The Southern Highlands is home to many of Australia’s most magnificent, established private gardens. Central to the region’s heritage, the cottage gardens and rambling estates were typically planted from the middle of last century by Sydneysiders retreating from the heat and humidity of coastal summers to their highland properties. Various gardens open during March, April, May and for the Autumn Town & Country Gardens Festival weekend. Here we’ve outlined some of the best
To search the complete, extensive list of local gardens: enquiries.southern-highlands.com.au/search_resultall.asp
For maps and calendars of seasonal garden openings: http://www.southern-highlands.com.au/gardens
In Spring, this park in the heart of Bowral comes alive with masses of vibrant tulips as the entry point to the tulip festival, with floral displays maintained throughout the rest of the year.
MOIDART AT BURRADOO
Laid out over 5 acres in the 1930’s this is one of the most spectacular gardens. The 70 year old deciduous trees are breathtaking in Autumn while the garden walks lined with flowers are captivating in Spring. Features include a sunken rose garden, terraces with perennial borders, and woodland gardens.
5TH CHAPTER ESTATE
Stunning in every season these 10 acres of traditional English manicured gardens incorporate enclosed French, Japanese and Rose Garden features. Masses of tulips, daffodils and a cherry tree walk are spectacular in Spring while established trees provide vivid autumn impact.
CHINOISERIE AT MITTAGONG
1.25acres of colourful perennial blooms with informal plantings in a formal setting of herbaceous borders, potager, angel garden, stream and pond, peony garden, alpine troughs and many rare plants.
RED COW FARM AT SUTTON FOREST
A unique heritage garden of 2.5hectares in the picturesque village of Sutton Forest. Features an exuberant cottage garden, monastery garden, rare and unusual plants, woodlands, old fashioned roses, a lake, orchard and kitchen garden.
BACK O THE MOON AT MOSSVALE
With rolling pastures in the distance this 3 acre 16th Century garden features a lilac walk, woodland garden, pond, extensive borders of perennials and annuals, mature trees and a formal garden of some 300 roses.
ROBERTSON OPEN GARDENS
A total of 8 beautiful private gardens open for one weekend in October.
Festivals & Events
Each year there are more and more reasons to re-visit The Southern Highlands. Some of our landmark festival events include:
TOWN & COUNTRY GARDENS AUTMN SPECTACULAR
A weekend opening of specially selected private gardens dripping in autumn colours. Three town and four country gardens displayed for the occasion with plenty of plants for sale.Learn more
BUNDANOON HIGHLAND GATHERING
A family event not to be missed, Bundanoon IS Brigadoon – the traditional Scottish Highland games with an Aussie twist! The inimitable call of bagpipes heralds a monumental march of the Scottish Clans and societies backed by some 20 pipe bands and elaborate floats, to open the games. Visitors can try their hand at ancient games like caber toss and cheer on champions of the hay toss, haggis hurling, kilted racing and the tartan warriors that lift the Bundanoon stones of manhood.. Stalls award an opportunity to discover something of your own Scottish heritage or ancestry with the help of the highlands societies.Learn more
FLAVOURS OF THE SOUTH
Spend the June long weekend at Bowral following a tantalising trail of regional produce and locally made wines including music in the vines and a host of memorable food and farm experiences.Learn more
Why fly to France when from the end of June to July our own world renowned truffle growers can indulge you with truffle hunts, farm experiences, dinners and cooking classes as part of the Canberra & Capital Region Truffle Festival. Its not uncommon to rub shoulders with some of Australia’s most coveted chefs in pursuit of the season’s first Perigord black truffles.Learn more
CHRISTMAS IN WINTER
In a country where outside temperatures can give the oven roast a run for its money on Christmas Day, the romantic appeal of a fireside, yuletide feast with snow falling lures thousands to the highlands from June to August. Highlands guest houses, inns and restaurants hosts their own festive interpretation of decadent Sunday lunches, long table dinners and intimate candlelit evenings, spiced with mulled wines, plump plum puddings, exquisite mince pies, delectable slow roasts and fresh seasonal fruits and berries. Sprinkles of Berrima, year-round Christmas shop is stocked to the rafters with quality imported decorations to commemorate the experience.Learn more
Designed to get people out and about in Winter, this 10 day festival kicks off with a street party of spicy delights, mulled wine, live music and more. Scarecrow making workshops and a hunting snowflakes quest are among quirky activities on offer.Learn more
A three day calendar of intimate events featuring some of Australia’s finest novelists, poets, playwrites and screenwriters at a range of venues from the Gibraltar Hotel to Berkelouw Book Barn. Highlights include the literary dinner and open mic night.Learn more
SPRING FLAVOURS OF THE HIGHLANDS
The Highlands Foodie Group hosts an ever-expanding long weekend menu of creative culinary events to showcase the seasonal best of Highlands produce. Among attractions unique to the region are mushroom tunnel tours and truffle hunts.Learn more
A tradition since 1958, Springtime is Tulip time in the Highlands with the show of 100,000 bulbs between the end of September and early October, across the shire villages. Coinciding with the festival, many of the region’s most magnificent gardens open the gates to visitors. A street fair, Tulips after dark and Spring dinners are among festival highlights and don’t miss the daffodils in Berrima.Learn more
BUNDANOON GARDEN RAMBLE
Private village gardens open for a weekend celebration of a great abundance of cool climate, Spring blooms. Browse the garden market, view craft and textile exhibitions, see the Carnival of Scarecrows in town and bask in the beauty of magnificent heritage gardens.Learn more
MUSHROOM TUNNEL TOURS
Visitors from around Australia and the world jostle to take part in these sought after tunnel tours. Exotic mushrooms thrive in the dimly lit caverns that emulate conditions in the mountainous forests of Asia where the varieties occur naturally. Tours are rare and highly sought after so check the website for details and be quick!Learn more
SCULPTURE ON HIGH
Hillview at Sutton Forest provides the ideal backdrop to open air sculptural works. Offering workshops for kids in creating works like ice sculpture, sand sculpture and origami.Learn more
ROBERTSON ANTIQUES & COLLECTABLES FAIR
A two day event at historic Robertson where Sydney and interstate dealers offer a vast range of furniture, Georgian and victorian jewellery, silver, porcelain, linen, books and collectables catering to all tastes and budgets.Learn more
SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS ARTS FESTIVAL
An art studio trail that sees more than 24 local artists welcome visitors into their studio doors to experience their unique creative habitats.Learn more
THE SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS CHRISTMAS FAIR
a pilgrimage to The Southern Highlands Christmas Fair has become a festival tradition for many a family. An exciting atmosphere and expansive array of stalls sets the tone with hand crafted gifts, local produce and art to entice and food stalls plus attractions for the kids.Learn more
A DAY ON THE GREEN
The magnificent hilly surrounds of Centennial Vineyard is the dramatic backdrop for A Day On The Green concerts. A celebration of Australian music, family and friends in great open air arenas. Check the Centennial Vineyards website for up-coming concerns.Learn more