Gardens & Wildflowers of Western Australia
In the company of long-time WA resident and keen gardener Julie Kinney, discover a region that is home to some of Western Australia’s finest private gardens, Karri forests and magnificent displays of wildflowers. Meet the owners of gardens not normally open to the public and learn about Western Australia’s unique flora, Mediterranean climate and distinctive garden style.
Enjoy a four-night stay in the captivating Margaret River region, dining at a number of specially selected restaurants and sampling the region’s world-class wines, all against a backdrop of stunning landscapes and superb natural beauty.
Note: At the time of publication (December 2016), most but not all garden visits were confirmed. Private owners, in particular, are reluctant to commit more than 2-3 months prior. Therefore, whilst we undertake to operate the tour as published, there may be some changes to itinerary.
Arrive in Perth and check-in to the Duxton Hotel, perfectly located on St Georges Terrace in the heart of the CBD.
Tour arrangements begin this evening. Meet Julie Kinney and fellow travellers for a welcome briefing followed by dinner.
Today begin with a visit to Kings Park and Botanic Garden. Perched above the city on Mount Eliza, Kings Park covers over 400 ha with breathtaking views of the Perth CBD and Swan River and boasts over 3,000 species of the state’s unique flora. Enjoy a guided tour highlighting some of the spring wildflowers that will be in bloom, and walk amidst the canopy of tall eucalypts on the Lotterywest Federation Walkway, enjoying aerial views of the Botanic Garden’s tranquil Water Garden valley below.
Continue to the historic port of Fremantle for a casual lunch on the waterfront. Enjoy a walking tour through the laneways and old streets discovering the rich and diverse history and well-preserved architecture of this vibrant city.
In the afternoon visit a private garden situated in the one of the river suburbs of Perth.
The evening is at leisure.
Today travel north of Perth to the Swan Valley, Western Australia’s oldest wine region and famous for its boutique wineries and small food producers.
Begin with a visit to renowned local artist Jude Taylor for morning tea in a uniquely Australian setting, with time to wander through the adjoining gallery.
Continue to the private garden of well-known Mediterranean garden designer, situated in the foothills, followed by a visit to her neighbour’s private garden.
After lunch at a local winery, visit Western Australia’s oldest church, All Saints, before meandering through the picturesque valley en route back to Perth.
This evening is at leisure.
Depart Perth this morning and head south into the state’s great southern wheat belt. Visit Pine Avenue, a large hilltop garden, with stunning vistas over the surrounding pastoral landscape where deciduous trees form the backdrop to old-fashioned roses. After a picnic lunch in the garden, enjoy a guided visit of Kodja Place, which tells the inside story of Australian country life in ways that will move and delight you. Continue south to Albany, arriving in the late afternoon and our base of the next three nights. Dinner is at the hotel.
This morning enjoy a guided historical walk of Albany town, strolling down the first street ever built in Western Australia and enjoying its fascinating period architecture. Visit the new National Anzac Memorial.
In the afternoon, visit two large private gardens on the outskirts of Albany.
This morning we visit a working farm at the foot of the Stirling Ranges on the edge of the Stirling Range National Park. An hour’s drive from Albany, the Stirling Ranges are a plant and wildflower reserve of international significance, with over 1,500 plant species, rare orchids, mountain bells and banksias. Enjoy an optional guided walk in the ranges, followed by a picnic lunch.
Returning to Albany, visit Mt Barker and The Banksia Farm for a guided tour. This is the only place in Australia that houses the complete collection of 77 species and the 20 sub-species of the famous Australian Banksias as well as a near-complete collection of 136 Dryandras.
This morning we visit Tree Elle Retreat, a stunning five-acre garden set against the backdrop of the Walpole Wilderness and Irwin Inlet. It is hard to believe this paradise was once a sandy paddock. Travel into tall timber country with its enormous ancient trees native to this small pocket and the undergrowth of wildflowers and indigenous shrubs. Enjoy the renowned Treetops Walk in the Valley of the Giants high above the canopy.
After lunch in Nornalup, continue to Manjimup for the night. Dinner is at the hotel.
Depart Manjimup for a leisurely day’s drive to the Margaret River region. Begin with a guided visit to a hi-tech apple packing facility, followed by a visit to a small private garden in historic town of Bridgetown. There is time for lunch (own arrangements) and to explore the town.
Then continue to the private garden of ‘Kandalee’ on the banks of the Blackwood River. Surrounded by rolling hills and benefiting from rich soils and a secluded setting, the large-scale garden is a perfect setting for the striking homestead, a farm garden, thriving deciduous trees, sweeping lawns and extensive shrubberies.
Continue to Margaret River, our base for the next four nights. Dinner is at a local restaurant.
The first half of this morning is at leisure before visiting “Swallows’ Welcome”, Margaret River’s smallest ‘boutique’ winery with traditional mud brick and timber buildings nestling in the vines. Enjoy morning tea in the ‘Chapel of Flowers’ in the cottage gardens.
Continue to the historic Leeuwin Estate for wine tasting and a gourmet lunch before heading to Voyager Estate to visit the beautiful garden. In keeping with this estate’s South African Cape Dutch style, the dominant feature of Voyager Estate’s formal gardens is the ‘werf’ garden (from the Afrikaans word for ‘yard’, which is a large, walled garden). The ‘werf’ was once a functional element of Cape farmsteads in South Africa and served several different purposes over the centuries, including being used for penning animals, growing herbs and vegetables, and being an integral part of a strategic layout in the event of intruders.
This evening is at leisure.
This morning, join a specialist wildflower guide, for a coastal wildflower walk with spectacular cliff top coastal views.
Continue to Ellensbrook Homestead, a National Trust property, for a picnic lunch under the trees.
Later, visit Downsouth garden, voted the best large garden by Gardening Australia in 2016, a stylish cutting-edge succulent garden, located at Smiths Beach with stunning views over the Indian Ocean.
This afternoon visit Bramley, a maturing country garden based around a renovated original group settlement house and old orchard set amongst paddocks with show horses and stables.
Dinner is at a local restaurant in Margaret River.
Begin with a visit to the Secret Garden – a true Margaret River treasure with much to be discovered.
Enjoy a wine tasting and a tour of the lovely garden of the family-owned ‘Cape Naturaliste’ winery, winners of international awards. With a history going back 150 years, the property started as a coach inn for travellers journeying between Perth and Margaret River on horse and buggy – a journey taking about 3 days.
Afterwards, visit the Yallingup and Gunyulgup art galleries and enjoy lunch at ‘Little Fish’ nestled in the Gunyulgup Valley overlooking a beautiful lake.
Return to Margaret River via the immaculate Fraser Gallop Estate garden with its superb lake vista and formal parterre garden, colourful circular rose garden and avenues of magnificent trees.
This morning bid farewell to Margaret River and drive back to Perth with a brief stop in Bunbury. Arrive at Perth Airport around noon in time for flights departing in the afternoon.
*Single travellers may request to share.
Please advise at time of booking.
Final payment due
31 AUG 2017
Please see booking conditions for fitness level definitions.
Please contact Renaissance Tours for current airfares and flight reservations.
Tour price includes
- Accommodation in centrally located hotels with private facilities and breakfast daily (B)
- Meals as per itinerary (L=Lunch, D=Dinner). Wines with dinners.
- Comfortable air-conditioned coach transport throughout
- Comprehensive sightseeing, including local guides and entrance fees as per itinerary
- Gratuities for local guides and drivers
- Hotel porterage (where service is offered, one piece per person)
Tour price does not include
- Flights to/from Perth
- Transfers on arrival in Perth
- Items of a personal nature (e.g. telephone, laundry, mini-bar, taxis etc.)
- Travel insurance (recommended)
Perth – Duxton Hotel
Albany – Dog Rock Motel
Manjimup – Kingsley Motel
Margaret River – Darby Park serviced apartments*
*Darby Park Apartments are apartment-style accommodation. Breakfast will be available at local cafés located two to seven minutes’ walk from the accommodation.
NB. Hotels of a similar standard may be substituted