Houses and Gardens of Southern Tasmania | Summer School in Hobart, Tasmania

Houses and gardens of Southern Tasmania runs for five days and takes in ten different gardens and three heritage-listed houses. We will step back into the past and experience life as it was two centuries ago.


  1. 1. Stroll around the gardens with guided talks by the owners, like Corinda in Glebe, Skinner Garden in Lucaston and the Inverawe Native Gardens at Margate.
  2. 2. Enjoy a guided tour of the Royal Botanical Gardens and check out ‘The Patch’ made famous by the ABC’s gardening show.
Houses and Gardens of Southern Tasmania | Summer School in Hobart, Tasmania itinerary

Southern Tasmania Houses and Gardens for seniors

Houses and gardens of Southern Tasmania small group course runs for five days and takes in different gardens and heritage-listed houses where you will have the opportunity to step back into the past and experience life as it was two centuries ago.

The gardens for the 2022 are being selected. This itinerary is indicative of the places we try to visit.

Settlement of Tasmania

Hobart grew slowly from its beginnings as a pioneering encampment until Governor Lachlan Macquarie’s visit in 1811, which prompted redevelopment of the area that he had deemed “untidy.” Socially, the population changed from soldiers, convicts and criminals, to adventurous colonists and free settlers who formed a nascent “landed gentry” driving wealth and development in the area. During this development, Hobart’s gardens which had previously provided sustenance were developed into picturesque masterpieces, culminating in the founding of The Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens in 1818.

The Format for Houses and Gardens

Each day we as a group head out to learn about one of Hobart's leading houses and gardens. The day starts around 9.00am and typically returns mid afternoon each day. The class is limited to 15 participants. This is one of a number of summer school programs offered by Odyssey Traveller Australia.

To learn more about our philosophy behind the Odyssey Summer Schools, click here!

Summer School classes for mature and senior travellers

Odyssey offers a collection of week-long learning programs offered each January in Hobart, Tasmania. Courses are refreshed for each year’s programs. Classes are limited to 15 people.

Over the last twenty-five years, Odyssey’s small group Summer School Program has given countless travellers an unforgettable educational and travel experience. Each summer, we prepare and offer fun and challenging special interest courses and programs designed to give travellers the options and opportunity to learn about history, religion, Australian culture, and the arts, among many other topics. These courses are designed in such a way that enthusiasts can deepen their knowledge of a particular topic or be initiated into new understandings on a subject.

We don’t quite live on campus, but we will be staying in a comfortable hotel in central Hobart! We will enjoy welcome and farewell dinners in between our seminars, as well as daily morning tea and lunch.

These programs offered are tailor-made for mature-aged and senior travellers who are eager to explore in-depth a particular topic. Summer school learning programs for mature and senior travellers who are and remain curious about the world. Read more about our philosophy of the Odyssey Summer Schools.

Below are some of the feedback from our Summer School programs in January 2019:

"Mal was an extraordinary leader in this program about extraordinary women. The depth and breadth of her preparation was amazing and the information book was of publishable quality. The mix of text, documentaries, and various YouTube videos all combined to not only extend our knowledge but kept us focused and interested throughout the course."

"Pav was an outstanding programme leader. His knowledge of plants and Tasmanian gardens is exceptional. His local knowledge and contacts are impressive. At all times he led the group with good humour and tolerance and at all times I felt he was totally in control of the programme. We were very fortunate to have him as our leader."

"The program was so well organised that each day ran very smoothly. Extraordinary women - extraordinary program!"

"All of the local guides were passionate about their places...Everyone was very proud of Tasmania [and] eager for us to get the most out of our visit."


Day 1: Hobart

The tour will begin with a welcome dinner at the hotel, where we have the chance to meet other Summer School participants.

Day 2: Hobart

Morning We will start the day with a visit to historic Battery Point taking in sights such as St David’s Park followed by Corinda in Glebe, where we stroll around the garden with the owner as he talks about the garden and the historical buildings and stables.

Afternoon This afternoon, we visit Runnymede at New Town, where we enjoy a guided tour of this National Trust home and learn fascinating details about its early history.

Day 3: Hobart

Morning Today we visit ‘A Garden Designers Garden’ in Moonah. We will enjoy a guided tour of the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens, including Pete’s Patch from ABC TV Gardening program. This is the second-oldest botanical gardens in Australia, which started out as a farm and is now a magnificent and beautiful site overlooking the Derwent River.

Afternoon In the afternoon we will visit Markree, a house museum and garden. Built in 1926 the house, collection and garden reflect the Arts and Crafts Movement. Markree showcases social history and design of the early 20th century.

Day 4: Hobart

Morning We take a tour of the Inverawe Native Gardens at Margate that is guided by the owner. This garden, with its expansive views over the North West Bay, is an extraordinary example of what can be done with our own native plants. The owner is also an authority on the historical connections of the garden to the days of early colonial exploration, including the work and travels of Joseph Banks.

Afternoon Later on, we experience the stunning gardens of Crawleighwood at Nicholls Rivulet and enjoy the tour with the owner as he talks about some of his rare plants. See their own arboretum and hear of the history of the area.

Day 5: Hobart

Morning This morning we will visit Tasmania’s History House in Richmond. This house started its life as an Inn built in 1826 by an Irish convict. We will explore the house, cellar and garden which once hosted a prime ministerial garden party for Gough and Margaret Whitlam.

Afternoon In the afternoon we will visit Oak Lodge a Georgian Home dating back to 1831. The property has served as a residence, rectory, school and doctor’s surgery and offers a fascinating glimpse into colonial life.

We will end the day by visiting Pooleys Wines which is on the grounds of historic Belmont.

Day 6: Hobart

Morning This morning we will visit Narryna and hear the story of Captain Andrew Haig who built this Georgian town house in the 1830s.

Afternoon This afternoon we visit Woodbank garden. Spread over 4 acres, this garden features an array of plants collected over 50 years by Ken Gillanders (OAM) an influential horticulturalist who imported many plants to Australia.

Evening Tonight, we enjoy a farewell dinner at a Hobert restaurant.

Day 7: Hobart

After breakfast, the tour draws to a close.

Includes / Excludes

What’s included in our Tour

  • Six nights in full en suite accommodation in central Hobart.
  • Six breakfasts, five lunches, and two dinners.
  • Lectures and handouts as indicated.
  • Services of a study leader and lecturers.
  • Complimentary wifi.

What’s not included in our Tour

  • Comprehensive travel insurance.
  • Return airfares to and from Hobart.
  • Airport transfers to/from your Hobart Hotel
  • Costs of a personal nature.
Level 1 - Introductory to Moderate

Participants must be able to carry their own luggage, climb and descend stairs, moderate walking on uneven surfaces between 3 - 5 kilometers per day. Suitable for most fitness levels

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If you have a group of 6 friends or more you can book this tour as a private departure, with all the benefits of our small group tours.
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Easing your journey

Crossing international borders with restrictions

The list of requirements to travel internationally has changed and will continue to change for several years. Odyssey is here to assist you in managing your way through these requirements:

Pre-departure checklist for travelling across International borders.
Support over email or phone available 24/7 for any questions you have.

For more information see our Crossing international borders with restrictions page.

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If less than 30 days before your tour starts you are unable to travel as a result of Government travel restrictions, Odyssey Traveller will assist you with a date change, provide you with a credit or process a refund for your booking less any non-recoverable costs.

See Terms and conditions for details.

Peace of Mind Travel

The safety of our travellers, tour leader, local guide and support staff has always been our top priority and with the new guidelines for public health and safety for keeping safe for destinations around the world, we’ve developed our plan to give you peace of mind when travelling with us.

See Peace of Mind Travel for details.


The leader had a great deal of knowledge and good sense of humour also.

Participant 2018

I would like to do it again!

Participant 2018

Enjoyed the local knowledge from Pavel and especially loved his garden.

Participant 2018

Was nice and leisurely

Participant 2018

Frequently Asked Questions About Odyssey Traveller Summer School

What is the Odyssey Traveller Summer School program?

Odyssey Traveller’s small group Summer School program has given countless travellers an unforgettable educational and travel experience. Each summer, we offer numerous special interest courses and programs. Courses are designed for senior travellers who are eager to deepen their knowledge of a particular topic or be initiated into new understandings of a particular subject. Often these courses underpin our European small groups tours for seniors that are offered each year. We focus on history, religion, Australian culture, and the arts, among many other topics.

Who are your lecturers?

Summer School lecturers and instructors are current or retired university lecturers or experts with a particular passion for teaching their chosen subject. Many of our lecturers have extensive teaching experience, and are gifted educators with the ability to adapt material based on the group’s needs. Many of them have taught with us for several years. They have fine-tuned their courses to allow for deep engagement on the part of participants.

What should participants expect from a Summer School program?

Our teaching rooms are located in a state-of-the-art conference centre in central Hobart. This location enables us to screen relevant documentaries and films, and to maintain engaging teaching environments. This conference facility is perfectly situated, just a a short walk from our hotel.

Summer School programs are designed to encourage participation. Expect regular discussions and tutorial exercises, as well as various group activities. The majority of our courses also feature memorable educational excursions, which take full advantage of all that Hobart has to offer. Our outings and excursions to sites of cultural significance blend classroom learning with more interactive and hands-on educational experiences.

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