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VICTORIA IN AUTUMN

15 – 21 March 2020

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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, Stuart Rattle’s Musk Farm and Digger’s Garden of St Erth.
DAY 1
Sunday 15 March 2020
Arrive Hepburn Springs (D)

Meet your Ross Tour leader at Sydney Domestic Airport for a Qantas flight to Melbourne. Head to Woodend where we jump straight into Stone Hill, a perennial masterpiece designed by Michael McCoy. This private garden is opening especially for us and is brilliantly located, surrounded by undulating countryside. 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 late summer perennials. More excitement in store as we venture into the nearby Quarry Garden filled with botanic treasures.

Drive to Hepburn Springs. Check into the historic and stylish Bellinzona Resort and Spa for four nights. Welcome dinner tonight.

Accommodation: Bellinzona Resort and Spa, Hepburn Springs

DAY 2
Monday 16 March 2020
Stonefields (B)

Two spectacular but very different gardens today. The first, Perry Lane’s Garden, is a naturalistic garden with a difference. In autumn the whole story of the garden is visible; germination, growth, flowering, death and decay. This approach allows a fuller experience of each season, the garden being at one with its environment.

Travel into Daylesford with free time for lunch. Then it’s off to Australia’s very own superstar of a garden this afternoon, Paul Bangay’s Stonefields. It’s a privilege to walk through the garden with Paul, who will chat to us about his garden’s features. We’ll duck in and out of garden rooms, which fade out into the surrounding farm. 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 under-planted with box spheres and the odd peacock. It needs to be seen to be believed.

Accommodation: Bellinzona Resort and Spa, Hepburn Springs

DAY 3
Tuesday 17 March 2020
Musk Farm (B/L)

Morning stroll through Hepburn Mineral Springs Reserve to find springs that have been used for drinking and bathing since the 1860s. This reserve is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register and forms part of Hepburn Regional Park.

Lunch today at Acre of Roses, a rose farm in Trentham, part of the ‘slow flower’ movement, a sustainable closed loop farming system with no pesticides.

Afternoon visit to the magical Musk Farm; a work of art and a great Australian legacy. Find out why this garden is a labour of love by the late society interior-designer Stuart Rattle who purchased the dilapidated Musk schoolhouse and surrounding grounds in 1998.

Accommodation: Bellinzona Resort and Spa, Hepburn Springs

DAY 4
Wednesday 18 March 2020
Frogmore Gardens (B/L)

Two exceptional gardens fill todays travels, separated only by a glorious luncheon. First up, Frogmore with classic herbaceous borders in true ‘English’ style and exuberant prairie garden. You’ll love every inch of this garden, its theatrical setting, corridors into the surrounding landscape and beautiful plant collections.

Lunch with celebrity chef, Annie Smithers, who is throwing open 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, ‘du Fermier’ in Trentham. We’ll discover her extensive and productive garden and then sit down for Annie’s delicious long lunch.

After lunch, the Garden of St Erth beckons. Walk the carefully curated collection of cool climate plants and historic orchards.

This afternoon is free for you to relax at our hotel. Perhaps a dip in the famous hot springs? A range of options are available to experience the life-giving waters of Hepburn Spa.

Accommodation: Bellinzona Resort and Spa, Hepburn Springs

DAY 5
Thursday 19 March 2020
Lambley Nursery (B/L)

A visit to the finest mail order nursery and the centre of dry climate gardening in Australia, Lambley Nursery, Burnside. David Glenn will us around his masterpiece. Along the way he will teach us about sustainable gardening.

We visit historic and romantic, Ceres Homestead in Learmonth, built in 1864 by Thomas Bath, the first licensee on the Ballarat goldfields, who also built Craig’s Royal Hotel. New life has been breathed into this charming old home. A guided tour of the house, outbuildings and garden will be followed by lunch.

Check into Craig’s Royal Hotel, Ballarat for two nights, the first hotel in Ballarat known then as the Ballarat Hotel. Enjoy an afternoon walking through Ballarat’s historic downtown precinct.

Accommodation: Craig’s Royal Hotel, Ballarat

DAY 6
Friday 20 March 2020
Ballarat Botanic Gardens (B/L/D)

Today we will drive by the Arch of Victory and the Avenue of Honour, a memorial stretch of 3,912 trees, to reach Ballarat’s Botanic Garden, one of Australia’s most significant cool climate gardens, for a guided walk and a peep into the famous conservatory, filled at this time with begonias.

Lunch at Pipers on the Lake on the shores of Lake Wendouree followed by a visit to the Art Gallery of Ballarat.

Farwell Dinner included.

Accommodation: Craig’s Royal Hotel, Ballarat

DAY 7
Saturday 21 March 2020
Ballarat to Home (L)(B/L)

We head home today but first a visit to the Alister Clark Memorial Rose garden.

Then we’ll pop into Living Legends, home to some of Australia’s finest retired champion racehorses for a light lunch before we head to Tullamarine for our homeward 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, Perry Lane’s Garden, Stonefields with Paul Bangay , Acre of Roses, Musk Farm, Frogmore Gardens, The Garden of St Erth, Lambley with David Glenn, Ballarat Botanic Gardens, Alister Clark Memorial Rose Garden.
  • Fully escorted by Robin powell
TOUR PRICE

Twin Share including airfare $3,995 per person
Twin Share land only $3,695 per person
Single Supplement $550

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 15 November 2019)
Previous Traveller Discount $50
Garden Clinic Member discount $50

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Victoria’s fine country gardens at the peak spring flush. Meet the gardeners behind each masterpiece. See old favourites & exciting new cutting edge gardens: including David Glenn’s Lambley, Paul Bangay’s Stonefields, Dame Elisabeth’s Cruden Farm and Stuart Rattle’s Musk Farm.

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