Heated towel rail.
  • Hairdryer provided and razor plug.
  • Tea and Coffee making facilities.
  • TV and Clock radio.
  • Electric blankets.
  • Fan and heater in room.
  • Bath robes supplied.

Bell bird room

 

TUI ROOM

Two single beds 1 – 2 persons.

  • Available for groups or families etc, in conjunction with the Bellbird Room.
  • Host shared bathroom.
  • Fan and heater in room.

Tui Room

 

Other Facilities

  • Indoor/Outdoor living – with outdoor seating and freedom to enjoy the beautiful gardens.
  • Choice of breakfast – Cooked or Continental.
  • Fridge facilities available on request.
  • Laundry facilities available.
  • Children welcome. A small selection of toys and books available.
  • NO smoking or pets please.
  • BBQ available.
  • Wireless internet available

 

Optional Extras

  • Evening dinner with hosts (prior booking required)
  • Packed lunches provided if requested.
  • Small selection of gifts or homemade produce for sale, along with a good selection of plants.

Complimentary drop off and pickup from the Rolleston Railway Station for the Tranz Alpine ScenicTrain.
Complimentary drop off and pickup from the Christchurch International Airport.
Ron Finch
101B Lowes Road, Rolleston
Christchurch, New Zealand
Phone +64-3-3477605
anne@cedarparkgardens.co.nz

Coucals Cottage, Queensland

Coucals Cottage, Queensland

 

This spacious double brick family home set in the hinterland of Brisbane includes:
3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms
Fully equipped kitchen
Lounge room, Dining area & Breakfast area
Rumpus Room
Laundry
Car Port and a huge covered verandah
Fully air-conditioned
IDEALLY SITUATED
30 kilometres from Brisbane CBD
40 minutes to Brisbane Airport
1 hour to the Gold Coast & Toowoomba
2 hours to Sunshine Coast
With 2 acres of landscaped gardens plus 2 acres maintained bushland

‘Coucals’ of Mount Crosby is situated 30 km west of Brisbane, Australia in the D’Aquilar ranges.
The 2 acre gardens, have been landscaped using 200 tonnes of Helidon sandstone.  The raised garden beds are flanked by 30 metre Spotted Gums and many other native trees originally situated on the property.
Jim and Jan Flanigan bought the property in 1980 where they built a house and raised 2 children.
In 1998 after a trip to the Butchart Gardens, Jan started to seriously garden, previously growing orchids in bush houses and planting shade trees.
These gardens have been created by Jim and Jan with just the aid of a Bob Cat machine to move some of the larger rocks. Jan designed and worked the gardens with Jim cutting rocks and building the many gazebos and seating areas.

A sloping hillside property with huge gums and views of the D’Aguilar ranges.
A variety of gardens incorporating various themes displaying a wide range of tropical, sub-tropical and temperate planting that is unified by the natural sandstone edging. Visitors can discover these garden areas via meandering paths and steps leading you on a journey of discovery, or quiet contemplation should you wish to sit in one of the many seating areas and just take in the bird calls, perfumes and natural beauty of the bush land setting.

The gardens include:

2 Rose Gardens
Rainforest Walk
Circular Terraces
Conifer Walk
Ponds
Waterlily Lagoon
Bromeliad  & Orchid Garden
Succulent Garden
Gravel Garden
Orchid & Wisteria Courtyard
Palm Border
Gazebos
Seating areas
Olive Grove/Dry slope
100 metre Mixed Border
Waterfall garden
Fairy garden
Vegetable garden
Bulb terrace
Bambooserie

OUR CLIMATIC DETAILS
Brisbane enjoys a Sub-tropical climate with temperatures between 0-20 degrees Celsius in Winter which is May to August.  The rainfall is low during these winter months and our driest time is Spring which begins late AugustThe Summer rains start about October and go through to April.  It is most humid (60%-90%) between December to February.  Temperatures during this time are generally around the low 30 degrees Celsius with a night time temperature around 20 degrees Celsius.

Our autumn (March to May) is just a ‘cooling off’ period with most leaf and bark drop in early spring or during dry times.

Tudor Park Country Stay & Garden, Invercargill

Tudor Park Country Stay & Garden, Invercargill

 

Welcome to Tudor Park Country Stay and Garden, where guests are offered quality accommodation with private facilities in a peaceful garden setting. The property includes two comfortable queen rooms plus a twin room, designed to fit the requirements of any guest.

The garden at Tudor Park makes your visit something special. It is a ‘must see’ by individual gardeners and groups from around the world as well as local ( by arrangement ). Created by Joyce and her late husband John together over the last 17 years, the garden includes many different areas, plantings and features. Around the house are the more structured areas, which give the opportunity to grow special plants that can be viewed and enjoyed from within the house.

The aim has always been to use the site to the best advantage. With this in mind the Long Walk has been developed through the creation of two large pergolas, each of which is eight uprights long, creating a vista down the main axis of the garden and drawing the eye to the open landscape beyond. John marked out the original layout and was dedicated to building the many arbours, bridges, pergolas and seats – all of which define the garden and its many spaces.

The rondel encloses a collection of Old Shrub roses within a hornbeam hedge. A canal leads you to another rondel where a sundial, the first prize from a regional garden competition, is surrounded by a Prunus lusitanica hedge. A large pond, originally used for recreational shooting, has been adapted to accommodate many choice bog and water plants.
There are seats and arbours throughout the garden, offering pleasant resting places along the way to enjoy the birds, plants and peace.

Brickendon Colonial Farm Village Cottages

Brickendon Colonial Farm Village Cottages

 

Brickendon Estate offers guests an extraordinary experience of staying on a World Heritage Site in an original convict built cottage.

The Coachmans and Gardeners cottages were built by convict labour during the 1830s and have been restored to offer an authentic colonial experience. Deep old fashioned baths, antique furnishings and private cottage gardens, these cottages are the closest cottages you will find to times gone by but with modern conveniences. Located in the magnificent Heritage Gardens of Brickendon, both cottages offer unique features that will make your visit to Brickendon complete.

Brickendon’s Farm cottages are a wonderful alternative to the colonial cottages. Constructed with recycled materials and traditional building techniques, the three farm cottages ooze personality and invite guests to relax and unwind from their busy lives. With great views over the farm, a short walk to Brickendon’s World Heritage listed convict built Farm Village and a stroll to the river, these cottages provide a real home away from home. Ideal for either couples, families or groups the farm cottages are often visited by a wandering turkey or rooster and it is not uncommon to see a hen with her numerous chickens passing by. The friendly farm animals are close by so come and enjoy life on the farm.

When planning your holiday – it is worthwhile thinking about travelling distances as Brickendon is within one hours drive of most places in Northern Tasmania and only two hours from Hobart and the East Coast. Use us as a base and enjoy coming home at night to your private cosy cottage.

Historic Cottages

Gardeners CottageGardeners Cottage

The historic Gardeners Cottage was brought back to life in 1991 and offers guests a private cosy cottage featuring the original open fire, bread oven and recycled convict bricks around a deep old fashioned bath. Enjoy the delights of the quaint cottage garden while sipping a complimentary port on the verandah – you may even be visited by some passing sheep! Sleeps 2. See more

 

6058031129_fb85e5d411_zCoachmans Cottage

The historic Coachmans Cottage reflects a time of romance and wealth. Being regarded as the top servant, the Coachman’s lodgings were the most extensive and guests now days have many comforts. An open fire to sit in front and sip your complimentary port, antique furnishings, two upstairs and one ground floor bedrooms, a deep old fashioned bath and a delightful private cottage garden to enjoy the sounds of the evening. Sleeps 6. See more

 

Farm accommodation at Brickendon

In our rustic farm cottages you can wake up, look out across the paddocks and enjoy the sounds of our farm animals. What a contrast from city life!

  • 130_3084.JPG1_thumbPea in a Pod Cottage

    Very cute and very compact, Pea in a Pod is perfect for solo travellers or couples. See more

    Sleeps: 2

     

     

  • 130_3088_thumbPumpkin Cottage

    Pumpkin Cottage is our delightful one bedroom Farm Cottage overlooking the lush English style countryside and only a short stroll to the Macquarie River renowned for its excellent trout fishing. See more

    Sleeps: 4

     

  • 115_15751_thumb_1Sweetcorn Cottage

    What a perfect way to enjoy the company of friends or family. Sweetcorn Farm cottage can sleep up to 7 guests in two bedrooms and enjoys fabulous views over the farm. See more

    Sleeps: 7

Rosetta House, Durban

Rosetta House, Durban

 

Rosetta House is a gracious Edwardian homestead which has been beautifully restored and successfully established since 1998.

This is where perfect location, fine food, abundant hospitality and attention to detail are keynotes of a memorable stay.

 

Accommodation:
Four luxury en-suite bedrooms (three with own entrance and patio)

All rooms are bright and airy and beautifully decorated with a tasteful blend of specially selected antique and modern pieces.

 

All Rooms:

  • Serviced daily
  • Complimentary (free) Wi-Fi.
  • Flatscreen TV
  • MNET and own DSTV decoder offering The Lodge Bouquet and CNN
  • Ceiling Fan (3 rooms)
  • Low-Energy (Green) Airconditioning (all rooms)
  • Tea/Coffee facilities
  • Fridge
  • Clock radio
  • Hairdryer
  • Complimentary toiletries
  • Desk
  • Safety deposit box

 

Local area:

We offer well-lit, off-street parking and are centrally located in exclusive Morningside (adjacent to the Berea) with easy access to:

  • Florida Road (2 min)
  • International Convention Centre (10 to 15 min)
  • Major sports venues (5 to 10 min)
    (Rugby, Cricket, Golf; Horse Racing)
  • King Shaka International Airport (34 km / 35 min)
  • Beaches (5 min)
  • Clifton School, Durban Prep. and Gordon Road Girls’ School (2 to 5 min)
  • uShaka Marine World (15 min)

Southdown Cottages, Bowral

Southdown Cottages, Bowral

 

1. Southdown Cottage

Southdown Cottage is located in the grounds of historic Southdown in Burradoo/Bowral – an original Southern Highlands property dating back to 1857.

The Cottage, adjacent to the majestic original homestead, was built in 1864 as a caretaker’s residence for the then large property.

In the middle of last century it was used as a bunkhouse for the children of city gentry visiting the famous Southdown Riding School which operated on the property for some 40 years, as well as a guest house for the homestead.

The cottage accommodation has been extended and refurbished as a fully self-contained English Story Book style cottage.

The interior is decorated in country cottage style with special ambience for up to 4 guests. Upstairs has a quaint queen bedroom/ensuite overlooking the gardens. The downstairs bedroom/ensuite has 2 x king single beds (rate applies for different bed configuration on request – check with operator) . There is a fully equipped kitchenette, dining and sitting area with wood fire (in winter) overlooking the bay tree garden and long pond garden.Full linen and a complementary basket breakfast for 2 days is supplied.

Relax in the park-like 6 acres of gardens. There are secluded areas where you can sit and enjoy.

Not suitable for the elderly or infirm.

Sorry no pets.

 

2. Devon Cottage

Devon Cottage is located in the 6 acre grounds of historic “Southdown” at Burradoo/Bowral- an original Southern Highlands property dating back to 1857.

A very private self-contained accommodation with a uniquely decorated interior in a sylvan setting of trees, hedges, parterres and garden rooms. A romantic hideaway for 2 and only a few minutes from Bowral’s many restaurants, cafes and boutiques.

The cottage, originally a fruit pickers’ hut (c.1880) was reconstructed on site and an extra storey added, using recycled timbers and materials. The final appearance resembles an old cottage from Devon or Cornwall – hence ‘Devon Cottage’ – set in English style gardens. The original slab & tin walls are complemented by an eclectic collection of country style Victorian furniture and bric a brac to provide a rustic interior.

Upstairs has a queen bedroom/TV lounge area with windows overlooking the gardens and ponds. Downstairs has cosy living area with lounge, dining corner and a wood fire (in winter). An old fashioned kitchenette provides all cooking facilities. The period bathroom has a hip bath with shower over and there is an enclosed verandah sitting room.

Full linen and a 2 day complementary basket breakfast are provided.

Curl up with a book or sit and enjoy the 6 acre park-like estate, where the seasons offer displays of colour.

Devon Cottage is accommodation for 2 people.
Not suitable for children or the elderly or infirm.
Sorry no pets.

 

3. Southdown Stable

Southdown Stable is located in the grounds of historic Southdown, was the original horse stables of the Burradoo estate near Bowral (built 1857). The building was used as a stable during the estate’s long history as a riding school.

The Stable has been lovingly converted into a very cosy and attractive self-contained cottage for 2-3 guests just 3 minutes’ from Bowral CBD.

Decorated and appointed in a “between the wars” (1920s) decor, Southdown Stable invites you to unwind into the slower pace of times now past.

Southdown Stable has a queen bedroom, a king single bed in the open plan area, shower bathroom and an open plan sitting/dining/lounge/kitchenette with a rustic ambience. A wood fire (in winter), gas heating and reverse cycle air-conditioning, and all the necessary modern facilities blend with the artefacts and domestic utilities of the period to make for a most memorable accommodation stay. Southdown Stable offers a very special self-contained accommodation experience in the authentic recreation of a romantic earlier time.

Full linen and an initial 2 day complementary basket breakfast is provided.

The 6 acre historic garden beckons you to enjoy and offers total relaxation. You can take a 15 minute stroll into Bowral for restaurants or shopping.

Sorry, no pets.

 

4. Devon Long Barn

Devon Long Barn is converted rural barn at the end of a cypress drive, set within the 6 acre of the historic 1857 “Southdown” Burradoo/Bowral estate. Here old trees and new gardens are blended into tranquil and timeless ‘rooms’.

The self-contained accommodation has a king bedroom – lounge/dining room, fully equipped kitchen, modern bathroom with free standing bath and large walk-in shower. A mix of antique and contemporary furnishings and facilities provides self-catered private luxury accommodation for 2 people. The accommodation invites you to just soak in the bath or curl up with a glass of wine and a book or magazine.

You are invited to sit in the garden on the many seats provided and enjoy the tranquil vistas where the seasons bring displays of many changes and colour. Enjoy the huge 150 year old trees, massed bulb plantings, cherry walk, parterre, sweeping lawns and ponds . Wander among the old hedges, cottage, rose, orchard, vegetable and herbaceous gardens.

This iconic estate is just 3 minutes’ drive from the many cafes and restaurants of Bowral, and 15 minutes from the many vineyards, antique shops, surrounding villages and National Parks.

Full linen and a 2 day complementary basket breakfast are provided.

Sorry no pets.

Kamahi Cottage, Otorohanga

Kamahi Cottage, Otorohanga

 

Whether you prefer the privacy of your very own self-contained romantic cottage or you’d like to join us over a meal in the homestead, the choice is yours.

Spend a night for a treat, plan a weekend escape or stay longer to relax, unwind and discover our exciting local attractions.

The valley views are breath taking, the location serene and totally private and the setting a beautiful country garden.

As New Zealand’s only 5-Star farm stay, we provide all the extras you expect from a luxury lodge. If you’d like to end your day with dinner delivered to the cottage, or you have a special occasion to celebrate, we can prepare a gourmet dinner complimented with fine New Zealand wines. (Please advise us early to avoid disappointment).

Relax and experience our wonderful scenery and local attractions. (We’re 30 minutes from Waitomo and 15 minutes from Otorohanga.) There’s so much to do in the Waitomo & Otorohanga area – Black Water Rafting, cave abseiling (rappelling), glowworm cave eco-tours, the Otorohanga Kiwi House, horse riding, walking trails, trout fishing, golf, farm and garden tours.

Quick facts:

– Single party occupancy – up to 4 guests

– Family friendly – we welcome children of all ages

– Rates include full gourmet breakfasts

– Queen bedroom upstairs

– Stylish Danish-design sofa converts to a super comfy double bed downstairs

– Modern downstairs lounge and dining area

– Spacious modern bathroom

– Fully equipped kitchenette (ideal for self-catering)

– FREE WiFi available in our home – it’s a short walk through the garden

– Complimentary fresh flowers and exclusive Linden Leaves toiletries, home baked treats, freshly ground coffee, tea assortments, port (and Evan’s potent and delicious home-distilled schnapps!)

– Gourmet dinners by prior arrangement (extra charges apply)

Chorleywood B&B, Burradoo

Chorleywood B&B, Burradoo

 

Chorleywood B&B in Burradoo in the NSW Southern Highlands features a spacious, detached, private cottage with its own entrance.

The cottage contains a double bed (or twins), ensuite bathroom, with fluffy towels and all linen supplied.

Cool in summer, and cosily heated for those colder evenings, relax in comfortable lounges and enjoy TV, music, or reading magazines and books.

A fully equipped kitchen, with stove, fridge, microwave and all utensils, allows you to make your own meals during your stay.

Of course, at Chorleywood a generous breakfast hamper is provided with country fresh provisions to start your day: cereals, breads, ham, eggs, tomatoes, milk, plunger coffee and a range of teas.

Burradoo, established about one and a quarter centuries ago, is today an elegant residential area adjacent to Bowral, in the centre of the Southern Highlands.

Long favoured as a country retreat by generations of city folk, Burradoo’s leafy streets and lanes, grand houses, and magnificent gardens have their own very special attraction for the modern visitor.

Bowral, with its many cafes and excellent restaurants is just a fifteen minute walk away.

However, our guests often prefer to cook in the kitchen, serve a gourmet take-away and relax and dine in the cottage, or if you prefer – in the main house’s elegant dining room nearby.

Or better still, feel free to join your host Sue Hawick pottering around in the garden, or just spend some time in quiet reflection on one of the many benches and seats among the beautiful garden beds and trees and watch the abundant native birdlife.

A morning or evening stroll around the nearby picturesque streets of Burradoo is a local custom you will not be able to resist.

Sue will be happy to offer information about local attractions, and can help organise intineraries for sightseeing, golf, bushwalking, shopping, and assist with transport – to and from the train station, or while you are enjoying your getaway in the Highlands. Or, if you choose, offer a private and quiet environment for you to enjoy during your stay.

– Outstanding garden

– Internet Available

– Close to winery

– Close to restaurant

– No smoking on property

(Some of) My Favourite Places in the South West of England

(Some of) My Favourite Places in
The South West of England

 

It was suggested to me by past clients that, as part of the program for 2014, our 20th year, I should do a tour to ‘My Favourite Places’. As I thought about it, such a tour became ever longer, because naturally some of my favourite places are in Scotland, Ireland and Wales, as well as in England. Even in England alone, the tour would be too long, so I settled on a compromise. Scotland, Ireland and Wales will remain separate tours, and England is divided into two parts – The North and The Heart of England, which we will explore in 2014, and this one, The South West in 2015.

 

WILTSHIRE, SOMERSET AND DORSET
Our tour both begins and ends in Wiltshire on the verges of The Salisbury Plains, where the distant past seems more tangible than in other parts of England. From our hub in the elegant Georgian city of Bath we explore this remarkable area. To the south is Dorset – Thomas Hardy country, where we may delight in discovering villages lovingly portrayed in the writer’s novels. Dorset is still a place of attractive market towns and unspoilt villages. Rural Dorset also displays the largest Iron Age hill fort in Europe. Somerset is another historic county in the South West where there is evidence of human occupation from the Palaeolithic and Mesolithic eras, and burial mounds, hill forts and other artefacts dating from the Neolithic, Bronze and Iron Ages.

 

DEVON IN EXMOOR
Exmoor, Devon’s second National Park, but shared with Somerset, is a high bare plateau sliced by wooded valleys and rushing rivers. It rises sharply in the west to flatter summits and ridges where there are numerous prehistoric barrows and standing stones, although less well known than those on Dartmoor. The upland of heather and grass moorland, with its amazing diversity of wildlife, can be one of the most forbidding landscapes in England, especially when the mists roll in. The rivers pass from the plateau through steep valleys, the lower sections of which are thickly wooded, ringing with romantic echoes of R. D. Blackmore’s Lorna Doone.

 

CORNWALL
England’s last bastion of Celtic culture and language, The Duchy of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, is a principality, where Prince Charles is still the landlord and Camilla is the Duchess of Cornwall. The distinctive Cornish peninsula forms the toe of England, dividing the Bristol and English Channels as it thrusts out into the Atlantic Ocean. Fortunately it is a peninsula of extremely hard rocks which resist the relentless pounding.

 

DEVON IN DARTMOOR
Like Somerset and Cornwall, Devon is another county where there is much evidence of pre-historic culture and where, although the Romans penetrated as far as Exeter, and the Anglo-Saxons and Normans claimed ascendancy, the Celtic culture has none the less survived the centuries.

The interesting and varied geology of Devon has created distinct regions. Craggy granite is sometimes exposed, but the rocks are mainly Devonian shales and slates. The high mass of Dartmoor, a rugged, rocky wilderness which is deservedly a National Park, dominates central Devon. In the far north, on grits and sandstones, Devon claims a second National Park; a portion of Exmoor, which it shares with Somerset.

Dartmoor is granite upland, mostly over 700 feet and up to 2000 feet in the north, often described as the last great wilderness of southern England. In 1952 an area of 365 square miles was designated National Park. It is a lonely moorland, the legendary home of mischievous pixies’, and of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s ‘Hound of the Baskervilles’.

 

SALISBURY AND THE SALISBURY PLAIN
Our final hub is the great cathedral city, Salisbury, where the beautiful cathedral stands in a broad green expanse of lawn in the centre of the city, surrounded by carefully preserved historic buildings. From here we radiate out visiting delightful villages, enchanting market towns and many sites of special interest. Close by, on the outskirts of Salisbury is Old Sarum, the original site of Salisbury, and Wilton House, an ornate stately home that has been home to the Earls of Pembroke for over 450 years.

To the north of Salisbury we visit Stonehenge, the enigmatic stone circle begun nearly 5000 years ago. Although visitors cannot wander through the stones today, you can certainly approach closely enough to be struck with wonder at the determination and skill of the ancient peoples who erected this amazing monument. And to the South East is The New Forest.

 

THE NEW FOREST
There can be few other places in England where the ancient landscape has remained so unchanged. In 1079 when William The Conqueror claimed and named the area, he would not have imagined that nearly 1000 years later his ‘Nova Foresta’ would still retain its mystery and romance, and that many of his laws for the forest would still hold.

The ancient system established by William to protect and manage the woodlands and wilderness heaths is still in place today through the efforts of Verderers, Agisters and Commoners – literally the judges, stockmen and land users of the forest.

Within The New Forest we will see the famous New Forest Ponies, which graze freely in this former royal preserve, and we visit the exciting garden of Furzey. At Beaulieu the National Motor Museum preserves a range of historic motorised vehicles, housed in the grounds of a stately home carved from the remains of a medieval monastery.

Gardens and Wilderness of Tasmania

We would be delighted if you choose to join us as we explore the dramatic landscapes of the world’s last great temperate wilderness. In the rugged mountain ranges dense rainforests wild rivers and glaciated peaks we’ll discover wildlife scenery and vegetation which is unlike anywhere else on earth.

The slogan ‘Discover Your Natural State’ used by Tourism Tasmania to attract people from other Australian states is very fitting for 21% of Tasmania is currently protected by National Park status and another 15% or so is in State Forest or Forest Reserve. A further 13% is still in a ‘natural’ state and it has been proposed that these areas too should be within National Parks. They include both new areas not yet protected such as the Tarkine in the north-west and areas adjoining existing national parks extending their protection.

Tasmania currently has twenty accessible National Parks from mountains to the coast. Within that framework in the west the South-West National Park Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park Walls of Jerusalem National Park and Hartz Mountain National Park together protect the world’s largest temperate wilderness the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area listed under the World Heritage Convention that recognises cultural and natural sites around the world that are of international importance. The world heritage status given to those parks is global recognition of their unique natural heritage and of their value to the world.

Tasmania’s Wilderness World Heritage Area currently includes 20% of Tasmania’s land area. The Tasmanian Green movement has proposed that both the Tarkine and the areas adjoining current World Heritage Listed sites should be given World Heritage listing as well as national park protection. It would be very fitting for this to happen for as Greg Buckman Statistics Officer for the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service and author of ‘A Visitor’s Guide to Tasmania’s National Parks’ wrote after returning to Tasmania from visiting wilderness areas overseas and revisiting wild areas of the state; “Tasmania’s natural heritage rivals anywhere else in the world”.

It would be our pleasure to share with you this natural wonderland along with a selection of Tasmania’s excellent gardens and fascinating sites of aboriginal and colonial heritage.

Journey at an easy pace exploring this land of exciting contrasts :

– the world’s last wild frontiers and ordered woods and gardens

– awe-inspiring seascapes and dramatic mountain scenery

– tranquil rural landscapes and sparkling alpine lakes

– remnant penal settlements and inspiring pioneer townships

– convict-built cottages and splendid manor houses

– traditional ‘English’ villages and stately Georgian cities

– unspoilt primeval rainforests and hawthorn-hedged fields

As well as exploring Nature’s wonderland this exciting and informative voyage of discovery visits sites of aboriginal penal colonial mining and gold rush heritage forts and gaols churches and bridges and stately homes and cottages and their gardens. You have the time to view the treasure troves of human endeavour which are preserved and displayed in many of these historic places. This eventful tour is not just for keen gardeners conservationists and naturalists but also for those with an interest in 35 000 years of aboriginal heritage and in the architecture art and artefacts and the social history of two centuries of white civilization in Van Dieman’s Land.

In An English Country Garden

A Unique Tour, for Six to Twelve People

 

Journey with Suz as she seeks out in the rolling hills and valleys and dense woods, along sleepy winding rivers, and through beautifully-preserved villages and market towns, the most delightful and the most dramatic of gardens; indeed, some of the finest and most famous gardens in the country; flower-filled cottage gardens, charming manor gardens and the majestic parks, lakes and walled gardens of palace and castle.

We travel first for four days in Cambridgeshire, and through the spacious Fens; John Constable’s land of wide skies and ancient oaks, slow moving rivers and wind pumps, country lanes, churches and cottages; scenes which came to epitomise the English countryside for some of us.

We move into the pretty and prosperous heart of The Cotswolds to spend four days experiencing some of the loveliest scenery in England, where cottages, mills, bridges and churches of mellow honey-yellow stone blend harmoniously into gracious villages, where the roses cling to the cottage walls and clematis tumble over the porches.

Then we head south-west to wander through the familiar landscape of Stourhead. In Somerset and Dorset we explore for three days yet another area of great gardens and scenery, accommodated in a luxurious Country House in spacious gardens in the heart of Somerset. To The West Country for four days where we stay in the garden of Meudon. We visit some of the paradise gardens, where the Quakers succeeded in their attempt to create a little bit of heaven on earth; gardens basking in the balmy climate endowed by the gulf stream lapping the shores.

Moving east, for two days we explore Dartmoor and the nearby gardens. Further east, we spend three days in and around Salisbury, and we travel through the New Forest to Beaulieu and Furzey gardens. We spend our final five days in the south east counties of Kent and East and West Sussex, which revel in their well-deserved name of “the garden of Eden England”. Among other great gardens, we visit Sissinghurst and Great Dixter. With so much to explore, we could stay here for many more days, but sadly our tour must come to an end.

Join Suz for these 24 special days visiting gardens great and small in “this green and pleasant land”. We do not attempt to see a very large number of gardens, on average visiting less than two per day. Rather, we spend plenty of quality time in those we have selected for you.

 

SOME TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

Multiple Nights in Special Hotels
Leisurely Visits to more than 40 Great Gardens
Hampton Court Palace Flower Show option

 

CASTLES, MANSIONS, MANOR HOUSES and GARDENS :

The Beth Chatto Gardens, Ickworth House, Oxburgh Hall, Anglesea Abbey, Upton House, Sudeley Castle, Snowshill Manor, Rousham House, Burghley House, Hidcote Manor, Kiftsgate Court, Stourhead, Mapperton,
Forde Abbey, East Lambrook Manor, Montacute, Hestercombe, Eden Project, St Michaels Mount, Trebah, Trelissick, Lost Garden of Heligan, Glendurgan, The Garden House, Cotehele Castle, Drogo, Killerton, Tintinhull, Wilton House, Beaulieu Gardens, Furzey Gardens, Mottisfont, Denmans, Sissinghurst Castle Gardens, Great Dixter, Nymans Borde Hill, Wisley, Savill Garden, Meudon

and Hampton Court Palace Flower Show option …

 

MAJOR HISTORIC / PREHISTORIC SITES :

Merrivale Prehistoric Village, Chysauster Ancient Village, Postbridge Clapper Bridge, Westbury White Horse, The Rollright Stones, Maiden Castle, Old Sarum

 

SIGNIFICANT SCENIC AREAS :

Dartmoor National Park, New Forest, Cornish Coast, Arlington Row

 

VILLAGES, MARKET TOWNS and OTHER SITES OF INTEREST :

Coggeshall, Bibury, Polperro, St Ives, Bourton-on-the-Water, Winchcombe, Montacute, Widecombe in the Moor, St Michael’s Mount, Charlestown, Great Tew, Moreton-in-Marsh, Stratford-Upon-Avon…..

“ … away before me to sweet beds of flowers :
love thoughts lie rich, when canopied with bowers. ”

Twelfth Night, Shakespeare

Peru – Cuisine and Culture

In  the  footsteps  of  the  Incas        

Peru has it all, Lonely Planet tells us. ..’Mystical archeological sites, Amazonian rainforest, the world’s highest tropical mountains and an endless desert coastline…..Diverse and welcoming peoples, even varied wildlife.

They omitted to mention Peru’s cuisine – the finest in South America!  Our Peru tour is for normal travellers in good health. It is not a challenging ‘adventure tour’.

These notes need to be read in conjunction with the World Expeditions Program.

Day 1: Saturday 13 September

Lima (Peru): Travellers arrive on various flights from Australia and elsewhere. There will be time for a welcome drink and introduction before most of us seek an early night. Hotel Atton, Lima

 

Day 2: Sunday 14 September

Lima: Today provides an introduction to some of Lima’s highlights. The Casa Aliaga historic residence enclosed within the heart of Lima provides a window into centuries of gracious living. We then depart for the Mistura Festival – the most successful culinary festival in South America. Peru’s rich biodiversity and vast culinary wealth are showcased at Mistura. There are sections dedicated to chocolate (Choco Expo Perú), bread (El Mundo del Pan), quinoa (Mundo Quinua), and coffee (Mundo del Café). About 350 producers from all regions – the coast, sierra, and jungle attend, with more than 50 restaurants, 70 trucks and about 16 rustic kitchens. Gastronomic, music and cultural presentations should be great fun and very filling.

Next stop by special arrangement is the private Amano Museum with its famed ceramics and textiles, arranged chronologically to illustrate the development of weaving throughout Peru’d pre-Columbian cultures. Finally, we depart for the Larco Hererra Museum – one of the finest Pre-Colombian museums in South America where we will dine at its beautiful restaurant. Hotel Atton, Lima

 

Day 3: Monday 15 September

The Andes: We have an early start for our flight to Cusco, former capital of the mighty Inca Empire. We are there met by our guide and immediately board our coach and travel down to the Sacred Valley where we can relax in a lush green garden with regional food. We depart on the Vistadome train to take us through the Andes and Inca settlements to Aguas Calientes, the last hillside village close to Machu Picchu.BD The Inka Trail

– One Day Option The Incas were second only to the Romans for their superb stone roads which connected their Empire-from Colombia in the north␣to Chile in the south. Roads extended over some 25- 30,000 kms in total. The Inca Trail, commencing in the Sacred Valley and culminating at Machu Picchu, has spectacular mountain landscapes, suspension bridges, dramatic terracing and major archeological sites. It is the best preserved remnant of the Inca roads and one of the world’s most significant walks. We do not have the necessary 4-5 days to walk the Inca Trail, but keen and fit walkers, may alight from our train at the 104km stage and wlk the last day’s trek of approximately 10km. This should take some 5-8 hours depending on our walking pace. The trail includes many up and down sections, some uneven stony surfaces and is at an altitude of about 2,700m maximum which means you may experience some symptoms and you require a good level of fitness. You will walk over the very stones the Inca warriors trod for some 700 years! The Trail ends in a steep climb up to the Inca Sun Gate from which the most astonishing view unfolds of Machu Picchu below! It is an incomparable moment which we can share with the Incas␣for whom these mountains meant everything.

We hope to meet the rest of the party at this point. They will have completed their journey long before. You will need a special Inca permit for this walk which has limited places and you should apply as soon as possible. The cost of this optional walk (for permit and guide) is $130. This evening we settle in for a beautiful meal to celebrate our arrival at one of our very favourite hotels – the Inketerra Pueblo, Aguas Calientes BD

 

Days 4-5 Tuesday and Wednesday 16-17 September

Aguas Calientes: We devote these days to touring Machu Picchu, nature walks and feeding the endangered Spectacle Bears who are part of the hotel’s recovery plan. And you may choose to relax in the hot springs! Our program will vary depending on the changing weather. For those who do not suffer from vertigo, there is the option of climbing Huayna Picchu, that very steep mountain behind Machu Picchu. Note – a permit in advance costing US$12.00 is required. Inketerra Pueblo, Aguas CalientesBD (2)

 

Day 6 Thursday 18 September

Sacred Valley: There will be time for one last visit to Machu Picchu perhaps, prior to our departure back on the vistadome. We return to the Sacred Valley and to the magnificent Ollantaytambo – the great citadel where the Incas had their only victory over the marauding Spanish forces. We visit the village with its superbly preserved stone streets and houses and may visit the work of one of Peru’s most famous potters. Pakaritampu, Ollantaytambo Hotel B

 

Day 7 Friday 19 September

Sacred Valley: We then journey back to Cusco making various stops and detours to visit domestic weavers, villages, salt pools and the ancient Moray complex. The landscapes for this journey are often through unspoilt valleys with majestic mountains providing a magnificent backdrop. We arrive in Cusco and to the – Casa Andina Private Collection Hotel BL

 

Day 8 Saturday 20 September

Cusco: This former capital of the Inca Empire – largest of the Pre-Columbian civilisations – and in most respects, as sophisticated and organised as those of Europe. The Incas had a nobility, armies, bureaucracy and religion but without horses, armour and modern weapons, were no match for the ruthless, exploitative Spanish who relentlessly pursued power, gold and silver and offered little more than Christianity as a palliative for the conquered. Cusco has a range of colourful plazas, markets, churches, Inca museums and sites, shopping areas, restaurants and other places of special interest to keep us occupied today. In the evening, we will dine at the historic Monasterio Hotel (former Inca Amaru Qhala’s Palace) and relax with opera singers for company. BD

 

Day 9 Sunday 21 September

Today may be treated as a free day to relax, shop etc. or it can be occupied with tours with our guides as we wish. There is much to see with key Inca sites, superb Inca buildings constructed with local stone, museums, Spanish churches and other places of special interest. Shopping expeditions for knitwear, silver and precious stones are also very successful. B

 

Day 10 Monday 22 September

We depart for Santiago, Chile (via Lima), in preparation for the South American ‘Gardens Tour’ to Chile, Argentina and Brazil, or to return home. B

Colombia’s gardens and culture

Our Colombia Tour Program will be provided to travellers in more detail but in brief:-

4-8 Sept – Bogota area

Includes a downtown walking tour of historic precinct including the fabulous Gold Museum (Museo del Oro), Fernando Botero Museum, Candelaria Artists Colony, various private properties and gardens, Bogota Botanic Gardens, at least one of Diana Wiesner’s contemporary landscape projects in addition to the Casa Bolivar and the rehabilitation project at the Monserrate Mountain which dominates the capital. Butterfly enclosure, Quindio B.G.

 

10-12 Sept

Cartagena

We have three nights for enjoying the Old Town at Cartagena – a wonderful Spanish architectural legacy and a fascinating old port in which to relax. Undulating rich soils in the La Zona Cafetera

 

13 Sept

Tour concludes.

Transfers to Lima, Peru for those continuing in South America on the ALC Peru Tour from 13-22 September 2014.

Colombia's gardens and culture

Our Colombia Tour Program will be provided to travellers in more detail but in brief:-

4-8 Sept – Bogota area

Includes a downtown walking tour of historic precinct including the fabulous Gold Museum (Museo del Oro), Fernando Botero Museum, Candelaria Artists Colony, various private properties and gardens, Bogota Botanic Gardens, at least one of Diana Wiesner’s contemporary landscape projects in addition to the Casa Bolivar and the rehabilitation project at the Monserrate Mountain which dominates the capital. Butterfly enclosure, Quindio B.G.

 

10-12 Sept

Cartagena

We have three nights for enjoying the Old Town at Cartagena – a wonderful Spanish architectural legacy and a fascinating old port in which to relax. Undulating rich soils in the La Zona Cafetera

 

13 Sept

Tour concludes.

Transfers to Lima, Peru for those continuing in South America on the ALC Peru Tour from 13-22 September 2014.

Garden tour to England, Italy and France

ITINERARY

DAY 1 Tuesday 20 May, 2014 Depart Australia 
Today we board our Emirates Airlines over-night flight to London.

DAY 2 Wednesday 21 May, 2014 London 
We arrive in London about noon. On arrival we will be transferred to our hotel by private coach. To begin our exploration of this fascinating and historic city, we meet our London blue badge guide for a comprehensive tour of the main sights. We will see Buckingham Palace, Whitehall, Trafalgar Square, The Strand, St Paul’s Cathedral and the Tower of London before being transferred to our hotel.

DAY 3 Thursday 22 May, 2014 London
The highlight of our time in London will be an escorted visit to the famous Chelsea Flower Show. Chelsea is the main event in the English horticultural calendar and boasts amazing displays of the world’s best flowers and plants. You will see fabulous show gardens specially created by leading designers, some of them Australian. Deryn will ensure that you get the most from this wonderful show. We return to our hotel early afternoon, with an optional drop off at Harrods for those who would like to have time to shop. Tonight we will enjoy a welcome dinner to get to know Derryn Thorpe and other tour members.

DAY 4 Friday 23 May, 2014 London 
This morning will be at leisure. In the afternoon we visit the Royal Horticultural Garden, Wisley. The RHS was given Wisley Estate in trust by Sir Thomas Hanbury in 1903. Trials of flowers, vegetables and fruit were expanded at Wisley and they continue to be one of the principal objects of the garden. Several Chelsea Flower Show prize winning gardens are displayed in the grounds.

DAY 5 Saturday 24 May, 2014 Bagno Vignoni, Tuscany 
This morning we are transferred to London’s Heathrow airport for our flight to Rome. Upon arrival we are met by our coach for the trip to the Tuscan village of Bagno Vignoni, where we will spend the next four nights. This small Orcia River Valley village has long been a favourite among travellers seeking solitude in a beautiful location. We will stay at a small family owned 15th-century hotel, built by Rossellino as a summerhouse for Pope Pius II, who enjoyed the advantage of the nearby hot mineral springs. Tour members will enjoy delicious Tuscan dinners each night during our stay at Bagno Vignoni.

DAY 6 Sunday 25 May, 2014 Bagno Vignoni, Tuscany 
This morning we travel south to visit Parco dei Mostri. This garden is unique. Made up of astonishing gigantic sculptures, many of them hewn from the rock on the wooded hillside you will be amazed. Are they autobiographical, literary, historical or philosophical? The scholars don’t know. This afternoon we visit the magnificent gardens of Villa Lante near Viterbo. This is a perfect Renaissance garden in which murmuring water, flashing fountains, shade and sunlight alternate under vast plane trees. The garden, organized on four levels along a main axis, emphasized by fountains, has perfect symmetry.

DAY 7 Monday 26 May, 2014 Bagno Vignoni, Tuscany 
This morning we visit Villa Cetinale, built in the 15th century by the Chigi family, bankers and money lenders for popes and English kings. Additions to the original house and garden were carried out by Carlo Fontana, who was a pupil of Bernini. In the gardens are wonderful statues and the Romitorio, a hermitage where monks lived until near the end of the 19th century. Lord Lambton bought Villa Cetinale from the Chigi family in 1977 and since then the gardens have been immaculately restored and enriched. This afternoon we visit the wonderful medieval city of Siena, best known for the famous Palio horse race held in the magnificent Piazza del Campo. Siena is also home to the oldest bank in the world, a spectacular town hall and majestic cathedral. A local guide will introduce us to the major sights of the city, including the Piazza del Campo with its splendid civic tower and the enormous, partially completed Duomo.

DAY 8 Tuesday 27 May, 2014 Bagno Vignoni, Tuscany 
Today will be free for independent activity. Why not have a spa in the hotels “wellness centre”. You will enjoy a relaxing day in this picturesque Tuscan village.

DAY 9 Wednesday 28 May, 2014 Florence 
We drive through the gorgeous Tuscan countryside to Florence this morning. In the afternoon we have a walking tour of Florence. During our walking tour we see the Piazza del Duomo, one of the largest cathedrals in the Christian world. Together with Brunelleschi’s wonderful dome, we see the Campanile and the Baptistry. We also wander through the Piazza della Signoria, which contains the Loggia della Signoria, the Palazzo Vecchio and nearby, the Ponte Vecchio over the Arno River.

DAY 10 Thursday 29 May, 2014 Florence 
This morning we visit Villa Le Balze, an early masterpiece of English architect Cecil Pinsent, who designed a Renaissance-style villa set in just over one hectare of garden. The garden was created in 1914 on a very steep site overlooking spectacular views of Florence. To the sides of the house are enclosed formal garden rooms. The lemon garden next to the house has four box-edged grass enclosures surrounding a circular pool. The formal gardens give way to a bosco and olive groves. We continue our travel to explore Villa Gamberaia, set in classic olive-grove country. Restored to its 16th-century splendour, the garden is small but idyllic. The main terrace is laid out with parterres de broderie and the water gardens are reminiscent of Persian reflecting pools.

DAY 11 Friday 30 May 2014 Florence
This morning is free for individual activity. In the afternoon we visit Villa della Petraia a Medici. Bought in 1544 by Cosimo de’Medici he gave it to his fifth son Ferdinando. On the upper terraces, simple square compartments were lined with dwarf fruit trees, highly prized in Renaissance gardens. In 1864 Florence was adopted as the temporary capital of Italy. Petraia became the royal residence of Emanuele II of Savoy. The garden was changed to Emanuel II’s taste. Curving flower beds in 19th-century style were designed to surround the fountain.

DAY 12 Saturday 31 May, 2014 Como
This morning, we travel to the Italian Lakes district, staying for the next four nights at Como on the edge of beautiful Lake Como.

DAY 13 Sunday 1 June, 2014 Como 
Today our coach takes us to Lake Maggiore. We travel by boat to Isola Bella, the most spectacular of the Borromean Islands. The magnificent villa is surrounded by one of the most dramatic 17th-century gardens in Italy, with 10 terraces rising like a ship’s prow in the reflecting waters of the lake. Masses of roses and perfumed plants set among superb statues and fountains make this a garden to remember. We also visit the nearby island Isola Madre. This very different garden has lush sub-tropical planting of ornamental trees and shrubs, including a fine swamp cypress and palms.

DAY 14 Monday 2 June, 2014 Como
This morning will be free to relax, shop in Como or take a ferry ride on Lake Como to view the spectacular scenery and fabulous lakeside villas. In the afternoon Deryn will guide us on a visit to the gardens of Villa Melzi. The semi-classical villa stands on the shores of the lake, among gardens studded with an eclectic mix of sculptures, from Egyptian to Roman. We will have time to explore the town of Bellagio, nominated as one of the most beautiful villages in the world.

DAY 15 Tuesday 3 June 2014 Como
A scenic trip along the west shore of Lake Como brings us to the picturesque village of Tremezzo and Villa Carlotta. This elegant 18th-century villa has its own landing place on Lake Como with beautiful views over the lake. It was given as a wedding present to Carlotta, Duchess of Saxe-Meningen, who, with her husband, created the landscaped gardens and began the botanical collection. Around the house, an 18th-century formal layout has lemon arbours on the terraces, tall camellia hedges and flowerbeds. We continue on to one of the jewels of the lake, Villa del Balbianello, located on its own small island. Steep steps covered with flowers lead from the landing to the gorgeous gardens and villa, chosen as the romantic setting for the movie “A Month on the Lake”. Ancient pollarded plane trees are a feature of this enchanting garden.

DAY 16 Wednesday 4 June, 2014 Nice 
Today we travel from Como to Nice, on the French Riviera. We check into our hotel in Nice late afternoon.

DAY 17 Thursday 5 June 2014 Nice 
This morning we enjoy a sightseeing tour with a local guide of the main sights of the French Riviera. We will explore the narrow picturesque streets of Nice and drive along the Corniche Road. We have spectacular views of the ocean and cliffs on our way to Monte Carlo, famous for its casino and royal family. This afternoon Deryn will lead the group on our visit to the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild. The garden was laid out at the beginning of the 20th century by Baroness Ephrussi de Rothschild, a member of the wealthy Rothschild family. The garden has been developed as a series of compartments representing different architectural and planting styles. The garden is the ultimate in manicured French exotic style.

DAY 18 Friday 6 June 2014 Nice 
This morning we cross the Italian border to visit La Mortola, founded in 1864, it has become the flagship of Riviera gardens. Rows of terraces have been established to display the plants collected from all over the world by Thomas and Daniel Hanbury. We will have time for lunch in the elegant town of Menton before visiting Clos du Peyronnet. This estate is the last garden of Menton that has remained the property of the same family since 1915. The current owner, William Waterfield, is specifically interested in botany and collects tropical species, particularly bulb plants from South Africa. The landscaping of the garden Clos du Peyronnet is quite exceptional. It combines colours and movements through a play of water staircases, formed by successive ponds, the last step of which is the Mediterranean. Tonight we will enjoy a farewell dinner to celebrate our tour.

DAY 19 Saturday 7 June 2014 Departure 
This morning we will have free time for individual exploration of Nice. In the afternoon we are transferred to the airport for our flight to Australia.

DAY 20 Sunday 8 June 2014 In flight

DAY 21 Monday 9 June 2014 Arrival Australia
Tour members arrive early morning back in Australia. The tour concludes.