Victoria’s Private Country Gardens and their Designers 2021

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3 Nov – 14 Nov 2021

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Victoria’s Private Country Gardens and their Designers 2021
Tour Highlights

With Sandra McMahon, visit some of Victoria’s most beautiful private gardens. Many of the exclusive visits will be hosted by the owners and designers themselves.

  • Meet some of Victoria’s most prominent landscape designers and horticulturalists including Andrew LaidlawPaul Bangay, Stephen Ryan,  and John Patrick; view designs by such luminaries as Robert Boyle, Phillip Johnson and Fiona Brockhoff.
  • With landscape designer Paddy Milne, explore a vertical garden and a local talking point in two unique contemporary private gardens in Ballarat.
  • Meet artist and designer Perry Lane and learn how he walks the line between cultivation and wildness in his ‘naturalistic garden with a difference’ at his Kooroocheang home.
  • Discover the formal garden ‘rooms’ and exuberant plantings of Andrew Lowth and Nigel Smith’s romantic Bank House Newlyn.
  • Meet celebrity designer Paul Bangay, who takes us through his own spectacular rural garden, Stonefields, and view his work at Strath Creek and Creightons Creek in central Victoria, and Main Ridge on the Mornington Peninsula.
  • Spend a day with horticulturalist Stephen Ryan, exploring a number of private gardens in the Macedon Ranges, including Stephen’s own garden, Tugurium.
  • View Robert Boyle‘s work at The Falls in the Strathbogie Ranges, and Ridgefield in the Yarra Valley.
  • Explore four hectares of established gardens at Mount Macedon, at a historic working cattle property, Bolobek, and spend time with owner Brigid Robertson.
  • Admire the work of Phillip Johnson – who won gold and ‘Best in Show’ for his show garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in 2013 – at his own private garden in the Dandenong Ranges.
  • Visit the Kuranga Native Plant Nursery and Woodcote, and Sandra McMahon’s home garden in Kilsyth, in Melbourne’s east.
  • Tour the magnificent gardens at Cruden Farm with Michael Morrison, who worked tirelessly with Dame Elisabeth Murdoch for more than four decades. Michael is co-author of the recently published Cruden Farm Garden Diaries.
  • Visit two of international designer Fiona Brockhoff‘s gardens – Karkalla, an innovative coastal garden on the Mornington Peninsula; and the compact, leafy garden of her city home in Toorak.
  • View the fine design of the colourful and bountiful gardens at Lambley Nursery, David Glenn’s display and trial garden.
  • Tour The Garden Vineyard, widely considered to be one of Australia’s finest gardens.
  • Enjoy the exuberant plantings and the breathtaking views over Port Philip Bay from historic Heronswood, in Dromana.
  • Accompanied by landscape architect Andrew Laidlaw, discover two very private gardens in Melbourne’s inner east.
  • Join landscape architect John Patrick and learn about his work on a visit to his home garden.


This ASA tour was professionally researched and executed. We thoroughly enjoyed the program, the garden selection was excellent and their designers were most approachable. Anyone who likes gardens of any type would enjoy this tour thoroughly.  Geoffrey and Di, NSW.

12-day Garden Tour of Victoria

Overnight Ballarat (3 nights) • Lancefield (2 nights) • Euroa (2 nights) • Warburton (1 night) • Flinders (2 nights) • Melbourne (1 night)


This tour visits some of Victoria’s most important and interesting private gardens. What sets it apart is the time spent with the home owners and designers, who make the gardens come to life as they describe their struggles and triumphs. We also meet some of the garden leaders for ASA, who join the tour to show us their home gardens, landscapes they have designed and share their knowledge of the Victorian design aesthetic and their own garden passions. We travel to the Ballarat goldfields, Daylesford spa country, the Strathbogie Ranges, the green heart of the Macedon ranges, the picturesque Yarra Valley, fern glades and forests of the Dandenongs, and coastal and inland areas of the Mornington Peninsula and gardens in inner-city Melbourne. The gardens we visit vary enormously, due to soil types, climatic conditions, size and the desires and styles of the garden owners and designers. We’ll see cottage gardens, cool rainforest designs, grand estates, striking uses of Australian plants, dry gardens, contemporary spaces, relaxed country gardens, coastal landscapes, inner-city designs and collector’s gardens.



The following itinerary describes a range of gardens 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 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.

Ballarat - 3 nights

Day 1: Wednesday 3 November, Arrive Melbourne – Ballarat
  • Coach journey from Melbourne airport to Ballarat
  • Visits to 2 contemporary gardens, hosted by local designer Paddy Milne
  • 2-course Welcome Dinner in the Princes Room, Craig’s Royal Hotel

Meeting Point: Tullamarine Airport, Terminal 1, Ground Floor Arrivals Hall, at the Gloria Jeans Coffee Shop at 2.00pm.

Our private coach collects us at Melbourne Tullamarine Airport and drives to Ballarat, a city with ornate architecture, built during the prosperous days of the 1850s gold rush. We begin our tour with visits to two private urban gardens in Newington, close to the centre of Ballarat. Local designer Paddy Milne, the ‘Scape Artist’, will explain his designs and the challenges faced in creating and maintaining these gardens, which have become local icons.

The first stop is St Leger’s Close, where Paddy created Ballarat’s largest greenwall – a vertical garden positioned at the rear of a large contemporary home, complete with inground pool, spa and bluestone paving throughout. The kitchen and living room have a 180-degree view of the backyard through a wall of windows. Before the installation of the greenwall, the view was of an old timber fence with a few climbing plants past their use-by date. Using a revolutionary automated modular system, the entire space has been made to look and feel lush and welcoming, without compromising on precious space. The plant combination gives great interest with varied foliage and colour.

Nearby on Sturt Street, the second garden on our tour takes pride of place in one of Ballarat’s busiest spots. It has been a talking point for many years. The house that overlooks this triangular outdoor space has its own style and history too – the building functioned as a pub many years ago. Its iconic granite boulder fence has been at the centre of many discussions – for better or worse! The well-travelled owners wanted a ‘taste’ of Italy in the garden; this is reflected in recycled red bricks, plant choices and the three existing olive trees standing together in the lawn. Other features include pleached bay trees around the boundary to prove an ‘upside down hedge’ and the central curving arbor bringing together the narrowing sight lines toward the point of the block. It captures the water feature and pleached Tilia ‘winter orange’ in the background.

We then drive a short distance to the historic Craig’s Royal Hotel, a grand boutique hotel dating to the gold rush, which will be our home for three nights. Tonight we enjoy a 2-course Welcome Dinner in the hotel’s Princes Room. After dinner, you may wish to take a leisurely walk through the streets of Ballarat. (Overnight Craig’s Royal Hotel, Ballarat) D

Day 2: Thursday 4 November, Ballarat – Musk – Daylesford – Kooroocheang – Newlyn – Ballarat
  • Musk Farm: Guided tour with Ray Robinson & Cathy Wagner; Devonshire Tea
  • Spa town of Daylesford
  • Private garden of Perry Lane, Kooroocheang
  • Bank House Newlyn, private garden of Andrew Lowth and Nigel Smith

This morning we head north-east to Musk, near Daylesford. Here we are privileged to take a guided tour of the rarely-opened Musk Farm, with the owners, Ray Robinson and Cathy Wagner. Musk Farm began as a school; after closing down and falling into disrepair, it was purchased by Stuart Rattle in 1998. Stuart Rattle spent many years transforming the grounds into a semi-formal 3.5 acre garden comprising 14 garden rooms interconnected by paths and hedging. These are separated by the wooden trellising which has become a signature of Musk Farm. The garden design itself is striking, with axes drawing attention to particular vistas and plantings. Many rare and unusual plants are featured – these include a huge variety of hydrangeas, rhododendrons, viburnum and bulbs. Other highlights include the old school oval, which is now a wonderful hedged lawn, a rhododendron garden, woodland walks, a formal pond and a summer garden. Musk Farm is instantly recognisable by the formal motor court entrance with clipped buxus balls framing the doorway of the house. A rose arboretum has been added and, in keeping with the school-yard heritage, a clock tower. After our tour of the garden we stop for Devonshire tea.

Next, we visit the charming spa town of Daylesford. Here, there will be time to wander the picturesque streets lined with boutique shops and find a café for lunch at leisure.

Not far from Daylesford is the private home of artist and designer Perry Lane, at Kooroocheang. The garden is a naturalistic garden with a difference. Perry’s primary interest was to integrate the garden with the broader landscape and allow the plants, to some extent, to colonise where they wanted, so that the natural rhythm of the seasons can be observed with minimal intervention. He usually cuts the whole garden to the ground in early spring and then doesn’t interfere until the following year, aside from watering to keep things alive when necessary and removing plants that have grown too far over the paths. The planting is dynamic and changes dramatically from year to year, depending on the seasonal conditions and which plants have self-seeded. Nothing is pruned or deadheaded so by autumn there are hundreds of dried flowers and seed pods, which provide structure and protection over winter and the following year’s volunteer seedlings. This approach allows a more full experience of each season, the garden being a part of, not insulated or separate from, its environment. Paddy writes, “Kooroocheang has a subtle beauty and atmosphere that will reward contemplation and I look forward to welcoming visitors to experience a different kind of garden.”

A leisurely drive brings us to Bank House Newlyn. Bank House once served as the National Bank of Australasia’s Newlyn branch, but now, the historic weatherboard cottage is a country home set in an extraordinary garden. Andrew Lowth and Nigel Smith, with a nod to English landscape and perennial gardening, have created a series of ‘outdoor rooms’, combining formal structure and exuberant and rare plantings in a romantic garden design. Behind the house, a gentle slope leads to a series of surprises concealed behind hedges of hornbeam, privet and japonica. Formal allées are juxtaposed with woodland glades and walks, a meadow garden and a lush, ornamental vegetable garden. (Overnight Craig’s Royal Hotel, Ballarat) B

Day 3: Friday 5 November, Ballarat – Denver – Ballarat – Ascot – Ballarat

Our first stop today is the home of Paul Bangay, who is widely regarded as one of the foremost garden designers in Australia. For more than 25 years, he has created timeless and elegant designs around the world. Paul will take us through his own spectacular rural garden, Stonefields, and will talk to us about the process of design as he shows us through the garden’s series of elegant and formal garden rooms. They include an entry court, front courtyard with water rill, burgundy rose garden, white garden with formal pond, apple walk, mirror image back garden overlooking the countryside and relaxed woodland garden.

We return to Ballarat, where there will be time for lunch at leisure.

This afternoon we visit Lambley Nursery in Ascot, home of horticulturalist David Glenn and his wife, artist Criss Canning. Their gardens have been created around an old farmhouse. David has learnt to work with Ballarat’s harsh climate and has transformed barren paddocks into a beautifully designed space, overflowing with colour and structure. In spring, the spectacular display gardens are a rich tapestry of colour. The striking dry garden, which is watered no more than four times a year, will supply inspiration to those gardening with limited water. David is a plant breeder; his best known release is Euphorbia ‘Ascot Rainbow’. He also trials flowers, fruits and vegetables which are on display in his bountiful edible garden. (Overnight Craig’s Royal Hotel, Ballarat) B

Lancefield - 2 nights

Day 4: Saturday 6 November, Ballarat – Trentham – Macedon Ranges – Lancefield
  • Private garden of Simon Rickard, Trentham
  • Lunch in the gardens of Bolobek
  • Bolobek, a historic garden with designer flair: visit with owner Brigid Robertson

This morning we depart Ballarat for Trentham to visit the private gardens of Simon Rickard. Simon’s home garden was never intended for public display. It was conceived as a private space where he could test new ideas, plants, and combinations before foisting them on his unsuspecting clients, as well as indulging his plantsman’s love of the rare and unusual. Simon’s challenge has been to cobble these eclectic tastes into something coherent and beautiful.

We leave Trentham for the green heart of the Macedon Ranges to meet Brigid Robertson, who bought Bolobek, a historic working cattle property, with husband Hugh in 2006. This garden was laid out in the early 1900s and today demonstrates how a creative design style can be overlaid on an earlier garden landscape. Bolobek is on the Victorian Heritage Register because of the quality of its design, artistry and plantings. Brigid will share stories of the people that made the garden and we’ll admire its geometric design, which focuses on attractive bark, soft green foliage and white flowers.

In the late afternoon, we transfer to Cleveland Winery in Lancefield, our home for two nights. (Overnight Cleveland Winery) BLD

Day 5: Sunday 7 November, Lancefield – Mt Macedon – Lancefield
  • Full day in Mt Macedon hosted by Stephen Ryan, including Tugurium, his home garden

We spend the day with Stephen Ryan, nurseryman, plant collector and former host of ABC’s Gardening Australia. Stephen will show us a number of private gardens in the Macedon Ranges including his 25 year-old home garden, Tugurium, which includes a woodland area beneath a eucalypt canopy, an orchard with a circular lawn, vegetable garden, perennial border and pond. The garden is filled with a collection of rare and unusual plants, including species on the Plant Trust National Plant Collections Register. (Overnight Cleveland Winery) BLD

Euroa - 2 nights

Day 6: Monday 8 November, Lancefield – Strath Creek – Creightons Creek – Euroa
  • Waiora, Strath Creek
  • Private garden of Bryan & Paula Gurry, designed by Paul Bangay: Guided Tour with Paula Gurry

The building of a new garden at Waiora, a six-and-a-half-acre property in Strath Creek in 2016, was broadcast by ABC TV’s Dream Gardens program in January 2018. Stewart and Sandra Hart moved to the property, which is surrounded by hills that provide a striking backdrop, after losing a nearby house and garden in the 2009 Black Saturday bushfire. They developed the 1930s home’s informal west and north gardens themselves and commissioned designer Paul Bangay to create a more formal garden to the south and east of the home. It includes a pool, a lawn, a patio with wisteria and flowering borders with roses, lavender and iris. 

We continue to Creightons Creek, where Paula Gurry will show us around her garden. Designed by Paul Bangay in 2009, the garden was inspired by Paul’s own property in Woodend. The main drive is flanked by horse paddocks and a picturesque lagoon, and a long avenue of plane trees leads to a forecourt bounded by a rosemary-hedged retaining wall. The home overlooks the lagoon, a large lawn, and the distant hills.

From Creightons Creek we transfer to nearby Euroa, where we shall stay for the next two nights. (Overnight Euroa) BLD

Day 7: Tuesday 9 November, Euroa – Terip Terip – Avenel – Longwood –  Euroa
  • Lakithi: Guided tour with designer Gail van Rooyen
  • Lunch at Fowles Wine, Avenel
  • The Falls, private garden of Ian and Joan Ball, Longwood

We begin the day with a visit to Bryan and Gail van Rooyen’s ‘Lakithi’, which means ‘our home’ in Zulu. Gail, a designer and botanical artist, will show us around her garden. Hailing from South Africa, Bryan and Gail bought the property in 1996 to run Angus cattle. They were drawn to the rolling hills, granite rocks and plentiful water supply. The garden covers more than 3 hectares with its expansive lawns and abundant plantings. It is a symphony of colour in springtime.

We transfer to Avenel to indulge in lunch at award-winning Fowles Wine. The restaurant serves local and seasonal dishes created from the region’s freshest produce, crafted to complement the estate’s wine. We shall enjoy lunch, sample the wine and take a moment to admire the Phillip Johnson-designed cellar door.

Our final visit for the day is to The Falls, owned by Ian and Joan Ball. This working farm and country homestead is set at the foot of a spectacular granite ridgeline; the garden overlooks a natural waterfall with views out to the landscape beyond. Andrew and Elly Cameron, who purchased the property in 1967, planted many trees, including Ginkgo biloba (maidenhair tree), Ulmus parvifolia (Chinese elm), macadamia and avocado groves. There are also cork oaks, birches, and magnificent native trees. The more recent garden spaces, designed by Robert Boyle and shaped by the current owners, feature extensive stone work, an ornamental lake and contemporary plantings of roses and perennials. (Overnight Euroa) BLD

Warburton - 1 night

Day 8: Wednesday 10 November, Euroa – Coldstream – Mt Evelyn – Kilsyth – Olinda – Warburton
  • Ridgefield, designed by Robert Boyle
  • Kuranga Native Plant Nursery: Introduction by Sandra McMahon
  • Sandra McMahon, Gardenscape Design: Private tour of Sandra’s Kilsyth residence and garden
  • Phillip Johnson‘s natural billabong garden, Olinda

Today we depart Euroa and travel south to the Yarra Valley and the Dandenong Ranges. Our first stop is Ridgefield, the private garden of Warwick and Paulette Bisley, at Coldstream. Designed by Robert Boyle in 1997, the garden has since evolved in response to the climate and local wildlife. Here, elegant walkways lead down a terraced hillside with stunning views of the surrounding countryside. The formal part of the garden has box hedges, salvias and penstemon and clipped westringia balls, while abundant plantings of roses provide a breathtaking sight in spring and autumn. Shrubs, perennials, courtyards, and colonnaded terraces surround the house and a birch walk leads to a crab apple lawn, a croquet lawn and a walled garden. We have morning tea on arrival before taking a tour of this remarkable garden.

We continue south a short way to Mt Evelyn, where we have lunch on arrival at Kuranga Native Plant Nursery. Sandra McMahon of Gardenscape Design will then introduce the nursery to us. Sandra is a landscape designer whose work has been featured regularly in the print media and on television; her gardens have been open to the public through various open garden schemes, and in the biennial Garden Designfest since its inception. She also lectures in landscape design and plant selection at the Burnley Horticultural Campus of the University of Melbourne.

Kuranga Native Nursery is arguably the most impressive and lovely native plant nursery in Australia, set, as it is, in tranquil surroundings at the base of Mt. Dandenong. It certainly has this country’s largest range of Australian native plants. Display gardens and potted stock provide inspiration, and showcase the diversity of form, texture, and colour that exists within native plants. As well as the acclaimed Paperbark Cafe, the nursery also offers a wonderful range of unusual and eye-catching sculptures and garden ornaments, decorative gifts and books.

We then transfer to Kilsyth, where Sandra will host us on a visit to her private home and garden, Woodcote. Woodcote illustrates Sandra’s approach to landscape design. The emphasis here is on plant material for structure, and this garden showcases a very broad range of plants. There is also some inspiring hard landscaping. It is a garden of informal rooms, set on half an acre, and wraps around the very interesting Arts & Crafts Revival home. Much thought has been given to the transition between the different areas in the garden.

Today’s last visit is to the home garden that Phillip Johnson created at Olinda, which inspired his award-winning Chelsea garden in 2013 for Flemings Nurseries. His gorgeous garden has a sustainable billabong, surrounded by tree ferns, that doubles as a chemical-free swimming pool. It has a waterfall and spa and is surrounded by a garden featuring many indigenous plants. (Overnight Oscar’s on the Yarra, Warburton) BLD

Flinders - 2 nights

Day 9: Thursday 11 November, Warburton – Nayook – Neerim South – Jindivick – Flinders
  • Country Farm Perennials: Guided tour of the Garden and Nursery
  • Picardy Garden: Guided tour with owner Marian Soames & light lunch
  • The Garden at Broughton Hall

Today we travel to Nayook to visit Country Farm Perennials. A 2.5-acre private country garden, the property also hosts one of Australia’s leading plant nurseries for unusual and hardy perennial plants. The garden features carefully colour-designed compartments, combining unusual perennials, heritage roses, mature trees, bulbs and perfumed plants. It has beautiful mountain and rural views over the rolling green hills of West Gippsland.

We head south a short distance to Picardy Garden, a romantic country garden. It was designed by Marian and Bryce Somes to complement a French-style rammed earth house and mudbrick barn and dovecote. ‘Paint box’ beds at the front of the house – a homage to Monet’s garden at Giverny – are crammed with roses, iris, poppies and sweet peas in spring. More roses surround a circular lily pond, while crabapple and dogwood walks lead to rambling gardens of old-fashioned roses. A herb garden, small vegetable potager, apple orchard, olive and citrus groves complete the picture.

‘The Garden at Broughton Hall’ was started in 1996, with the planting of Betula Pendula and Betula Nigra in a two-acre area of lawn at the front of the Hall. This is now a dense forest, cut through by a winding driveway leading to the front entrance of the house. On the north side of the hall, meanwhile, a terraced garden cascades down the slope towards the Tarago Reservoir, which provides a picture-perfect backdrop. A dazzling variety of plants and thousands of roses fill the banks dramatically, making spring a perfect time to visit.

We drive to the Flinders Hotel, whose accommodation ‘Quarters’ is our home for the next two nights. (Overnight Quarters, Flinders Hotel) BL

Day 10: Friday 12 November, Flinders – Sorrento – Moorooduc – Dromana – Flinders

This morning we drive to designer Fiona Brockhoff’s Sorrento garden, Karkalla. Karkalla is more than 20 years old and showcases the importance of creating gardens in sympathy with the local environment. It is influential and much admired for the way it embraces its coastal location, modern aesthetic and sculptural use of Australian plants.

We continue to Moorooduc to visit the Garden Vineyard, widely considered to be one of Australia’s finest gardens. It features in Monty Don’s book and television program Around the World in 80 Gardens. Architect Sue McFall and her husband Daryl are the owners. The garden was created in 1986 with many European plants, but the plant palate has changed to suit our drying climate. There are several European-style rooms, including a memorable silver garden, walled courtyard, a big perennial border and a formal area flanked by lilly pillys. The terrace overlooks a lawn that rolls down to a garden with only Australian plants, and the adjoining lawns lead to a display of maples in the glorious red foliage of autumn.

Our final visit of the day is to Heronswood, in Dromana. Heronswood is a historic property situated on two hectares of formal gardens, with a breathtaking view over Port Philip Bay. It is home to five separate vegetable gardens, extensive plantings of flowers, including perennial borders, dry climate and cottage annual gardens. A feature of the garden is the integration of vegetables and flowers with fruits and herbs. Heronswood is the home of the Diggers Club, Australia’s most respected gardening organisation, dedicated to preserving heirloom seeds and the best gardening traditions. (Overnight Quarters, Flinders Hotel) BL

South Yarra, Melbourne - 1 night

Day 11: Saturday 13 November, Flinders – Main Ridge – Langwarrin – Toorak – South Yarra
  • Private Garden designed by Paul Bangay, Main Ridge
  • Tour of Cruden Farm with garden manager Michael Morrison, Langwarrin
  • Fiona Brockhoff’s city garden
  • Farewell Dinner, Da Noi

We begin the day visiting another garden designed by Paul Bangay. This delightful garden in Main Ridge has been carved into a working vineyard and is nestled into a protected valley. Three garden terraces are carved into the hill, all designed to create abundance and colour as the owners wanted to pick flowers, herbs, fruit and vegetables. The first terrace has a big herb garden with paving softened with interplantings of thyme, and a shaded rear garden with massed hydrangea and helleborus. The central terrace has a formal rose garden which has a vegetable garden either side, each with a picturesque structure, one a library and the other a potting shed. A long, narrow walk of white crepe myrtle, underplanted with box spheres and softened with a mass planting of catmint, adds drama to the final terrace

We head north to Langwarrin to visit one of Australia’s best known gardens, Cruden Farm, which was given to the late Dame Elisabeth Murdoch in 1928 as a wedding present from her husband Sir Keith Murdoch. She cherished the farm at Langwarrin throughout her long life and created a fine garden with garden manager Michael Morrison, who will lead us on a tour. We’ll take a stroll to the lake and walk through herbaceous borders, the picking garden, shrub walks, rose garden and famous avenue of lemon scented gums that lead to the house.

Fiona Brockhoff’s city garden, which was built by her partner David Swann, is a small, leafy design in Toorak. Its three spaces include a gravel entry courtyard, a leafy side passageway and a rear courtyard. Timber screens on the home provide a simple backdrop to the garden, which has a raised concrete tank swimming pool. Its unusual plant palette includes striking plant combinations featuring big-leafed plants like elephant’s ears, angel’s trumpets, castor oil plants and giant birds of paradise.

Tonight we enjoy a Farewell Dinner at a local restaurant. (Overnight South Yarra) BLD

Day 12: Sunday 14 November, South Yarra –  Hawthorn – Depart Melbourne airport
  • Visits to two inner-city private gardens with landscape architect Andrew Laidlaw
  • Light lunch at the home garden of landscape architect John Patrick
  • Transfer to Melbourne Tullamarine Airport

This morning landscape architect Andrew Laidlaw will show us two of his urban garden designs in the Melbourne suburb of Hawthorn. We then transfer a short distance to John Patrick’s home garden, where John will host us for a light lunch.

Our tour officially ends at approximately 3.00pm, on arrival at Tullamarine Airport. BL



12-day Garden Tour of Victoria

All hotels provide rooms with en suite bathroom. Single rooms may be requested and are subject to availability and payment of the Single Supplement. A hotel list will be given to all participants prior to departure; in the meantime a summary is given below:

  • Ballarat (3 nights): 4-star Craig’s Royal Hotel – boasting a rich ambiance of Australian heritage, this hotel features boutique-style rooms with elegant furnishings. www.craigsroyal.com.au
  • Lancefield (2 nights): 3-star Cleveland Winery – a welcoming retreat with a backdrop of gardens and vineyards, located 2 kilometres from the township of Lancefield. www.clevelandwinery.com.au
  • Euroa (2 nights): 4-star Euroa Motor Inn – a family owned traditional motel located 2 kilometres from Euroa town centre www.euroamotorinn.com.au OR 3-star Jolly Swagman Motor Inn – a centrally located traditional motel. www.jollyswagmanmotorinn.com.au
  • Warburton (1 night): 4-star Oscar’s on the Yarra – 1920s boutique country homestead with luxuriously appointed rooms overlooking the river or gardens. www.oscarsontheyarra.com.au
  • Flinders (2 nights): 4-star Quarters at Flinders Hotel – inspired by the natural coastal surroundings, this boutique hotel offers luxurious and relaxing accommodation on the Mornington Peninsula. www.flindershotel.com.au/quarters
  • Melbourne (1 night): 4-star Oaks South Yarra – apartment-style accommodation located just off lively Toorak Road, close to public transport, restaurants and shops. www.oakshotels.com/en/oaks-south-yarra

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

How to book

How to Book

Making a Tentative Reservation before the tour price has been published


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 AUD $500.00 is subject to the tour’s Booking Conditions.


  • 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 15-20 minutes
  • organise, manage and carry your own luggage
  • follow and remember tour instructions and meet punctually at designated times and places
  • administer your own medication.
Practical Information

Practical Information

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 12-day Garden Tour of Victoria involves:

  • A moderate amount of walking, mainly during outdoor site visits, often up and down hills and/or flights of stairs and uneven terrain.
  • A moderate amount of coach travel, sometimes on winding mountainous roads.
  • The daily schedule generally involves an early-morning departure (between 8.00-8.30am), concluding in the late afternoon (between 5.00-5.30pm).
  • 3-star and 4-star hotels and motels with 5 accommodation changes.
  • You must be able to carry your own hand luggage. Hotel porterage only includes 1 piece of luggage per person. Porterage service is not available in all hotels on this tour.

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.

Practical Information

Prior to departure, tour members will receive practical notes which include information on weather, clothing and what to pack.

Tour Price & Inclusions

Tour Price & Inclusions

AUD $TBA Land Content Only – Early-Bird Special: Book before 31 December 2020

AUD $TBA Land Content Only

AUD $TBA Single Supplement

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

Tour Price (Land Content Only) includes:
  • Accommodation in twin-share rooms with private facilities in 3-star and 4-star hotels and motels
  • Meals as indicated in the tour itinerary where: B=breakfast, L=lunch & D=dinner. Please note that while breakfast is included daily, in Euroa and Melbourne this will be provided in guest bedrooms rather than served as a buffet.
  • 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 (where available)
  • Lecture and site-visit program
  • Entrance fees
  • Use of audio headsets for site excursions
  • Tips for the coach driver, local guides and restaurants for included meals
Tour Price (Land Content Only) does not include:
  • Airfare to/from Melbourne
  • Personal spending money
  • Airport-hotel transfers if not travelling on the ASA ‘designated’ flights
  • Luggage in excess of 20kg (44lbs)
  • Travel insurance
Tour Map

Tour Map

Terms & Conditions

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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