DAY 1 Saturday November 28, 2020 Embarkation
This afternoon we board Majestic Princess for our garden cruise to New Zealand. Meet Sue on deck to enjoy spectacular views as we cruise Sydney Harbour and cruise out through Sydney Heads.
DAY 2 Sunday November 29, 2020 At Sea
The morning is free to enjoy the many facilities and activities aboard the ship. In the afternoon Sue McDougall will give a talk on her career in horticulture and the media, and answer any questions you might have. In the evening we will enjoy a drinks party to formally meet Sue McDougall and other tour members.
DAY 3 Monday November 30, 2020 Hobart
On arrival into Hobart this morning we visit the Inverawen Native Garden. Inverawen is the largest landscaped native garden in Tasmania, and contains 8500 Australian native plants – most of them Tasmanian. Enjoy strolling through 22 acres of colorful gardens, taking in the stunning views of the Bay and listening to the local birds. After time for lunch we will continue to the Crawleighwood Garden. This wonderful two hectare garden nursery is nestled in the picturesque hills at Nicholls Rivulet near Cygnet in the beautiful Huon Valley. The garden features lush rhododendron woodland and rainforest with myrtles, rare and unusual plants, a wide variety of deciduous trees including maples, meandering paths, stone walls and a Gondwana arboretum.
DAY 4 Tuesday December 1, 2020 At sea
The morning will be free to explore the ship. In the afternoon join Sue McDougall for a game of Garden Trivial Pursuit. We will divide the group into teams to compete in answering garden questions. This is a great way to meet your fellow group members and there will be prizes for the winners.
DAY 5 Wednesday December 2, 2020 Melbourne
Today we travel through the picturesque countryside on the Mornington Peninsula to visit some of the best gardens in Australia. We first visit The Royal Botanic Gardens at Cranbourne. Sue will take us on an exploration of the spectacular landscape which has a dramatic red sand garden, rock pool waterways, Eucalypt walk and exhibition gardens all featuring Australian plants. We continue to Heronswood Gardens, home of Diggers Seeds. Enjoy a tour of Diggers, who have Australia’s largest range of heirloom vegetables, cottage and fruit plants for sale. We continue to the Garden Vineyard, featured in Monte Don’s Around the World in 80 Gardens.
DAY 6 Thursday December 3, 2020 At sea
Today you are free to enjoy some of the many activities available aboard Majestic Princess. Why not enjoy a spa or massage in the Wellness Centre, take a relaxing swim, an exercise class at the gym or play quoits or lawn bowls on the grass area.
DAY 7 Friday, December 4, 2020 At sea
The morning is free to enjoy the many facilities and activities aboard the ship. In the afternoon Sue will talk about her favourite gardens and plants from around the world.
DAY 8 Saturday December 5, 2020 Milford Sound, Doubtful Sound & Dusky Sound, NZ
Nothing can prepare you for the majesty of Milford Sound, star of Fiordlands National Park. New vistas mesmerise at each turn, towering Mitre Peak, rising 1692 metres above the sound, plunging waterfalls, bottlenose and dusky dolphins, fur seals and Fiordland crested penguins are among the wonders in this place of outstanding natural beauty. Sometimes called ‘The Sound of Silence’, there is a cloistered serenity within Doubtful Sound that contrasts with Milford Sound. At 40 kilometres long and eight across at its widest point, Dusky Sound is one of the largest and most complex fiords in Fjordland. Dusky Sound was discovered and named by Captain Cook in 1773 who originally called it Dusky Bay because of its sombre aspect.
DAY 9 Sunday December 6, 2020 Dunedin
Arriving at Port Chalmers this morning, we’ll be met by our private coach to travel to the city of Dunedin. Originally founded by Scottish settlers and known as the Edinburgh of the South, it features beautifully preserved buildings overlooking parklands. We’ll visit the Glenfalloch Woodland Garden, situated in a fertile coastal valley above the harbour. Originally developed by Philip Brady in 1917, it has a collection of superb European trees from 1872, under planted with azaleas and rhododendrons. Fuchsias and native ferns grow luxuriantly beside Russell Creek. Returning to Dunedin, we visit the historic, Jacobean-style Olveston House, containing a treasure trove of art and antiques, set in nearly half a hectare of garden.
DAY 10 Monday December 7, 2020 Akaroa
Today we call in to the pretty village of Akaroa, originally founded by the French. It’s a delightful town still retaining the French ambience. We visit Coombe Farm, a working eight hundred and fifty sheep farm in the Takamatua valley. The garden is in a beautiful setting surrounded by hills strewn with native trees and bush, abundant bird life, creeks and a waterfall. At Potter’s Croft we explore 1.2 hectares of gorgeous private country garden next to a gently flowing stream. There are roses everywhere, mixed with lush lawns, trees, wisteria and scented white Azores jasmine.
DAY 11 Tuesday December 8, 2020 At sea
Today you are free to enjoy some of the many activities available aboard Majestic Princess. In the afternoon we will have Garden Trivial Pursuit led by Sue McDougall with questions based on the gardens we have explored over the last 11 days. We will divide the group into teams with prizes for the winners.
DAY 12 Wednesday December 9, 2020 Tauranga (Rotorua)
We dock in Tauranga and travel to Rotorua to visit two gardens today. The 12 hectare Tikiteret garden, developed since 1987, incorporates a natural stream, established trees and bog plants including hostas, iris and primulas. Bridges cross the stream, which is lined with a collection of Japanese maples and cherry trees, while azaleas and rhododendrons cover the slopes beyond. We travel on to visit Miller’s garden, a private, well-established garden with many interesting features.
DAY 13 Thursday December 10, 2020 Auckland
This morning we arrive in Auckland, the largest city and commercial centre of New Zealand. After disembarking we enjoy a sightseeing city tour. We will take in the main sights of Auckland, including the Harbour Bridge, which spans the beautiful Waitemata Harbour and the quaint and stylish shopping area of Parnell. At gorgeous Ayrlies Garden, created from 1964 by Beverley and Malcolm McConnell, gardening is an art form. Covering 4.5ha, it is one of New Zealand’s finest and best-known gardens, incorporating three large ponds, cascading waterfalls, a rose garden, rockery, meadow garden and the stimulating “lurid border”. There’s also an adjoining 14 ha wetlands reserve. This is a superb garden which is considered to be the best garden in New Zealand. We then transfer to our hotel. This evening we will enjoy an included dinner to say goodbye to the other tour members and Sue McDougall.
DAY 14 Friday, December 11, 2020 Departure
This morning we transfer to the airport for flights back to Australia.