Mayfield Garden is one of the world's largest privately owned gardens and is located 10 minutes from the country NSW town of Oberon and 2 hrs 45 minutes from Sydney. Inspired by gardens of Europe the cool climate garden, owned by the Hawkins family, stretches over an impressive 160 acres. Mayfield Garden, also known as the Water Garden, is open all year round while the Private Garden is open seasonally for a couple of weeks.
Extending over 36 acres, visitors can take delight in the stunning Water Garden where water lilies flourish in summer, the rustic colours adorn the branches in autumn and the garden beds are awash with colour and scent in spring thanks to thousands of tulips and daffodils.
Following the many stone lined paths, vantage points that overlook the garden appear at every turn. And unmissable as they are grand are the Bluestone Bridge, Copper Tree Fountain, Obelisk Pond and the Grotto, a cascading waterfall visitors can walk behind. The work and skill undertaken building the stone bridge, stone garden beds and pathways is just amazing.
The Mayfield Garden on its own is magnificent but if you wish to view the Private Garden, there is a chance to do so four times a year, spring (Oct 14-29, 2017) and autmn (Apr 14-29, 2018) where visitors can have full access to the Garden, or part access in summer (Jan 13-28, 2018) and winter (Jul 7-22, 2018). The 124 acre Private Garden is extensive with many sections and garden styles and designs to admire including the English-inspired maze, croquet court, the Chapel, 80 metre cascade with temple, Mayfield Lake, walled kitchen garden, and the sprawling family residence which sits atop a rise as though keeping watch over its own splendid backyard.
And if all the meandering has worked up an appetite, morning tea, afternoon tea, lunch, or just a well earned refreshment can be had at The Mayfield Kitchen Cafe. Here a good percentage of the produce served is grown in the gardens themselves or on the farm. The adjoining produce store sells a selection of local products, from Mayfield produced jams and chutneys to other tempting delights. The Medlar Jelly is scrumptious, especially accompanied with freshly baked scones.
Allow yourself a minimum 2-3 hours to see the Garden in its entirety and slightly less if visiting the Mayfield Garden, but of course, all depends on how long you wish to stay. The Garden is wheelchair friendly and for those not keen to do lots of walking, during the opening of the Private Garden, a shuttle bus does a loop of the property with many set down and pick up spots.
As your visit comes to a close and the desire to replicate that particular spot you so admired crosses your mind, pop into the onsite nursery where there are an assortment of cool climate and exotic plants to purchase and take home. But no matter in which season you visit, you will leave with the thought of returning to the Garden to view it in its glory in a different season.