Festival of Flowers
Spectacular gardens, country touring, live music plus delicious, local food and wine will be just some of the wonderful things you will experience. This 10 day getaway is designed not only for the lovers of gardens, flowers & festivities, but there are many other interesting tours and activities that would appeal to a vast array of interests.
This tailor made itinerary departs in Spring, the perfect time to visit the many flower festivals in Southern Queensland, New South Wales and the ACT. Highlights include the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers, the Spring Festival of Flowers in the Hunter Valley, the Bowral Tulip Festival, Tulip Top Gardens and the ever popular Canberra Floriade. This, along with other highlights such as a winery tour, talking pubs tour, thoroughbred horse stud tour, Illawarra Fly Tree Top Walk, Bradman Museum, Australian War Memorial, Parliament House Tour, National Museum and a cruise on Lake Burley Griffin, is sure to delight.
- Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers with reserved seating for the Grand Parade
- Garden Lovers & Public Gardens Tour + Talking Pubs Tour
- Cobb & Co Museum with Devonshire morning tea
- Jam Works with morning tea
- Jester Hill Winery with tastings
- Granite Belt Brewery & lunch at Happy Valley Retreat
- Visit the Golden Guitar, Tamworth
- Thoroughbred Horse Stud Tour, Darley Stud, Denman
- Festival of Flowers at Hunter Valley Gardens & train tour
- Scenic Putty Road from Hunter Valley to Windsor
- Bowral Tulip Festival, Corbett Gardens
- Visit Fitzroy Falls & Illawarra Fly Tree Top Walk
- Bradman Museum & International Cricketers Hall of Fame
- Tulip Top Gardens
- Cockington Green Gardens & miniature village
- Wander through the beautiful garden displays at Canberra Floriade
- Visit the Australian War Memorial
- Take a Parliament House Tour
- Cruise on Lake Burley Griffin
- Visit Australian National Museum
- Telstra Tower lookout at Black Mountain
- Drive tour highlighting Canberra’s Embassies
- Economy flights from Mackay to Brisbane and from Canberra back to Mackay or Brisbane with Virgin Australia (other departures ports available)
- Private touring in luxury coach with experienced guide
- Entry to all attractions as mentioned above
- 2 nights Toowoomba, 1 night Armidale, 1 night Hunter Valley, 2 nights Southern Highlands, 3 nights Canberra
- Services of a professional Helloworld Tour Host
- 9 breakfasts, 8 lunches & 9 dinners
Fri 15 September 2017 – MACKAY – BRISBANE – TOOWOOMBA
North Queensland travellers will meet our Host at the Mackay Airport and begin our journey to Brisbane. Upon arrival we will meet our fellow travellers at Brisbane Domestic Airport and start our journey towards Toowoomba through the beautiful Lockyer Valley, known as the ‘Salad Bowl’ of Australia. Our first stop will be Picnic Point to admire the lovely gardens before a delicious lunch in the restaurant whilst enjoying the views back over the Lockyer Valley and beyond. Later, a relaxing afternoon is spent strolling through beautiful private gardens. Our three hour guided tour takes in a selection of Toowoomba’s prize-winning gardens where owners have spent months preparing their gardens just for this special week of the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers.
Sat 16 September 2017 – TOOWOOMBA CARNIVAL OF FLOWERS
We start with a visit to Toowoomba’s Cobb & Co Museum to see the National Carriage Collection and brush up on our Cobb & Co history with an exhibition dedicated to the legendary coaching company. Enjoy a Devonshire morning tea before re-joining our coach for a look at Toowoomba’s very beautiful public parks. We visit the Japanese Gardens, Queens Park Botanical Gardens, then wander along garden lined pathways at Laurel Bank Park. The park is also home to the Scented Gardens created from ideas presented by the Downs Association of the Blind. We stop for lunch are a local restaurant, then head across to our reserved undercover seating for the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers Grand Parade. See street performers, carnival characters, incredible inflatables and stilt walkers escort the stunning floral floats on their journey to Queens Park. Late afternoon, we return to our accommodation to freshen up before heading out on our exclusive “Talking Pubs” Tour. This four-hour progressive dinner tour takes us to four historic pubs. First stop is Fitzy’s Toowoomba to sample shared canapé platters, then the historic Mort Estate Hotel for more tasty morsels. Mains will be at the quirky Spotted Cow Hotel and dessert at the Irish Club Hotel, for a warm finish to the tour. The tour includes all meals and a drink at each pub.
Sun 17 September 2017 – TOOWOOMBA – ARMIDALE
After a leisurely breakfast, we depart Toowoomba and start our journey south to the Southern Highlands. Our first stop today will be on the Granite Belt which is famous for its cool climate wines. Enjoy a delicious morning tea at Jam Works of Glen Aplin, then travel across to Jester Hills Winery to sample some of their wines before heading to Happy Valley Retreat, also home to the Granite Belt Brewery. We have an included tour of their small boutique brewery before lunch in the restaurant. The afternoon sees us cross the border into New South Wales and on through Tenterfield and Glen Innes to Armidale for the night.
Mon 18 September 2017 – ARMIDALE – HUNTER VALLEY
Continue south to Tamworth, stopping off at the Golden Guitar for morning tea and a visit to the Wax Museum. The museum is in the style of Madame Tussauds, and all the life-like figures are beautifully and carefully constructed and carved. They are dressed in original clothing and displayed in settings which reflect the time and person, their lives and their music. Later, join Craig Benjamin for an exclusive insider’s tour of the thoroughbred horse racing industry. The tour includes lunch in Denman in a century old hotel and a visit to Darley Woodlands Thoroughbred Horse Stud where we may see the new spring foals. The final part of our journey takes us in to the Hunter Valley for our overnight stay.
Tue 19 September 2017 – HUNTER VALLEY – SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS
A highlight of our tour will be a visit to the award winning Hunter Valley Gardens during the Festival of Flowers, which is now in its 12th year and is designed to immerse visitors in a visual and sensory experience. Included in our entry is a 35 minute train tour of the gardens, then you are free to further explore at your own pace. Stroll around the many themed sections of the gardens and then perhaps take a look at the village shops before lunch at the Garden Terrace. This afternoon we depart the Hunter Valley and travel the pretty Putty Road which was the first road constructed from Sydney to the north and opened to traffic in 1823. Stop off in Windsor on the western outskirts of Sydney before arriving in Mittagong in the Southern Highlands.
Wed 20 September 2017 – TULIP FESTIVAL & SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS
It’s Tulip Time in Bowral and no visit to the Southern Highlands in spring is complete without a visit to the centrepiece of Tulip Time, Bowral’s Corbett Gardens. Mass-planted with over 75,000 tulips and 16,500 annuals with an additional 40,000 tulips planted in Mittagong and Moss Vale, this is sure to be yet another highlight. Whilst strolling around the gardens we can also browse through the 20 local and regional stalls which provide fresh and prepared food and beverages, home wares, clothing, jewellery and much, much more. Next, we visit Fitzroy Falls where water plunges over 80 metres to the valley below, then head across to the Illawarra Fly Tree Top Walk. The 1.5km return walk takes in native rainforest and the steel walkway features two gently swaying cantilevered arms and a central tower raised nearly 50 metres from the forest floor. Positioned 710 metres above sea level, the stunning panoramic views take in everything from the rainforest canopy, coastal towns and out to the Pacific Ocean. We enjoy lunch and the Tree Top walk then head back to Bowral and visit the International Cricketers Hall of Fame, featuring the Bradman Museum.
Thu 21 September 2017 – TULIP FESTIVAL & SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS
It’s time to leave the Southern Highlands behind and set off for Canberra. Travel via historic Berrima and Goulburn to Tulip Top Gardens located just outside Canberra. The 10 acre garden of magnificent tulips and other spring flowers creates a spectacular display. Hundreds of blossom trees nestle between the flowers and provide a magic pathway to the cascading waterfall and watercourse with classical music wafting through the air. Take the popular pathway past the rosemary field framed by unique blossom trees to the 70 metre high viewing platform for the perfect photo. From here it’s just a short journey to our next included visit, Cockington Green Gardens, for an experience you will not find anywhere else. Venture into this delightful and fascinating display of meticulously crafted miniature buildings set within beautifully landscaped gardens to make your Canberra visit complete. Before arriving at our accommodation we head to the top of Mount Ainslie for spectacular views including the Australian War Memorial, Lake Burley Griffin and Parliament Houses.
Fri 22 September 2017 – CANBERRA FLORIADE
A leisurely start today and we begin with a drive past the many and varied embassies of Canberra enroute to Commonwealth Park and the Canberra Floriade. Did you know that the Floriade was developed in 1988 as a grand, one off floral tribute to mark Australia’s Bicentenary and Canberra’s 75th anniversary? Floriade has now become Canberra’s most iconic annual tourism event and one of Australia’s premier spring festivals. Spend the morning strolling around the beautiful gardens of more than one million bulbs and annuals which attract nearly half a million visitors each year. This afternoon visit the Australian War Memorial including a shrine, world-class museum and an extensive archive. Enjoy your afternoon here including the Last Post Ceremony where the Memorial farewells us with its moving Last Post Ceremony.
Sat 23 September 2017 – CANBERRA SIGHTSEEING
The unique blend of impressive architecture, a stunning art collection and beautiful landscape makes Parliament House one of Australia’s most significant and popular cultural attractions. Join a guided tour of Parliament House then browse through the shop or relax and enjoy a coffee before we depart for Yarralumla. Lunch today will be at the Southern Cross Yacht Club and then we board the MV Southern Cross for a one hour scenic cruise on Lake Burley Griffin. Next, we visit the National Museum of Australia where you can explore the vast collection of Aboriginal art and artefacts, learn about the country’s colonial past, and see maps, vehicles, weapons and jewellery. Return to our accommodation to freshen up before dinner then head to Telstra Tower on Black Mountain. From the observation deck, you will be captivated by the 360 degree view over the city of Canberra and its surrounding mountain ranges.
Sun 24 September 2017 – DEPART CANBERRA
Today we say our goodbyes to our fellow travellers and begin our journey home. Our Host will fly to Brisbane and continue onto Mackay, with our North Queensland travellers.
Hosted by Alan and Tina Cooney
I would like to invite you to join us on this wonderful holiday including some of Australia’s best garden festivals including Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers, Bowral Tulip Festival, Festival of Flowers in the Hunter Valley and the Canberra Floriade. We will be there to ensure you have a hassle free and enjoyable time away.”