Springtime Gardens and Floriade
September 20th to September 29 2016
Time to catch up with old friends and make new ones...
Tour prices include: door to door pick ups (where practical), meals, accommodation and tours/entries*
Phone us for a full intinerary. Deposit required on booking.
*unless otherwise indicated. Minimum seat reservation must be reached for tour to proceed as scheduled. Tours that require a deposit include a non-refundable booking fee on cancellation.
Extended Tour - 10 Days
Tuesday 20th September - Thursday 29th September 2016
deposit on booking $500.00
$3,650.00 twin share (single supp $820.00)
Day 1 Tuesday 20 September
GYMPIE TO GOONDIWINDI M/T, Dinner
Back by popular demand - welcome to our fabulous 10 Day Springtime Garden Tour which includes beautiful Leura in the Blue Mountains, the stunning tulips in Bowral and of course, the annual Floriade Festival in Canberra. Today is a travel day so sit back and enjoy the service and facilities aboard our touring coach as we head to Goondiwindi for our first night. (Lunch own arrangements/cost)
Jolly Swagman Motor Inn, Goondiwindi
Day 02 Wednesday 21 September
GOONDIWINDI TO DUBBO Breakfast & Dinner
Following a hearty breakfast, we’re on the road again with our morning stop in Moree, a town famous for its artesian baths. We continue south through Narrabri and Coonabarabran, with a lunch break enroute. Our destination is Dubbo. (Lunch own arrangements & cost)
Golden West Motor Inn, Dubbo
Day 03 Thursday 22 September
DUBBO TO BLUE MOUNTAINS B’fast, Lunch & Dinner
We start the day with some sightseeing as we visit the Shoyoen Japanese Garden located in the Dubbo Botanic Gardens. The Shoyoen Sister City Garden was a “living” gift from Dubbo’s Sister City Minokamo in Japan. It was opened in November 2002 - the 153rd anniversary of the founding of Dubbo and 13 years after the establishment of 'Sister City relations' between Minokamo and Dubbo. ‘Shoyoen’ in Japanese means ‘strolling and refreshing’ so that’s exactly what we’ll do as we take a wander through the gardens, noting the many Japanese features such as The Pond, Wooden Bridges, The Rock Garden and the Four-Eyed (bamboo) Fence. Departing Dubbo, we travel through Wellington and Orange to Bathurst. Here we enjoy a late lunch followed by a tour of the famous castle-like mansion Abercrombie House. Built in the 1870's, the home contains some 40 rooms and the beautiful gardens are listed as part of the National Estate. With its mixture of Gothic and Scottish Baronial styles, Abercrombie House has been acknowledged as one of the finest historical mansions in Australia. We now head into the Blue Mountains – before we check into our accommodation, we have a brief look at Govetts Leap Lookout for breathtaking views of the Grose Valley.
Comfort Inn Redleaf Resort, Blackheath, Blue Mountains
Day 04 Friday 23 September
BLUE MNTS TO S'THERN HIGHLANDS B'fast & Dinner
We wake to the freshness of the Blue Mountains and enjoy our breakfast. Our touring today starts with a stop at Echo Point in Katoomba to see the mystical Three Sisters - a rock formation surrounded by Aboriginal Dreamtime Legend. After a photo opportunity, we take the scenic Cliff Drive to Leura and where we visit Everglades Gardens, one of the most important historic gardens in Australia. Everglades is considered by many to be unparalleled in Australia for its unique design and historical significance. The name Leura, which is aboriginal for "lava", was given to the village because of the area's wealth of volcanic stones. It is the rich volcanic soil that's responsible for Leura's international reputation of possessing some of the nation's most beautiful gardens as well as beautiful tree-lined streets. We’ll take a drive around the streets before making our way down to Bowral in the Southern Highlands – another garden area. (own expense and arrangements for lunch) Berida Manor Resort, Bowral
Day 05 Saturday 24 September
BOWRAL TO CANBERRA Breakfast & Dinner
Bowral is a pretty village; since its foundation in the 1860's, Bowral has been a summer retreat for wealthy Sydney residents who have left a legacy of stately mansions, spacious grounds and lovely gardens. First stop today is the Corbett Gardens, the centrepiece of the annual Tulip Festival. It is reported that over 100,000 tulips are planted in and around the garden making springtime a real spectacle. We then visit one of the local gardens, Moidart Garden, which is arguably the best garden in the Southern Highlands. The garden consists of five acres of beautifully structured gardens containing many specimen trees and areas such as The Sunken Rose Garden, The Silver Garden and the Woodland Garden. We will re-board the coach and stop at Moss Vale for you to purchase your lunch before we visit the Red Cow Farm at Sutton Forrest. We then head to Canberra, our base for the next three nights. (Lunch own arrangements & cost)
Ibis Styles Canberra
Day 06 Sunday 25 September
CANBERRA FLORIADE Breakfast & Dinner
We start our day with a visit to the Tulip Top Gardens which are open each year from mid-September to mid-October for their Spring Tulip Festival. The 10 acre garden of tulips, daffodils, and other spring flowers creates a spectacular display. 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. Mid morning, we drive back to Canberra and head to Commonwealth Park, the centre of the Floriade Festival. The centre piece is Nerang Pool which will be surrounded by a number of discrete themes. The flower display is the largest of its type in the southern hemisphere. We will spend some time enjoying this abundance of bloom and beauty and have the opportunity to buy lunch at one of the refreshment outlets. Later this afternoon, we head to the Australian War Memorial where we spend the remainder of the afternoon. The Australian War 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. The largest of these is the very impressive Anzac Hall. It was in May 1942 when 4 Japanese Midget Submarines attacked Sydney Harbour that the reality of war was brought home to most Australians. The Sydney Under Attack multi media presentation uses light, sound, photos and film to recreate that famous event in graphic detail. Also on display in Anzac Hall is a vast collection of historic military technology including Australia’s oldest military aircraft – the Deperdussin, a First World War Mark IV Tank and a virtual re-enactment of Australia’s first naval victory in 1914. We stay to hear the last post and closing ceremony before heading back to our motel. (Lunch own arrangements & cost)
Ibis Styles Canberra
Day 07 Monday 26 September
THE SNOWY MOUNTAINS B’fast, Lunch & Dinner
This morning, we travel down through Cooma to Jindabyne where we stop at the National Parks Information Centre. From here, we drive via the Alpine Way to Bullocks Flat and the Ski Tube. We board the ski tube for a journey through the mountain to the Perisher Valley ski resort. This Swiss-styled rack-rail train takes us over the Thredbo River Bridge, through magnificent National Park scenery, over the giant viaduct and then into the longest train tunnel through sold rock in the Southern Hemisphere! We arrive in the mountain ski resort of Perisher Blue and it’s here we enjoy lunch before descending the mountain by Ski Tube. We return to Canberra and the motel for dinner.
Ibis Styles Canberra
Day 08 Tuesday 27 September
CANBERRA TO MAITLAND Breakfast & Dinner
We have an early start today to make the most of our time at the Hunter Valley Gardens this afternoon. We express along the Hume Highway and around the outskirts of Sydney, stopping for breaks enroute. Mid afternoon, we arrive at the gardens nestled at the foothills of the Brokenback Ranges, in the heart of the Hunter vineyards. We will find over 25 hectares of international display gardens that will amaze us with sensational sights, colours, fragrances and adventures of the twelve stunning feature gardens. Explore each garden one by one and enjoy an exciting journey through flowers, trees and shrubs with an air of discovery at every turn. There are superb views from the lookout and we can step back in time with all our favourite fairytale characters in the Storybook Garden. We have until closing time to explore the gardens and there is a café where we can purchase afternoon refreshments. At 5pm, we reboard our coach for the transfer to Maitland where a delicious dinner will be awaiting us. (lunch at own expense)
Old Maitland Inn Maitland
Day 09 Wednesday 28 September
MAITLAND TO GRAFTON Breakfast & Dinner
Today is a travel day as we head for Grafton. Before checking into our final night’s accommodation, we take a drive around the town. Grafton is a city of tree lined streets and graceful old buildings overlooking the Clarence River. As early as 1866, the Grafton council resolved to consider by-laws for the planting and preserving of trees and shrubs in the streets and recreation grounds. There are now some 7000 trees in Grafton and many beautiful parks. The most famous of the trees is, of course, the Jacaranda. (Lunch at own expense)
Espana Motel, Grafton
Day 10 Thursday 24 September
GRAFTON TO HOME PORT Breakfast & Lunch
Unfortunately, our tour is coming to an end but we have one more visit – Tropical Fruit World! This is an Agri-tourist destination growing the largest range of tropical and rare fruit in the world. The plantation is situated on the rim of the largest extinct volcano in the Southern Hemisphere and offers breathtaking views of the Tweed Valley and McPherson Ranges. Within sight are three world heritage National Parks containing some of the best rainforest scenery in Australia. The Plantation grows more than 500 kinds of tropical fruit & nuts and today we have the chance to see, touch and taste some of the most exotic fruits in the world. It is also our lunch venue. We now express back to Gympie, arriving home late afternoon to complete a wonderful tour. (Lunch at Tropical Fruit World)
All itineraries are subject to change due to occasional restrictions in opening times/days of some attractions, We cannot be held responsible for any changes due to closures, inclement weather etc.