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Published July 24th 2015
There's so much to see and do here
Carrick Hill House, One of the Grand Mansions in Adelaide
Carrick Hill is a historic house set in beautiful landscaped gardens at Springfield. Once the home of Sir Edward (Bill) Hayward and his wife Lady Ursula, the English manor styled mansion was bequeathed to the people of South Australia after their death.
Carrick Hill is one of the finest grand mansions in Adelaide, but what makes it quite unique is the fact that it is largely unchanged from its heyday. It still retains the original furnishings, artworks and antiques which the Haywards owned while in residence, and it's easy to imagine the house ringing with laughter at society parties decades ago.
Carrick Hill is very special among Adelaide attractions. The carefully maintained gardens in the 40 hectare grounds are free to visit and a popular place for picnics. The terraced lawns give visitors panoramic views and have plenty of room for kids to play and find fun things to do. The formal gardens have an arts and crafts Edwardian influence, with many varieties of roses, a pear arbour, and herb and vegetable gardens.
Enjoy Fresh Local Produce From the Carrick Hill Cafe
The Carrick Hill Cafe is a welcome sight if you have been walking around the extensive grounds and need a snack. The garden marquee has fantastic views and is just the place to enjoy a great coffee and cake if you feel a little indulgent. An all day menu draws on local seasonal produce - including some from the Carrick Hill gardens and orchards. Not far from the Carrick Hill Cafe is a large apple and pear orchard, where you may be lucky enough to find some fresh fruit to sample.
Like other historic houses in Adelaide Carrick Hill is a popular wedding venue, and the award winning Carrick Hill Cafe can cater for weddings and special occasions.
Fun for Kids on the Carrick Hill Storybook Trail A visit to the free Carrick Hill storybook trail is guaranteed fun for kids - it meanders through the gardens and brings to life several classic children's tales. A colourful collection of creatures will delight toddlers and young children, with friendly frogs just waiting to be discovered along the way. See the Hobbit House, cross the Troll Bridge, and explore the secret garden. Near the end of the storybook trail is Charlotte's Web, a large rope spider's web which doubles as a climbing frame and is great fun for kids.
See the Waterloo Staircase and Precious Artworks in the Great Hall
Inside Carrick Hill House Carrick Hill house is an architectural delight and contains a wonderful collection of artworks that are Adelaide attractions in their own right. The grand Waterloo staircase in the Great Hall is an impressive sight as you enter the house, and was imported from Beaudesert Hall in Staffordshire, England before it was demolished. Other items saved from Beaudesert and used in Carrick Hill house include oak panelling, windows, doors and fireplaces.
There is such an amazing collection of artworks at Carrick Hill - antiques, paintings and sculptures that a free guided tour of the house is highly recommended (admission charges apply). Without a guide it's easy to miss the William Morris bedcover and screen, the Christian Dior dress worn by Lady Hayward, and artworks by Renoir, Gauguin, Dobell and Drysdale.
Sir Edward and Lady Hayward were extremely wealthy, and mixed in the highest social circles. Visitors to Carrick Hill house included actors Sir Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh, art critic Sir Kenneth Clark, and painters Jeffrey Smart and Sir Russell Drysdale. It takes little imagination to picture the house coming to life as you gaze at table settings in the dining room, or think of the parties in the drawing room.
The Australian Gardening Museum, the Newest Museum in Adelaide
Australian Museum of Gardening A new Carrick Hill exhibition from August 2015 signals the opening of the Australian Museum of Gardening. Endless Pleasure: the Art of Gardens and Gardening develops the theme of how much Australians have enjoyed their gardening, and is particularly appropriate given the many hours that Lady Hayward spent in Carrick Hills gardens.
The Australian Museum of Gardening is not dry or lacking in fun though. A cubby house display is great fun for kids, with a collection of antique gardening toys and tools designed for kids. The child sized Victa lawn mower, wheelbarrows and lawn rollers on display might have encouraged children to play in the Carrick Hills gardens in days gone by.
This Arbour is a Popular Location for Carrick Hill Weddings
There is plenty of fun for keen gardeners too in this new museum in South Australia. A Victorian gentleman's walking stick with built in pruning and pollinating tools allowed some tasks to be done without even needing to visit the shed. Other unusual gardening tools are also on display including hand forged mistletoe hooks, a rarity in the garden today.
Paintings and other artworks in the Guest Wing Gallery have also been chosen for their connection to the endless pleasure of gardening. This first exhibition at the Australian Museum of Gardening runs from August until November 2015, and will attract many new visitors to Carrick Hill.
Little Miss Muffet's Spider on the Carrick Hill Storybook Trail
Visiting Carrick Hill House and Gardens
Carrick Hill house and gardens are open Wednesday to Sundays and on public holidays throughout the year excluding July. Free things to do include visiting the Carrick Hill storybook trail, the gardens and Carrick Hill Cafe, while admission is charged for the viewing the house. For more information see the website, and for news of events and new attractions check the Facebook page.
Thanks for reminding me of all the things I haven't done for quite some time . As I have a niece from Vietnam coming to live in Adelaide this must go on my to do list . I think I will wait till spring though .