7 days
Level 1 - Introductory to Moderate

Southern Tasmania Houses and Gardens

Houses and gardens of Southern Tasmania small group course runs for five days and takes in ten different gardens and three heritage-listed houses where you will have the opportunity to step back into the past and experience life as it was two centuries ago.

Settlement of Tasmania.

Hobart grew slowly from its beginnings as a pioneering encampment until Governor Lachlan Macquarie’s visit in 1811, which prompted redevelopment of the area that he had deemed “untidy.” Socially, the population changed from soldiers, convicts and criminals, to adventurous colonists and free settlers who formed a nascent “landed gentry” driving wealth and development in the area. During this development, Hobart’s gardens which had previously provided sustenance were developed into picturesque masterpieces, culminating in the founding of The Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens in 1818.

The Format for Houses and Gardens

Each day we as a group head out to learn about one of Hobart's leading houses and gardens. The day starts around 9.00am and typically returns mid afternoon each day. The class is limited to the number of participants. This is one of a number of summer school programs offered by Odyssey Traveller Australia.

To learn more about our philosophy behind the Odyssey Summer Schools, click here!

Summer School for Seniors with Odyssey Traveller

Over the last twenty-five years, Odyssey’s small group Summer School program has given countless travellers an unforgettable educational and travel experience. Each summer, we prepare and offer fun and challenging special interest courses and programs designed to give travellers the options and opportunity to learn about history, religion, Australian culture, and the arts, among many other topics. These courses are designed in such a way that enthusiasts can deepen their knowledge of a particular topic or be initiated into new understandings on a subject.

We don't quite live on campus, but we will be staying in a comfortable hotel in central Hobart! We will enjoy welcome and farewell dinners in between our seminars, as well as daily morning tea and lunch.

These programs offered are tailor-made for mature-aged and senior travellers who are eager to explore in-depth a particular topic. Read more about our teaching philosophy in this article.

Below are some of the feedback from our Summer School programs in January 2019:

"Mal was an extraordinary leader in this program about extraordinary women. The depth and breadth of her preparation was amazing and the information book was of publishable quality. The mix of text, documentaries, and various YouTube videos all combined to not only extend our knowledge but kept us focused and interested throughout the course."

"Pav was an outstanding programme leader. His knowledge of plants and Tasmanian gardens is exceptional. His local knowledge and contacts are impressive. At all times he led the group with good humour and tolerance and at all times I felt he was totally in control of the programme. We were very fortunate to have him as our leader."

"The program was so well organised that each day ran very smoothly. Extraordinary women - extraordinary program!"

"All of the local guides were passionate about their places...Everyone was very proud of Tasmania [and] eager for us to get the most out of our visit."

For further information, check out the ‘Top 5’ or ‘Itinerary’ pages above. If you want to attend Odyssey's Summer School and take part in our social activities, please call or send us an email.

Frequently Asked Questions About Odyssey Traveller Summer School

Odyssey Traveller’s small group Summer School program has given countless travellers an unforgettable educational and travel experience. Each summer, we offer numerous special interest courses and programs. Courses are designed for senior travellers who are eager to deepen their knowledge of a particular topic or be initiated into new understandings of a particular subject. Often these courses underpin our European small groups tours for seniors that are offered each year. We focus on history, religion, Australian culture, and the arts, among many other topics.

Summer School lecturers and instructors are current or retired university lecturers or experts with a particular passion for teaching their chosen subject. Many of our lecturers have extensive teaching experience, and are gifted educators with the ability to adapt material based on the group’s needs. Many of them have taught with us for several years. They have fine-tuned their courses to allow for deep engagement on the part of participants.

Our teaching rooms are located in a state-of-the-art conference centre in central Hobart. This location enables us to screen relevant documentaries and films, and to maintain engaging teaching environments. This conference facility is perfectly situated, just a a short walk from our hotel.

Summer School programs are designed to encourage participation. Expect regular discussions and tutorial exercises, as well as various group activities. The majority of our courses also feature memorable educational excursions, which take full advantage of all that Hobart has to offer. Our outings and excursions to sites of cultural significance blend classroom learning with more interactive and hands-on educational experiences.

PDF of Tour

Overview: Afternoon: The tour will begin with a welcome dinner at the hotel, where we have the chance to meet other Summer School participants.

Accommodation: Ibis Styles Hobart

Overview: Morning This morning, we enjoy a guided tour of the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens, including Pete’s Patch from ABC TV Gardening programme. This is the second-oldest botanical gardens in Australia, which started out as a farm and is now a magnificent and beautiful site overlooking the Derwent River.

Afternoon We take a guided tour of the Cascades Female Factory, located in the shadows of Mt. Wellington. While here, we learn the stories of the women incarcerated in this bizarre “factory” and discover the memorial garden created in recent times to remember their sad experiences.

Accommodation: Ibis Styles Hobart

Overview: Morning Today we visit Corinda in Glebe, where we stroll around the garden with the owner as he talks about the garden and the historical buildings and stables.

Later on, we walk through Arthurs Circus into Salamanca Place to see the circle of cottages dating back to early colonial settlement.

Afternoon This afternoon, we visit Runnymede at New Town, where we enjoy a guided tour of this National Trust home and learn fascinating details about its early history.

Accommodation: Ibis Styles Hobart

Overview: Morning Today we take a tour of the Inverawe Native Gardens at Margate that is guided by the owner. This garden, with its expansive views over the North West Bay, is an extraordinary example of what can be done with our own native plants. The owner is also an authority on the historical connections of the garden to the days of early colonial exploration, including the work and travels of Joseph Banks.

Afternoon Later on, we experience the stunning gardens of Crawleighwood at Nicholls Rivulet and enjoy the tour with the owner as he talks about some of his rare plants. See their own arboretum and hear of the history of the area.

Accommodation: Ibis Styles Hobart

Overview: Morning This morning, we visit Kurrawin at Lucaston in the Huon Valley and enjoy a wander through this expansive garden with the owners.

We also visit the Skinner Garden also in Lucaston, where we see a completely different garden based around a courtyard and enjoy a tour of the fascinating home with the owners.

Afternoon Later on, we head further south to Glendevie, to enjoy a guided tour with the owners of Arcadia, a magnificent garden created from farm paddocks. The property also includes a private collection of old farm machinery, and a replica Settlers Cottage with all sorts of surprises.

Accommodation: Ibis Styles Hobart

Overview: Morning Today we head to Hamilton in the Derwent Valley, to Prospect Villa, a glorious garden with an old stone house. There are two sorts of garden here, an impressive Italianate garden merging seamlessly with a beautiful English cottage garden. We wander with the owner and listen to the stories of how the garden was created, and how it interacts with the local area.

Afternoon Afterwards, we travel back to New Norfolk and Rosedown, a beautiful garden hidden behind a huge old hedge. We tour the garden with the owner, who has a passion for the benefits gardening brings to all ages, and enjoy the wonderful place she and her husband have created.

Evening Tonight, we enjoy a farewell dinner with other Odyssey Summer School groups.

Accommodation: Ibis Styles Hobart

Overview: After breakfast, the tour draws to a close.

Go further south to Glendevie, to a garden created over the years by descendants of the first settlers and hear their stories.
Inspect a native garden which has strong connections to the botanists who sailed up North West Bay.
Enjoy a guided tour of the Royal Botanical Gardens and check out ‘The Patch’ made famous by the ABC’s gardening show.
Visit the Female Factory, take a guided tour around the site and learn of the sad history of the inmates.
In the Huon Valley see a nursery and garden which is absolutely gorgeous. Listen to the owner as he takes you around the garden,

What’s included in our Tour

  • Services of a study leader and lecturers.
  • Complimentary wifi.
  • Six breakfasts, five lunches, and two dinners.
  • Six nights in full en suite accommodation in central Hobart.
  • Lectures and handouts as indicated.

What’s not included in our Tour

  • Comprehensive travel insurance.
  • Return airfares to and from Hobart.
  • Airport transfers to/from your Hobart Hotel
  • Costs of a personal nature.

Odyssey Summer Schools map

Houses and gardens of Southern Tasmania
Hobart Botanical Gardens
Garden in Hobart
Native Cottage Garden Hobart
Hobart Country Garden
Cottage garden

Tour Reviews

February 1, 2018

Was nice and leisurely

February 1, 2018

Enjoyed the local knowledge from Pavel and especially loved his garden.

February 1, 2018

I would like to do it again!

February 1, 2018

The leader had a great deal of knowledge and good sense of humour also.

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