Tours in 2022 & 2023

My obsession with plants has led me to travel extensively in many parts of the world looking at both gardens and plants in their natural habitat. These plant hunting and garden visit tours have included such places as India, New Guinea, Fiji, New Caledonia, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, France, England, Ireland, Crete, Namibia, South Africa, Madagascar, New Zealand and Pacific North West USA.

2022 Tours
Autumn in the Macedon Ranges (26 – 29 April 2022)
Western Australia: Wildflowers, Wineries and Private Gardens of the South West (23 September – 5 October 2022)
Natural Landscapes and Gardens of New Zealand’s South Island (4 – 20 November 2022)

2023 Tours
Gardens in Spanish Culture (9 – 28 May 2023)
Gardens, Villages & Châteaux of Normandy and Brittany (3 – 23 June 2023) 

Please see details below.

Autumn in the Macedon Ranges
26 – 29 April 2022  *Wait listed

Historic Bolinda Vale, Clarkefield, Victoria Photo courtesy of Simon Griffiths

Following the enthusiastic response to the autumn departure of this tour we are pleased to offer it again in 2022 where we explore the spectacular gardens of the Macedon Ranges.

  • Gain access to a number of private gardens several of which are rarely open to the public, Stephen’s own garden, Tugurium, and a number of Mt Macedon’s spectacular 19th-century ‘hill station’ gardens.
  • Explore four hectares of established gardens at the historic working cattle property, Bolobek, and spend time with owner Brigid Robertson.
  • Visit historic Bolinda Vale’s homestead & garden kindly hosted by Lady Susannah Clarke.
  • Meet Landscape Designer, Sam Crawford, to view her picturesque gardens at Oak House.
  • View the fine design with colourful and bountiful gardens at Lambley Nursery, David Glenn’s display and trial garden.
  • Meet Simon Rickard at his private garden in Trentham which has been featured on ABC TV’s Gardening Australia.
  • Dine at the Midnight Starling, Kyneton, operated by chef Steve Rogers.
  • Enjoy 3 nights at the historic Hotel Bellinzona a welcoming retreat located in the spa town of Hepburn Springs.

PDF day-by-day itinerary & reservation application: Click here
View itinerary, image gallery, map and more: Click Here

For more information or if you wish to secure a place on this tour please contact
Australians Studying Abroad  T – (0)3 9822 6899   E

Western Australia: Wildflowers, Wineries and Private Gardens of the South West
23 September – 05 October 2022   

This exciting tour visits some of WA’s best wineries, gardens and natural landscapes during the state’s famed wildflower season. Sabrina Hahn joins the tour for five days with visits to Albany, the Porongurup National Park, Fitzgerald River National Park during the wildflower season. Around 11,000 flora species are found in WA and over 75% are found in the south-west, one of the world’s top 10 biodiversity hotspots.

  • Spend time at the Ravensthorpe Wildflower Show and visit the herbarium which holds over 3000 botanical specimens.
  • In the Margaret River region visit Pat Poynton’s Secret Garden designed by Melbourne master Paul Bangay, and also Bill Mitchell’s award-winning garden.
  • Delight in a 3-Course wine paired lunch at Voyager Estate’s award-wining Restaurant with its stunning Cape Dutch architecture and gardens inspired by the Cape Dutch farmsteads of South-Africa, located within James Halliday’s ‘golden triangle’ of Margaret River’s wine region.
  • Journey by 4WD to view the giant karri forests in Warren National Park and the Yeagarup Dunes, the largest land-locked mobile dune system in the southern hemisphere. Here, witness coastal heath resembling ancient flora and many beautiful wildflowers in season.
  • Take the Tree Top Walk in the Valley of the Giants and enjoy a cruise with a local expert to explore the biodiversity of the Walpole Wilderness.
  • Visit Albany’s Regional Wildflower Garden and the natural geological features of Torndirrup National Park that include The Gap, Natural Bridge and Blowholes.
  • Explore Cypress Farm, the home of Professor Kingsley Dixon – Foundation Director of Science at Kings Park and Botanic Garden.
  • Enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour of Kings Park International Park Breeding Program hosted by Senior Plant Breeder, Digby Growns.
  • Conclude with private visits to the home gardens of Sabrina Hahn and Deryn Thorpe, who is an award-winning garden journalist and founder of Open Gardens WA.

PDF day-by-day itinerary & reservation application: Click here
View itinerary, image gallery, map and more: Click Here

For more information or if you wish to secure a place on this tour please contact
Australians Studying Abroad  T – (0)3 9822 6899   E 

Natural Landscapes and Gardens of New Zealand’s South Island
4 – 20 November 2022 

This tour visits an extraordinary variety of public and private gardens and spectacular natural landscapes of New Zealand’s South Island

  • Explore the beautiful Malborough Region, famous for its traditional gardens and viticulture. Enjoy the hospitality of the garden owners at the MacFarlane’s magical Winterhome garden, Huguette Michel’s Hortensia and Carolyn Ferraby’s Barewood Gardens.
  • Visit 5 gardens classified as Gardens of International Significance: Sir Miles Warren’s private garden, Ohinetahi (Christchurch), Flaxmere Garden (North Canterbury), Trotts Garden (Ashburton), Larnach Castle Gardens (Dunedin) and the Dunedin Botanic Garden.
  • By special appointment view Broadfields NZ Landscape Garden designed by Robert Watson in Christchurch, Maple Glen Gardens in Eastern Southland, and the spectacular gardens of Clachanburn Station in Central Otago.
  • Travel the rugged west coast and visit Fox Glacier and Mount Cook on the journey south through Westland National Park.
  • Spend 2 nights at the Lake Moeraki Wildnerness Lodge, in the heart of Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Area where local experts. will take you though the rainforest into the habitats of glow-worms, Morepork Owls, fur seals and Fiordland Crested Penguins.
  • Travel through the Fiordland National Park encompassing mountain, lake, fiord and rainforest environments.
  • Enjoy a relaxing cruise of Milford Sound, described by Rudyard Kipling as the ‘8th wonder of the world’.
  • Explore The Catlins featuring spectacular coastal scenery, dense temperature rainforest and many endangered species of birds and mammals. At Curio Bay visit one of the most extensive and least disturbed examples of a Jurassic fossil forest in the world.
  • While based in Dunedin tour the Otago Peninsula, view the only mainland breeding colony of Royal Albatross in the world.
  • Visit Riverstone Kitchen, named Supreme Winner in the Cuisine New Zealand Restaurant of the Year Awards in 2010, and explore its vegetable gardens and orchard.
  • Visit the spectacular Mackenzie Region ringed by snow-capped mountains and featuring turquoise-blue lakes. The region has been recognised as an International Dark Sky Reserve, the largest in the world; discover the magic of our southern skies during a tour of the University of Canterbury Mt John Observatory.

PDF day-by-day itinerary & reservation application: Click here
View itinerary, image gallery, map and more on website: Click Here

For more information or if you wish to secure a place on this tour please contact
Australians Studying Abroad  T – (0)3 9822 6899   E

Gardens in Spanish Culture
9 – 28 May 2023

Explore Spain’s distinctive gardening tradition shaped both by the country’s great climatic diversity and its powerful Islamic heritage.

  • Meet famed Spanish landscape designer Eduardo Mencos, author of Hidden Gardens of Spain. Eduardo and Anneli will show us their landscaped working farm ‘La Lancha’, in Extremadura.
  • Talented design duo Miguel Urquijo and Renate Kastner will show us their restoration of a private palace garden in Toledo with magnificent views of the Cathedral; and an exciting new garden near the walled city of Ávila.
  • In Madrid, landscape designer Fernando Martos introduces his work, which combines the wild beauty of Spain’s arid landscape with planting ideas borrowed from the English garden tradition.
  • Visit a carefully curated selection of Spain’s finest hidden gardens hosted by their owners, including El Romeral de San Marcos in Segovia, designed by pioneering landscape designer Leandro Silva; an outstanding Mediterranean classical garden in the province of Málaga; a romantic oasis garden in the outskirts of Madrid and 16th-century private palace in Ronda.
  • Tour Málaga’s historic La Concepción garden and in Madrid, visit the Royal Botanic Garden.
  • Discover Córdoba’s delightful, hidden, Islamic-style courtyard gardens during the Festival de los Patios.
  • With a naturalist, explore the Monfragüe National Park, an outstanding site for the Eurasian Black and Griffon vultures, as well as the Spanish Imperial, Golden and Bonelli eagles.
  • Visit a number of the country’s greatest monuments: Granada’s Alhambra, Córdoba’s Great Mosque, Seville’s magnificent Alcazar and Cathedral.
  • View the work of 17th-century masters like Velázquez and Goya, as well as German and Italian masterpieces, in the Museo del Prado.
  • Experience Spanish hospitality and feast on regional specialities at local restaurants and private homes, including a 17th-century stately home in the heart of Seville; an elegant restaurant in Granada’s ancient Moorish quarter overlooking the Alhambra; an organic family farm near Toledo; and a traditional Andalusian cortijo (country estate) with a lush semi-tropical garden. Enjoy an evening reception at a private palace in Segovia with magical views of the Roman aqueduct from the garden.

PDF day-by-day itinerary & ‘reservation’ application: Click here
View itinerary, image gallery, map and more: Click Here

For more information or if you wish to secure a place on this tour please contact
Australians Studying Abroad  T – (0)3 9822 6899   E

Gardens, Villages & Châteaux of Normandy and Brittany
3 – 23 June 2023   *LimitedChateauSassyJP

Explores the wonderful public and private gardens, agricultural landscapes, picturesque villages, historic towns and great monuments of two of France’s most beautiful regions: Normandy and Brittany. Follow the lovely Seine Valley to Monet’s Giverny and the coast he painted to Honfleur and the great Impressionist collection in the André Malraux Museum at Le Havre.

Journey along Brittany’s beautiful, pristine northern coast with its deep-cut inlets and inland woods to the rich Jardins de Kerdalo and the private manor house garden, Le Jardin du Pellinec. Le Grand Launay boasts an exciting modern garden surrounding a medieval castle. A wide range of historic and private French gardens include the Le Nôtre-inspired Château du Champ de Bataille and Château de Sassy, and the Sir Edwin Luytens and Gertrude Jekyll-influenced Le Bois des Moutiers.

Privileged private visits, many hosted by owners, include the late Princess Sturdza’s Le Jardin du Vastérival. We explore major monuments like the Abbey of St-Georges de Boscherville; Romanesque and Gothic Cathedrals like Notre-Dame (Rouen) and St-Étienne (Caen). At Carnac, you’ll see the largest Neolithic alignment in the world (3500-3000 BC); further north, we discover the rich fauna and flora of the Natural Regional Park of Armorique. We view the Bayeux Tapestry and enjoy the pretty half-timbered houses of Lyons-La-Fôret, Vitré and Dinan, the walled towns of Saint-Malo and Vannes, and the charming washhouses of Pontrieux.

We sample French regional produce, visit specialist local markets, and taste Normandy’s Livarot, Pont l’Évêque cheese, apple juice and calvados, and Brittany’s crêpes, seafood, and famous cakes including Far Breton and Kouign-Amann. We dine at renowned urban and rustic restaurants including historic Restaurant La Couronne, Rouen and Le Manoir des Impressionnistes in Honfleur.


This tour certainly exceeded our expectations. The mix of history and wonderful (often private) gardens made for a memorable tour.  David & Chris, QLD.

On the ‘Gardens, Villages & Chateaux of Normandy & Brittany’ tour the weather was generally pleasant and the venues were lovely and very interesting. I loved the charm of many of the French people, their generosity of hospitality, the stunning countryside, and the food, especially when it was local fresh and not nouvelle cuisine.  Rhyll, VIC.

PDF day-by-day itinerary & ‘reservation’ application: Click here
View itinerary, image gallery, map and more on website: Click Here

For more information or if you wish to secure a place on this tour please contact
Australians Studying Abroad  T – (0)3 9822 6899   E

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