Australia - NSW, ACT
A plant lovers delight as we follow the trail of flower festivals across New South Wales meeting brilliant gardeners along the way. We travel to Southern Highlands for Tulip Time, to Canberra for Floriade, then Cowra to catch Cherry Blossom Time and finally to the Leura Gardens Festival.
Immerse yourself in paper daisies at the Australian Garden, Mt Annan; take a walk through the plant-lovers paradise of Red Cow Farm; tiptoe through a million tulips on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra; enjoy country hospitality at romantic Glenmore House; gasp at the extravagance of Mayfield Garden, Oberon; and take High Tea at The Hyatt, Canberra.



DAY 1 Wednesday 23 September 2015
Sydney – Bowral (MT/L/D)
Meet Sandra Ross at Central Station, Sydney. Our first garden is the Georgian treasure Glenmore House, hidden in a beautiful valley just beyond Camden. The garden’s creator, our dear friend Mickey Robertson will show us around, serve us morning tea and lunch outside in the loggia.
It’s hard to leave but we have a field of paper daisies to admire at Mt Annan Botanic Gardens! Afternoon check in to Gibraltar Hotel Country Club and Spa.
There’s a welcome dinner tonight in the hotel.
Accommodation: Gibraltar Hotel, Bowral

DAY 2 Thursday 24 September 2015
Bowral (B/MT)
Elaine Musgrave is a brilliant botanical artist with a beautiful garden. We’ll visit her studio and stroll through the garden this morning.
A grand old garden this afternoon, Retford Park in Bowral, established in 1887 in the English Landscape Style by Samuel Horden. It’s now owned by James Fairfax who has kindly agreed to open the garden for us. In between – it’s Tulip Time, so we pop in to Corbett Park to see the excitement with free time set aside to check out the shops.
Accommodation: Gibraltar Hotel, Bowral

DAY 3 Friday 25 September 2015
Bowral (B/L)
Meet some of the Southern Highlands’ best gardeners and longtime friends of ours today. First is Dominique Wong at Chinoiserie, with glorious long borders bursting with new spring growth. Lunch is included today in Berrima.
Plant lovers paradise, Red Cow Farm is next; one of the finest gardens in Australia, with a sophisticated structure and complex planting. Meet our good friends Ali and Wayne and enjoy afternoon tea in the garden and discover its twenty garden rooms filled with rare and unusual plants.
Accommodation: Gibraltar Hotel, Bowral

DAY 4 Saturday 26 September 2015
Bowral – Canberra (B/D)
Morning tea is served in the pretty tulip garden called Tulip Top in a valley outside Canberra. With a canopy of blossom above and tulips beneath, it’s quite a spectacle.
Now we’re in Canberra to visit Walcott Garden in Red Hill, a fascinating private garden designed for birds and bird-lovers filled with Australian native plants.
Check in to the Crowne Plaza in central city with dinner included tonight in your hotel.
Accommodation:Crowne Plaza, Canberra

DAY 5 Sunday 27 September 2015
Canberra (B/HT)
Wear your walking shoes today as we head to Lake Burley Griffin and Commonwealth Park to experience our nation’s capital annual flagship event, Floriade.
Then it’s back to our hotel to freshen up for High Tea at the art deco Hyatt Hotel where tables are laden with petit fours, scones, macaroons and miniature glasses of chocolate panacotta – sheer heaven!
Accommodation: Crowne Plaza, Canberra

DAY 6 Monday 28 September 2015
Canberra (B/L)
Parliament House is first this morning with a guided tour of its hidden courtyards. These concealed spaces have been carefully designed and planted. We will not miss the Kodak moment beneath huge weeping white Japanese cherry trees in full blossom – the highlight of our day to see such fleeting beauty.
Lunch at the National Gallery of Australia then take a guided tour of one of Australia’s most exciting new horticultural ventures, The National Arboretum, a vision for the future and home to 94 forests of rare, endangered and symbolic trees from Australia and around the world. Our guide will take us around the 618 acres.
Accommodation: Crowne Plaza, Canberra

DAY 7 Tuesday 29 September 2015
Canberra – Orange (B/L/D)
We follow a golden road this morning, as the canola fields glisten all the way through the Lachlan Valley to Cowra and then on to Orange. We’ll stop for lunch in the Cowra Japanese Garden, designed by the world-famous architect Ken Nakajima, to mark the peaceful ties between Cowra and Japan since WW2 and it’s planted with lots of flowering cherries.
We’ll visit the site of the former POW camp and the cemetery.
From Cowra we’ll head back to Orange and check in to our accommodation. Dinner tonight is included at a local restaurant.
Accommodation: De Russie Suites, Orange

DAY 8 Wednesday 30 September 2015
Orange (B/L)
Learn all about iris this morning at a specialty iris garden and nursery in Millthorpe, the heart and soul of Rainbow Ridge Nursery, Australia’s premier bearded iris nursery where friend Sharon Drinkwater will take us on a guided tour. Lunch is included in the heritage town of Millthorpe that has remained unchanged since 1900’s. The whole village is classified by the National Trust.
Free afternoon in Orange.
Accommodation: De Russie Suites, Orange

DAY 9 Thursday 1 October 2015
Orange – Katoomba (B/L/D)
Mayfield Garden, in Oberon, started modestly enough, but has grown to become an amazing creation garden with a six acre water garden at its heart. We’ll enjoy lunch here, then continue to Katoomba to the heritage-listed, refurbished manor, The Hotel Carrington for the next 3 nights.
Accommodation: Carrington Hotel, Katoomba

DAY 10 Friday 2 October 2015
Katoomba – Mt Wilson – Katoomba (B/L)
Today you’ll fall in love with the timeless beauty, majesty, grace and scale of the cool climate gardens of Mt Wilson today. First is Nooroo with carpets of bluebells, drifts of daffodils and rhododendrons in flower.
Next is Windyridge where you’ll be blown away by the serene treasure-filled garden of our friends Wai and Roger Davidson, even more with the luncheon they have in store for us.
Accommodation: Carrington Hotel, Katoomba

DAY 11 Saturday 3 October 2015
Leura (B/D)
Today we visit a selection of gardens open for the Leura Garden Festival, our farewell dinner will be at the Carrington Hotel.
Accommodation: Carrington Hotel, Katoomba

DAY 12 Sunday 4 October 2015
Katoomba – Sydney (B)
We’ll make a lazy start to the day this morning, soaking up the memories of our 12 days on the road. Head to Sydney.

  • Ross Tours NSW Spring Festivals with Sandra Ross 2015 Download

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Twin Share per person $4595 pp
Single Supplement $1395

All prices in Australian dollars
Prices based on minimum 15 passengers
Price is based on departure ex Sydney

Air-conditioned motorcoach throughout tour
Deluxe accommodation for 11 nights with breakfast daily
2 morning teas, 7 lunches, 2 afternoon teas, 1 high tea, 5 dinners
Entrance fees to all gardens and sightseeing including Glenmore House, Mt Annan Botanic Gardens, Chinoiserie, Red Cow Farm, Tulip Time Bowral, Corbett Park, Tulip Top, National Arboretum, Japanese Garden Cowra, Mayfield Garden, Leura Gardens Festival
Fully escorted by Sandra Ross