Australia - Tasmania
Discover the historic houses and estates, private gardens and nurseries of the Island State in its springtime bloom.

Gardens of Tasmania with Jennifer Stackhouse


West Coast, Cradle Mountain and Hobart


25 October – 03 November 2020 (10 days)



Discover the historic houses and estates, private gardens and nurseries of the Island State in its springtime bloom.
Traverse the hills and valleys of Tasmania with garden writer Jennifer Stackhouse, from Launceston to Hobart via the West Coast and through the scenic heart of the state, down to the picturesque south-east.
Wonder at a range of landscapes, from the sublime natural grandeur of Cradle Mountain to the quiet serenity of the superb cottage gardens at Old Wesley Dale.
Roam the Meander, Derwent and Huon Valleys and get to know some of the private gardens and nurseries that make the island bloom, including Culzean Gardens, Crawleighwood Nursery and Garden, and Eggs and Bacon Bay Cottage Garden.
Explore charming decorative gardens filled with splashes of floral colour, as well as working grounds which are home to some of Tasmania’s finest produce.



• Travel along the picturesque West Coast, spend a day exploring Cradle Mountain and take a stroll around the shores of the picturesque Dove Lake
• Explore the idyllic beauty of the Meander Valley, and gain access to the nurseries and gardens which make the island bloom
• Soak up the serenity of the Derwent Valley and marvel at the beauty of its rural landscapes and rainforest ecology
• Discover the beauty of Hobart and the surrounding Huon Valley, with visits to a selection of private cottage gardens
• Visit the grounds and sample the gourmet produce of Tasmania’s finest working farms and plantations




Sunday 25 October 2020 / Arrive Launceston

Arrive in Launceston on suggested Qantas flights and make your way to the hotel. Renaissance Tours or your travel agent can assist you with your flights and other travel arrangements.Tour arrangements commence at 16:00 with a welcome briefing by your tour leader, Jennifer Stackhouse. Then enjoy an orientation tour encompassing Launceston’s elegant City Park and Cataract Gorge on the South Esk River.
Tonight, enjoy a welcome dinner with Jennifer and fellow tour members. (D)


Mon 26 Oct / Launceston

This morning visit Hawthorn Villa, a Victorian gothic property surrounded by gardens including magnificent sequoias planted more than 150 years ago. Then discover Tasmania’s World Heritage Brickendon Estate. Enjoy a morning tea and a guided tour of its special garden and wonder at the beauty of 180-year-old trees from all parts of the world. After lunch at Josef Chromy winery continue to Evandale, a National Trust-classified Georgian village, and enjoy some time at leisure in the village. Visit a private garden on the outskirts of Evandale before returning to Launceston.(BL)


Tue 27 Oct / Launceston – Cradle Mountain

Depart Launceston and drive west through the Meander Valley to Culzean Gardens in Westbury. Culzean Gardens feature an Anglo-Indian-style house built in 1841 and a 1.2 hectare lake. During the late spring this colourful garden bursts with rhododendrons and azaleas.Continue through the Meander Valley to the 1830s estate of Old Wesley Dale near Mole Creek. After lunch, explore this beautifully restored rural property with wonderful views of the Great Western Tiers.Explore the garden of your tour leader Jennifer Stackhouse, located in Tasmania’s lush north-west featuring a small orchard and brilliant foxgloves, roses, poppies, clematis, rhododendrons and dogwoods.
Arrive in Cradle Mountain in the late afternoon and check in to the hotel.(BLD)


Wed 28 Oct / Cradle Mountain

This morning follow the ‘’Enchanted Walk’’, an easy walk with a cascading river, wombat burrows and old-growth rainforest. Then, admire the sublime natural grandeur of Cradle Mountain’s Lake St Clair National Park, characterised by glacial lakes, heathlands, highland moors, jagged peaks and forests. End with a stroll around the shores of the picturesque Dove Lake, surrounded by alpine forests. After lunch, enjoy the remainder of the afternoon at leisure to relax or to further explore Cradle Mountain.(BL)


Thu 29 Oct / Cradle Mountains – Strahan

Depart Cradle Mountain in the early morning and travel to Queenstown, an old mining town located on the West Coast Range. From there, appreciate the wilderness of the West Coast on a steam train journeying deep into the cool temperate rainforest and enjoy stunning views as you cross the spectacular King River Gorge. In the afternoon, arrive in Strahan. Enjoy the remainder of the afternoon at leisure to explore this quaint harbourside town. (BLD)


Fri 30 Oct / Strahan – Hobart

Depart Strahan and enjoy a leisurely day’s drive through Tasmania’s central highlands down to Hobart. Enjoy a scenic drive across valleys and mountains on the Alpine Plateau and stop at Derwent Bridge for lunch. Discover The Wall in the Wilderness, a 100-metre carved sculpture representing the story of the highlands. Continue through the hydroelectric generating area near Tarraleah and the picturesque Derwent Valley downhill to Hobart. Arrive in Hobart and check in to the hotel in the early evening. (BL)


Sat 31 Oct / Hobart

This morning enjoy some time at leisure to explore the iconic Salamanca Market. This weekly outdoor market takes place every Saturday and gathers over 300 stallholders from across Tasmania, including creative artisans and talented musicians.
Later, transfer to Peppermint Bay Hotel for lunch and visit Eggs and Bacon Bay Cottage Garden, located in a sheltered bend of the Huon River. Discover its flowering Tasmanian understory garden before continuing to Crawleighwood Nursery and Garden. Wander between rhododendrons, maple woodlands, Gondwanan rainforest species and other rare and unusual plants. Enjoy afternoon tea on the property before returning to Hobart.(BL)


Sun 01 Nov / Hobart

This morning visit a private garden built around an historic cottage in Richmond and enjoy some time at leisure in the village, renowned for its elegant Georgian architecture and stone arch bridge. After lunch in a nearby vineyard, transfer to a private garden located in the Midlands. Learn about this creative garden with water features and sculptures in bronze, glass, stone and steel. (BL)


Mon 02 Nov / Hobart

Begin today with a visit to two private gardens created by the Hobart-based garden designer Susan McKinnon using native Tasmanian plants including perennials, ornamental and woodland gardens. Transfer to Neika in the foothills of Mount Wellington and visit a private garden featuring unusual exotic species from Asia, North America and Europe.Continue to Mount Wellington covered with magnificent displays of spring wildflowers, and enjoy the breathtaking view over Hobart and the Derwent Estuary. (BD)


Tue 03 Nov / Depart Hobart

This morning visit a private garden in Hobart, then continue to the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens. Begun in 1818, this is Australia’s second-oldest botanic garden. Explore the garden with a guided introductory walk and visit the Tasmanian Community Food Garden completed in 2013. Enjoy a farewell lunch with Jennifer and fellow tour members followed by a transfer to Hobart Airport (group transfer included in tour price) for flights departing from 16:00. Renaissance Tours or your travel agent can assist you with your flights and other travel arrangements, including additional nights’ accommodation either before or after the tour. (BL)

Note: At time of publication (January 2020), most but not all garden visits were confirmed. Private owners, in particular, are reluctant to commit more than two to three months prior to the visit. Therefore, while we undertake to operate the tour as published, there may be some changes to the itinerary.

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Prices in $AUD
Per person, twin-share: AUD 6,250
Single supplement*: AUD 1,350
Deposit per person (at time of booking): AUD 500

* Single travellers may request to share. Please advise at time of booking.
Room category upgrade available on request; please enquire with us.

Final payment due: 25 August 2020

Tour code: GD2007

Fitness level: Moderate
Please see Terms & Conditions for fitness level definitions.

Suggested airline: Qantas
Please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for current airfares and flight reservations.

Visa: New Zealand passport holders do not require a visa to visit Australia.

Tour price includes:

• Accommodation in four-star hotels with breakfast daily (B)
• Meals as per itinerary (L = Lunch, D = Dinner), including wine with dinners
• Comprehensive sightseeing, including local guides and entrance fees as per itinerary
• Transportation throughout on comfortable, air-conditioned coaches
• Talks with your tour leader, Jennifer Stackhouse
• Group transfer to Hobart Airport on departure
• Gratuities for local guides, drivers and wait staff
• Hotel porterage (one piece per person)

Tour price does not include:

• Airfares (please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for assistance)
• Airport/hotel transfer on arrival
• Airport porterage
• Items of a personal nature (e.g. telephone, laundry, room service, minibar, taxis etc.)
• Travel insurance (highly recommended; please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for assistance)

Your hotels:
Launceston – The Sebel****
Cradle Mountain – Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge****
Strahan – Strahan Village****
Hobart – The Grand Chancellor****+

N.B. Hotels of a similar standard may be substituted.