Visiting -- 7 magnificent gardens
4 Historic Homesteads
plus Canberra Highlights
WEDNESDAY 26 SEPTEMBER – THURSDAY 4 OCTOBER 2018
Twin Share / Double $2240
Single Sup + $610
Welcome to our 9 day tour to the Canberra Floriade. Sit back and relax as we begin our journey south. Just outside of Warwick we’ll break for lunch at Glengallan Homestead. Uninhabited for more than half its lifetime, it remains frozen in time and is one of the few remaining examples of a substantial 19th century country house in Queensland. Today, Glengallan Homestead is a tribute not only to its visionary builder and to 19th century craftsmen but also to the 21st century team that brought it back to life through this delicately balanced restoration. From here we continue through to our first overnight stop in Glen Innes (lunch included / dinner in motel).
New England Motor Lodge, Glen Innes
Following breakfast we depart town and make our way through to Armidale. Upon arrival we make our way to the National Trust classified Saumarez Homestead. The property is an imposing house with a proud place in New England and Australian heritage. First settled in 1835, this grazing property is a living statement to the progress of a pioneer family. After morning tea and a guided tour of the house we travel on to Tamworth, the Country Music Capital of Australia. We arrive in time for lunch which has been arranged at the Longyard Hotel. Steeped in tradition, it is truly an icon of Australian hotels with an atmosphere that is distinctly country! Our afternoon will be spent expressing through to our next overnight stay, in the Hunter Valley (breakfast & dinner in motel / lunch at hotel).
Potters Hotel, Brewery & Resort or Cumberland Motor Inn, Hunter Valley
This morning we head to the Hunter Valley Gardens to enjoy the Spring Festival of Flowers. Nestled at the foothills of the Brokenback Ranges, in the heart of the Hunter vineyards, we will find over 25 hectares of spectacular international display gardens. Sensational sights, colours and fragrances dominate the stunning feature gardens. We can explore each of the gardens like the Rose Garden with its lavish array of colour and scent or the Storybook Garden with all our favourite fairy-tale characters. We’ll take a train ride around the gardens as well as partake in the Mad Hatters Tea Party held in the Garden Terrace café. Departing the Hunter Valley, Putty Road will take us through Wollemi National Park and into Western Sydney before continuing through to the Southern Highlands. Our destination is Mittagong and the Springs Resort where we check in and settle in for dinner (breakfast & dinner in resort / lunch at gardens).
Springs Resort Mittagong
We have time to visit Bowral and Corbett Gardens this morning to see the tulip display. Over 100,000 tulips and 25,000 annuals are planted each year to transform Corbett Gardens and other parks across the shire into stunning displays of sweeping spring colour. From here we continue through to Canberra. We’ll make a stop at the 10 acre Tulip Top Gardens with their magnificent tulips, daffodils, and other spring flowers creating a spectacular exhibition. Hundreds of blossom trees nestle between the flowers and provide a magic pathway to the cascading waterfall and watercourse with classical music wafting through the air in the hidden valley. Nearing Canberra, we stop to visit Cockington Green. This award winning tourist attraction takes its name from the township of Cockington in Devon, an historic English Village and is a one 12th scale reproduction of buildings and gardens in this English village - thatched cottages, a tiny church, the village green, an oast house in Kent, a riverside inn, castles and even Stonehenge. Completing our visit we head to our accommodation, check in for the next 3 nights and freshen up for dinner (breakfast & dinner in motel / lunch at own cost).
Rex Hotel Canberra
Our first visit today is to the lookout at Mt Ainslie, the views across Lake Burley Griffin are breathtaking. Canberra is a truly unique city and one of only a few planned cities in the world. Next stop is the Floriade Festival. The flower display is the largest of its type in the southern hemisphere with some 150,000 annuals, 65,000 tulips, 20,000 daffodils, 9,000 each of hyacinths and ranunculus and 200,000 muscari – an abundance of bloom and beauty! We have a few hours here with free time to wander around at our leisure and to purchase lunch. This afternoon we re-board the coach to visit the National Museum of Australia. This architectural landmark was opened in October 2001 and offers a spectacular presentation. Five Galleries – Tangled Destinies, Eternity, The Nation, Horizon and First Australians provide fascinating insights to the land, the nation and the Australian people. We take a Museum Highlights Tour, then head to the Australian War Memorial for the remainder of our day. This memorial commemorates the sacrifice of the Australian men and women, who have served in war, through its ceremonial areas, extensive exhibitions and research facilities. The focus of the commemoration is the Hall of Memory together with the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the Pool of Reflection and the Roll of Honour that lists the names of over 102,000 Australian servicemen and women who have died in war. Over the past few years the memorial has undergone extensive redevelopment resulting in new galleries and displays and we’ll have plenty of time to wander through. We stay to hear the last post and closing ceremony. Returning to our accommodation we have time to relax before dinner (breakfast & dinner in motel / lunch at own cost).
Rex Hotel Canberra
After breakfast we head off for a drive along Embassy Row where we’ll find embassies and high commissions of countries from around the world. We’ll see the spectacular traditional design of the Chinese embassy and the modified Georgian style of the United States embassy. After a look around Canberra we arrive at the Royal Australian Mint. The first task of the Mint was to produce new coins for the introduction of decimal currency on 14 February 1966. Since then it has produced more than thirteen billion circulating coins. It now has capacity to produce two million coins per day. The Mint also manufactures medals, medallions, seals and tokens for private and public sectors and sporting and tourism groups, both nationally and internationally. Examples of these are The Order of Australia, Third Pacific Conference Games Medallions and Conrad Jupiter’s Casino tokens. Next we have planned a tour of Parliament House - home of Australia's Parliament and the meeting place of the nation. It’s located on a 32-hectare site on Capital Hill and is the focal point of Canberra. Parliament House was opened on 9 May 1988 by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The building was designed by Romaldo Giurgola of Michell/Giurgola and Thorp Architects and was constructed almost entirely of Australian materials. This afternoon we embark on a cruise on Lake Burley Griffin. Upon disembarkation we reboard the coach and travel back to our accommodation for the remainder of the day. Following dinner we’ll drive up to the Telstra Tower to enjoy 360° panoramic sights over Canberra from one of its most iconic viewpoints (breakfast & dinner in motel / lunch at own cost).
Rex Hotel Canberra
We depart Canberra this morning and make our way through Yass and Boorowa, to Greenthorpe where we’ll find one of the great historical sites in Australia – Iandra Castle. This impressive property was established by George Henry Greene from 1878-1911. Greene pioneered share farming in NSW in 1892 and soon after the turn of the century, Iandra produced the largest yield of wheat for that time - 100,000 bags. All the grandeur of yesteryear remains at Iandra, with the faithful restoration of the homestead by David Morris through the 1970’s. We have a tour then drive the short distance to Cowra. Arriving at the Japanese Gardens we enjoy a light lunch followed by time to explore the gardens. Designed by internationally renowned landscape architect Ken Nakajima, this 5 hectare garden follows the edo style walking garden of the Shugakin Imperial Villa in Kyoto (built between 1655 and 1659). The garden itself is designed to represent the landscape of Japan and features a stream cascading in waterfalls into two large ponds. The last leg of our journey today takes us through Canowindra and Molong and into Dubbo (breakfast & dinner in motel / lunch in gardens).
Golden West Motor Inn, Dubbo
We have a travel day today, driving north through Coonabarabran and Narrabri. Narrabri is the administrative heart of the second richest agricultural Shire in Australia and the centre of the cotton growing region. Onto Moree to break for a slightly later lunch. Moree is located on the banks of the Mehi River in the centre of the rich black-soil plains which makes Moree a major agricultural centre. Australia’s cotton-growing industry was also established here in the early 1960s. Our afternoon has us travelling the Newell Highway into our final overnight destination. The locals call it “Gundy” and apart from being right on the Queensland/NSW border, Goondiwindi is at the junction of a number of major Highways. In fact, the Newell Highway runs all the way through to Victoria! We check into our accommodation and freshen up for dinner (breakfast & dinner in motel / lunch in Moree).
Jolly Swagman Motor Inn, Goondinwindi
This morning we head to Toowoomba. On the way we will visit the famous Harrow Homestead and Gardens for morning tea. On arrival in Toowoomba we’ll make a stop here to take in a local attraction as well as enjoy some lunch. This afternoon we continue our journey via Brisbane and on towards the Sunshine Coast. We arrive home later this afternoon to complete our fabulous 9 day tour to the Canberra Floriade (breakfast in motel / lunch in Toowoomba).
**All itineraries are subject to change due to occasional restrictions in opening times/days of some attractions, e.g. churches, wineries etc. We cannot be held responsible for any changes due to closures, inclement weather etc.