The following itinerary describes a range of gardens and other sites which we plan to include. Some 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 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 breakfast daily, lunches & evening meals indicated in the detailed itinerary: B=breakfast, L=lunch and D=evening meals.
Hobart - 4 nights
Day 1: Saturday 16 November, Arrive Hobart
- Morning airport transfer for participants arriving on the ASA designated flight
- Time at leisure (optional visit to the Salamanca Market)
- Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens incl. the Tasmanian Community Feed Garden
- Welcome Drinks
Participants travelling on the ASA ‘designated’ morning flight will be transferred from the airport to our heritage hotel, a 19th-century sandstone mansion, which is in the historic area of Battery Point and a short stroll from Salamanca Place’s Georgian warehouses that now house galleries and boutiques. Those taking alternative flights should meet the group ready for our afternoon tour.
On arrival there will be some time at leisure to explore Hobart’s colourful Saturday Salamanca Market as the hotel check in is 2.00pm. Salamanca Market is on the Hobart waterfront and is an eclectic mix of more than 300 stallholders. You can buy some locally produced fare for lunch, or dine in a nearby café, and it’s a great place to meet the artisans, watch buskers and soak up the atmosphere while you browse stalls with jewellery, handcrafted timber items, vintage collectables, pottery, plants and flowers.
Our program will officially commence this afternoon with a guided tour of the Royal Botanic Gardens, including the Tasmanian Community Food Garden which was completed in 2013 on the site of the original ‘Pete’s Patch’ developed by gardening guru Peter Cundall. This working organic production and display garden, with a multitude of veggie production practices has a working example of the original six-bed crop rotation system made famous in the original patch. The site today is used extensively for filming on ABC television’s Gardening Australia program.
For those who want to explore the area further can join Deryn Thorpe on a walk around the picturesque Battery Point. Having been settled in the early 1800’s, it is full of historic character with its winding streets and colonial architecture.
We end the day with Welcome Drinks at the hotel. (Overnight Lenna of Hobart Hotel)
Day 2: Sunday 17 November, Hobart – Huon Valley – Glazier’s Bay – Hobart
- Crawleighwood Nursery and Garden, Huon Valley
- Long Table Lunch at Fat Pig Farm, Glazier’s Bay
Our first visit is to Crawleighwood, at Nicholls Rivulet in the Huon Valley. Here, Penny Wells and Pavel Rusicka have created a 2-hectare garden comprising rhododendrons, Japanese maples, woodland perennials, rainforest species and native Tasmanian plants. Crawleighwood contains at least one specimen of each Tasmanian conifer, including the iconic Huon pine.
Our sumptuous long table lunch will feature food grown at Fat Pig Farm in Glazier’s Bay, the home of chef Matthew Evans, former restaurant reviewer and presenter of the SBS show Gourmet Farmer. The show is filmed at the farm and between courses we’ll tour the 70-acre mixed farm which has a 1.7-acre market garden, rare Wessex saddleback pigs, beef cattle, beehives, fruit orchard and micro-dairy. (Overnight Lenna of Hobart Hotel) BL
Day 3: Monday 18 November, Hobart – New Norfolk – Derwent Valley – Hobart
- Gardens of Corinda, Glebe
- Sumptuous lunch at the Agrarian Kitchen, Farm & Orchard, Derwent Valley
- Private Garden of Susan McKinnon, Moonah
- Project Garden of Susan McKinnon, New Town
This morning we travel to Glebe, a suburb of Hobart, we visit the enchanting gardens of Corinda, which compliment the Italianate Victorian home built in 1880 by former Hobart lord mayor Alfred Crisp. The 1796 sqm property is divided into garden rooms with different effects, some are romantic and a little wild, others very formal with box hedges. The garden’s sculptural feel is created by hedges of pleached linden, espaliered fruit trees, a cobblestone courtyard and topiary animals.
We’ll have a sumptuous paddock-to-plate lunch at the Agrarian Kitchen, a restaurant committed to reconnecting the kitchen with the land. The restaurant is on a 5-acre working farm with an extensive vegetable garden, orchard, berry patch and herb garden. Many heirloom plants are grown using organic principles and rare-breed Wessex Saddleback and Berkshire pigs, Barnevelder chickens, milking goats, a flock of geese and honeybees are also in residence.
This afternoon we visit two private gardens designed by Susan McKinnon within the suburbs of Hobart. One is her own large suburban garden that was developed from scratch over the last 22 years and comprises a mandala vegetable garden, complete with chook dome in the centre of the garden, perennials and ornamental grasses, a small woodland garden, bespoke glasshouse and espaliered fruit trees. Over many years, she has collected unusual and interesting plants which feature in her garden. Her project garden is newly built and planted out in 2018. It is a family garden which surrounds a lovely heritage red brick home, flanked by a row of huge Bhutan cypresses. There are also convict sandstone walls, a water feature, a herbaceous border and a small woodland. Prior to landscaping, the garden was in very poor condition with decaying retaining walls, dying fruit trees, earth banks and lots of patchy sub-standard landscape features dotted around. We will witness the outcome of Susan’s hard work and the garden’s transformation. (Overnight Lenna of Hobart Hotel) BL
Day 4: Tuesday 19 November, Hobart – Collinsvale – Russell Falls – South Hobart – Hobart
- Private Garden in Collinsvale
- Russell Falls, Mount Field National Park
- Private Garden in Austins Ferry
This morning we had planned on visiting Sally Johannsohn’s garden in Neika but due to unforeseen circumstances we are no longer able to visit. Instead we will be visiting a private garden at Collinsvale, situated in the foothills of Mount Wellington and only 25 minutes from Hobart. At an elevation of 350m above sea level it is in a picturesque valley with panoramic mountain views. Once apple orchards, Janette and Jason Good started with a blank canvas over 18 years ago and have transformed this private garden into over an acre of English cottage style garden with many twisting paths, arbours, ponds and a stream. It is truly seasonal with a wide array of plants and trees. In November the garden peaks, with crab apples blossoming, over 50 colours of lupins (some extending to 6 feet!), numerous columbine varieties, peony roses, irises and roses, just to name a few! There are also lots of animals to enjoy, including chickens, ducks, a pony and donkey. Certainly a garden to relax in and take in the fresh air and the smell of blossoms.
Next we drive to Russell Falls at Mount Field National Park which is part of Tasmania’s World Heritage Wilderness Area. Featured on Australia’s first stamp, Russell Falls consists of two vertical drops; the 20-minute return walk to the falls is on a good track and boardwalk through lovely rainforest. The walk passes through towering swamp gums and areas close to the falls are framed by stunning tall tree ferns. A light lunch can be purchased at the Waterfalls Café and Gallery.
After lunch we travel to Austins Ferry, a suburb of Hobart named after James Austin, a convict who was transported along with his cousin John Earle for stealing beehives and honey in Baltonsborough, Somerset. They arrived in Van Diemans Land in 1804 but once their 7 year sentences had expired, they were given small land grants on the Derwent River. Here they set up a ferry service in 1818, which later became a punt. On a hill overlooking the river, we visit the one-acre private garden owned by Selina and Anthony Le Fevre. Selina comes from a gardening family whilst also having married into another gardening family. Her father was a botanist come biology teacher who passed on his love of cacti and succulents to his daughter. Her mother loved orchids, pelargoniums, and caught the ‘iris virus’ in the 1980’s, having 300 varieties in her hay day. These have been incorporated into Selina’s garden who now has about 1300 varieties. We may even get a chance to buy some as in November most will have been lifted for division. Selina’s father-in-law loved roses, and she has two of his creations in the garden that are named Southern Aurora and Little Esperanza. Along with the bearded irises, this fairly steep garden is filled with roses, daffodils, proteas, succulents, fuchsias, dahlias, azaleas, camellias and vegetables. (Overnight Lenna of Hobart Hotel) B
Launceston - 3 nights
Day 5: Wednesday 20 November, Hobart – MONA – Broadmarsh – Launceston
- MONA – Museum of Old and New Art, Hobart
- Weston Farm, near Broadmarsh
This morning we travel to the Berriedale Peninsula and the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), an art museum that is the antithesis of the traditional gallery. It was created to be shocking, educational and entertaining with the confronting themes of passion, death and decay explored in unflinching detail. The controversial artworks are all from the private collections of arty eccentric David Walsh, a mathematician and art collector who made his money perfecting algorithms that let him beat casinos and bookies at their own game. Like it or not, you’ll be talking about it for years.
Nearby is Weston Farm, a small family business specialising in exquisite Peony roses, award-winning extra virgin olive oil and fresh farm produce. Horticulturist-turned-farmer Richard Weston and his wife Belinda purchased the farm in 1992 and transformed a bare 5.3-hectare property, about 30 minutes north of Hobart, into a successful mixed enterprise. In 2012 Richard was awarded the prestigious 2012 Nuffield Scholarship sponsored by Impact Fertilisers and the Tasmanian Government to investigate white asparagus production for the gourmet market, and in 2016, Weston Farm won the Delicious Produce Awards for their Smoked Paprika.
Richard and Belinda will show us their beautiful working farm, where everything conforms to organic and sustainable farming practices. Beyond the house and vegetable garden is the olive grove and open fields of peonies which will be at their peak when we visit. Weston Farm has over 30 different varieties, colours and forms, varying from soft voluptuous double pinks, dramatic bright crimson, delicate single whites, antique semi double corals and everything in between. They send them all over Australia as they are one of the favourite flowers of brides.
We shall then enjoy a lunch in the garden and sample some of the fresh farm produce that the family grows for fine restaurants such as The Source at MONA and their own café, Pigeonhole, in Hobart.
In the late afternoon we continue our drive north to the Peppers Seaport Hotel in Launceston, a waterfront hotel built on a former dry dock at the confluence of the North Esk, South Esk and Tamar rivers. (Overnight Peppers Seaport Hotel, Launceston) BL
Day 6: Thursday 21 November, Launceston – Evandale – Longford – Westbury – Glengarry – Launceston
- Strathmore Garden, Evandale
- Garden of Peter Wright, Westbury
- Garden of Jodi Broomby, Tamar Valley, Glengarry
Today we begin with a visit to the private garden of Strathmore in Evandale. It was Samuel Bryan from Dublin who built Strathmore after receiving a land grant in 1823. The house, estate buildings including a bakehouse and blacksmith shop were built with the assistance of convict labour. Strathmore has the longest mill race in the southern hemisphere, transporting water 3 kilometres from the Nile River to the lake in the front garden to power the mill. Samuel was also responsible for building the garden wall that not only provided protection from the cold southerly wind but was heated by channels running through it from the fireplace in the gardener’s room. The present owners, Sue and Graham Gillon bought the 120 hectare property in 1993, and undertook the restoration of the house and development of the garden, which includes an autumn garden, red rose garden, vegetable cage, heritage rose garden, herbaceous border and a park-like area dedicated to their son Andrew.
After lunch in Longford, we will visit the private garden of Peter Wright in Westbury. This is a designed new garden with pavilions and axis, and 40 year old English trees over three acres. Peter is 100% off grid and there is a space left in the middle of the garden where his house will shortly be built.
This afternoon we visit the private gardens of Jodi Broomby, located in the Tamar Valley, a region of premium vineyards, scenic pastures and forests. Jodi Broomby is a dedicated plantswoman and when she isn’t milking cows, she spends all her free time in the garden and home nursery. She uses plants to create structure in her garden by layering them from tall shrubs at the back down to smaller plants at the front. Her roses include many David Austin varieties which she teams with favourites like species geraniums and delphiniums and less common perennials like Sanguisorba and Phuopsis, Morina, Aquilegia rockii and Verbascum. (Overnight Peppers Seaport Hotel, Launceston) BL
Day 7: Friday 22 November, Launceston – Lalla – Pipers Brook – Pipers River – Launceston
- The Pear Walk Country Garden, Lalla
- Lunch at Pipers Brook Vineyard, Pipers Brook
- Karen Johnson’s Garden, Pipers River
Today we begin with a visit to The Pear Walk country garden in Lalla. Remarkable garden walks and arches, created in the early 1900s by Frank Walker, a Kew trained plantsman, are hallmarks of this historic garden. The garden has a fairytale ambience and the centrepiece is a 500-foot-long pear arch with 24 trees on each side, twenty feet apart. New trees have been planted to replace those that have succumbed to age. Rhododendrons, azaleas and bulbs bloom beneath the tree canopy. The owners are restoring the historic arbour walk, which has magnificent trees including the original tree fern, liriodendron and cypress. More recent features include a laburnum walk, climbing roses and parkland gardens.
We enjoy lunch and a wine-tasting at the Pipers Brook Vineyard, which is nestled in the heart of Tasmanian wine country in the Tamar Valley. The majority of the winery was acquired by Kreglinger Wine Estates in 2000; a company founded by two brothers George and Christian Kreglinger in Antwerp in 1797, then extended to Australia in 1893. Although the wine industry is small and new by national standards, the wines produced within the region are acknowledged as among the best in Australia.
Landscape designer Karen Johnson’s garden surrounds the house and is part of a 100-acre property, with one kilometre of Pipers River frontage and views to Mt Arthur. She’ll show us how she created a home garden using a blend of native and exotic plants on a windy, hilltop site. She moved there in 2010 and lived in the shed while establishing gardens and building an architect-designed black steel and blackbutt timber home. She’ll share her thoughts on designing for a view, the marathon of river weed removal and revegetation, swap tips for building productive vegetable gardens and provide insights on the advantages of working with a garden designer. (Overnight Peppers Seaport Hotel, Launceston) BL
Cradle Mountain - 2 nights
Day 8: Saturday 23 November, Launceston – Westbury – Cradle Mountain
We begin today with a visit to the Culzean Gardens (pronounced ‘cullane’), a 13-hectare property with almost 3 hectares of parklike gardens and a 3-acre lake fringed with thousands of iris. The home was built in 1840 and many significant driveway trees were planted in the 1870s. The property has hundreds of conifers and mature trees, rhododendrons and azaleas and many roses.
In the afternoon we continue our journey west to Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park, an integral part of Tasmania’s World Heritage area. The region is characterised by rugged peaks, deep gorges, glacial lakes, heathlands, Button grass moors and ancient forest.
Following some time relaxing at our hotel, we’ll meet Tasmania’s most famous animal, the Tasmanian devil. They look cute and cuddly but have a ruffian personality. We’ll also learn about the devastating facial tumour disease threatening these Tassie natives. Our early evening visit allows us to observe the amazing night-time antics of these devils at feeding time. (Overnight Cradle Mountain Hotel) BLD
Day 9: Sunday 24 November, Cradle Mountain – Nietta – Cradle Mountain
- Dove Lake Walk
- Kaydale Lodge Gardens, Nietta
Early this morning our coach takes us to Dove Lake for a six-kilometre, two to two and a half hour walk around the lake. Much of the track, which is under the towering shadow of Cradle Mountain, is boarded for easy walking. We’ll see Glacier Rock and walk through the tranquil Ballroom Forest where myrtle-beech trees are festooned in moss. On our walk we’ll be on the lookout for Australia’s only cold-climate deciduous tree. Nothofagus gunnii is also known as tanglefoot as bushwalkers sometimes get caught in its twisted, ground-hugging branches. You’ll only find it in Tasmania!
We’ll return briefly to the hotel before setting out for Kaydale where we will enjoy lunch in this 2-hectare garden created by two garden-obsessed generations of the Crowden family. The four gardeners have their own interests and gardens include a grand rockery with a waterfall, one of Tasmania’s best collections of deciduous trees, a vegetable patch, a pear walk with 27 espaliered trees, woodlands garden with a stream and Japanese style zen garden with raked gravel and bonsai. Featured plants in November include peonies and waratah. You will marvel at the energy and enthusiasm of the younger generation as the two women create all the rock walls and stone paving. (Overnight Cradle Mountain Hotel) BLD
Launceston - 1 night
Day 10: Monday 25 November, Cradle Mountain – Barrington – Mole Creek – Chudleigh – Launceston
- Jennifer Stackhouse’s Garden, Barrington
- Wychwood Garden, Mole Creek
- Old WesleyDale, Mole Creek
- Melita Honey Farm, Chudleigh
You’ll remember today as one of the best days you’ve ever spent touring gardens!
Jennifer Stackhouse is a renowned Australian garden writer, editor and author of several gardening books who moved from NSW in July 2014 to a one-acre Barrington garden in Tasmania’s lush northwest to an interstate garden group. She was attracted by the timber Federation home set in an old garden with a small orchard and mature trees that had been lovingly planted and tended for 28 years by keen gardeners. The area she now calls home enjoys a cool climate with high rainfall and has rich red soil. We’ll be able to admire foxgloves, poppies, peonies, clematis, roses, rhododendrons and dogwoods, hear about the changes she has made and what it’s like making a ‘cool’ change.
Many people think that Wychwood is one of Tasmania’s finest garden and today you get to decide for yourself. Wychwood was nothing more than a paddock in 1991 and today mixes sweeping borders of rare perennials and heritage roses with an outstanding contemporary design unlike any other garden we visit. The garden is a work of art with inspired planning and use of materials and plants that ranges from subtle to surprising. The most talked about and photographed feature of the 1-hectare garden is a medieval turf labyrinth but you’ll also love the winding privet hedges, a heritage apple orchard with resident geese, birch copse, water features and woodland.
Old WesleyDale is a glorious English style garden that started in 2001, aided by a backdrop of mature trees and hawthorns from the 1940s that create hedges in the wider landscape. Features include a walled garden for vegetables, picking garden and glass house, a terrace garden and aviary, ha-ha walk, lake walk and an amazing sculptured elephant edge created from honeysuckle (Lonicera nitida) that will have you reaching for your secateurs once you get home! The cottage gardens are some of the best in Australia and have symmetrical garden beds planted with a symphony of flowers including granny bonnets, lupins and roses.
Bees do much more than just pollinate and at Melita Honey Farm you can look into a glass-backed hive and see the queen bee laying eggs and the workers spinning the nectar into liquid gold! They produce 50 varieties of honey, nougat and 12 flavours of honey ice cream. How sweet is that! (Overnight Peppers Seaport Hotel, Launceston) BLD
Day 11: Tuesday 26 November, Cradle Mountain – Longford – Launceston Airport
- Brickendon – a World Heritage-listed Colonial Farm Village, Longford
- Farewell Lunch at Josef Chromy Wines
- Transfer to Launceston Airport (arrival approx. 1530hrs)
Brickendon, like Woolmers, was settled by William Archer, in 1824 and has been owned and farmed by the same family for over 180 years. Members of the fifth generation of Archers are now tending the gardens. We’ll see the convict buildings of the farm village and check out the roses, shrubs and some of the oldest trees in Australia including oaks, elms, pines, cedars, yews and lindens and gardens with cool climate specialty plants like old fashioned roses and clematis.
We conclude our tour with a farewell lunch at Josef Chromy Wines, set among old English gardens and stands of 100-year-old oak trees, and overlooking a picturesque lake and vineyard. Acclaimed as one of Australia’s top 10, the cellar door is housed in the original 1880s homestead. The restaurant matches the best local regional produce with award-winning cool climate wines. BL