Australia:  Springtime Down Under
A Pacific Horticulture Society tour
Nov 4-Nov 15, 2014   
Escorted by Andrea Testa-Vought
Limited to 24 guests
This tour is on request, please contact us

Join us for a special opportunity to visit gardens in
Australia when it's springtime down under.  Our tour starts in
the vibrant city of Sydney and continues on through the Blue
Mountains and scenic highlands of New South Wales to the
capital city of Canberra. Continuing to the state of Victoria, we'll visit charming townships like
Daylesford, Dunkeld, and Sorrento, and Grampians National Park. The tour will end in the cultural city
of Melbourne. Tour attendees may want to add a few days to their trip and take in the Melbourne
Garden DesignFest, taking place the following weekend, before heading home to the United States.

Just added to the itinerary:  On the Mornington Peninsula we’ll visit a stunning garden created by
Robert Boyle, a leading Victorian landscape architect.  The garden complements the beautiful
contemporary home designed by Alan Powell to showcase their significant Australian art collection---
and---they have kindly offered to host us for a meal which features local wines and produce.  As well,
in Woodend we are privileged to meet the celebrated garden designer and author Paul Bangay. He
will personally show us around his home and garden the creation of which is documented in his book
“The Garden at Stonefields."

Tuesday Nov 4
Check in to the comfortable Holiday Inn Hotel Potts Point, stunningly located with panoramic views
over the harbor and city, close to a vibrant restaurant area and within walking distance to the Art
Museum and famous Opera House on Sydney Harbour.  Gather in the early evening to meet up with
Andrea Testa-Vought and Jo Connor who has organized the tour. We will go to a very special location
for our welcome dinner.   

Wednesday Nov 5
Today we board our luxury coach and meet the driver who will look after us
throughout New South Wales and Canberra. During the course of the day in the
greater Sydney area we will visit historic
Vaucluse House and garden and
selected premium gardens designed by leading Australian landscape gardeners.
There will also be an opportunity to be out on Sydney Harbor.  

Thursday Nov 6   Our final destination today is Leura in the Blue Mountains.
We stay at
Fairmont Resort Hotel adjacent to the Three Sisters natural rocky
monument and overlooking the Jamison Valley. The gardens we visit feature
plants that grow in the cool climate of the area. We will enjoy private gardens and magnificent homes
in the Mt Wilson area, and the Paul Sorenson-designed garden of
Everglades, a brilliant blend of
European design elements in harmony with the Australian landscape.  

Friday Nov 7   On the way to the Southern Highlands we stop at Camden House, an early colonial
farm where we meet Mickey and Larry Robertson and see their charming garden.  Mickey will serve
our lunch in their home featuring produce from her abundant vegetable
garden. Our next stop is the extensive
Red Cow Farm Garden in Sutton
Forest. To cap the day we visit the historic and well-preserved Georgian
village of Berrima, tour the old gaol with stories to tell, dine at The Magpie
nd stay at a comfortable local motel.  
Breakfast Lunch

Saturday Nov 8  This morning our coach takes us to Canberra, the capital of
Australia. After morning coffee we will be guided through the
National Botanic Gardens of Australia
where they maintain a scientific collection of native plants from all parts of Australia. We will see the
post-modern National Museum beside Lake Burley Griffin with the symbolic landscape in the Garden
of Australian Dreams, tour the Parliament buildings, and visit the
National Gallery and accompanying
sculpture garden before our included flight from Canberra to Melbourne. On arrival in Melbourne
airport we will connect with the driver and coach for the Victorian sector of the tour. There is a short
drive to our hotel
Novotel Forest Resort in Creswick, which is within an old gold mining region and has
Australia’s largest concentration of natural mineral springs.
 Breakfast Lunch

Sunday Nov 9
We have a day enjoying this area that has a wonderful climate for gardens and charming villages to
explore. As well as visiting very special private gardens, we will be taken around
Lambley Nursery by
David Glenn and enjoy morning tea by the old farmhouse. To end the day we will be hosted to dinner
with local wines at a private home.  
Breakfast Dinner

Monday Nov 10
After breakfast today we head for Grampians National Park, with forested
craggy mountain escarpments and a renowned rich colorful wildflower
display which will be near its peak for our visit. The park has over 800
indigenous plant species from sub-alpine to woodland and swampland, an
abundance of birds and 40 species of mammals.   We will see an important
Aboriginal rock art site, and visit Brambuk Information Center. Tonight our
hotel in Dunkeld is the
Royal Mail Hotel. It has an award-winning restaurant,
an extensive kitchen garden and looks out over a rural scene with the
Southern Grampian Mountains as a backdrop.  

Tuesday Nov 11
Today we will be traveling through the Western District of Victoria. We will visit Dalvui, one of the large
farming properties this area is known for.  The garden here was laid out to the design of William
Guilfoyle in 1898 and has remained remarkably intact and well maintained, and considered the best
example of his private gardens. The stylish Edwardian residence built in 1908 displays its original
ornate carved interior and sweeping staircase. We will be treated to lunch in this home.  There will be
other spectacular gardens on our route to Queenscliff where we take the ferry to the Mornington
Peninsula and our hotel at Sorrento for the next two nights.  Beside our hotel is a lovely cliff walk and
beach on Port Phillip Bay for you to enjoy.  Breakfast Lunch

Wednesday Nov 12
Our garden tour continues today with two coastal gardens owned and designed by landscape
architects, using mostly indigenous planting. The area is also well known for wineries and we will have
the opportunity to sample the wines, and have a delicious lunch. In the evening
we will be treated to an Aussie Barbeque and meet some local characters.
Breakfast Lunch Dinner

Thursday Nov 13
Travelling north we come to Heronswood Garden and Nursery overlooking Port
Phillip Bay. We can wander the gardens displaying perennial borders, scented
plants, herbs and dry climate plants before enjoying a “Fork to Fork” lunch. We
continue on to see the
McClelland Gallery and Sculpture Park in Langwarren.   
The last treat of the day is the recently completed
Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne. Here the
Australian Garden is an inspiring and immersive display of Australian flora, landscapes, art and
architecture. Set across fifteen hectares, the garden follows a journey of water from the arid inland
landscapes of central Australia, along dry river beds and down mighty rivers to the coast. Within this
landscape are the exhibition gardens where we can explore the beauty and diversity of Australian
plants.  Tonight we arrive at our hotel
Travelodge Southbank conveniently located on the Yarra River
and close to many restaurants, art galleries, the Opera House, Flinders Street Railway Station and
downtown Melbourne.   

Friday Nov 14
We will have a full day for the last day of our tour, and
see the best that Melbourne has to offer, including
Cloudehill in the Dandenong Ranges, where its stone
walls and jewel-like garden rooms are set within
woodlands of magnificent and historic cool climate
trees. Also on the list is Heide Museum of Modern Art
which is set in a beautiful landscape. We will have lunch in the award-winning cafe in the sculpture
plaza. Two gardens sensitively created by landscape architects and using indigenous plants cap the
day.   Tonight is a surprise farewell dinner which reflects the hospitality of Melbournians.  
Lunch Dinner

Saturday Nov 15
The tour ends after breakfast today.  Guests may wish to stay on to enjoy the Melbourne Garden
DesignFest   Breakfast.

TOUR LAND COST PER GUEST, based on a minimum of 15 paying guests
Price based on double occupancy: $5998.00 for
members* of Pacific Horticulture Society, $6048 for
non-members.  Single supplement:  $1188.00     
*Not a member?  Click here to join

  • 11 night’s accommodation (additional nights available)
  • All hotel taxes and service charges
  • 11 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 4 dinners
  • Flight from Canberra to Melbourne
  • Public and private garden visits as per itinerary
  • Deluxe private coaches and top drivers
  • All sightseeing and entrances as per the itinerary
  • Gifts for the private garden owners and donations to various garden organizations
  • Deluxe portfolio of documents
  • Escorted by Andrea Testa-Vought, Tour Manager Jo Connor.   
  • Donation of $250 to Pacific Horticulture Society
  • Limited to 24 guests

  • International airfare and Travel insurance
  • Passport, Visas.
  • Tips to drivers & guides
  • Services, activities, meals not listed in the itinerary.

For more information, please
Sterling Tours, Ltd            
2907 Shelter Island Drive Suite #105-262    
San Diego, CA 92106      Tel: 619 299-3010     800-976-9497
sterling tours, ltd