7 days
Duration
Destination
PDF of Tour
Odyssey Summer School Map Blue Mountains

Travellers should familiarise themselves with our Peace of mind travel policy for Covid-19 as well as the terms and conditions applicable at the time of booking.

Autumnal Blue Mountains small group tour

This is a small group Blue Mountains tour of Houses and gardens in the Autumn. Based in Leura (close to Katoomba) at the iconic Fairmont resort this small group tour which is a day trip collection over a week. The group travels out each day to see and learn about some of the Historic homes and gardens in the UNESCO World heritage Blue Mountains region and beyond in Bathurst and Oberon often with a picnic lunch during the Autumn.

Over the course of the Week this guided tour for mature and senior travellers will visit some 13 houses and gardens throughout the National park and beyond. Each day trip is a collection of homes and gardens in close proximity with specific themes or interest viewed in the Autumn with soft light and the leaves of colour to be enjoyed. The group see some of the beautiful hidden places in NSW as well as some of the more popular great places to visit in NSW during the Autumn. Ranging from the contemporary Mayfield gardens in Oberon to the National Trust properties in and around Leura. Or the controversial art in the house and garden of Norman Lindsay at Faulconbridge within the Blue Mountain region. This is a great program to spend time out of Sydney with a small group of like minded travellers exploring the Blue Mountains region. The Blue Mountains tour is limited to 15 people each week based in Leura village.

Each day after breakfast the group will travel to visit 2-3 homes and gardens throughout the Blue mountain and surrounding areas accompanied by a program leader and supported with a local guide in the places visited for some interesting guided tour days across this part of New South Wales. Not only is there history to enjoy but the unique environment of the Blue mountains region with the pristine bushland of the temperate rainforest setting out spectacular views across each valley framed by Sandstone cliffs make a blue mountain tour something to enjoy. Spectacular lookouts as well as the Australian wildlife set the scene for the trips through the Blue Mountain region.

Early booking for this program is suggested.

Articles

Tour Notes
  • The order of visits may change due to individual venue opening hours, weather and Covid-19 restrictions.

PDF of Tour

Overview: This small group tour begins with a welcome briefing and dinner at the hotel.

Accommodation: Fairmont Hotel or similar

Overview:

We start the day with a self guided tour of Leuralla House and gardens, home of NSW Toy & Rail Museum.  The house is one of the oldest heritage listed homes in the Blue Mountains, the house design was influenced by the world famous American architect Frank Loyd Wright. The house is set within 12 acres of temperate gardens, with Paul Sorenson playing a major role in its creation. The garden is one of the earliest and largest gardens in the mountains.

We carry on to Oberon to visit Mayfield Gardens. Mayfield was established in 1984, initially as a sheep farm. The heart of the property has been gradually transformed from bare paddocks into one of the largest, privately owned cool climate gardens in the world. It has been inspired by the magnificent gardens of Europe.

Mayfield Gardens is owned by the Hawkins family, Mayfield Garden and The Hawkins’ Family Garden, together, cover more than 64 hectares (160 acres).

We return back to Leura village in the afternoon.

Accommodation: Fairmont Hotel or similar

Overview:

Today we travel down through the temperate rainforest to Mt Tomah and Bilpin.

We start by visiting the the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden which has included 186 hectares of sandstone woodland and gullies to be maintained as a conservation area. The Blue Mountains Botanic Garden, Mount Tomah, includes part of the original “Jungle” providing the visitor from Sydney and elsewhere as well as future generations an opportunity to experience and understand the stunning Blue Mountain temperate rainforest.

We stop for lunch at a local café and then make our way to Bilpin for two garden visits.

Our first stop this afternoon is Woodgreen Garden, owned by Peta and Peter Trahar since 1986 and has been intensively planted ever since. Peta has a love for collecting plants and here we will see an incredible variety of plants and flowers.

The next garden visit is just a few minutes away, at Kookaburra Garden which in contrast to Woodgreen is set in an expansive 10 acres, this mature cold climate garden and parklands featuring large open areas as well a traditional Japanese Garden, an orchard and a lovely Persimmon walk.  There’s also a bush land section of the garden was affected by the 2019/20 bush fires and after a lot of work clearing the land and removing debris, the area is reviving with tree ferns and natives regenerating near the waterfall and lovely creek.

We return to the hotel in the late afternoon. This evening there is time again to explore the Leura Village or Katoomba should your wish.

Accommodation: Fairmont Hotel or similar

Overview:

Today the group travels to the historic village of Mt Wilson to visit the some of the beautiful gardens there. 

Windyridge Gardens

Voted as one of Australia’s most beautiful gardens, this privately owned garden exhibits an extensive range of cool climate plants including but not limited to; Japanese Maples, camellias, azaleas, hydraeangers and much more. Some of the features we’ll see are Paterre Garden (formal European style garden), various outdoor artworks, a waterfall and rainforest, the White and the Blue gardens.

We’ll enjoy a picnic while there before we continue to our next visit.

Yengo Sculpture Garden

The garden was first purchased by Jesse Gregson in 1877 and was was laid out with the assistance of the Director of the Sydney Botanic Gardens, Charles Moore and the Govt Botanist J H Maiden. Yengo is an alpine garden with 144yr old trees (in 2021) such as sequoia, cedar of Lebanon and Spanish cork. Here we will see many by sculptures created by English sculptors Judith Holmes Drewry and Lloyd le Blanc, which have been collected over the years.

Bebeah Gardens

The garden was built in 1880 by Edward Cox and is one of the original large garden estates of Mt Wilson. The name ‘Bebeah’ is believed to be an Aboriginal word meaning ‘a place where stone axes are found’.

The garden covers over 12 acres and has been completely rejuvenated, restored and reshaped under the caring hand of Barry Byrne, the current owner for the last nineteen years, into an important and rare Australian example of a formal country garden estate of imposing scale and a grand sense of design.

If time permits, we’ll visit one more garden:

Nooroo Garden

The garden was built and planted in 1880 by William Hay and the original plantings include English oaks, chestnuts, ash and cedars which are underplanted with thousands of bulbs including, bluebells, daffodils and crocus. There’s a great variety of specialist plant collections showcases the beauty and spectacle of plant and flower species from around the world as well as Australian native plants.

Later in the afternoon, we’ll return to Leura.

Accommodation: Fairmont Hotel or similar

Overview:

Our Blue Mountains day trip today taskes us to Bathurst.

Abercrombie House

Abercrombie House was built in Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia in the 1870s by the Stewart family who were Bathurst pioneers. William Stewart came to Australia from England in 1825 as part of the colonisation of the penal colony. The 18 hectares property is now the private home of the Morgan Family.

We will enjoy a self-guided tour and lunch. On our tour we’ll explore this amazing 50-room Scottish-baronial home and gardens.

After lunch we’ll make our way to Bathurst, Australia’s oldest inland colonial settlement, thanks to the discovery of gold in the region during the early 1850s.  Here we take a moment to walk around and admire the heritage-listed architecture around town.

On our way back we’ll stop at the magnificent Hydro Majestic hotel for a quick look and perhaps a coffee or tea while we take in the decor and details of this historic building.

Accommodation: Fairmont Hotel or similar

Overview:

This small group Blue Mountains tour today visits three National Trust properties close to Leura for a private tour. Each property adds character to the overall program.

The Woodford Academy is the oldest complex of colonial buildings in the Blue Mountains and is of state heritage significance. Built originally as an Inn in the 1830s, the property has had a multi-layered history, also operating over the years as a gentleman’s residence, guest house, boarding house and from 1907-1936 under the ownership of John McManamey as an exclusive school – Woodford Academy.

Norman Lindsey Gallery – Faulconbridge

The former Lindsay home in Faulconbridge has so many stories, and all of them weave into the rich fabric of Australian post-World War I identity, cultural heritage, art and literature and the story of the Blue Mountains. Never one to shy away from controversy, artist and author Norman Lindsay shared this beautiful sandstone home with his wife Rose and their children.

The house now showcases Norman Lindsay’s many paintings depicting Bohemianism and Arcadian pantheism, his sculptures can be found in the sprawling gardens that wrap around his former home. You will see sculptures, illustrations and see where the cheeky characters of the children’s classic, The Magic Pudding, were created.

Discover the stories of Lindsay’s scandalous rejection of Christianity – with his works deemed blasphemous and his novel, Redheap, banned in 1930.

Our final visit is a local house the Everglades Historic House & Gardens

The Moderne-style 1930s house is set amongst 5.2 hectares of gracefully designed gardens. From Everglades House & Gardens, you can enjoy sweeping views over Jamison Valley and to Mt Solitary.

Named ‘The Everglades’ by the original owner of the house, Georgina Stonier, in 1923 the architecture was complemented by its world-renowned gardens in the 1930s. Designed by Danish-born landscape gardener, Paul Sorensen, Everglades treats its visitors to the most spectacular example of inter-war period designed gardens in Australia.

At the conclusion of this day tour we return as a group to Leura Village in the early afternoon. There is a farwell group dinner this evening.

Accommodation: Fairmont Hotel or similar

Overview: Our small group tour will end after breakfast.

1
Visit key National Trust houses and gardens in the Blue Mountains region.
2
Travel to Oberon to visit the contemporary Mayfield gardens of the Hawkins family.
3
Visit a selection of gardens in Mount Wilson.
4
Tour the Blue Mountains Botanical gardens in Mount Tomah in the Autumn.
5
Visit the controversial home and gardens of Norman Lindsey.

What’s included in our Tour

  • 6 nights in full en suite accommodation in Leura.
  • 6 breakfasts, 3 lunches, and 2 dinners.
  • Entrance fees and excursions as listed.
  • Services of a program leader and guides.
  • Complimentary wifi at the hotel.

What’s not included in our Tour

  • Transport to and from Leura, Blue Mountains.
  • Comprehensive travel insurance.
  • Costs of a personal nature.
Blue Mountains with Odyssey Traveller