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
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.

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 or if you wish to secure a place on this tour please 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

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


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 & ‘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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