Gardens of Tasmania
Traverse the Island State with garden writer Jennifer Stackhouse to explore springtime gardens from the Meander Valley and Bay of Fires in the north to the Derwent and Huon Valleys in the south.
In the north, explore historic Culzean Gardens, Old Wesley Dale and the apple orchards of Wychwood. Visit Panshanger Estate, one of Australia’s earliest country estates, and the historic gardens of Oakdene, Highview and Mara Ponds near Scottsdale. Explore the spectacular Bay of Fires National Park on a guided walking tour before heading south towards Hobart.
In the Huon and Derwent valleys get to know some of the private gardens and nurseries that make the island bloom, including Eggs and Bacon Cottage Garden and Prospect House Garden.
Complement your exploration of Tasmania by joining our four-day tour to the Tasmanian Chamber Music Festival in the charming town of Evandale beforehand.
Note: At time of publication (January 2018), most but not all garden visits were confirmed. Private owners, in particular, are reluctant to commit more than two to three months prior to the visit. Therefore, while we undertake to operate the tour as published, there may be some changes to the itinerary.
Suggested arrival in Launceston in the early afternoon. Renaissance Tours or your travel agent can assist you with your flights and other travel arrangements.
Make your way to the hotel and check in. Tour arrangements begin at 17:00 with an orientation tour, encompassing Launceston’s elegant City Park, historic Albert Hall and the thriving Tamar River waterfront.
Continue to Cataract Gorge Reserve for a welcome dinner and drinks with Jennifer and fellow travellers.
This morning, drive west of Launceston through the Meander Valley to Culzean Gardens in Westbury. Culzean features an Anglo-Indian-style house built in 1841 and a 1.2 hectare lake. During the late spring this colourful garden bursts with rhododendrons and azaleas.
Continue through the Meander Valley to the 1830s estate of Old Wesley Dale near Mole Creek. After lunch, explore this beautifully restored rural property with wonderful views of the Great Western Tiers.
Then visit Wychwood Garden & Nursery, a gorgeous one-hectare temperate garden whose features include sweeping borders full of perennials, old roses and ornamental grasses, a fruit and vegetable garden, a heritage apple orchard, water features and woodland areas.
Return to Launceston in the late afternoon before an evening at leisure.
Visit one of Tasmania’s grandest mansions, Panshanger Estate, regarded as Tasmania’s pre-eminent Neo-Classical house. Third-generation owner Maree Mills will personally conduct a tour of this impressive Georgian estate covering eight hectares of woodland and spacious lawns. Maritime pines, oaks, lindens and laurels date back to the 1840s when the grounds were first landscaped. There is also a wonderful orchard, vegetable garden and walled rose garden.
Enjoy lunch at the Jolly Farmer Inn, followed by a tour of its Georgian-style building dating back to 1826 and charming garden.
Continue to Evandale, a National Trust-classified Georgian village. Visit Leybourne private garden, and then enjoy some free time in the village before returning to Launceston.
Depart Launceston for a full day’s drive across the Northeast to St Helens. On the way, visit three celebrated country gardens: Oakdene Garden and Museum, Highview and Mara Ponds. Enjoy a warm country welcome from the owners and lunch in a garden.
Arrive in St Helens in the late afternoon and check in to the hotel. Enjoy dinner in the hotel restaurant.
During a half-day guided walk, explore stunning Binalong Bay and the Bay of Fires, a coast of white sandy beaches dotted with giant granite boulders. Its landscape of coastal heathlands and woodlands co-mingles with 100 species of birds and wildlife.
The afternoon is at leisure, with the opportunity to embark on a one-hour return walk to St Helens Point where you will find the spectacular Peron Dunes and vast ocean beach overlooking scenic Georges Bay.
Dinner tonight is at a local restaurant.
Enjoy a leisurely day’s drive along the picturesque East Coast down to Hobart. Stop for morning tea in an historic house and garden at Malahide, followed by a visit to the picturesque port town of Bicheno.
Continue to Hobart and check in to the hotel, before dinner in a local restaurant.
After breakfast, enjoy some free time to explore the iconic Salamanca Market at your own pace. This weekly outdoor market takes place every Saturday and gathers over 300 stallholders from all over Tasmania including creative artisans and talented musicians.
After lunch at a local restaurant, continue to Eggs and Bacon Bay Cottage Garden, located in a sheltered bend of the Huon River. Discover its flowering Tasmanian understory garden before continuing to Crawleighwood Nursery and Garden. Wander between rhododendrons, maple woodlands, Gondwanan rainforest species, rare and unusual plants. Enjoy afternoon tea on the property before returning to Hobart.
After breakfast, depart for Hamilton for a visit to Prospect House and Garden. Admire the elegant early-colonial architecture of the house and half a hectare of colourful gardens.
Continue to New Norfolk, located in the upper Derwent Valley, with lunch at leisure and free time in the town.
Visit a private garden in Richmond before returning to Hobart in the late afternoon.
In the morning, visit the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens. Begun in 1818, this is Australia’s second oldest botanic garden, this year celebrating its bicentenary. Explore the garden with a guided introductory walk followed by free time to continue at your own pace.
Enjoy a special farewell lunch with Jennifer and fellow travellers.
Tour arrangements conclude after lunch in central Hobart. Make your way to the airport for suggested flights departing from 18:00 onwards.
*Single travellers may request to share.
Please advise at time of booking.
Final payment due
13 September 2018
Please see booking conditions for fitness level definitions.
Please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for current airfares and flight reservations.
Tour price includes
- Accommodation in 4-star hotels with breakfast daily (B)
- Meals as per itinerary (L=Lunch, D=Dinner) including wine with dinner
- Comprehensive sightseeing and garden visits including entrance fees as per itinerary
- Transportation throughout on comfortable, air-conditioned coaches
- Gratuities for local guides and drivers
- Hotel porterage (one piece per person)
Tour price does not include
- Flights to Launceston and from Hobart (please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for assistance)
- Airport/hotel transfers on arrival and departure
- Items of a personal nature, including telephone, laundry, taxis, room service etc.
- Travel insurance (a condition of travel; please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for assistance)
Launceston – Country Club Tasmania ****+
St Helens – Tidal Waters Resort ****
Hobart – Hotel Grand Chancellor ****+
NB Hotels of a similar standard may be substituted