Autumn in Australia’s high country is sublime. Journey to the spectacular Monaro High Country at the foothills of the Snowy Mountains. Visit the gardens of local pioneering families. Travel through to Wangaratta, our base to explore this picturesque corner of Victoria, now a fast growing gourmet food and wine region. This is an 11-day visual and seasonal feast.
Meet your Ross Garden Tour leader at Sydney Coach Terminal Central and board our coach bound for Canberra. Lunch is included then afternoon visit to The Australian National Botanic Gardens with a guided tour. Check into your Canberra hotel for two nights.
The National Arboretum is our first stop this morning. A vision for the future, there are 94 forests of rare, endangered and symbolic trees from Australia and around the world here. More than 48,000 trees grow on this 250-hectare site, with species from over 100 countries represented. A special treat here is the impressive National Bonsai & Penjing Collection. Located at the western end of Lake Burley Griffin, this still new arboretum has panoramic views over Canberra, Lake Burley Griffin and beyond. Our guide will board our coach for a guided tour. Lunch included then an afternoon drive around the gardens at Old Parliament House and the Embassies. Dinner included tonight.
Head south today down the Monaro Highway to Cooma. It’s a glorious drive lined with glowing golden poplars illuminated with sunshine, especially around Berridale. The scenery is dramatic and changing as we travel up to the Monaro Plains. At the Snowy Hydro Discovery Centre, discover the amazing history of the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme, considered one of the engineering wonders of the modern world. From the early days of construction in 1949, the influx of thousands of workers from post-war Europe changed the area’s character giving Cooma a rich cultural diversity which continues to flourish today. Then, the beautiful Raglan Gallery built in 1854, still retains some of the original 100-year-old gardens. Check into our hotel on Lake Jindabyne, in the heart of the Snowy Mountains for four nights. Dinner included tonight.
Two beautiful country gardens today. A tree-lined driveway leads into ‘Shirley’, a garden oasis developed by three generations of one family. Lunch at the historic 1880’s Curry Flat Homestead, designed by renowned Monaro architect Donald Cochrane and unchanged. Take the scenic Snowy River Way back to Jindabyne, via historic Dalgety. Dinner included tonight.
Watch the sky lighten and the sun rise this morning at the Anzac Day Dawn Service, then later this morning horses, bands and marchers assemble in the Jindi Village for the annual Anzac Parade. Learn about alpine flora this afternoon at Charlotte Pass in Kosciuszko National Park. Take a board walk through Snow Gum forests. Panoramic views across to Mount Kosciusko. Dinner included tonight.
Step into Monaro history today at Hazeldean, a huge pastoral property with a homestead, woolshed and carriage house, that date back to the late 19th century; seven generations of the Litchfield Family have farmed this land. Enjoy Libby Litchfield’s hospitality at morning tea, then a stroll through her garden. Afternoon visit to Cooma residents, Jenny and Imants Tillers and their restful garden with studio.
A magnificent ride today along the Alpine Way, across the Snowy Mountains, with stops in Khancoban and Corryong. Continue through to Wangaratta, our base to explore this picturesque corner of northeast Victoria. Dinner included tonight.
Cameras at the ready today as we explore Bright and the surrounding valleys, blessed with a perfect climate for magnificent autumn colours. Mature Scarlet Oaks line Bright’s main boulevard. Two gardens will be opening for us, one in Bright and one in Harrietville. At this time there is a bounty of food and produce with walnuts, hazelnuts and apples in full production. Our visit to Nightingale Apples, in Wandiligong, will be rewarding. Travel back to Wangaratta.
Historic Beechworth is our destination today, steeped in the history of the discovery of gold in 1852. This picturesque, heritage listed town has been beautifully preserved and restored. Our guided tour will reveal fascinating legacy of the pioneers, preserved in historic buildings and heritage streetscapes. Afternoon stop at Brown Brothers in Milawa for wine tasting.
Discover the Kiewa Valley today when we travel to Kergunyah to have lunch with the Waddingtons. Coffee stop and a stroll down the heritage listed main street of Yackandandah, with well-preserved and restored buildings. Autumn trees will be ablaze in this picture postcard old town. Last stop today is Mrytleford, once famous for tobacco crops and now famous for its vineyards, berries, nuts and olives.
Travel back to Sydney today. Picnic lunch included. Return to Central Station late afternoon.
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