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Botanica

Victorian Private Gardens & Galleries

Melbourne Return

Trip Code: BTGGV7
7 Days
26 Sep 2021 & 25 Sep 2022

Trip Highlights

See Grampians wildflowers

Travel through the rugged splendour of the Grampians range in wildflower season.

Meet private garden owners

Meet private garden owners, including Botanica’s founder Judy Vanrenen OAM.

Visit regional art galleries

Visit the regional galleries including Bendigo, Ballarat, Hamilton and Geelong.

  • Trip Inclusions
  • Map & Itinerary
  • Similar Trips

Trip Inclusions

  • 7 days in a small group with Garden/Art Guide Sophie Holloway and an experienced Coach Captain
  • 6 nights' accommodation in unique 4 to 5 star hotels, including 2 nights at Royal Mail Hotel Dunkeld plus 13 meals
  • Learn how Paul Bangay uses plants in his private garden
  • Visit regional galleries including Bendigo, Ballarat, Hamilton and Geelong
  • Travel through the rugged splendour of the Grampians in wildflower season
  • Meet private garden owners including Botanica's Founder Judy Vanrenen OAM
  • Discover how garden sculptures are made from Australian Bronze
  • Extend your stay in 2021. Arrive a day earlier and visit the National Gallery of Victoria's French Impressionism Exhibition

Map & Itinerary

Trip Notes

  • Itinerary and inclusions are subject to change
  • Low Fitness Level - involves walking on uneven surfaces and stairs, and be able to stand up for up to one hour and keep up with the pace of the group
  • Group size 15-20 guests
  • Prices are for land only. Flights not included
Australia map BTGGV7 2020-2021
Melbourne Return

Depart Melbourne at 9am from your hotel to visit stunning Broughton Hall with its cherry blossoms in bloom. Located in Bunyip State Park with the Tarago Reservoir as its backdrop, you’ll enjoy lunch in the terraced gardens and time afterwards to browse the rare plant nursery. We then visit the eclectic gallery and garden of local sculptor Laurie Collins before returning to Melbourne for dinner. Perhaps take a stroll this evening with your Botanical Guide to see the unique and ever-evolving laneway art of Melbourne.

Stay: Melbourne, Marriott Hotel or similar

Daily :
  • Dinner

See how one of Australia’s leading landscape architects uses his palette of plants to design 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, the oldest and largest gallery in regional Australia. Here, we see paintings by Streeton, Roberts, Ramsay, Fox, Condor, Drysdale and Barak. Later, check in to Craig’s Royal Hotel, a beautifully restored hotel and part of Victoria’s gold rush history.

Stay: Two Nights, Ballarat, Craig’s Royal Hotel or similar

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Today we visit Bendigo, another town built on the wealth of the Victorian gold rush. The Bendigo Regional Gallery is one of Australia’s oldest and largest regional art galleries, renowned for its exhibitions that attract visitors from around the world. Here, enjoy the gallery’s permanent exhibition on a guided tour of the collection. This afternoon, we visit a private garden, one of several found in the vicinity of this culturally rich heritage city. 

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Enjoy a private garden visit near Beaufort this morning, complete with morning tea. Then continue towards the spectacular Grampians. This national park is home to more than a third of Victoria’s flora, with over 1,000 species found here. Visit Halls Gap and drive south through the Grampians during the height of wildflower season. Later, we visit the Art Studio of local artist Ros McArthur 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 or similar

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Enjoy an early morning visit to the Royal Mail Hotel’s Kitchen Garden to see where Australia’s largest kitchen garden’s fresh produce is grown. Later, view Hamilton Regional Gallery’s rare collection of Paul Sandby English landscape drawings, established from a private collection assembled during the 18th-century artist’s lifetime. Continue to the Hamilton Botanic Gardens, originally designed by William Guilfoyle and housing an outstanding Abutilon collection. 

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Enjoy a private garden visit to Wiltshire, home of Botanica’s founder, Judy Vanrenen. The inspiration for the business, Wiltshire is filled with eclectic gardens and ideas from her travels. Continue on to Geelong Regional Gallery, which displays its wonderful collection of early colonial artworks, including von Guérard’s early Western District paintings. We then arrive at our waterfront hotel.

Stay: Novotel Geelong or similar

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

This morning we visit The Hive gallery to see the home of Victorian garden sculptor Will Wilson. Hear how Will creates the amazing bronze pieces he takes to the Chelsea Flower Show every year. While here, we also see the works of many other local artists. Enjoy a Farewell Lunch at the very artistic and quirky Oakdene restaurant and gardens, before returning to Melbourne airport by 4pm or the Melbourne hotel by 5pm.

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
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Everything was wonderful. There were great sightseeing trips and the guides were very knowledgeable.

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