Run in association with the Australian Association of Friends of Botanic Gardens, this boutique tour to the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales explores the botanical, historical and culinary offerings of this historic area.
With lush rolling hills, award-winning food, cool climate wines, gushing waterfalls, national parks, country markets and galleries in enchanting towns and historic villages and four very distinct seasons, the Southern Highlands is a destination like no other in NSW.
This bespoke tour with the AAFBG examines the diverse botany of the Southern Highlands, with visits to several important and historic gardens, including private gardens not usually open to visits, and a wide range of specialist visits and fascinating talks by botanical experts.
There will be local guides on walks and at all Botanic Gardens (Sydney Royal Botanical Gardens, Southern Highlands Botanic Gardens and Mt Annan).
Spaces on this tour are strictly limited. Those who are interested are encouraged to book promptly.
There is the option to join the tour without paying for the hotel night in Sydney – please see the costs page of the tour brochure for details.
Now semi-retired, Kate Heffernan's career in horticulture spans over 40 years. The last two decades have been spent in professional and volunteer roles with Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens (GCRBG) and as a consultant to other botanic gardens in Queensland and Victoria. Kate is a former Chair of BGANZ Queensland, later National Representative, and also a member of BGCI and AAFBG. She has made presentations at Australian and international conferences.
Kate was also a vocational horticulture and landscape teacher, undertaking the development of many community landscape projects on the Gold Coast and Brisbane as a practical component of student training.
A feature writer from 2003, Kate wrote for journals including Horticulture Australia, weekly articles for Gold Coast papers and was Saturday Morning Garden presenter for ABC Gold Coast. Kate recently published a book ‘Celebrating Regional Biodiversity‘ which tells the story of the unique South East Queensland flora through the lens of GCRBG.
A keen traveller, with an emphasis on garden-based travel, Kate has led tours to the gardens of France, United Kingdom, Ireland and a wildflower tour to Western Australia. She has travelled widely in Australia and overseas.
Kate has been awarded - Gold Coast Australia Day Environmental Achievement Award for her role in the establishment of GCRBG; Queensland Australia Day Award for Vocational Training and was Gold Coast Teacher of the Year. With husband Alan Donaldson, Kate is an Honorary Life Member of Friends of GCRBG.
NB: All itineraries are subject to change according to local conditions.
The cost of the tour is $3,392 per person sharing ($3,120 without Sydney hotel night). The cost of the tour with a room to yourself is $4,082 ($3,660 without Sydney hotel night).