DAY 1 Sunday 7 February, 2021 Sydney
Tour members will travel to Sydney this morning. The coach will be ready for departure from the airport at 1.00pm. We will travel north to visit the Lisgar Gardens in Hornsby. The gardens are set in a gully full of rich native bush land dominated by Sydney blue gums and are terraced down a steep slope with a dry stone wall of sandstone. There is an area of formal lawn with structured garden beds and an informal bush land area with walking trails. There are a number of waterfalls and other water features and wonderful stone work in the garden. Late afternoon we are transferred to our hotel for check in. This evening we enjoy a Welcome Dinner to formally meet Bonnie-Marie and other tour members.
DAY 2 Monday 8 February, 2021 Sydney
This morning we travel to the Blue Mountains for a visit to Nooroo Garden. Immortalized on a postage stamp, the highest accolade a garden can receive, this garden is a wonderful treasure. The garden was started by William Hay in 1880 and developed by the Valder family over 75 years. As you enter the garden there are tree ferns about 200 years old, Bonnie-Marie will make sure that you get the most out of this inspiring garden. We travel on to Withycombe at Mt Wilson a beautiful and elegant garden. It was begun in 1878 by George Henry Cox and all the original trees are in place. Along the boundaries of the garden there are great stands of different exotic trees. An elegant and restrained formal garden gives way to park like proportions. This garden was owned for many years by the parents of the author Patrick White. We return to Sydney for an evening at leisure.
DAY 3 Tuesday 9 February, 2021 Embarkation
Late morning we will visit Wendy Whitely’s Secret Garden. After her husband Brett’s death in 1992 Wendy started clearing the rubbish in the unused railway land in front of her house. She had no idea what she would find, but beneath the rubble there were large Moreton Bay Figs, bamboo and other plants used as the bones for the garden she has created today. We are transferred to the cruise terminal to embark the Queen Elizabeth on this fantastic Garden Cruise. Be up on deck as we cruise Sydney Harbour and out through Sydney Heads.
DAY 4 Wednesday 10 February, 2021 At Sea
The morning will be free to explore the ship. In the afternoon join Bonnie- Marie for a workshop on nature photography. Bonnie-Marie will give you tips on how to make the most of your camera or iphone and answer any questions related to photography.
DAY 5 Thursday 11 February, 2021 Hobart
On arrival in Hobart this morning we visit the Inverawe Native Gardens. Inverawe is the largest landscaped native garden in Tasmania, and contains 8500 Australian native plants – most of them Tasmanian. Enjoy strolling through 22 acres of colorful gardens, taking in the stunning views of the Bay and listening to the local birds. After time for lunch we will continue to the Crawleighwood Garden. This wonderful two hectare garden nursery is nestled in the picturesque hills at Nicholls Rivulet near Cygnet in the beautiful Huon Valley. The garden features lush rhododendron woodland and rainforest with myrtles, rare and unusual plants, a wide variety of deciduous trees including maples, meandering paths, stone walls and a Gondwanan arboretum. We return to the ship for an evening at leisure.
DAY 6 Friday 12 February, 2021 Port Arthur
Today we visit the ruins of the infamous penal settlement at Port Arthur. We will have a guided tour of the gardens of the site. We will enjoy the reconstructed Commandant’s garden and other delightful gardens at Port Arthur. We visit the gorgeous early 20th century garden and orchard at Trentham cottage.
DAY 7 Saturday 13 February, 2021 At Sea
We have a free day at sea today to enjoy the many facilities and activities aboard the ship. In the afternoon Bonnie-Marie will give a talk on her career in horticulture and the media and answer any questions you might have.
DAY 8 Sunday 14 February, 2021 Melbourne
Today we travel to the Dandenong Ranges to visit two amazing gardens. We first visit Cloudehill where a maze of stone walls and jewel like garden rooms are set within woodlands of historic cool climate trees. We will have an included lunch here as the food is as good as the gorgeous views. This afternoon we travel to Olinda, the home garden of Phillip Johnson. Phillip’s spectacular design for Fleming’s Nurseries won Best Garden in Show at the Chelsea Flower Show in 2013. His gorgeous home garden has a sustainable billabong that doubles as a chemical free swimming pool. Beautifully positioned walkways meander through the garden featuring many indigenous plants.
DAY 9 Monday 15 February, 2021 Burnie
This morning we arrive in Burnie and enjoy a highlight garden visit to Wychwood Garden and Nursery. It has been designed with fluid lines and sensuous curves. Borders full of perennials, old and new species roses and grasses are found within these boundaries. There is also a productive fruit and vegetable garden and a heritage apple orchard. Later we visit Old Wesleydale, a peaceful English garden abounding with hedges and walls, productive potager and lovely vistas. Features include a walled garden, picking garden and glass house, the terrace garden and new aviary building, ha-ha wall, Lake Walk and sculptured elephant hedge. We return to the ship late afternoon.
DAY 10 Tuesday 16 February, 2021 At Sea
Today you are free to enjoy some of the many activities available aboard Queen Elizabeth. Why not enjoy a spa or massage in the Wellness Centre, take a relaxing swim, an exercise class at the gym or play quoits or shuttle board. In the afternoon, join Bonnie-Marie for a game of Garden Trivial Pursuit. We will divide the group into teams to compete in answering garden questions with prizes for the winners. We will enjoy a farewell drinks party to celebrate the wonderful garden cruise we have enjoyed.
DAY 11 Wednesday 17 February, 2021 Disembark/Sydney
This morning we arrive back into Sydney. Tour arrangements conclude.