A Botanical Tour of Tasmania with the Australian Association of Friends of Botanic Gardens (AAFBG)

29 Oct - 5 Nov 2022
  • Cultural Tours

About the tour

Run in association with the Australian Association of Friends of Botanic Gardens, this boutique tour to Tasmania explores the many and varied botanical, historical, culinary and scenic offerings of this small but richly endowed island state.

The diversity of Tasmania’s vegetation is remarkable and includes some of the most ancient plant species on Earth, the tallest flowering trees, the oldest plant clones and a high proportion of endemic species. Its pristine natural beauty and outstanding local food and wine form an ever-present backdrop to its rich culture and history, and of course its many beautiful and historic gardens.

This bespoke tour with the AAFBG examines the diverse botany of Tasmania, with a wide range of specialist visits and fascinating talks by botanical experts.

Your tour leader

Picture of JBT tour leader, Kate Heffernan

Kate Heffernan

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.

Tour Partners

Need more information?

  • Tel: (Toll Free) 1-8777-398-764
  • Mon-Fri: 9am-5pm
Contact us

Itinerary at a glance

  • Day 1: Launceston (Sat, 29 Oct) Arrive and check into the hotel. Welcome Drinks.
  • Day 2: Launceston (Sun, 30 Oct) Visit City Park in Launceston, including the historic John Hart Conservatory, for a private tour with a gardener. Onto Cataract Gorge Native Reserve for a guided walk with native plant specialists, Roy and Louise Scabo. Welcome lunch at Josef Chromy Wines with wine tastings. Visit the famous rose garden at Woolmers.
  • Day 3: Launceston (Mon, 31 Oct) Visit Old WesleyDale at Mole Creek, an English Arts and Crafts garden. Hear an introduction talk and visit the gardens. Continue to Wychwood Garden and rare plant nursery to hear an introduction talk and visit the garden and nursery. Visit Culzean, an historic garden at Westbury with significant trees, sweeping lawns, perennials, a dam and a lake.
  • Day 4: Launceston (Tues 1 Nov) Visit Riverside Park and the native plants nursery. Meet with the horticulturalists and members of the Tasmanian Native Plants Society. Drive to Emu Valley Rhododendron Garden, known for its design with over 24,000 rhododendron and companion plants. Emu Valley has a lovely café for lunch (at client’s own expense).
  • Day 5: Launceston / Hobart (Wed, 2 Nov) Visit historic Strathmore Garden at Evandale, known for its heated, walled garden, for a talk and tour. Onto Patterdale, the homestead of the artist, John Glover. Hear a talk in the studio followed by self-guided tours of the house and garden. Visit Ross with time at leisure for lunch. Tour the Shene Estate with its whisky and gin distillery, including tastings and snacks. Overnight at Grand Chancellor Hobart Hotel.
  • Day 6: Hobart (Thurs, 3 Nov) Visit the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens in Hobart for a hosted tour by the Friends of the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens in Hobart. Visit the Edible Precinct with the coordinator. Dinner at Mures overlooking the ocean.
  • Day 7: Hobart (Fri, 4 Nov) Drive to Kettering and take the ferry to North Bruny Island and drive across the neck to South Bruny Island and Adventure Bay. This sheltered bay was visited and used as a re-watering site by Captains Cook, Bligh, Furneaux and D'Entrecasteaux, amongst others. Visit the Inala Jurassic Garden and see examples of the flora of Gondwana and learn of the relationships, similarities and differences between the plants of the southern continents that made up Gondwana. Time at leisure with opportunity to see the plant fossils in the museum. Visit Sprokkelwood Art Garden for a light lunch and visit the garden designed and created by artists in 1998. Return to Hobart. Farewell dinner.
  • Day 8: Hobart (Sat 5 Nov) Depart Hobart, with option to visit the famous Salamanca Market.

Tour cost

The cost of the tour is AUD $3,480 per person sharing. The cost of the tour is AUD $4,160 per person with a room to yourself.

Book now