During our weekend away last week we had the pleasure of visiting Mayfield Garden in Oberon. It’s a spectacular garden which spans 160 acres. I’ve never seen anything so expansive and grand in Australia. In my travel consultant days I accompanied a tour group to the US where we visited some spectacular gardens but Mayfield tops even those.
I’ve grown up in a garden loving family. My Mum is her happiest when she has time in the garden and I appreciate the fruits of her labour when she delivers me freshly picked flowers each week. Though I’ve not inherited her green thumb, I certainly have an appreciation for beautiful gardens. Mayfield is an oasis for visitors, whether you are like my Mum or if you are more of an observer like me, I’d defy anyone not to be blown away by the beauty.
Oberon is about 2.5 hours from Sydney so if you have the time, and you wish to visit Mayfield Garden, make a weekend of it. As I mentioned in my blog post about our farm stay (you can read it here), the area is gorgeous and a good way to replenish the soul if city life has you depleted.
Mayfield Garden is one of the world’s largest privately owned cool climate gardens. It only started taking shape in the mid-1990’s, which is hard to believe when you walk around and see the number of plantings and construction that makes up the garden.
The garden was opened to the public for the first time in 2008 for one weekend but the response was so overwhelming they decided to open the private garden each autumn and spring and in 2017 this will extend to summer and winter.
Grand English gardens were the inspiration for Mayfield and there are interesting nooks and crannies at every turn. Bridges, water features and stone walls all add interesting aspects to the experience.
I love the movie ‘The Secret Garden’ and always fancied having an area like in the movie. Even a corner of Mayfield would do me.
I couldn’t help taking photos at every turn. Each area seemed better than the last.
The blossoms are stunning.
The games were a popular attraction which our kids loved.
I did okay at croquet but I think it requires more patience than I have. Hitting the ball is great for taking out any frustrations because it needs quite the wallop to get it moving over the thick lawn.
Now, I shall not lie, access is a challenge. The gardens were not originally designed for the public and therefore the owner made them without access in mind. In saying that, Mayfield is now working to improve access and make the garden as accessible as possible in the future. This will take time to put in place but it’s exciting to see their interest in our feedback. As you can see from the photos, we did manage with BJ’s wheelchair (off-road tyres were on for this weekend) but some areas were easier than others.
If you have mobility restrictions but no wheelchair, there is a shuttle bus which operates at set times on weekdays and continuously on the weekend days of the Private Garden Seasonal Festivals. The shuttle bus service is provided to numerous designated points around the garden. We spoke to guests using this service and they advised it had assisted them greatly as they had taken it to the top of the gardens leaving them to see the gardens by walking down hill.
From the entrance to the first garden there are paths and ramp access. After the first garden we needed to access the next area via the lawn which skirts around the outside of the gardens. The lawn is plush which is stunning but it did mean Hubby found it a bit tough going with pushing the wheelchair over the dense lawn.
Ask staff at the ticket desk for the best accessible route.
There is disabled parking and a large stand-alone disabled restroom.
THE KITCHEN CAFE
The Kitchen Café has an enticing menu but given that we had to drive back to Sydney after our visit we opted for a quick wood-fired pizza in the terrace area.
The kids were keen to take up the offer of toasting marshmallows and dipping them in chocolate. There were a few adults taking advantage of the free offering too.
Take warm clothing.
Ask staff at the ticket counter for the best route for easier access.
Check the Mayfield website for more information.
We’d like to thank Mayfield Garden for providing our family with complimentary tickets for our visit. We thoroughly enjoyed our time exploring the gardens and hope to return in the future to make it all the way to the top. We were in awe of all that has been created and thrilled to see it being enjoyed by so many visitors.
A few more photos just because I have so many lovely pics of this garden.