12 Reasons To Visit Retford Park In November



retford park 1


Have you ever driven along Old South Road and noticed chimney tops and the impressive turret of a large mansion standing tall amongst the treetops east of Bowral? And you think ooh that looks fancy, I wonder what’s in there.

Well, that’s Retford Park and it’s all yours. Yep! All yours.

When owner James Fairfax passed away, his vision was to give Retford Park back to the locals, to create a space for Highlanders to explore, socialise and relax.

We visited the stunning property and came up with eleventy billion reasons to visit Retford Park in November but for the sake of time, we narrowed it down to eleven. You’re welcome!


retford interiors


1. Retford Park Rehung - The Art of Collecting

A spectacular event celebrating the generosity of James Fairfax, and the thriving local art scene is coming to Retford Park in November and it is soooo not to be missed. Retford Park Rehung – The Art of Collecting will give locals the opportunity to view artworks by Brett Whitely, Sidney Nolan, Arthur Boyd and loads more iconic artists. Amazing, right?⁠

There will be day tours, special dinners and sunset tours and awesome local collab Artists Of The Round Yard Inc will be sharing their latest spectacular creations. So cool! 


2. Artists of the Round Yard

If you love supporting local creatives, you'll love fab local collab, Artists of the Round Yard. Their next exhibition is in conjunction with The Art of Collecting Exhibition at Retford Park  9 - 24 November.  Wander by stunning sculptures in the garden. Study eye-popping photography, delicate ceramics and thought provoking paintings in the original Farm Manager’s house. And step into the cavernous, jaw dropping space that is the Round Yard, the 1910 building that inspired the name of this exciting collaboration of 25 artists.


artists of the round image


3. Fur babies are welcome!

The acres of gardens and lawns surrounding the main house are just crying out to be tracked and sniffed by little and big doggie noses. Retford Park is dog-friendly, so you don’t have to leave your fur baby at home when you stop in for a visit. Just remember to clean up after your four legged friend.


4. Step back in time

There is something magical about stepping over the threshold of a historical house. Retford Park was built in 1887 and with its soaring ceilings, impressive staircase, large fireplaces and vast rooms, it’s like walking into the pages of a Charlotte Bronte novel. More information on house and garden tours here. BYO Heathcliff.


5. BLANK in the Round Yard

This looks super interesting! BLANK is a totally different and unique approach to live theatre. Get this…..the lead actor doesn’t see the script until just before they walk on stage (wow!) and the script actually has heaps of blank spaces which the audience help to fill!

It’s interactive without the cheese, engaging without feeling like you’re in a pantomime and such a cool way to break down the ‘wall’ between the stage and the audience. Different, right? You can watch it in the awesome Round Yard at Retford Park 31 Oct - 2 Nov. Click here for performance details and ticketing info. 


6. You’ll start watching Gardening Australia

Black thumbs will be inspired to turn into green thumbs. Towering trees with huge, thick trunks sit side by side with dainty topiary and rainbow coloured poppies. Discover beautiful lawns and gardens behind each perfectly manicured hedge and sit on hundred year old stone benches for inspiration… and a numb bum!

Get all the details on Retford Park's Open Garden Weekends here

Retford Park Open Gardens November


7. Life is no picnic, unless you’re at one!

Dig out that wicker basket you never use, fill it up with delicious food, pop some tea into a thermos and take the family or meet a group of friends for a picnic on the soft, green lawns of Retford Park. Park yourself in the shade of an ancient tree, fill up your belly and kick back for an afternoon nap, that may or may not be occasionally punctuated by arguing children. Hey, we’re keeping it real here.


8. Perfect place to get your om on

There is something quite peaceful and calming about the energy of Retford Park. Take a yoga mat, sit quietly and listen to the whispering trees. Wander in silence through the gardens, take off your shoes and feel the softness of the grass underfoot. Aaaaaaaand breathe….


retford gardens


9. One half of the Australian coat of arms is there

Retford Park is home to four, big glorious emus who are always quite interested in the people that wander by their pen. Staring contests are their specialty. Let us know how you go.


emu image



10. Our Gallery Open Day 

This one looks like so much fun! On November 17 Supporters of the Southern Highlands Regional Gallery are hosting a fab day out at Retford Park. Ben Quilty will be chatting about plans for the new gallery, there will be loads of live entertainment, food trucks, ice cream (yay!) and adult refreshments (double yay!), awesome workshops and you can help the super talented Natalie Miller create a large scale interactive wool weaving. Tickets are limited so don’t dilly dally! 


11. It’s a wedding photographer’s dream

Retford Park is introducing wedding services to its repertoire. The gardens provide a stunning backdrop for a ceremony and there are loads of picture-perfect places for wedding photos. Your wedding photographer’s head may actually explode.


12. Gift shop addicts won’t be disappointed

Who doesn’t love a good gift shop? We love the one at Retford Park. Quaint and quite twee (we’re bringing that word back, people!) the cosy shop sells art books, cards, unique gifts and all of the yummy smelly things!






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