The following itinerary describes a range of gardens which we plan to visit. At the time of publication (October 2020) most visits had been confirmed. While several are accessible to the public, others require special permission from the private house and garden owners , which may only be confirmed closer to the tour’s departure in 2021.
The daily activities described in this itinerary may change or be rotated and/or modified in order to accommodate alterations in opening hours, flight schedules and confirmation of private visits. Participants will receive a final itinerary, together with their tour documents, prior to departure. The tour includes meals indicated in the detailed itinerary where: B=breakfast, L=lunch and D=dinner.
Adelaide - 3 nights
Day 1: Wednesday 15 September, Arrive Adelaide
- Welcome Meeting
- Victoria Square Walking Tour: old Treasury Building, Secretary’s Building, St Francis Xavier Catholic Cathedral, Adelaide Town Hall, Law Courts, former Adelaide General Post Office
- Welcome Dinner at the Adelaide Club
All participants should make their own way to The Majestic Roof Garden Hotel by 2pm. Our visit to Adelaide begins with a walking tour. We view some of the city’s finest 19th-century architecture whose style is distinctive, quite unlike the colonial architecture of Sydney and Melbourne. Many buildings are notable for their fine architectural detailing and high quality masonry.
This evening we enjoy a welcome dinner at the Adelaide Club in North Terrace. Founded in 1863, it maintains its original façade and much of its interior decoration. (Overnight Adelaide) D
Day 2: Thursday 16 September, Adelaide
- North Terrace
- Art Gallery of South Australia
- Adelaide Botanic Gardens
- Santos Museum of Economic Botany
This morning we take a morning stroll along North Terrace, Adelaide’s grand boulevard, paying a quick visit to the State Library and finishing at the Art Gallery of South Australia. We shall begin with a tour of the gallery’s highlights and be introduced to the William Morris collection. There will be time to further explore this, one of Australia’s largest and finest collections.
We shall walk to the Botanic Gardens of South Australia. In exploring the Gardens, we shall focus upon the extraordinary Santos Museum of Economic Botany – the last museum of its kind in the world. Much of the museum’s collection dates back over 130 years and showcases countless plants and their various uses. Papier-mâché models of fruit, cabinets of curiosities and even displays of model fungi are displayed in the museum’s lovely original (restored) classical building. (Overnight Adelaide) B
Day 3: Friday 17 September, Adelaide
- Friends Meeting House, North Adelaide
- St Peters Anglican Cathedral, North Adelaide
- The David Roche Foundation: tour of House and Collection
- St Andrews Church, Walkerville
- All Souls Church, St Peters
- Marble Hill: tour of house and evening reception (private home, by special appointment)
Adelaide is a city of fine houses and churches. We begin by visiting the Friends Meeting House. This simple, wooden prefabricated building from London that sits in the shadow of St Peters Cathedral, reflects the history of the Quakers in Adelaide. We next visit the adjacent cathedral that was originally designed by the famous English Gothic Revival architect, William Butterfield. It has a very rich interior with a splendid stained-glass rose window of the Arts and Crafts movement.
We then walk to Fermoy House, run by the David Roche Foundation. David Roche amassed one of Australia’s greatest private decorative arts collections, which are housed in the house’s opulent interior and in an adjoining gallery.
After lunchtime at leisure we visit two nearby churches with magnificent stained-glass windows – St Andrews Church in Walkerville and All Souls Church, St Peters. These fine buildings are illuminated by beautiful windows by the great Pre-Raphaelite master, Sir Edward Burne-Jones (1833 – 1898) and from the workshop of Morris and Co.
Our final visit today is to Marble Hill, the original Scottish Baronial summer residence of the State’s governors. Badly damaged by fire in 1955, it is currently being restored to its former glory. Marble Hill’s vineyard has a reputation for fine wine. We shall sample some of its wines at a special reception held at the house. (Overnight Adelaide) B
Bungaree Station - 2 nights
Day 4: Saturday 18 September, Adelaide – Carrick Hill, Springfield – Bungaree Station
- ‘William Morris’ talk by Michele Hill
- Guided tour of Carrick Hill House & Garden
- Special viewing of the William Morris collection with Director, Tony Kanellos
- Lunch in the Marquee at Carrick Hill
Today, we spend a special day at Australia’s most important 20th-century heritage homestead, Carrick Hill, set on the edge of the Adelaide Hills. Built in the style of an English Manor by Sir Edward ‘Bill’ Hayward and his wife Lady Ursula between 1937 and 1939, the house holds the couple’s magnificent art collection. We shall begin our tour with a talk on William Morris and the Arts and Crafts Movement by expert Michelle Hall, and then tour the house and lovely gardens with Richard Heathcote who is the former director of Carrick Hill.
In the mid-afternoon we drive north to Bungaree Station situated in the Clare Valley. We shall stay at this marvellous property, first established in 1841, for the next two nights. After check-in and time to freshen up, we shall enjoy a BBQ dinner at the Station. (Overnight Bungaree Station) BLD
Day 5: Sunday 19 September, Bungaree Station – Burra – Mintaro – Bungaree Station
- Burra Mine Open Air Museum
- Historic Township of Burra
- Martindale Hall, Mintaro
- Bungaree Station Tour
We spend the morning at the Historic township of Burra, famous for its copper mines and heritage architecture. Burra is so important to our architectural heritage that Australia’s major conservation charter, based upon the Venice Charter, was named after the town.
Cornwall had been a major exporter of tin to Europe and the Middle East since antiquity, when it was a vital ingredient of bronze. It is understandable that Cornish miners should migrate to work South Australia’s rich mineral deposits. Margaret Heathcote, a conservation architect, will introduce the architecture of mining and that of this historic town.
After lunchtime at leisure in Burra, we drive to Mintaro where we visit the historic mansion, Martindale Hall. This fine Georgian-style home is of great heritage value to the state. Built for the wealthy pastoralist Edmund Bowman Jr, the 32 room mansion was design by Ebenezer Gregg and completed in 1840 for the vast sum of £30,000. The hall may be familiar to you – it appeared as ‘Appleyard College’ in the 1975 film Picnic at Hanging Rock.
We shall return by coach to Bungaree Station, where we shall enjoy a tour of this fascinating working station, followed by a group meal that celebrates the marvellous local produce of the region. (Overnight Bungaree Station) BD
Mount Lofty - 2 nights
Day 6: Monday 20 September, Bungaree Station – Hamilton – Seppeltsfield – Mount Lofty
- Anlaby Station House and Garden, Hamilton (private home, by special appointment)
- Lunch at ‘Fino’ Restaurant, Seppeltsfield Winery
- Dinner at Mount Lofty House
Today we drive south through the Adelaide Hills to Mount Lofty. Our first stop along the way is Anlaby Station. Founded in 1839, this is the oldest Merino stud in South Australia. The grand old homestead is surrounded by 10 acres of gardens that are at present being restored. We shall tour the house and its lovely gardens and then drive to Seppeltsfield winery. Founded in 1851, this is one of Australia’s oldest and most famous wineries. We shall eat lunch at Seppelstfield’s Fino Restaurant before driving south through the Adelaide Hills to Mount Lofty House, built in 1852 as a grand summer residence. After check-in and time to enjoy this boutique hotel and its lovely grounds, we shall enjoy a group meal. (Overnight Mount Lofty) BLD
Day 7: Tuesday 21 September, Mount Lofty – Hahndorf – Stirling – Mount Lofty
- Hahndorf township, including local cheese tasting
- The Cedars, Hahndorf: House and Studio of Hans and Nora Heysen
- Stirling township
- St Vigeans, Stirling (private garden, by special appointment)
- Magnolias Garden, Stirling (private garden, by special appointment)
- Dinner at Mount Lofty House
This morning we drive to the historic town of Hahndorf. After strolling down the town’s main street, we shall enjoy a cheese tasting in the cellar of ‘Udder Delight’, which has been producing fine cheese from cow- and goat milk for over 20 years. We next drive the short distance to Hans Heysen’s family home and studio, ’The Cedars’. From 1912, this renowned landscape painter and his large family lived here. We shall visit Heysen’s studio and the family house which retains its original furniture and displays some 200 works by the artist and his famous daughter, Nora.
We next drive to Stirling where there will be time at leisure for lunch. In the afternoon, we shall visit two fine private gardens, St Vigeans House and Garden and Magnolias garden owned by the Heathcotes’ friends, the Kennedys. St Vigeans was built in the early 1880s by Dr Edward Charles Stirling, a fellow of the Royal Horticultural Society of London. He developed its fine 6.5-acre garden where he grew South Australia’s first rhododendrons. We then visit the Kennedy’s lakeside garden, finishing the day with a convivial glass of local wine before returning to Mount Lofty House for dinner. (Overnight Mount Lofty) BD
Victor Harbor - 2 nights
Day 8: Wednesday 22 September, Mount Lofty – Biggs Flat – Mount Barker – Victor Harbor
- Jurlique Farm, Biggs Flat
- Auchendarroch House, Mount Barker
- Ukaria Culture Centre Garden
- Mandalay, Mount Barker (private garden, by special appointment)
Our first visit today is to the biodynamic farm where the ingredients of South Australia’s famous natural Jurlique skin care products are grown. A tour will identify for you the plants that are used to create different skin products. We next drive a very short distance to Auchendarroch House in Mount Barker. Built in 1860 by Scottish immigrant, Lachlan McFarlane, the house was originally the Oakfield Hotel until 1878 when Robert Barr Smith, a wealthy businessman and philanthropist, bought it and converted it to a summer residence. He had his house extensively decorated in the Arts and Crafts style; all wallpapers, fabrics, furnishing and carpets were bought from Morris & Co. The original hand-blocked ‘Spring Thicket’ wallpaper still adorns its Ballroom. Its name ‘Auchendarroch’ in Scottish-Gaelic means ‘holy place of the oaks’.
We shall eat a light lunch at the Ukaria Cultural Centre. Ukaria is both a performance and art hub, with a special auditorium for chamber music. Ulrike Klein from Jurlique Farm commissioned the particularly fine garden that surrounds the building that focuses on honing your senses as you stroll around its winding paths.
Our final visit today is to Mandalay House, a stately, French-inspired house surrounded by huge manicured gardens, criss-crossed with small pathways. After exploring this beautiful garden, its flowerbeds, bower, pond, fountain and sculptures, we drive to Victor Harbor. (Overnight Victor Harbor) B
Day 9: Thursday 23 September, Victor Harbor – Goolwa – The Coorong – Victor Harbor
- Encounter Bay
- ‘Cockle Train’ from Victor Harbor to Goolwa
- Goolwa township
- Signal Point Gallery, Goolwa
- Afternoon Coorong Discovery Cruise (3.5 hours)
We begin today by driving to Encounter Bay, at the mouth of the Murray River. The bay was named by Matthew Flinders after his encounter on 8 April 1802 with the great French explorer, Nicolas Baudin. We then board the historic ‘Cockle Train’ to for a trip along the coastline to Goolwa. Here we shall visit the Signal Point Gallery, located in the town’s picturesque Wharf Precinct. The Gallery exhibits contemporary artists from across the region as well as mounting national touring exhibitions.
This afternoon we embark on a cruise of the Coorong, the RAMSAR-listed wetland that provided the setting for Colin Thiele’s classic Storm Boy. It is home to vast colonies of birds, most famously the pelican, as well as migratory wading birds, and you may also spot fur-seals as the boat meanders along the waterways of the Coorong National Park, following the last kilometres of the Murray River to the river’s mouth. (Overnight Victor Harbor) BL
Adelaide - 1 night
Day 10: Friday 24 September, Victor Harbor – Willunga – Port Willunga – McLaren Vale – Adelaide
- Willunga township heritage walking tour
- Farewell Lunch at ‘Star of Greece’ Restaurant, Port Willunga
- Coriole Vineyard, McLaren Vale
We journey back to Adelaide today, via the heritage town of Willunga, which is famous for its slate architecture. We shall participate in a heritage walk in this fascinating town before driving to Port Willunga with its caves carved out by fishermen to store their boats and nets. We shall lunch at Port Willunga’s excellent Star of Greece restaurant that overlooks the sea. We continue to McLaren Vale to enjoy a wine tasting at the Lloyd family’s 50-year-old Coriole Vineyard, and we will take a tour of the heritage buildings and handsome gardens of the estate. (Overnight Adelaide) BL
Day 11: Saturday 25 September, Depart Adelaide
- SAMSTAG Contemporary Art Galley, University of South Australia
- The Jam Factory Workshops and Design Gallery
- Transfer to Adelaide Airport
This morning we visit the University of South Australia, a hub of award-winning contemporary architecture, and make our way to the University’s SAMSTAG Contemporary Art Museum. Named in honour of Anne & Gordon Samstag, two American benefactors whose generous bequest provides opportunities for Australian artists to study overseas, the museum is renowned for its temporary exhibitions.
We visit the nearby Jam Factory Workshops and Design Gallery. For almost 50 years, the Jam Factory has supported and promoted innovative craft and design through its studios, galleries and shops. It is a not-for-profit organisation recognised globally as a centre of excellence. It runs four studios: Ceramics, Glass, Furniture, and Jewellery and Metal. There are also independent studio spaces for some of Australia’s best emerging creative talent.
After touring the gallery, we shall drive to Adelaide airport where our tour ends. B