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Victorian Private Gardens & Galleries

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Victorian gardens and art.

See vibrant colours in Autumn with Botanica World Discoveries.

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7 Days with a Botanical/Art Guide including time in Melbourne, Bendigo, the Grampians and Geelong. Visit private gardens where you will meet the owners, and visit regional galleries where you will be welcomed by the curators or directors. View complete itinerary

Trip code: BTGGV7
Duration: 7 days
Accommodation: Hotels offering superior comfort
Journey: Melbourne Return
Meals included: 14


Day 1. Arrive Melbourne, Galleries & Gardens

We meet this morning at 9.30am at the Melbourne hotel then enjoy a visit to the National Gallery of Victoria or a stroll around Melbourne Botanic Gardens. This afternoon we visit the very private and amazing Johnston Collection with its antiques and fine art works.
Stay: Melbourne, Pullman on the Park
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Dinner

Day 2. Private Garden of Paul Bangay & Ballarat Art Gallery

See how one of Australia’s leading landscape architect’s uses plants as his palette in his magnificent garden. Paul Bangay has created an outstanding private garden where he experiments with plants and design to showcase what can be achieved in the many private gardens he is commissioned to create around the world. This is a very special visit. Spend time in one of Victoria’s artistic hubs, Daylesford, before continuing to the Ballarat Art Gallery which is the oldest and largest gallery in regional Australia. See Streeton, Roberts, Ramsay, Fox, Condor, Drysdale and Barak paintings here. Later, check in to a beautifully restored hotel, part of Victoria’s gold rush history.
Stay: Two Nights: Ballarat, Craig’s Hotel
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Dinner

Day 3. Bendigo Art Gallery & Private Garden

Today we visit another town built on early Victorian gold rush history where the Bendigo Regional Gallery has become renowned for amazing regional exhibitions that draw visitors from around the world. Enjoy the permanent exhibition on a guided tour of the collection. This afternoon we visit a private garden.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Dinner

Day 4. Private Garden & Grampians Wildflowers

Enjoy a private garden visit near Beaufort this morning, complete with morning tea, before continuing towards the spectacular Grampians where over 1,000 species of flora bloom. Visit Halls Gap and drive south through the Grampians in wildflower season before arriving at the Royal Mail Hotel, nestled at the foot of the Southern Grampians and renowned for its gourmet food and stunning location.
Stay: Two Nights: Dunkeld, Royal Mail Hotel
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Dinner

Day 5. Hamilton Art Gallery & Gardens

An early morning visit to the Royal Mail’s Kitchen Garden to see where all the fresh produce is grown. Hamilton Regional Gallery has a rare collection of Paul Sandby English landscape drawings from a private collection that was assembled during the artist’s lifetime. Visit the Hamilton Botanic Gardens originally designed by William Guilfoyle and housing an outstanding Abutilon collection.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Dinner

Day 6. Private Gardens & Geelong Art Gallery

Enjoy a private garden visit to Wiltshire, home of Botanica’s Founder, Judy Vanrenen. Continue on to Geelong Regional Gallery with a wonderful collection of early colonial artworks including von Guerard’s early Western District paintings before arriving at our waterfront hotel.
Stay: Geelong, Novotel Hotel
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 7. Bellarine Peninsula, Local Artists

This morning we visit The Hive Gallery to see the home of Victorian garden sculptor, Wil Wilson. Hear how he creates the amazing bronze pieces that he takes to Chelsea Flower Show every year, and see works by other local artists. Enjoy a Farewell Lunch at the very artistic but quirky Oakdene Restaurant and gardens before returning to Melbourne airport by 4pm or the Melbourne hotel by 5pm.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch

Trip Highlights

  • Visit The Johnston Collection Gallery
  • Learn how Paul Bangay uses plants in his private garden
  • Explore the artistic hub of Daylesford
  • See the unique collections at the Bendigo, Ballarat, Hamilton & Geelong regional galleries
  • Travel through the rugged splendour of the Grampians in wildflower season
  • Meet private garden owners who generously share their gardens including Botanica’s Founder, Judy Vanrenen’s garden
  • Discover how garden sculptures are made from Australian bronze
  • Tour the Royal Mail Hotel’s Kitchen Garden to discover how they grow their produce
  • Farewell Lunch at Oakdene Restaurant and Gardens


Included Experiences

  • All sightseeing as mentioned including the services of a Garden/Art Guide & experienced Coach Captain
  • Airport transfers on first & last day
  • 14 meals – 6 breakfasts, 2 lunches & 6 dinners
  • Travel in a small group 20 or less aboard a luxury vehicle
  • Stay in unique 4 to5 star hotels

Additional Information

Fitness Level

  • Low – Involves travel close to home and includes longer stays in one location. Guests need to be able to walk on uneven surfaces and stairs, and be able to stand up for to one hour

Botanical Guide

Escorted by Sophie Holloway

  • Sophie is a highly-regarded Melbourne florist, landscape designer and patron of the arts. This tour combines her two passions - gardens and the arts.

Trip Notes

  • Itinerary and inclusions are subject to change
  • SA Wine, Roses, History, Gardens & Art (BTWR7). Savings Apply. Enquire for details
  • Prices are for land only. Flights not included
  • Group Size - 15 to 20 guests

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