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VICTORIA IN AUTUMN

21 – 27 MARCH 2022

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ITINERARY
Discover Victoria’s finest country gardens at the peak of autumn magic. Meet the master gardeners behind garden gates. See old favourites and exciting new discoveries. Be guided around David Glenn’s Lambley, Paul Bangay’s Stonefields and the Digger’s Garden of St Erth.
DAY 1
Monday 21 March 2022
Home to Hepburn Springs (L/D)

Meet your Ross Tour leader at Sydney Domestic Airport for our Qantas flight to Melbourne. Head straight to the beautiful Macedon Ranges for a Welcome Lunch at an 1860 Victorian country house and one of the region’s top culinary schools. Nearby is the private garden of Stone Hill, a perennial masterpiece designed by Michael McCoy. You’ll love the drifts of perennials and movement of the autumn grasses in full plumage with an olive-green backdrop of surrounding gumtrees. Our trip is perfectly timed for the peak of summer perennials. Travel onto Hepburn Springs and check into the stylish Bellinzona Resort and Spa for four nights. Dinner included tonight.

Accommodation: Bellinzona Resort and Spa, Hepburn Springs

DAY 2
Tuesday 22 March 2022
Frogmore Garden and du Fermier (B/L)

Two exceptional gardens fill today’s travels, interrupted only by a glorious luncheon. First up, is Babbington Park where celebrity chef Annie Smithers opens the gates to her prolific private kitchen garden just for us. It’s the source of 90% of the food served in her famous French farmhouse restaurant. We’ll discover her extensive and productive garden, then later sit down for Annie’s delicious cuisine at her restaurant, du Fermier in Trentham. We’ll work up an appetite for our lunch, with a visit to Frogmore, the famous prairie garden. You’ll love every inch of this garden: its theatrical setting, corridors into the surrounding landscape and beautiful plant collections. Time to explore the historic little village of Trentham and shop for treasures.

Accommodation: Bellinzona Resort and Spa, Hepburn Springs

DAY 3
Wednesday 23 March 2022
St Erth (B/L)

The Garden of St Erth is Central Victoria’s Diggers Club Garden. This secluded garden gem has magnificent autumn garden colour with a carefully curated collection of cool climate plants and historic orchards. Here you’ll find unusual edibles and stock up on rare heirloom plants and seeds. Lunch in their Fork to Fork Cafe features produce from the gardens.

Accommodation: Bellinzona Resort and Spa, Hepburn Springs

DAY 4
Thursday 24 March 2022
Stonefields (B)

Today we visit Australia’s very own garden superstar Paul Bangay and his private garden at Stonefields. It’s a privilege to walk through the garden with Paul who will chat to us about his garden’s features, plant choices and his design process. We’ll pass by the rose garden of burgundy roses, deep herbaceous borders, a formal pond garden full of white rugosa roses and pleached hornbeam hedges, an apple walk underplanted with box spheres and the odd peacock. Paul has designed to embrace the surrounding rural landscape and the views across the valley are gorgeous. Awarded the Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for services to landscape architecture, Paul Bangay is a prolific designer and his gardens can be found throughout Australia and around the world. This afternoon explore the famous spa town of Hepburn Springs.

Accommodation: Bellinzona Resort and Spa, Hepburn Springs

DAY 5
Friday 25 March 2022
Ceres Homestead (B/L)

David Glenn’s Lambley Gardens is an inspiration. World-renowned as a benchmark in sustainable gardening. Lambley Garden is described by Paul Bangay as one of the most famous dry perennial gardens in the world. Take a private tour through this perennial masterpiece that’s always filled with bees, butterflies and birds. It’s simply magical. Lunch is a special treat today at the historic and romantic Ceres Homestead in Learmonth. Built in 1864 by Thomas Bath, the first licensee on the Ballarat goldfields and where Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh famously stayed in 1867, Ceres has been loving restored by its current custodians. We’ll tour the house, outbuildings and garden.

Accommodation: Craig’s Royal Hotel, Ballarat

DAY 6
Saturday 26 March 2022
Ballarat Botanic Gardens (B/D)

In August 1851, gold was discovered at Ballarat creating the greatest gold rush the world had ever seen. Within a few short years the tent town of Ballarat quickly gave way to a grand Victorian city. Today we join Andrew, a local historian, for a guided walk to discover the “City built by Gold”. From the first gold rush diggers to the birth of a prominent, wealthy city, Ballarat’s history is filled with fascinating tales of rebellion with many a fortune lost and won. Ballarat Botanical Gardens, on the western shore of picturesque Lake Wendouree date from the 1860s and are one of Australia’s most significant cool climate gardens. Here magnificent mature trees tower over marble garden statues and changing plantings. Head for the conservatory to see their famous autumn begonia display. Farewell Dinner included tonight.

Accommodation: Craig’s Royal Hotel, Ballarat

DAY 7
Sunday 27 March 2022
Ballarat to Home (B/L)

On our way to Tullamarine for our homeward flight, we stop at the Alister Clark Memorial Rose Garden, the only complete collection in Australia of the surviving roses of the great Australian rose breeder, Alister Clark. His aim was to breed roses that would thrive in Australian conditions with little water and no chemicals. He released 122 new varieties of roses between 1912 and his death in 1949. Some of his most famous roses, include the long-flowering apricot pink “Lorraine Lee” and the vivid pink “Nancy Hayward”. Lunch included at Living Legends, where you can meet and mingle with retired champion racehorses, and visit the historic homestead and gardens. Transfer to the airport for your afternoon flight.

 

HOW TO BOOK

To secure your booking and make your deposit, please complete our online booking form. You will be contacted by a Ross Tours Travel Manager to confirm your details and preferred method of payment.

CANCELLATIONS

Cancellations received 180-120 days prior to departure will incur loss of deposit.
Cancellations received between 119-60 days prior to departure will incur a 50% cancellation fee.
Cancellations received between 59-30 days prior to departure will incur a 75% cancellation fee plus any non-recoverable costs incurred.
Cancellations received within 30 days prior to departure will incur 100% cancellation fee.
Cancellations must be sent in writing.
Cancellation fee is based upon the total amounts paid including tours, airfares and all other travel arrangements.
Please refer to the Ross Garden Tours standard terms and conditions

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TOUR INCLUSIONS
TOUR ESCORTED BY
ROBIN POWELL
  • Return group airfare Sydney / Melbourne / Sydney
  • Air-conditioned motorcoach throughout tour
  • Deluxe accommodation for 6 nights with breakfast daily
  • Breakfast daily, 5 lunches, 2 dinners
  • Entrance fees to all gardens and sightseeing including Stone Hill, Babbington Park, Frogmore Gardens, Stonefields, Garden of St Erth, Lambley Garden and Nursery, Ceres Homestead, Ballarat Botanic Gardens, Alister Clark Memorial Rose Garden, Living Legends
  • Fully escorted by Robin Powell
TOUR PRICE

Twin Share including airfare $4,195 per person
Twin Share land only $3,850 per person
Single Supplement $595

All prices in Australian dollars
Prices based on minimum 15 passengers
Airfare price is based on departure from Sydney

DISCOUNTS

Early Bird discount $100 (Book and pay before 21 November 2021)
Previous Traveller Discount $100
Garden Clinic Member discount $25

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