Backroads, Silos, Kabloom and Melbourne International Flower Show 2023
Join us as we get off the beaten track and discover the incredible art painted on silos and water towers through New South Wales and Victoria. We then continue to Melbourne to visit the beautiful Yarra Valley and the magical Kabloom Festival before experiencing the stunning displays at Australia’s largest garden show, the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show.
9 Day Tour
Wednesday 22 March - Thursday 30 March 2023
Tour Cost (GST inclusive):
$3,550 per person twin share
$645 single supplement
- Luxury Coach Travel in our Business Class Coach
- Entry and guided tour of Taronga Western Plains Zoo
- Guided tour at Old Dubbo Gaol
- Guided tour at Holbrook Submarine Museum
- Entry to Kabloom Festival at Tesselaar Farm
- Tasting at Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery
- Tasting at Fergusson Yarra Valley Winery
- Entry to Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show
- Economy flight from Melbourne to Brisbane
- 8 nights accommodation
- 8 cooked breakfasts, 8 two course dinners, 4 lunches
Day 1: (LD)
Brisbane to Inverell
Wed 22 Mar 23
Welcome to our tour to Melbourne for the International Flower and Garden Show. Silos are drawing crowds to small country towns so our tour also features a number of silos and water towers, each with a different artist and different story to tell. We meet our fellow travellers and friendly Blue Bus Tours crew as we embark on our trip. We have a travel day ahead as we make our way to Coolmunda Dam where we enjoy lunch before continuing to Inverell for our first night on tour together.
Day 2: (BLD)
Inverell to Dubbo
Thu 23 Mar 23
Leaving Inverell after breakfast, we head to the small town of Barraba and stop to look at the silo art mural that was painted by Fintan Magee. Here the theme is around the 2019 drought, one of the worst Australia has faced, with large areas of NSW suffering severe water shortages. In Gunnedah, we see the water tower where the west side of the mural features a group of soldiers from 7RAR waiting to be picked up by the iconic Huey Helicopter and the north facing side includes soldiers paying their respects beside the Long Tan Cross. Here we also see the silo dedicated to Dorothea Mackellar and an extract from her famous poem “My Country”. We enjoy a delicious lunch at the local club before continuing to Dunedoo for a look at the silo that features Winx, a retired champion Australian thoroughbred racehorse and her famous rider, Hugh Bowman, who was born here. We continue to Dubbo, our home for the next two nights.
Day 3: (BD)
Fri 24 Mar 23
Our morning is spent at Taronga Western Plains Zoo – home to more than 1,100 animals from around the world, many of them endangered species. The zoo is in the unique position to allow many of the animals to roam freely and to be viewed without the visual barriers of fences, bars or glass, instead using a system of dry and water filled moats. A zoo guide will step onboard our coach and explain the open range layout and some of the behind-the-scenes operations of the zoo. Leaving the park, we head behind bars and experience 19th century prison life at the Old Dubbo Gaol. Be led through the remarkably intact gaol while listening to our guide as we discover some of the powerful, surprising and dark moments in Australian prison history. Wander the cellblocks, take in the birdseye view from the watchtower, immerse yourself in tales of prisoners who served time and discover the graffiti they etched into the walls.
Day 4: (BLD)
Dubbo to Wagga Wagga
Sat 25 Mar 23
This morning we see the quirky exhibition ‘Utes in the Paddock’. The story goes… while travelling Route 66 across the United States, Graham Pickles and his wife Jana were drawn to the unusually popular attraction named ‘Cadillac Ranch’. From here the concept grew and Utes were donated by residents from the area and many of Australia’s talented outback artists donated their time and skill to create this unique tribute to life in the bush. We continue on to Grenfell, the birthplace of Henry Lawson, for our stop to view the silo here before lunch at Unwind Cafe. This afternoon we travel through Murrumburrah to see the incredible mural portraying the deep history and significance of the mills to the Murrumburrah-Harden community. Our afternoons drive takes us to Wagga Wagga where we settle in for our night’s accommodation.
Day 5: (BLD)
Wagga to Albury
Sun 26 Mar 23
Heading out of Wagga, we make our way to Yerong Creek to see the water tower mural titled “Through their eyes”, highlighting the story of local life and history through the eyes of children. Our next visit is to Geoff’s hometown, Holbrook, where you might think it’s a little odd to find a life-sized submarine in the middle of a rural NSW town! Our visit to the Submarine Museum will reveal why the HMAS Otway’s final resting place came to be here. Through an amazing holograph presentation, we’ll also hear how a brave young Submariner, whose exploits during the First World War earned him the honour of having the town named after him. We continue through Walla Walla to look at the local water tank art before arriving in Albury.
Day 6: (BD)
Albury to Melbourne
Mon 27 Mar 23
We begin in the small town of Tungamah, where the silo features much loved Australian birds including the iconic kookaburra, galah, sulphur crested cockatoo and dancing brolgas. Not far from here is our next silo, at St James. Artist Tim Bowtell depicts a mural of Sir George Coles, the founder of Coles supermarkets who was a local of the St James Township. In Devenish, we see Cam Scale’s artwork representing the changing role of women in the military – a First World War nurse and a modern-day combat medic. Our last silo for the day is in Goorambat – featuring the Barking Owl, which is critically endangered and a team of Clydesdales. Here we also see ‘Sophia’ representing the female aspect of the Holy Trinity on the wall inside of the Uniting Church. We travel to Benalla in time for lunch (own expense) before continuing to Doncaster, on the outskirts of the Melbourne CBD where our hotel is located.
Day 7: (BD)
Kabloom Festival and Yarra Valley
Tue 28 Mar 23
We head to Tesselaar Farm for the incredible Kabloom Festival where we will be treated to a visual spectacle of fields of colourful blooms. Breathtaking views and photo opportunities abound with delightful Delphiniums, fascinating Foxgloves, super Snap Dragons, beautiful Begonias, zingy Zinnias, heart-warming Hollyhocks, sizzling Salvias, darling Dahlias, cool Cosmos and plenty more! Not too far away is the Yarra Valley where we visit Fergusson Winery to enjoy a delightful tasting. We finish the day at Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery. We’ll be welcomed with chocolate tastings, displays of thousands of premium chocolates and chocolatiers hard at work handcrafting their creations. We have time here for an ice-cream and to purchase some goodies before returning to our hotel.
Day 8: (BD)
Melbourne Flower Show
Wed 29 Mar 23
Today is festival day! We head to the International Flower and Garden Show. This show is a hallmark event for Victoria and the most prestigious of its kind in Australia. Over 300 exhibits are “on show” representing horticulture, nurseries, landscape gardening, floristry and cut flowers together with their associated products and services. The show will simply take your breath away with the work of Australia’s leading floral designers creating exquisite feature displays. We have plenty of time to spend here today before making a time to meet for our transfer back to our hotel.
Day 9: (B)
Melbourne to Brisbane
Thu 30 Mar 23
Our fantastic tour featuring silo art and the wonderful Melbourne Flower Show has come to an end. With our bags packed, we are transferred to the airport for our flight home.