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=dinner.
Hobart - 4 nights
Day 1: Saturday 16 November, Arrive Hobart
- Tour commences at 1.15pm in the foyer of the Lenna of Hobart
- Welcome Meeting
- Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens incl. the Tasmanian Community Food Garden
- Welcome dinner at The Old Wharf
Meeting Point: Foyer of the Lenna of Hobart, at 1.15pm.
All participants are kindly requested to make their own way 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. Check-in time at the Lenna of Hobart is 2.00pm (you will be able to store your luggage if arriving on the day).
If arriving in the morning, you may wish to explore the colourful Saturday Salamanca Market located on Hobart’s waterfront. 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, there will be an optional 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 a Welcome Dinner at The Old Wharf restaurant. (Overnight Lenna of Hobart Hotel) D
Day 2: Sunday 17 November, Hobart – Eggs and Bacon Bay – Cygnet – Neika – Hobart
- Private garden of Anne Le Fevre, Eggs and Bacon Bay
- Light lunch at the Old Bank Cygnet Café
- Sally Johannsohn’s Garden and Nursery, Neika
This morning we journey to Eggs and Bacon Bay situated within the Huon Valley to visit Anne Le Fevre’s garden. Around November and December, a yellow wildflower with streaky red petals (family Fabicea) named “eggs-and-bacon” covers the slopes above the bay. The ground is rock hard and nutrient-poor so Anne built it up with layers of seaweed. Tasmania is one of the few places in Australia where seaweed can be legally collected from the coast. Much of the success of Anne’s garden comes from her bold use of colour from tough perennials like Aquilegias, Penstemons and Alstroemerias or Peruvian Lilies. Anne is also an artist, a talent that shows in her garden. Her favourite ‘installations’ are her faux pond, which she created by setting an old wardrobe mirror on the ground and surrounding it with a mixture of rocks and plants; and her toadstools made from stumps topped with rocks.
Following a light lunch at the Old Bank Cygnet Café we travel to Neika in the foothills of Mt Wellington, where plants-woman Sally Johannsohn has created a 2 acre, contemporary perennial garden to complement her nursery called Plant Hunters. Sally was ‘guest gardener’ at Chanticleer, one of America’s most imaginative and exciting public gardens in 2014 and since then has concentrated on succession planting, adding more bulbs and annuals to extend the flowering season. The garden has rich basalt soils supporting many unusual perennials and shrubs from Asia, North America’s woodlands and Europe, which show the beauty and variety of ornamental plants. (Overnight Lenna of Hobart Hotel) BL
Day 3: Monday 18 November, Hobart – Russell Falls – New Norfolk – MONA – Hobart
This morning 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. After the walk there will be a coffee break at the Waterfalls Café and Gallery.
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 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 David Walsh, a mathematician and art collector who made his money perfecting algorithms that let him beat casinos and bookies at their own game. (Overnight Lenna of Hobart Hotel) BL
Day 4: Tuesday 19 November, Hobart – Collinsvale – Hobart
- Allport Library & Museum of Fine Arts – with Curator Caitlin Sutton
- Presentation by botanical artist, Lauren Black at the Allport Library & Museum of Fine Arts (to be confirmed)
- Private Garden of Janette Good including lunch
- Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery: John Glover Paintings
This morning we visit the Allport Library & Museum of Fine Arts which holds a collection of significant Tasmanian paintings of the Georgian era (including works by John Glover and a portrait of him), along with rare books, manuscripts, early photographs and furniture. Curator Caitlin Sutton will prepare for our visit a special collection of rare books and sketches. One of Allport’s treasures is William Buelow Gould’s Sketchbook of Fishes, a UNESCO document of world significance.
We also meet with Lauren Black, one of Australia’s most accomplished botanical illustrators, who will show us examples of her work, and view a collection of historic Tasmanian watercolours by the renowned botanical artist Margaret Hope whose work was intended for publication in the 1880s.
We then travel to 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. 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. Here we will have a delightful lunch in the garden.
Next we drive back to Hobart where we will see John Glover’s paintings in the Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery. It is a combined museum, art gallery and herbarium which safeguards the physical evidence of Tasmania’s natural and cultural heritage, and the cultural identity of Tasmanians. TMAG is Australia’s second-oldest museum and has its origins in the collections of Australia’s oldest scientific society, the Royal Society of Tasmania, established in 1843. The first permanent home of the museum opened on the corner of Argyle and Macquarie streets in 1863 and the museum has gradually expanded from this corner to occupy the entire city block. (Overnight Lenna of Hobart Hotel) BL
Bicheno - 1 night
Day 5: Wednesday 20 November, Hobart – Moonah – Broadmarsh – Bicheno
- Private Garden of Susan McKinnon, Moonah
- Weston Farm, near Broadmarsh
This morning we the private garden of Susan McKinnon within the suburbs of Hobart. Her garden was developed from scratch over the last 22 years and contains 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.
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.
After lunch, we continue our drive to Bicheno on the East Coast, with a stop in Swansea on the way. (Overnight Beachfront Bicheno) BLD
Launceston - 3 nights
Day 6: Thursday 21 November, Bicheno – Freycinet National Park – Wineglass Bay – Ross – Launceston
- Boat Cruise around Freycinet Peninsula to Wineglass Bay
- Historic town of Ross incl. Ross Bridge
Today we take a cruise around the Freycinet Peninsula to Wineglass Bay. The waters surrounding Freycinet National Park are home to diverse and remarkable wildlife such as sea eagles roosting on the granite cliffs, dolphins, cormorants and Australian fur seals. We might see whales, such as the humpback and southern right, as they migrate between September to December and May to July. Diverse birdlife to be spotted includes albatross, shearwaters, diving gannet and little penguins. We will enjoy lunch on the boat.
After the boat cruise we travel 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. En route we make a short stop in the historic town of Ross. Located in the Midlands, on the Macquarie River, it is noted for its historic bridge completed in 1836 by convict labourers and designed by architect John Lee Archer, and for its original sandstone buildings. (Overnight Peppers Seaport Hotel, Launceston) BL
Day 7: Friday 22 November, Launceston – Legana – Westbury – Launceston
- Queen Victoria Art Gallery (QVMAG): guided tour (by special appointment)
- Lunch at Timbre Kitchen, Legana
- Private garden of Peter Wright, Westbury
Today we begin with a visit to the Queen Victoria Art Gallery. As part of its 130th birthday celebrations QVMAG launched a new flagship exhibition at the Art Gallery. The exhibition deploys a dynamic and immersive mix of old and new art, which brings the histories, identities and stories of Northern Tasmania into a fresh and contemporary context. Colonial artists such as John Glover, William Piguenit, Gladstone Eyre, Joshua Higgs & Robert Dowling are represented as are Australian artists Ben Quilty, Tom Roberts, Fred Williams & Rick Amor.
We enjoy lunch at Timbre Kitchen which is nestled in the heart of Tasmanian wine country in the Tamar Valley. Situated among Tasmania’s oldest cabernet sauvignon wines, Chef Matt Adams offers a wide variety of gourmet food made from local produce.
After lunch we 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 has built his whole garden around an empty space where his house has been constructed. (Overnight Peppers Seaport Hotel, Launceston) BL
Day 8: Saturday 24 November, Launceston – Evandale – Deddington – Perth – Launceston
- Strathmore Garden
- John Glover’s house ‘Patterdale’
- The Jolly Farmer, Perth
This morning, we visit 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 garden includes an autumn garden, red rose garden, vegetable cage, heritage rose garden, herbaceous border and a park-like area.
Following this visit we travel to Deddington where John Glover built his house, ‘Patterdale’. We will not only see where we painted but also the garden and landscape that inspired him. Glover Country covers an area of 4000ha, which includes the original land grants of Glover and his neighbour Robert Pitcairn of Nile Farm. The area is now listed by Heritage Tasmania as both a built and natural cultural site. Glover possibly chose this land due to its picturesque views in all directions, fertile valleys and rolling hills surrounding Nile River.
We then drive to Perth to visit the Jolly Farmer. Built in 1826, The Jolly Farmer was a popular coaching inn for most of the 19th century, situated on what was then the main road between Launceston and Hobart. It is a Georgian style building with original floors and some window panes dating from the 19th century. A private residence since 1876, the property has had a series of occupants, including poet Norma Davis in the 1940s, but few of its features have changed in 145 years. The garden surrounding the building features original trees, rare and unusual plants, exotic trees, roses and perennials, all displayed in beds defined by dry stone walls and lawn walks. The original stables can still be found in the garden. (Overnight Peppers Seaport Hotel, Launceston) BL
Cradle Mountain - 2 nights
Day 9: Sunday 24 November, Launceston – Westbury – Cradle Mountain
- Culzean Gardens, Westbury
- ‘Devils@Cradle’ – Tasmanian Devils Sanctuary
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 Lodge) BD
Day 10: Monday 25 November, Cradle Mountain – Nietta – Cradle Mountain
- Dove Lake Park Explorer Tour at Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park including Waldheim Chalet and Weindorfers Forest Walk
- Kaydale Lodge Gardens, Nietta
Early this morning our coach takes us to Dove Lake for a visit and a chance to take some photographs of this iconic scenery. A six-kilometre track, with much of it boarded for easy walking, circles the lake under the towering shadow of Cradle Mountain. The track also meanders through the tranquil Ballroom Forest where myrtle-beech trees are festooned in moss, and Glacier Rock can also be viewed from it. 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 Lodge) BLD
Launceston - 1 night
Day 11: Tuesday 26 November, Cradle Mountain – Barrington – Mole Creek – Chudleigh – Launceston
- Jennifer Stackhouse’s Garden, Barrington
- Wychwood Garden, Mole Creek
- Melita Honey Farm, Chudleigh
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 garden in Tasmania’s lush northwest. 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. It 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.
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. (Overnight Peppers Seaport Hotel, Launceston) BL
Day 12: Wednesday 27 November, Launceston – Longford – Relbia – 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 finish 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.
Our tour officially concludes at the Launceston Airport, arriving at 3.30pm. BL