10 Reasons To Visit Retford Park In November
10 Reasons to visit Retford Park in November
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 ten. You’re welcome!
1. The Art of Giving Exhibition
James Fairfax donated a rare collection of artworks to the National Gallery of Australia. To celebrate his generosity, the National Gallery has reproduced the works of 18 of these pieces, most replicated to scale, to be hung in the same positions they were before in the main house. Art lovers and art noobs can ooh and aah at iconic pieces by Charles Blackman, Frederick McCubbin, Russell Drysdale and more.
The Art of Giving exhibition is open from Saturday November 10. Daytime and Sunset Tours are available on selected dates in November. Click here for more information.
2. Artists of the Round Yard
If you love supporting local creatives, swing by Retford Park for the inaugural Artists of the Round Yard Exhibition. 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.
Open Wednesday to Sunday from November 10th – December 2nd 10:00am – 4:00pm. Click here for more information
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. Book house tours here. BYO Heathcliff.
5. 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!
6. 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.
7. 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….
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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!