Stimulate your senses with a dose of botanical inspiration admiring new trends, world-class show gardens and an exhibition hall full of fresh cut flowers. It’s the southern hemisphere’s biggest garden festival. We’ll sample a few of Melbourne’s flowery and operatic treats on a four-day break.
Our Qantas group flight departs from Sydney or meet up with your Ross Tour Leader at Melbourne Airport. Head to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne for a guided tour through this green city oasis. More than 8,500 plant species from around the world are presented in a kaleidoscope of colour and texture with sweeping lawns, tranquil lakes and majestic trees. Check into your luxury hotel later this afternoon, the Marriott, perfectly placed in the heart of Melbourne. Welcome dinner included tonight at the hotel.
Spend a full day exploring the famous Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show (MIFGS), which is staged within the world heritage listed Royal Exhibition Building and surrounding Carlton Gardens. MIFGS is ranked in the top five flower shows in the world; a ‘must see’ event. Breathtaking floral displays, spectacular Show Gardens plus avenues of specialist growers and garden suppliers where you can buy everything from bulbs and plants to tools and trinkets. Be inspired by the designs, discover new plants. Take home great ideas for your own garden.
We are off to the Yarra Valley this morning. First stop is Alowyn Gardens with a series of cleverly designed garden spaces; parterre, perennial border, dry garden, edible garden, wisteria arch and French garden. Finish in the plant nursery. Coombe Estate is next, the former home of world-famous opera singer Dame Nellie Melba. The garden was established over 100 years ago by William Guilfoyle, the architect of the Victorian Royal Botanic Gardens. There is an enormous 600 metre Cypress hedge and an ancient English oak spanning the breadth of the courtyard. Lunch is a treat in this elegant setting.
This morning a guided house and garden tour at heritage listed Rippon Lea Estate, built by Frederick Sargood in 1868, as a self-sufficient farm with imported plants, elaborate underground watering and independent electricity supply. Lake, flowering shrub borders, orchard, fernery, along with architectural elements make
this a historically significant garden. Transfer to Melbourne Airport for homeward flights.
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