Art and Architecture in California: Palm Springs, Los Angeles, The Big Sur & San Francisco

15 Apr – 1 May 2019

  • Region:
    • USA
  • Status: open
  • Code: 21911
Overview

Tour Highlights

  • Prof. Chris McAuliffe has taught art history at the University of Melbourne and Harvard University, and was Director of the Ian Potter Museum of Art, University of Melbourne for thirteen years. Join Chris to explore some of the world’s finest museums, most iconic urban and desert architecture, remarkable gardens and magnificent coastal landscape.
  • Discover the exceptional art collections of America’s West Coast with visits to some of the largest and newest art museums in the USA – the Getty Center and Getty Villa, Broad Art Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art, LA County Museum of Art and Huntington Art Gallery in Los Angeles; the Cantor Arts Center & Rodin Sculpture Garden in Stanford; and San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art and de Young Fine Arts Museum.
  • Explore the desert resort of Palm Springs, heritage-listed ‘Mecca of Modernism’, on a specially-designed tour led by fêted local historian Robert Imber, a founder of Palm Springs’ annual Modernism Week, with visits to distinctive homes by noted architects including Frank Sinatra’s legendary Twin Palms Estate, the Albert Frey House II and the Sunnylands Historic Estate (program pending confirmation in late 2018).
  • Experience Los Angeles’ ground-breaking early 20th century architecture – houses that defined ‘Californian Modern’, and so influenced our world, including Greene&Greene’s Gamble House (1909), Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House (1919-21, his first project in southern California), the Schindler House (1922) and Eames House (1949).
  • Enjoy privileged access to the iconic Stahl House by Pierre Koenig (1959) and John Lautner’s fabulous Sheats-Goldstein House (1961-63), both offering sensational views over Los Angeles from the Hollywood Hills.
  • Attend an evening performance at the Walt Disney Concert Hall designed by architect Frank Gehry, home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic (subject to performance schedule to be confirmed in July 2018).
  • Drive to San Francisco along the spectacular Pacific Coast Highway, visit the eccentric Hearst Castle and take in the rugged coastal landscape of California’s Big Sur.
  • Explore San Francisco’s world-leading art galleries, wander through two of its unique urban national parks (Golden Gate, the Presidio), and take a guided walking tour of the city’s character-filled and architecture-laden downtown area.
  • Discover distinctive ‘California Style’ gardens – including Thomas Church’s ‘El Novillero’ (Donnell Garden) in Sonoma, a Modernist icon and one of the best preserved examples of its time – and meet Australian-born landscape architect and designer Bernard Trainor on a tour of his most successful private gardens and landscape projects in the Monterey Bay Area.
  • End the tour with a farewell winery lunch at Stone Edge Farm’s Silver Cloud Vineyard, located 1,800 feet above the Sonoma Valley floor on the west side of the Mayacamas range, which divides Sonoma from Napa.

17-day Art and Architecture in California Tour

Overnight Palm Springs (2 nights) • Los Angeles (6 nights) • Cambria (1 night) • Monterey (2 nights) • San Francisco (5 nights)

Overview

We begin in Palm Springs, a desert resort town dubbed ‘Hollywood’s playground’ in its mid-twentieth century heyday. Now famed for its numerous heritage-listed examples of mid-century modernism, Palm Springs combines stark desert landscape, exuberant modernist architecture and relaxed, sophisticated lifestyle. We enjoy a specially designed tour led by Robert Imber, renowned local historian, author and founding member of the Palm Springs Modernism Committee and gain rare access to extraordinary homes by noted architects and celebrity hideaways. These include Frank Sinatra’s legendary Twin Palms Estate; the Albert Frey House II, a hillside landmark; and the historic Sunnylands estate designed by A. Quincy Jones for Ambassadors Walter and Leonore Annenberg (program pending confirmation in late 2018). We will enjoy fascinating art installations in natural and curated desert landscapes, as well as our befittingly retro-style resort accommodation at the Parker Palms Springs Hotel.

In Los Angeles, we visit major public and private art museums, including the recently opened Broad Art Museum, the Getty Center and Getty Villa, LACMA (LA County Museum of Art) and the Huntington. We will explore the famed modernist homes of Los Angeles, including iconic works by Charles and Ray Eames, Pierre Koenig, John Lautner and Rudolph Schindler, along with the formative Californian Arts and Crafts aesthetic of architects Greene & Greene and Frank Lloyd Wright. Our visit will also include remarkable gardens, such as Robert Irwin’s unique artist-designed garden of the Getty Center and the Huntington Desert Garden, one of the world’s greatest cactus and succulent collections.

On leaving Los Angeles we will explore the Californian coast, including Monterey, Carmel and Big Sur, described as the ‘greatest meeting of land and water in the world’. Jack Kerouac characterised this landscape as ‘fields the color of love and Spanish mysteries’, and there are powerful links to literature (John Steinbeck) and cinema (Orson Welles, Fritz Lang). Architectural visits will include the remarkably eccentric Hearst Castle and Australian-born landscape designer Bernard Trainor, who has made it his life’s work to honour California’s spirit in gardens, will introduce us to his recent inspirational projects in the Monterey Bay area.

In San Francisco, we will visit outstanding art collections including the Cantor Center, Stanford, which holds 200 works by Rodin, the newly expanded SF MOMA (opened in 2016), the de Young Museum (designed by Herzog and De Meuron) and the Yerba Buena Center. We take a trip across the Golden Gate Bridge to visit Muir Woods, an ancient forest of giant Redwoods, and Frank Lloyd Wright’s very last work, the space-age Marin County Civic Center. In Golden Gate and Presidio parks, we explore urban history, Bay Area vistas and outdoor art. We end the tour with a special winery lunch at Stone Edge Farm’s Silver Cloud Vineyard, with breathtaking views over Sonoma Valley, followed by a visit to Thomas Church’s ‘El Novillero’ (Donnell Garden), the definitive ‘California Style’ Modernist garden.

Continuing Professional Development for Architects

Practising architects who travelled on this program in past years qualified for informal Continuing Professional Development points. The eligibility for participants on the 2018 tour to qualify for Continuing Professional Development points is to be confirmed. The tour program includes over 10 hours of on-site learning delivered by qualified architects. Please refer to the daily schedule for the description of the sites visited. For details about the Continuing Professional Development point requirements please refer to the Australian Institute of Architects website: www.architecture.com.au

Itinerary

The days on this tour have been carefully programmed, however there will be opportunities for tour participants to break from the group to explore their own interests if they so desire. Evenings have been deliberately left free to allow participants to avail themselves of endless dining opportunities and sample the many performing arts options found in each of the major cities to be visited. The following itinerary describes a range of sites, which we plan to visit. Many are accessible to the public, but others require special permission, which may only be confirmed closer to the tour’s departure. The daily activities described in this itinerary may change or be rotated and/or modified in order to accommodate changes in museum opening hours, musical performance schedules and confirmation of private visits. The tour includes breakfast daily, lunches and evening meals, indicated in the itinerary where: B=breakfast, L=lunch and D = evening meal. All entrance fees on the official program are included in the tour price.

Palm Springs - 2 nights

Day 1: Monday 15 April, Arrive LAX Airport – Joshua Tree – Palm Springs
  • The Noah Purifoy Desert Art Museum of Assemblage Art, Joshua Tree
  • Welcome Drinks & light evening meal in Palm Springs

This morning we set out from Los Angeles LAX Airport and travel west along the freeway to the desert resort town of Palm Springs, where we begin our tour of California.

En route we will stop for lunch at an American-style diner before visiting the Noah Purifoy Desert Art Museum of Assemblage Art, Joshua Tree. Created between 1989-2004, on a 10-acre desert site, this unique art environment is the work of Noah Purifoy, a pioneering street and assemblage artist, and a significant contributor to post-WWII African-American art in Los Angeles. This site reflects the edgy and idiosyncratic art culture of the Joshua Tree scene.

On arrival in Palm Springs we check in to our hotel, The Parker Palm Springs, and this evening we gather for an introductory meeting, welcome drinks and a light group dinner together. (Overnight Palm Springs) LD

Day 2: Tuesday 16 April, Palm Springs
  • Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture and Design Center
  • Albert Frey House II – interior visit
  • Modernist Architecture Tour of Palm Springs led by Robert Imber including interior visits of private homes by famed architects (detailed program to be confirmed in late 2018)
  • Frank Sinatra’s Original Twin Palms Estate by architect E. Stewart Williams (pending confirmation in 2018)
  • Welcome Dinner

Established in the 19th century as a railway and agricultural town, Palm Springs became a desert resort in the early 20th century and ‘Hollywood’s Playground’. Hollywood’s ‘two-hour rule’, which required contracted stars to be within two hours of studios, made Palm Springs a convenient retreat. Luxury resorts, private hideaways, golf course and other trappings of Hollywood lifestyle persist, and are evident in street names and Palm Springs’ own walk of stars. The city’s distinctive architectural style – Desert Modernism – adapted European modernism to the desert climate and California’s recreational lifestyle. Pavilion and courtyard arrangements of glass-walled buildings united interior and landscape, as well offering privacy. Today, Desert Modernism is honoured with heritage listings and celebrated by a new generation fascinated by the glamorous, space age elegance of Palm Springs.

We spend the day exploring Palm Springs’ extraordinary modernist legacy with Robert Imber, an expert on local architecture, historian, author and preservationist. Originally from St. Louis, MO, Robert is lifelong visitor and ten-year resident of Palm Springs and has been a vocal and active advocate for architectural preservation for more than twenty-five years. Robert was founding member of the Palm Springs Modern Committee (PSMODCOM), where he serves on the Board of Directors; a founder of ‘Modernism Week’, the annual festival of Desert Modernism; and is executive producer of the documentary, Desert Utopia: Mid-Century Architecture in Palm Springs. Robert was also recently honoured with his own star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars.

Robert will share with us his love of architecture and take us through the city’s diverse neighbourhoods to see distinctive homes by noted architects such as Richard Neutra and Albert Frey, celebrity hideaways, familiar film locations, revolutionary modern tract developments, beautifully preserved commercial buildings and civic buildings that influenced public architecture throughout the world.

We also visit the Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture and Design Center, Edwards Harris Pavilion, housed in a restored mid-century building by architect E. Stewart Williams, where the museum features exhibitions and programs related to architecture and design. The museum’s collection also includes Frey House II, the second Palm Springs house that architect Albert Frey designed for himself in 1963 and bequeathed to the museum upon his death in 1998. We shall take a tour of Frey’s landmark house perched part way up the San Jacinto mountain and overlooking the Coachella Valley. It was designed to have as little impact on the surrounding environment and one of the most famous elements of the property is the incorporation of a large boulder into the design. It protrudes into the house and acts as a divider between the bedroom and living room.

Another highlight will be a special private tour of Twin Palms, the modernist home designed for Frank Sinatra in 1947 by E. Stewart Williams. Featuring classic elements of Desert Modernism – horizontal lines, glass walls, open plan, swimming pool courtyard – Twin Palms was the backdrop for legendary parties. Our tour will take us in the footsteps of the Rat Pack. E. Stewart Williams (1909–2005) shaped Palm Springs’ architectural style with numerous public buildings, including banks, museums and the Aerial Tramway terminus.

This evening we enjoy a Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant. (Overnight Palm Springs) BLD

Los Angeles - 6 nights

Day 3: Wednesday 17 April, Palm Springs – Sunnylands Historic Estate – Los Angeles
  • Sunnylands Historic Estate, Rancho Mirage
  • Evening Performance at the Walt Disney Concert Hall designed by Frank Gehry, Los Angeles (2019 program to be announced)

This morning, we transfer by coach to the Sunnylands Historic Estate, on Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage. Designed by A. Quincy Jones, Sunnylands was the winter residence of Ambassadors Walter and Leonore Annenberg from 1966 to 2009. Recasting the English-style country estate in Californian terms, Sunnylands couples bold modernist geometry and exposed structure with elegant interiors, museum-quality art works, a private cinema and nine-hole golf course. Artworks by Picasso, Wyeth and Arp sit alongside Tang Dynasty ceramics. The historic residence, where the Annenbergs entertained presidents, royalty, celebrities, and international leaders, was left by them for high-level retreats devoted to international understanding. Our tour will reveal the history and architecture of the estate, along with its art collection and gardens.

Following lunch, we continue our coach journey to Los Angeles. After some time to check-in at the Omni Los Angeles at California Plaza, we take a short orientation walk in the vicinity of the hotel located atop historic Bunker Hill in the heart of downtown Los Angeles. Nearby landmarks include the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), the Broad Art Museum, and the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels designed by award-winning Spanish architect Rafael Moneo.

Also nearby is the Walt Disney Concert Hall, where we plan to attend a musical performance (subject to performance schedule to be confirmed in July 2018). Designed by Frank Gehry, this internationally recognised architectural landmark is home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and one of the most acoustically sophisticated concert halls in the world. (Overnight Los Angeles) BLD

Day 4: Thursday 18 April, Los Angeles
  • The Getty Center
  • The Sheats-Goldstein Residence by John Lautner
  • Stahl House (Case Study House #22) by Pierre Koenig

Today we visit the Getty Center, the world’s largest cultural and philanthropic organisation dedicated to the visual arts. Supporting conservation, preservation, art historical research and art museums, Getty Trust activities commenced in 1953. The current Getty museum, designed by Richard Meier, was opened in 1997. The five pavilions of the museum house an art collection ranging from medieval to contemporary art, with significant specialisations in photography, manuscripts and European art. A combination of remarkable collections and intensive research activity delivers exhibitions setting world standards in the museum sector.

The museum is surrounded by gardens designed by Californian conceptual artist Robert Irwin, and combine references to historical traditions in garden design with Irwin’s philosophical interests in time, perception and consciousness. Our schedule will allow time to explore the museum and gardens and lunch at one of its informal terrace cafes.

Later this afternoon, we enjoy special access to two legendary LA Modernist homes, the Stahl House (1960) by Pierre Koenig and the Sheats-Goldstein House (1963) by John Lautner.

The Sheats Goldstein House, recently bequeathed to the LA County Museum of Art (LACMA) has been characterised as American Organic architecture on the basis of its intimate and dramatic relationship to the topography and sensory aspects of its environment. Its concrete forms have a massive, sculptural effect but the residence remains open to air, space and light. In 1972, businessman and fashion/basketball aficionado James F Goldstein purchased the house and worked closely with Lautner to restore and complete the architect’s vision, and the result – including furniture, rugs, lighting, and windows – is a complete work of art. The site also includes a skyscape installation by James Turrell. The house, like much California modernism, has a theatrical mood and has been immortalised in pop culture through films like The Big Lebowski and fashion shoots by legends like Herb Ritts, Helmut Newton and Michel Comte (as well as ads for Jimmy Choo).

The Stahl House was completed in 1960 and was made famous by architectural photographer Julius Shulman’s night shot of two women sitting in the living room overlooking the bright lights of the city. The Stahl House was declared a Historic-Cultural landmark of the City of Los Angeles in 1999 and is included in Arts and Architecture magazine’s authoritative Case Study House program of exemplary experiments in domestic architecture (Case Study #22). Perched high on a ridge overlooking Sunset Boulevard, the cantilevered patios of the Stahl House have become emblematic of Californian modernism. (Overnight Los Angeles) B

Day 5: Friday 19 April, Los Angeles
  • The Museum of Contemporary Art (LA MOCA)
  • The Broad Museum (opened 2016)

On the doorstep of our hotel are two major art museums, representing the entrepreneurial and philanthropic spirit of Los Angeles.

Founded in 1979 by artists, art collectors and philanthropists, the Museum of Contemporary Art (LA MOCA) is dedicated to post-WWII and contemporary art. Ninety percent of the collection has been gifted by private benefactors, with an emphasis on cutting-edge contemporary art. MOCA’s 1986 building was the first in the US designed by Japanese architect Arata Isozaki. Often controversial in its exhibitions and management strategies, MOCA is energised by its occasionally contradictory embrace of the formalities of the museum and the ‘go ahead’ attitudes of its entrepreneurial patrons. Recent controversies – a director who had previously run a commercial gallery, sacked curators and resignations by board members – have revealed the frictions between conventional museums strategies and the contemporary ‘experience economy’.

Through their philanthropic foundations and business activities, Eli and Edythe Broad have become among the most influential citizens of Los Angeles. As supporters of LACMA, MOCA, university art museums, education and opera, the Broads have reshaped LA culture and reinvigorated the downtown area. The new Broad Art Museum, opened in 2016, presents works from their collection in a building designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro (ICA Boston; Berkeley Art Museum). The collection features major works by American and international artists – including Warhol, Rauschenberg, Beuys, Ruscha, Koons, Kruger, Murakami – presented in provocative thematic installations. (Overnight Los Angeles) B

Day 6: Saturday 20 April, Los Angeles
  • The Gamble House by Greene & Greene
  • Greene & Greene Neighbourhood walking tour
  • The Huntington Art Collections and Botanical Gardens

For today’s visits we will travel a short distance inland to Pasadena. Charles Sumner Greene (1868-1957) and Henry Mather Greene (1870-1954) trained in architecture at MIT before moving to Pasadena in the 1890s. Inspired by the nature of the West, influenced by Japanese art and mindful of medical theories linking good health to well-designed living quarters, the brothers developed an architecture seeking a harmony of nature, spirit and well-being. Their American version of the European Arts and Crafts movement was immensely popular; the team completed 150 projects between 1902-10. Within American architecture, they were hailed for establishing a ‘new and native beauty’; reflecting American materials, craft skills and domesticity.

The Gamble House is an outstanding example of American Arts and Crafts style architecture. The house and furnishings were designed by Greene and Greene in 1908 for David and Mary Gamble of the Procter & Gamble Company. Regarded as an Arts and Crafts masterpiece, the house is noteworthy for its intricate use of multiple woods, used in carefully orchestrated arrangements exploiting their different colours and tones for subtle effects. The house was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1978.

We shall also enjoy a guided walk around the historic Arroyo Terrace neighborhood, a National Register historic district that’s home to nine Greene & Greene houses as well as the works of other noted architects such as Myron Hunt, Edwin Bergstrom, Elmer Grey, and D. M. Renton. Among these are the personal residences of Myron Hunt and of Charles Greene, whose house evolved between 1902 and 1915 as his family grew and his design ideas matured.

The nearby Huntington Art Gallery was founded in 1919 by Henry Huntington, a businessman with extensive interests in rail, utilities and real estate. Huntington’s personal passions extended to art, books and gardens, all of which are on offer at the gallery.

The art collection focuses on 18th and 19th century European art, and includes Gainsborough’s much-reproduced Blue Boy. In addition, the museum holds works by Renaissance masters (Lippi, Bellini) and the American greats (Copley, Cassat, Eakins, Peto, Hopper). The art museum continues to expand, with the 2016 opening of an extension displaying 700 examples of American painting, sculpture, furniture, ceramics, metal, needlework, and other related decorative arts, from the Jonathan and Karen Fielding collection, widely regarded as one of the most significant of its kind in the United States.

The library comprises 6 million volumes, including the Ellesmere manuscript of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, a Gutenberg Bible on vellum, the double-elephant folio edition of Audubon’s Birds of America, and a world-class collection of the early editions of Shakespeare’s works.

Set in 120 acres of botanical gardens the Huntington estate encompasses more than a dozen specialised gardens, among them the Desert Garden (one of the world’s great collections of succulents), the Japanese Garden, the Rose Garden, and the Chinese Garden. The camellia collection is one of the largest in the country. Other important botanical attractions include the Subtropical, Herb, Jungle, and Palm gardens. (Overnight Los Angeles) B

Day 7: Sunday 21 April, Los Angeles
  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
  • Hollyhock House by Frank Lloyd Wright
  • Schindler House by Rudolph Schindler

Founded in 1965, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) now boasts a collection of over 130,000 items with significant holdings in art of the Americas, Asia and Europe. Laid out in the distinctive campus style of Californian museums, LACMA is a complex of pavilions and plazas, famously located across the street from the La Brea tar pits. LACMA is an encyclopaedic art museum, presenting major exhibitions of European art (with especially strong holding of German expressionism), American art and international contemporary art. The museum’s extensive collection of Californian design complements our visits to modernist homes.

The Hollyhock House, which we next visit, was the first house Frank Lloyd Wright designed in Los Angeles, part of a performing arts complex commissioned in the early 1920s by oil heiress Aline Barnsdall for an incredible 36-acre hilltop site on the Hollywood/Los Feliz border. Built between 1919 and 1921, it represents Frank Lloyd Wright’s earliest efforts to develop a regionally appropriate style of architecture for Southern California. Wright himself referred to it as California Romanza, using a musical term meaning ‘freedom to make one’s own form’. He was however often away during construction, working on the Imperial Hotel in Japan, and building was mostly overseen by project manager Rudolph Schindler. In 1927, Barnsdall donated the property, with the surrounding 12 acres, to the city of Los Angeles, and following years of closure, the Hollyhock reopened in February 2015 with a beautiful, painstaking restoration that has brought many of its public spaces back to their 1921 magnificence.

Nearby is Rudolph Schindler’s own masterpiece. Secluded behind a screen of tall bamboo shoots in West Hollywood, the Schindler House, also known as the Kings Road House, may be considered the first home ever built in the Modernist style. Designed in 1921, the house was the shared vision of Schindler and his wife Pauline and was conceived as an experiment in communal living to be shared with another couple, Clyde and Marian Chace. The architect’s use of tilt-slab concrete construction (highly innovative at the time) and an informal studio layout, set it apart from its contemporaries and the design would set the tone for other Modernist residential design for decades. (Overnight Los Angeles) B

Day 8: Monday 22 April, Los Angeles
  • The Eames House  (Case Study House #8) by Charles and Ray Eames
  • The Getty Villa

Today we visit yet another iconic LA modernist home, the Eames House (1949); (Case Study House #8). The building was designed by the legendary team, Charles and Ray Eames, responsible for numerous innovations in furniture and graphic design, as well as being pioneers in multimedia display. With their own needs in mind – ‘a married couple both occupied professionally with mechanical experiment and graphic presentation’ – the Eames designed a simple platform for work and play, concentration and relaxation, uncomplicated and low maintenance. Their design strives after the modernist dream of the home as ‘background for life in work’. As the Eames Foundation notes, this house epitomises the hallmarks of California modernism, emphasising ‘the guest/host relationship, the honest use of materials, universalising from the specific, and, above all, the learn-by-doing process’.

In the afternoon, we will travel back in time to a first century AD Roman villa at the second of the Getty Foundation’s art museum campuses, the Getty Villa. Modelled after the Villa dei Papiri in Herculaneum, Italy, the Getty Villa incorporates extensive gardens and carefully designed vistas, recreating the experience of a rural Roman estate. The museum displays over 1200 items from a collection numbering 44,000 and traversing a 6000-year period from 6500 BCE to 450 AD. (Overnight Los Angeles) B

Cambria - 1 night

Day 9: Tuesday 23 April, Los Angeles – Hearst Castle – Cambria
  • Hearst Castle, San Simeon

We depart Los Angeles early this morning and travel north towards San Francisco along the Pacific Coast Highway (Highway One), a spectacular route of rugged coastal landscape shaped by the Pacific Ocean.

Perched high above the village of San Simeon atop a hill he called ‘La Cuesta Encantada‘ (the Enchanted Hill), is Hearst Castle, the 165-room estate of publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst (1863-1951), upon whom Orson Wells modelled Citizen Kane (1941). We spend the afternoon visiting one of the last great estates of America’s Gilded Age and a monument to wealth. Hearst inherited a vast ranch of 250,000 acres established by his father, George Hearst, a wealthy miner. Whilst on a European honeymoon with his bride, Millicent Wilson, Hearst determined to build a grand house on the ranch. He commissioned the famed San Francisco architect, Julia Morgan, to design his mansion in 1919. By 1947, Hearst and Morgan had created an estate of 165 rooms and 127 acres of gardens, terraces, pools and walkways. The estate’s main house, ‘Casa Grande,’ and three guesthouses, are in the Mediterranean Revival style; Casa Grande’s imposing towers were inspired by a Spanish cathedral. We visit the house, which displays Hearst’s impressive art collection, and explore its landscaped gardens. Majestic Coastal Live Oaks and California Bays, native to the hilltop, are carefully integrated into the garden design. These and other large trees, such as Italian Cypress and Mexican Fan Palms, help to integrate the scale of the towering main house with the smaller scale of the surrounding gardens and guesthouses. William Randolph Hearst wanted a garden that displayed a profusion of blooms throughout the year and plant species that bloom during each of the different seasons were carefully selected for its beds. These include bougainvillea, tulips, hyacinths, gladiolus, lilies, dahlias, asters, geraniums, lantana, petunias, pansies, sweet peas, hollyhocks, marigolds and carnations.

We spend the night at the nearby Cambria Pines Lodge, set on 25 acres of landscaped gardens, secluded pathways and rare Monterey pine trees. (Overnight Cambria) BLD

Monterey - 2 nights

Day 10: Wednesday 24 April, Cambria – Monterey
  • Big Sur scenic drive (subject to road conditions)
  • Monterey Bay Aquarium
  • Group Dinner at C Restaurant, InterContinental The Clement Monterey Hotel

Today we follow the Big Sur Coast Highway, one of America’s most scenic drives which extends from San Simeon north to Carmel-by-the-Sea and Monterey. On this unforgettable stretch of coastline, redwood groves reach skyward, the Santa Lucia Range plunges into the Pacific Ocean, and waves are beaten to froth on ragged rocks.

On arrival in Monterey, where we shall spend the next two nights, we visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Situated on the former site of a sardine cannery, this is arguably the most sophisticated aquarium in the world; it is certainly one of the largest. Its many vast tanks are constantly fed by fresh seawater that is pumped from the Bay.

We will have time to view its exhibits and watch the otters being fed before checking-in to our hotel ideally located on Cannery Row. Once named Ocean View Avenue, this waterfront street officially took on its nickname ‘cannery row’ in honour of John Steinbeck, who used it both as the setting for his great 1945 novel and also for his Sweet Thursday (1954). The last cannery closed here in 1976.

This evening we dine at the hotel’s C Restaurant overlooking the pristine and scenic Monterey Bay. The restaurant features the finest in California regional cuisine and only seafood endorsed by Seafood Watch of the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Note: due to recent extreme weather conditions and mud slides, some parts of Highway 1 between Cambria and Monterey are not passable and are not expected to re-open until late 2018. Today’s program will be subject to road conditions to be confirmed closer to the date. (Overnight Monterey) BD

Day 11: Thursday 25 April, Monterey – Carmel Valley – Big Sur – Monterey
  • Private gardens and landscape projects by Bernard Trainor + Associates (detailed program to be confirmed)
  • Evening talk & drinks at the studio of Bernard Trainor + Associates, Monterey

Early this morning, we meet with Bernard Trainor, who will show us his inspiring landscape design projects in and around the Monterey Bay and Carmel Valley area (detailed program to be confirmed).

Drawing on almost thirty years of passionate commitment to the study and practice of landscape design, Bernard Trainor is the founding principal and design director at Bernard Trainor + Associates Landscape Architecture in Monterey California. Throughout the years, he has completed four academic landscape and design programs, practiced professionally in three countries, and Bernard continues to lecture extensively on the subject of Landscape Design throughout the world.

Raised on the Mornington Peninsula along Australia’s rugged south-eastern coast below Melbourne, Bernard developed a lasting awareness and appreciation of the natural landscape that led to horticulture and design studies at Melbourne’s Homesglen College. Following his apprenticeship with a local parks department, he then received a scholarship which allowed him to move to England to study under the famed plantswoman and garden designer, Beth Chatto. Her regionally appropriate planting design further developed Bernard’s design philosophy and the direction of the landscapes that followed. In the years that followed Bernard completed a Diploma of Landscape Design while studying at the English School of Garden Design at Chelsea Physic Garden.

After practicing landscape design in Australia and Britain, Bernard relocated to California in 1995 to head a San Francisco landscape design firm. The geographical diversity of his educational and work experiences cultivated a deep appreciation for California’s unique regional qualities and culture. “Whilst traveling I have discovered my favourite art, architecture and landscapes are deeply connected to the place from which they have ‘grown’.” As founding principal and design director, he is involved with his studio team on every landscape project, from conception to completion. The studio’s award-winning projects, ranging from town-scaled gardens to extensive rural properties, have been featured in books and publications throughout the world including the New York Times, Vogue LivingGarden Design, and numerous other publications. Bernard is passionate about designing regional-appropriate landscapes and “applies simple, understated frames to rugged natural panoramas, the better to bring them into focus”.

Our day will end with a special visit at the studio of Bernard Trainor + Associates in downtown Monterey, where we shall enjoy some pre-dinner drinks and a talk by landscape designer Bernard Trainor about his work, his unique approach to design informed by architecture, climate, conservation and local culture, and further projects across California.

A short stroll away is Monterey’s Old Fisherman’s Wharf, famous for its seafood restaurants overlooking the harbour, serving the catch of the day and fresh clam chowder. (Overnight Monterey) BL

San Francisco - 5 nights

Day 12: Friday 26 April, Monterey – Stanford – San Francisco
  • Cantor Arts Center & Rodin Collection, Stanford
  • The Hanna House by Frank Lloyd Wright, Stanford (subject to tour schedule confirmation in early 2019)

We depart this morning for Palo Alto where we first visit the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University. Founded along with the university itself in the 19th century, Stanford’s art museum has survived multiple earthquakes, neglect and closure. In 1999, with the support of Iris and B Gerald Cantor, a new art museum was opened. Like many university museums in the USA, Stanford boasts an extensive and encyclopaedic collection, ranging across ancient, modern and contemporary art, as well as African, Oceanic and Native American items.

A highlight of the Cantor Arts Center is its collection of 200 works by Auguste Rodin, reflecting the Cantors’ deep involvement with this artist. As a young stockbroker, B. Gerald Cantor came across a small Rodin sculpture in New York’s Metropolitan Museum. In 1946, while still in his twenties, he began acquiring small works by Rodin. With the formation of the Cantor Foundation in 1978, Iris and Bernie, worked closely with the Rodin Museum in Paris, commissioning bronzes from plasters in the archive as well as funding the operation of the museum itself. Using their collection and foundation resources, the Cantors systematically developed scholarship, exhibitions and promotions of Rodin’s oeuvre. With the opening of the ground-breaking Rodin Rediscovered exhibition in Washington (1981) it could be said that the Cantors have driven that rediscovery.

Nearby is Hanna House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for Stanford Professor Paul Hanna and his wife, Jean. This was Frank Lloyd Wright’s first work in the San Francisco region and his first work with non-rectangular structures. The house is recognised as a National Historic Landmark.

Begun in 1937 and expanded over 25 years, this is the first and best example of Wright’s innovative hexagonal design. Wright had become interested in creating elegant and affordable homes for the American middle class, believing that this would lead to a more harmonious, enlightened society. A long-term collaboration between the Hannas and Wright resulted in an unprecedented design: a house based on hexagonal geometry, with no right angles in the floor plan. This radical experimentation allowed Wright to explore open planning. Hanna House was a turning point in his career, leading to ideas later explored in the Guggenheim Museum in New York.

The house was restored following severe damage in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, and reopened to the public in 1999. The garden is also being restored, beginning with the replanting of its built-in brick planting boxes and freestanding containers. The second phase will restore the wonderful Japanese-style garden that frames the cascade fountain.

On arrival in San Francisco in the late afternoon, and time allowing, we shall take a short orientation walk in the vicinity of our hotel near Union Square. (Overnight San Francisco) BL

Day 13: Saturday 27 April, San Francisco – Muir Woods National Monument – San Francisco
  • Muir Woods National Monument
  • Golden Gate Bridge
  • The Presidio National Park & Presidio Officer’s Club

Our first destination this morning is the Muir Woods National Monument; an ancient forest of giant Redwoods just a few miles north of the city across the Golden Gate Bridge. Named for John Muir, the pioneering environmentalist and advocate of national parks, this site features diverse flora and fauna, including magnificent old growth redwoods. Muir said of the woods, “This is the best tree-lovers monument that could possibly be found in all the forests of the world”. Another attraction: no mobile phone reception.

We next make our way to the Presidio National Park, which offers spectacular views of San Francisco’s iconic Golden Gate Bridge. In 1776, the Presidio was established as Spain’s northernmost outpost in the Americas. It then served as a Mexican fort from 1822 until 1846, when it became a premier U.S. Army post. When decommissioned in 1994, the Presidio was reconfigured as an urban national park, offering extensive recreational facilities and dramatic coastal views while also supporting museums, public art and community activities. As a multi-use national park, the Presidio now offers, among many other attractions, nature walks, large-scale public artworks by Andy Goldsworthy, military and naval history displays, a traditional letterpress printery and the Walt Disney Family Museum.

Our visit to the Presidio is an opportunity to explore contemporary approaches to the landscape, encompassing engagement with nature, history and regional culture. It is also an opportunity to see how San Francisco understands itself, as a scenic landscape, as a frontier city with a multi-layered history, and as a creative and experimental culture.

At San Francisco’s most historic building, the Presidio Officer’s Club, we explore permanent and special exhibitions retracing American history from a distinctly west coast perspective. We also discover the work of artist Andy Goldsworthy through his installations, such as Spire, a 100-foot-tall sculpture built from Monterey Cyprus, and Earth Wall, constructed of curved Eucalyptus branches housed within a rammed earth wall. (Overnight San Francisco) B

Day 14: Sunday 28 April, San Francisco
  • De Young Museum of Fine Arts
  • Yuerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) – subject to exhibition 

We transfer this morning to de Young Fine Arts Museum. The story of the de Young Fine Arts Museum reflects key elements of the cultural development of San Francisco. Commencing as the Fine Arts pavilion of an 1895 international exposition in Golden Gate Park, it linked international perspectives with commercial and cultural ambitions. Earthquake damage, a perennial challenge in California, forced an early closure and prompted the construction of a new building, with successive expansions, which was again damaged in a 1929 earthquake. A subsequent De Young building was also hit by an earthquake in 1989. The current de Young, designed by the Swiss team Herzog and de Meuron (Tate Modern), was opened in 2005. Now the sixth most-visited art museum in North America, the de Young features distinctive perforated copper cladding and extensive landscaping that integrates the building’s sculptural forms with the environment. Special commissions by Andy Goldsworthy and James Turrell also explore the relationship between the formality of museum spaces and the shifting effects of nature.

Currently the de Young’s collection exceeds 27,000 works of art and is renowned for its holdings in American art of all periods, including painting, sculpture, decorative arts, and works on paper; the art of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas; and costumes and textiles representing a wide variety of Eastern and Western traditions. Reflecting the strong craft tradition in California, the de Young holds a textile collection of over 13,000 items and the premier collections of contemporary craft in the United States.

The Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) is a different kind of cultural centre, reflecting San Francisco’s long commitment to cultural diversity, liberal values and activism. Defining itself as a ‘citizen institution’, it is a platform for multiple activities – art, performance, film, writing – which seeks to reach beyond its wall, engaging with communities and contemporary social challenges. With no permanent collection, the YBCA focuses on thematic and single-artist programs linking art, moving image and performance. Opened in 1993, and situated across the street from SF MOMA, the YBCA seeks to inspire creativity and social movements. This ambition is summed up in its motto, ‘Center for the art of doing something about it’. (Overnight San Francisco) B

Day 15: Monday 29 April, San Francisco
  • Architectural Walking tour of San Francisco’s Financial District
  • San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SF MOMA)

This morning we explore the historic buildings and urban plan of San Francisco’s Financial District. Our architectural walking tour will include some of San Francisco’s most famous downtown buildings, including One Bush Plaza, also known as the Crown Zellerbach Building. Designed by Skidmore Owings and Merrill, it is widely recognised as a classic example of the International style of architecture.

San Francisco has a distinctive cultural character, emerging from key moments in its history. The city’s cultural diversity arises from its earlier history as a Spanish colony and its prominence as a maritime city, making for extensive connections into Oceania and Asia. In the post-WWII period, this cosmopolitanism sustained underground cultures, such as the Beats and later the hippies. Today, San Francisco’s long tradition of liberal social values is both complemented and challenged by the rise of IT economies in the area, making rapid growth in wealth and tensions arising from urban change.

San Francisco’s museums reflect this diversity, with strong collections of Asian art, a deep tradition of experimentation, a commitment to cultural inclusiveness and significant new philanthropy supporting ambitious museum expansion.

This afternoon we will visit the expanded San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SF MOMA), now the largest modern and contemporary museum in the US. Founded in 1935 as the first modern and contemporary art museum on the West Coast, SF MOMA achieved its first purpose-built home with the 1995 Mario Botta building. Following a $650 million capital campaign, SFMOMA opened an extension in 2016, tripling the size of the museum. Already holding major works by prominent modern and contemporary artists, a succession of major gifts has given SF MOMA a remarkable new capacity to represent recent art. Among many strengths, SF MOMA offers; one of the first established collections of digital and new media art, the finest collection of Japanese photography outside of Japan, over 6000 works relating to modern and contemporary architecture, major holdings of recent German art.

Aside from its remarkable collections, SF MOMA has instituted innovative outreach and participation programs using digital and online resources. During our visit we will have the opportunity to view great art and also to see how museums are meeting audience expectations and the demands of technology in the twenty-first century. (Overnight San Francisco) B

Day 16: Tuesday 30 April, San Francisco – San Rafael – Sonoma – San Francisco
  • Marin County Civic Center by Frank Lloyd Wright, San Rafael
  • Farewell lunch at Stone Edge Farm’s Silver Cloud Vineyard, overlooking Sonoma Valley
  • The Donnell Garden (‘El Novillero’) by Thomas Church, Sonoma

In our final exploration of the Californian landscape we will explore spaces natural and spaces architectural, spaces civic and spaces domestic.

We first drive north to San Rafael to visit Frank Lloyd Wright’s monumental Marin County Civic Center, completed 1962-69 after the architect’s death. Always determined to integrate architecture and landscape, Wright designed a building emphasising the expansive valleys of California, crowned with domes echoing the surrounding mountain peaks. Geometric rhythms, elaborately patterned grille work and material textures alluding to natural materials are all typical of Frank Lloyd Wright’s oeuvre. The gold domes hint at a taste for the exotic and oriental that was a persistent undercurrent in his architecture. Wright’s use of pattern, colour and geometry makes for an exotic and strangely futuristic building; a striking evocation of California’s embrace of nature, craft and high technology. Housing numerous civic services – county administrative, financial and community services departments, human resources, a library and art gallery – the commission also allowed Wright to pursue his goal of an architecture supporting integrated social activities.

In a modern-day eden three miles west of downtown Sonoma lies Stone Edge Farm, a small winery dedicated to organic wine making and olive oil production. John “Mac” and Leslie McQuown purchased the property some 22 years ago at the bottom of Sonoma Mountain, naming it for a century-old stone wall that bordered a bygone sheep pasture. They eventually expanded the farm to its present-day 16 acres, with 4.4 acres of vines as the centrepiece. Over the years they have enlisted some of the finest architects, designers, gardeners, craftsmen and artisans — from stone masons to woodworkers — to create a working farm that not only is healthy, prolific and sustainable but also gracefully beautiful. With more than a hundred heirloom vegetables plus olive groves, fruit trees, ornamental plants, herbs, chickens, and beehives, in addition to grapevines, the farm is a wondrously diverse and productive organic garden on a large scale.

In 2004, Mac McQuown co-founded Stone Edge Farm Estate Vineyards & Winery with winemaker Jeff Baker. Together with Sonoma’s preeminent organic viticulturist, Phil Coturri, they now run three vineyards – Stone Edge, Mount Pisgah, and Silver Cloud, which share ideal conditions for growing Cabernet Sauvignon grapes with Bordeaux-like character.

We make our way to Silver Cloud, their newest estate vineyard acquired in 2012, located 1,800 feet above the Sonoma Valley floor on the west side of the Mayacamas range, which divides Sonoma from Napa. Silver Cloud includes 10 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon and 1 acre each of Merlot and Cabernet Franc, on well-drained volcanic soils, with a vine count of 1,089 per acre. Here, at Silver Cloud’s mountain house filled with art and wine, we shall sample Stone Edge Farm’s wines and enjoy a farewell lunch crafted by Culinary Director John McReynolds with Stone Edge Farm’s organic produce grown by Director of Gardens, Colby Eierman.

Our day ends with a very special visit to the Donnell Garden designed by Thomas Church and arguably his best-known creation. Thomas Church (1902-1976) was a defining force in the development of the ‘California Style’ of landscape design. Widely published, he began practicing when the neoclassic movement was still the style of choice. Thomas’ education at University of California, Berkeley and Harvard School of Design, along with his travels to Europe, instilled in him a sense of classical form. Church is known, however, as one who opened the door to the modern movement in landscape architecture with what came to be known as the ‘California Style’ in the more than 2,000 domestic and public projects he designed. This style in particular features the use of asymmetrical plans, raised planting beds, sitting walls and timber decks.

The Donnell Garden, also known as ‘El Novillero’,  is a marvellous example of the curvilinear abstract style and, in the words of the Oxford Companion to Gardens ‘one of the most significant gardens of the twentieth century'; it may well be the most photographed. The house and garden sit in the Sonoma Hills with a fine prospect over California. The swimming pool at the centre of the garden is set in paving and decking, framed by live oaks. Though often described as ‘free-form’, the swimming pool is V-shaped with radial curves. The design recalls images from cubist and surrealist paintings. (Overnight San Francisco) BL

Day 17: Wednesday 1 May, Depart San Francisco
  • Airport transfer for participants departing on the ASA ‘designated’ flight

Your final morning in San Francisco is at leisure to enable you to pursue your own interests. You may wish to visit Golden Gate Park, which includes the San Francisco Botanical Garden featuring an Australia garden designed by Bernard Trainor and a Californian native garden, as well as the California Academy of Sciences designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano. Or you may explore the city’s magnificent museums and galleries, such as the Museum of Asian Art, one of the greatest Asian collections in the world.

Participants returning to Australia on the ASA ‘designated’ flight will be transferred to San Francisco International Airport this evening. Alternatively, you may wish to extend your stay in the USA. Please contact ASA if you require further assistance. B

Accommodation

17-day Art and Architecture in California Tour

Accommodation is in twin-share rooms with en suite bathroom. Double/twin rooms for single occupancy may be requested – and are subject to availability and payment of the Double (as Single) Supplement. Further information on hotels will be provided in the ‘Tour Hotel List’ given to tour members prior to their departure.

  • Palm Springs (2 nights): 4-star The Parker Palm Springs Hotel – also known as Le Parker Meridien Palm Springs, this eclectic ‘retro-modern’ hotel by designer Jonathan Adler is located on a 13-acre desert estate featuring pools, pétanque courts and two restaurants. www.theparkerpalmsprings.com
  • Los Angeles (6 nights): 4-star Omni Los Angeles Hotel at California Plaza – a modern hotel located  in the heart of Los Angeles’ downtown financial district; it shares a pedestrianised plaza with MOCA and is within walking distance to the Broad Museum and Frank Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall. www.omnihotels.com/hotels/los-angeles-california-plaza
  • Cambria (1 night): 3-star Cambria Pines Lodge – a quiet country hotel located on 25 acres of landscapes gardens and Monterey pine forest, within a 15-minute drive from Hearst Castle. Accommodation is in Superior Cottage Rooms. www.cambriapineslodge.com
  • Monterey (2 nights): 4-star InterContinental The Clement Monterey – opened in 2008, this stylish hotel is the newest waterfront property built in Monterey, ideally located next to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and on historic Cannery Row, made famous by local author John Steinbeck, steps from boutiques, eateries, galleries, and a vibrant street scene. www.intercontinental.com
  • San Francisco (5 nights): 4-star Clift Hotel – this boutique hotel, revamped by international star designer Philippe Starck, features Starck designed furniture and an impressive lobby with chairs from Ray and Charles Eames, a coffee table by Salvador Dali, a surreal stool by Roberto Matta (inspired by René Margritte) and a 18-foot bronze fireplace by French artist Gerard Garouste. The hotel is conveniently located one block west of Union Square, a short walk from SFMOMA and the business and financial district. www.morganshotelgroup.com/originals/originals-clift-san-francisco

Note: Hotels are subject to change, in which case a hotel of similar standard will be provided.

How to book

Making a Tentative Reservation before the tour price has been published

ASA INTENTION TO TRAVEL APPLICATION FORM

Some ASA tours fill almost immediately. Don’t miss out! You can register your ‘Intention to Travel’ by completing this application and returning this to ASA with a AUD$100.00 per person deposit. Once the tour price has been published, the itinerary and ASA Reservation Application Form will be sent to you. From the time you receive the itinerary you will have two weeks to either:

  • Send us a completed ASA Reservation Application Form together with an additional deposit of AUD$400.00 per person. On receipt of this Reservation Application and deposit, ASA will process your booking and if approved, send you a tour confirmation. At this time your deposit of $500.00 AUD is subject to the tour’s Booking Conditions.

Or

  • CANCEL your Intention to Travel in writing. ASA will refund your AUD$100.00 per person deposit, less a $33.00 service fee (including GST).
Participation Criteria

To participate in an ASA tour, you must be reasonably fit, in good health and able to participate in all activities without assistance from Tour Leaders or other tour members. If you require assistance, a fit and able travel companion must undertake to accompany and assist you with all tasks for the duration of the whole tour. ASA’s ability to make reasonable adjustments to accommodate your specific needs, your health and safety and the health and safety of other tour members, is of paramount importance to us. For this reason the ASA Reservation Application includes a Medical Information section. As a general guideline, you must be able to accomplish each of these activities without assistance or support:-

  • walk and stand unassisted for at least 2-3 hours a day in hot, humid conditions
  • walk confidently on and over uneven surfaces
  • climb at least 3 flights of stairs
  • embark and disembark from ferries, buses and trains
  • walk up and down steep slopes
  • walk at a steady pace and no less than 1km every 15-20minutes
  • organise, manage and carry your own luggage
  • follow and remember tour instructions
  • meet punctually at designated times and places
  • administer your own medication
Double (as Single) Supplement

Payment of this supplement will ensure accommodation in a double (or twin) room for single occupancy throughout the tour. The number of rooms available for single occupancy is extremely limited. People wishing to take this supplement are therefore advised to book well in advance.

Gallery Tour Map
Physical Endurance & Practical Information
Physical Rating

The number of flags is a guide to the degree of difficulty of ASA tours relative to each other (not to those of other tour companies). It is neither absolute nor literal. One flag is given to the least taxing tours, seven to the most. Flags are allocated, above all, according to the amount of walking and standing each tour involves. Nevertheless, all ASA tours require that participants have a good degree of fitness enabling 2-3 hours walking or 1-1.5 hours standing still on any given site visit or excursion. Many sites are accessed by climbing slopes or steps and have uneven terrain.

This 17-day Art and Architecture in California Tour involves:

  • Moderate and some long-distance travel by air-conditioned coach involving busy city traffic (Los Angeles, San Francisco), desert highways and winding coastal and mountain roads.
  • Use of public transport in San Francisco, including streetcars, where participants may need to negotiate high steps.
  • Moderate walking and standing during museum and other site visits.
  • The use of audio headsets which amplify the voice of your guide (despite noisy surroundings). This technology also allows you to move freely during site visits without missing any information.

Other considerations:

  • 4-star hotels (3-star in Cambria; 1 night) with four hotel changes.
  • You must be able to carry your own hand luggage. Hotel porterage includes 1 piece of luggage per person.

It is important to remember that ASA programs are group tours, and slow walkers affect everyone in the group. As the group must move at the speed of the slowest member, the amount of time spent at a site may be reduced if group members cannot maintain a moderate walking pace. ASA tours should not present any problem for active people who can manage day-to-day walking and stair-climbing. However, if you have any doubts about your ability to manage on a program, please ask your ASA travel consultant whether this is a suitable tour for you.

Please note: it is a condition of travel that all participants agree to accept ASA’s directions in relation to their suitability to participate in activities undertaken on the tour, and that ASA retains the sole discretion to direct a tour participant to refrain from a particular activity on part of the tour. For further information please refer to the ASA Reservation Application Form.

Continuing Professional Development for Architects

Practising architects who travelled on this program in past years qualified for informal Continuing Professional Development points. The eligibility for participants on the 2018 tour to qualify for Continuing Professional Development points is to be confirmed. The tour program includes over 10 hours of on-site learning delivered by qualified architects. Please refer to the daily schedule for the description of the sites visited. For details about the Continuing Professional Development point requirements please refer to the Australian Institute of Architects website at www.architecture.com.au. An Australian practising architect, David Brand, will travel with the group and provide further architectural commentary.

Practical Information

Prior to departure, tour members will receive practical notes which include information on visa requirements, health, photography, weather, clothing and what to pack, custom regulations, bank hours, currency regulations, electrical appliances and food. The Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade website has advice for travellers: www.smartraveller.gov.au

Tour Price & Inclusions

AUD $TBA Land Content Only – Early-Bird Special: Book before 30 June 2018

AUD $TBA Land Content Only

AUD $TBA Double (as Single) Supplement

For competitive Economy, Business or First Class airfares and/or group airfares please contact ASA for further information.

Tour Price (Land Content Only) includes:
  • Accommodation in twin share rooms with private facilities in 4-star hotels (3-star in Cambria; 1 night)
  • Breakfast daily; lunches and evening meals as indicated in the itinerary where: B=breakfast, L=Lunch and D=evening meal
  • Drinks at welcome and farewell meals. Other meals may not have drinks included.
  • Transportation by air-conditioned coach
  • Airport-hotel transfers if travelling on the ASA ‘designated’ flights
  • Porterage of one piece of luggage per person at hotels (not at airports)
  • Lecture and site-visit program
  • Tour handbook
  • Entrance fees
  • Use of audio headsets during site excursions
  • Tips for the coach driver, local guides and restaurants for included meals
Tour Price (Land Content Only) does not include:
  • Airfare: Australia-Los Angeles, San Francisco-Australia
  • Personal spending money
  • Airport-hotel transfers if not travelling on  the ASA ‘designated’ flights
  • Luggage in excess of 20kg (44lbs)
  • Travel insurance
Terms & Conditions
Deposits

A deposit of $500.00 AUD per person is required to reserve a place on an ASA tour.

Cancellation Fees

If you decide to cancel your booking the following charges apply:

  • More than 75 days before departure: $500.00**
  • 75-46 days prior 25% of total amount due
  • 45-31 days prior 50% of total amount due
  • 30-15 days prior 75% of total amount due
  • 14-0 days prior 100% of total amount due

**This amount may be credited to another ASA tour departing within 12 months of the original tour you booked. We regret, in this case early-bird discounts will not apply.

We take the day on which you cancel as being that on which we receive written confirmation of cancellation.

Unused Portions of the Tour

We regret that refunds will not be given for any unused portions of the tour, such as meals, entry fees, accommodation, flights or transfers.

Will the Tour Price or Itinerary Change?

If the number of participants on a tour is significantly less than budgeted, or if there is a significant change in exchange rates ASA reserves the right to amend the advertised price. We shall, however, do all in our power to maintain the published price. If an ASA tour is forced to cancel you will get a full refund of all tour monies paid. Occasionally circumstances beyond the control of ASA make it necessary to change airline, hotel or to make amendments to daily itineraries. We will inform you of any changes in due course.

Travel Insurance

ASA requires all participants to obtain comprehensive travel insurance. A copy of your travel insurance certificate and the reverse charge emergency contact phone number must be received by ASA no later than 75 days prior to the commencement of the tour.

Final Payment

The balance of the tour price will be due 75 days prior to the tour commencement date.

Limitation of Liability

ASA is not a carrier, event or tourist attraction host, accommodation or dining service provider. All bookings made and tickets or coupons issued by ASA for transport, event, accommodation, dining and the like are issued as an agent for various service providers and are subject to the terms and conditions and limitations of liability imposed by each service provider. ASA is not responsible for their products or services. If a service provider does not deliver the product or service for which you have contracted, your remedy lies with the service provider, not ASA.

ASA will not be liable for any claim (eg. sickness, injury, death, damage or loss) arising from any change, delay, detention, breakdown, cancellation, failure, accident, act, omission or negligence of any such service provider however caused (contingencies). You must take out adequate travel insurance against such contingencies.

ASA’s liability in respect of any tour will be limited to the refund of amounts received from you less all non-refundable costs and charges and the costs of any substituted event or alternate services provided. The terms and conditions of the relevant service provider from time to time comprise the sole agreement between you and that service provider.

ASA reserves the sole discretion to cancel any tour or to modify itineraries in any way it considers appropriate. Tour costs may be revised, subject to unexpected price increases or exchange rate fluctuations.

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