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ACT Monaro Riverina Branch: A Day at Retford Park

15 May @ 10:30 am - 3:00 pm AEST

Retford Park (photo Robyn Oates)

We are delighted to invite you to a day out at the historic Retford Park house and gardens in Bowral. Retford Park’s European history extends back to 1821. In the 1880s the property was acquired by the Hordern family and in 1964 James Fairfax, philanthropist and newspaperman, transformed it from a farming property into a gentleman’s country estate. It featured on the ABC Gardening Show on 5 April, now available on ABC iview.

It is now a National Trust property – the largest gift ever received by the Trust. The house has one of the best collections of 16th, 17th and 18th century English furniture in Australia as well as an amazing art collection.

The gardens will be spectacular in their autumnal hues – there are magnificent deciduous trees including mature oaks of various kinds, horse chestnuts, and a huge gingko. Other garden features include a bunya tree believed to be more than 130 years old. This is in a cretaceous garden along with conifers, ferns and cycads. There is also a large parkland, a knot garden, a camellia walk… it goes on. A true garden feast.

Retford Park is closed to the public on 15th May, but will kindly open up for us.

Transport: Self-drive

Accessibility: There are some steps up to the main house and two flights of stairs, separated by a landing, to the first floor. There is no lift. There are no ramps or wheelchair accessible toilet facilities. Access to the house and gardens from the car park is pedestrian.

Lunch: Visitors are encouraged to bring a picnic lunch or to buy lunch at the Hearth Café, approximately 200 metres from Retford Park House.

Bring: Walking shoes and clothing suitable for a chilly autumn day (and possibly your picnic lunch).

Cost: Members of the National Trust $2.50 (you must include your number when you book), others $47.50.
This covers entry to the property and guided tours of the house and garden. We have made a private group booking, so will have the property to ourselves.

Book: at Trybooking. Bookings are essential. Numbers are limited and bookings will close at 6 pm on Sunday 5 May. No refunds will be available after that time.

Inquiries: Robyn Oates,


15 May
10:30 am - 3:00 pm AEST
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