Tours in 2019 & 2020

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.

2019 Tours
Natural Landscapes & Gardens of Morocco (19 March – 9 April 2019)
The Living Eden: Madagascar’s Unique Flora and Fauna (9 September – 1 October 2019).

2020 Tours
Gardens, Villages & Châteaux of Normandy and Brittany (6 – 26 June 2020)
Atacama to Patagonia: Chile’s Natural World (11 – 31 October 2020)

Please see details below.

 Natural Landscapes & Gardens of Morocco
19 March – 9 April 2019  (this tour is waitlisted) 

For more information contact Australians Studying Abroad
T – (0)3 9822 6899   E   Day-by-day itinerary click here.

The Living Eden: Madagascar’s Unique Flora and Fauna
9 September – 1 October 2019


  • Explore Madagascar’s rich and unique wildlife habitats, venturing into exquisite national parks and reserves ranging from semi-tropical rainforests, succulent and spiny thicket, rocky landscapes of the central west and the spectacular mineral forest (karst spires) of the Tsingy de Bemaraha.
  • Learn about Madagascar’s fascinating blend of Austronesian and East African cultures.
  • View the spectacular Avenue of the Baobabs, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Get up close with Madagascar’s unique lemur and hear the call of the Indri across the Andasibe rainforest.
  • Enjoy invigorating walks in Andasibe-Mantadia, Ranomafana and Isalo National Parks, while searching for lemurs, chameleons and strange insects in the forest.
  • Spend a day visiting the spiny thicket or “spiny desert” of southern Madagascar; a globally distinctive ecoregion where 95 percent of the plant species are endemic to the region.
  • Make an excursion to Masoala National Park and the island reserve of Nosy Mangabe home to the White-Fronted Brown Lemurs and Black-and-White Ruffed Lemurs, Leaf-Tailed Geckos and several species of chameleons.

Physical Rating
Please note Physical endurance is a high 6 out of 7 flag rating. Please consider if this tour is suited to your physical level or see ASA website for details.

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

For more information contact Australians Studying Abroad
T – (0)3 9822 6899   E Madagascr-double-img

Gardens, Villages & Châteaux of Normandy and Brittany
6 – 26 June 2020 ChateauSassyJP

  • This cultural garden tour explores the gardens, agricultural landscapes, villages, towns and great monuments of two of France’s most beautiful and historic regions: Normandy and Brittany.
  • An introduction to the wide range of gardens in French history, featuring visits to medieval monastic gardens, grand Renaissance estates, and intimate modern creations.
  • Private gardens (several listed as ‘Jardin Remarquable’), many visits will be hosted by their owners.
  • Work inspired by the great André Le Nôtre at the Château Champ de Bataille and Château de Sassy, and the influences of Edwin Luytens and Gertrude Jekyll at Le Bois des Moutiers.
  • Le Jardin du Vastérival, residence of the late Princess Sturdza, containing one of the finest plant collections in France.
  • The beautiful, unspoilt northern coast of Brittany with its deep-cut inlets and inland wooded valleys enjoys an exceptional climate due to the Gulf Stream; we explore the Jardins de Kerdalo with a rich collection of plants, the private manor house garden, Le Jardin du Pellinec; and Le Grand Launay which boasts a beautiful modern garden built around an old castle.
  • A journey ‘in the footsteps of the Impressionists’, to Monet’s garden at Giverny, the coast he painted, and the port town of Honfleur; the Musée d’Art Moderne André Malraux (Le Havre) containing one of the most extensive collections of Impressionist paintings in France.
  • Visits to major monuments such as the Abbeys of St-Georges de Boscherville and Mont Saint-Michel; Romanesque and Gothic Cathedrals such as Notre-Dame (Rouen) and St-Étienne (Caen).
  • The megalithic site on the south coast of Brittany in Carnac, where we examine the largest Neolithic alignment in the world (3500-3000 BC).
  • The Bayeux Tapestry Museum, containing the 11th-century embroidered cloth depicting the Norman conquest of England.
  • Explore a rich variety of village architecture in a number of ‘Les Plus Beaux Villages de France’ including the pretty half-timbered houses of Lyons-la-Forêt and Dinan, the medieval stone houses of St-Céneri-le-Gérei, the walled towns of Vannes and Saint-Malo, and the charming washhouses of Pontrieux.
  • Sampling of French regional produce, with visits to specialist local markets; tastings of Normandy’s Livarot, Pont l’Évêque cheeses, apple juice and calvados, and Brittany’s crêpes, seafood, the famous custard cake, ‘Far Breton’ and the ‘Kouign-Amann’ (cross between a croissant and a palmier).
  • Fine dining in renowned restaurants including historic restaurant La Couronne, Rouen.


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 & ‘intention-to-travel’ application: Click here
View itinerary, image gallery, map and more on website: Click Here

For more information contact Australians Studying Abroad
T – (0)3 9822 6899   E

Atacama to Patagonia: Chile’s Natural World
11 – 31 October 2020Chile-sky-panorama-Patagonia-naturaleza-lake-1108876-wallhere

This elongated country is like an island, separated on the north from the rest of the continent by the Atacama Desert – the driest in the world… To the east rises the cordillera of the Andes, a formidable mass of rock and eternal snows, and to the west the abrupt coastline of the Pacific Ocean. Below, to the south, lie the solitudes of Antarctica. This nation of dramatic topography and diverse climates, studded with capricious obstacles and shaken by the sighs of hundreds of volcanoes, a geological miracle between the heights of the cordillera and the depths of the sea, is unified top to tail by the obstinate sense of nationhood of its inhabitants”. Chilean author, Isabel Allende

  • Visit public gardens and enjoy privileged access to private gardens that both reflect Chile’s lively contemporary garden culture.
  • Visit the eccentric houses of Chile’s greatest poet, the colourful Pablo Neruda, and hear marvellous stories which inspired Isabel Allende.
  • Explore the rainbow-hued UNESCO World Heritage Listed coastal town of Valparaíso.
  • Visit Santiago’s great Museum of Pre-Columbian Art to explore the rich cultural history of Central and South America, and the Padre LePaige Archaeological Museum with its superb collection from the ancient cultures of the Atacama region.
  • Discover the fascinating geology of the Atacama Desert – a high-altitude 1,200km expanse of dunes, plains, high peaks, and active volcanoes – with visits to Moon Valley in the Salt Mountain Range, the ancient village of Tocanao, Atacama Salt Flat and the famous flamingos of Chaxa Lagoon.
  • Enjoy the awesome natural beauty of Chile’s southern Lake District, visiting the magnificent Parque Nacional Volcán Villarrica which features a glorious mix of lakes and three volcanoes.
  • Take a swim in the Termas Geométricas, a Japanese-inspired labyrinth of hot springs hidden in the lush Chilean forest.
  • Learn about the Mapuche community at Curarrehue’s ‘Aldea Intercultural Trawupeyüm’ – enjoy their culture of music, dance, and colourful costumes.
  • Cruise Lago Todos Los Santos to view three stunning but totally different volcanoes – Orsorno, Puntiagudo and Tronador.
  • Spend 2 days in the Torres del Paine National Park, Patagonia – a wilderness of scrubland, ridges, rivers, lakes and lagoons and the eponymous torres (towers) of the Paine Massif; a highlight is our excursion to see the icebergs on Lago Grey.
  • Visit vibrant artists’ markets, and sample distinctive cuisine and enjoy the fine wines for which Chile is famed.

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

For more information contact Australians Studying Abroad
T – (0)3 9822 6899   E

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