- ANDREA COCHRAN
- CRISTINA LE MEHAUTÉ
- CRAIG BURTON
- FERGUS GARRETT
- FUMIAKI TAKANO
- STEPHEN RYAN
- TIM RICHARDSON
- CONFERENCE PROGRAM
- PRE-CONFERENCE TOUR
- CONFERENCE DINNER
- CONFERENCE VENUE
- CONFERENCE BROCHURE
- CONTACT US
- NEW ZEALAND CONFERENCE
- FUTURE CONFERENCES
- SOUTH AMERICAN GARDENS TOUR
- GOLDFIELDS GARDEN TOUR
Goldfields Garden Tour
Gardens of the Goldfields — A Cultural Tour
Fri 23 —-Mon 26 March 2012
Castlemaine and Maldon were at the heart of the Central Victorian goldrushes and the historic buildings, mullock heaps and landscapes all testify to that sensational period in the 1850s when thousands of gold seekers arrived from around the world. This romantic mythology provides the backdrop for our tour.
It has always been a region with landscapes of great character and charm but in recent times, it has become a magnet for young, vibrant and creative people — artists, artisans, writers, educationists (Tommy Garnett and John Turner), landscape designers, builders and many others have been attracted to this creative hub. Wine and cider makers and a range of eateries with a love of fine, fresh produce have also settled here.
Castlemaine is the ‘new Eltham’ says Geoff Hocking, noted local author — It is full of creative energy, just like Eltham—which bred Alistair Knox, Matcham Skipper, Gordon Ford and numerous others who created an entirely new environmental ethos.
Nearby Maldon, former home to Henry Handel Richardson, has been listed as Australia’s most Notable and complete Victorian-era gold town.
1. Visits to the most interesting and creative gardens with both good and poor soils to see how effectively people manage and develop them. Some, like Buda, are historic, but some are quite recent and cutting edge. Castlemaine’s gardens are renowned with Garden Festivals held biennially. Some gardens contain interesting works of art and in particular, locally made decorative ironwork. There are cottage gardens but also, Wombat Park a large country property.
2. Meetings and presentations with local identities including writers Geoff Hocking in Castlemaine and Peter Cuffley in Maldon.
3. Visits to local artisans, specialist shops and other places of interest.
4. A visit to historic Bendigo to see the superb Grace Kelly exhibition from the Victoria & Albert Museum London (at the Bendigo Gallery).
5. A concluding lunch at the famous Lake House at Daylesford, one of Australia’s most notable restaurants.
The tour will be led by Warwick Forge who was involved with the early conservation movement in Castlemaine and Maldon in the seventies which resulted in the restoration of the superb Castlemaine Market, and many other buildings; and Sue Forge, (partner in all things), an accomplished gardener, accountant, general factotum and generally organised person who ensures that everyone gets a bed, a seat at the table, is more or less happy most of the time, and that the whole show runs on time.
Geoff Hocking wrote that ...Castlemaine is nestled or tucked into its landscape — ringed by forested hills, set amongst glorious gardens and avenues of trees and historic buildings.... an elegant pattern lining broad boulevards.
...This goldfields city is proof of history alive today. With beginnings in the 1851 goldrush, the town itself grew apace. Born of unexpected wealth, its houses and gardens — from grand mansions to simple cottages bear testimony of the rewards for each man’s enterprise.’
Warwick Forge ...my heart always throbs inexplicably with enthusiasm when I return to Castlemaine and Maldon. There is nothing like it in Australia. And when I leave, it aches with that dull ache as if parting from a loved one...
Susan Irvine wrote of the Castlemaine gardens in 2003: ...‘there is something here to interest every lover of plants and gardens, from great park-like gardens extending over several acres to tiny town gardens where there can be neglected corners and every square metre must make its contribution’.
Geoff Hocking described Castlemaine ....as a garden city: established, Victorian, contemporary, native and exotic, dry gardens and water-wise, there is much to learn and much more to enjoy in this environment .
As Tommy Garnett put it ‘There is something for the mind as well for the eye’.
Expenses are not finally costed but we anticipate that the four days will cost around $1,500 which will include accommodation (three nights), all travel (including from and to Melbourne, or Tullamarine airport), meals, admission prices, etc.
We will stay at: The Colonial Motor Inn, Campbell Street. Your fee covers a standard double room but upgrades are available at modest rates. This is a friendly family business, the best motel in town, and is listed as 4 star.
Clevedon Manor 260 Barker St., (close by) for those who prefer an old world charm in a Victorian era building and garden carefully restored. This option will incur a small surcharge.
For further information contact Warwick Forge email@example.com (03) 9819 1335