Last Friday I was invited to take part in a media event for The National Trust of NSW to help promote their upcoming Highway 31 Heritage Run event which is a classic car rally that sees entrants enjoy a leisurely tour of the former Hume Highway, driving from Old Government House, Parramatta to Cooma Cottage, Yass.
We spent the morning at the historical home ‘Retford Park’ in Bowral which is the first and grandest heritage property on The National Trust Heritage Trail and a definite highlight of the Heritage Run, being the destination for morning tea on the first day of the event which takes place on the 5th and 6th November this year.
What an incredible property! This grand house was built in 1887 and has been owned by James Fairfax since 1964. Since that time it has played host to many important and noble visitors including members of the British and European Royal families, high ranking politicians, numerous renowned artists and representatives of art fraternities worldwide. Needless to say we felt incredibly spoilt to enjoy the property and its breathtaking gardens.
Mr Farifax is well renowned for his philanthropic gifts and has long planned to gift Retford Park to the benefit of the community. In fulfilment of that ambition, in April this year he gifted his amazing country home to The National Trust of NSW along with a significant endowment for it’s ongoing upkeep, knowing that transferring the property into the safe hands of The National Trust means the home will be preserved for future generations of Australians. It is the largest donation in the NSW Trust’s 70 year history.
Although Retford Park is the private residence of Mr James Fairfax AC and not normally open to the public, on a limited number of days each year the gardens are open and a modest charge of $10 is made with under 18′s free. The entry fees support The Bowral District Arts Society.
The exceptional gardens will again be open in Spring 2016 on 21st, 22nd and 23rd October 2016 from 10 am to 4 pm. Picnics are welcome but there will also be morning and afternoon teas provided by the Country Women’s Association.
If you are wanting to visit the estate on one of those dates you can find more information here
The Heritage Run is sure to be an incredible weekend of classic cars and Southern Highlands History. If you are interested in taking part you will find lots of details on The National Trust website. https://www.nationaltrust.org.au/event/highway-31-heritage-run/
The professional photos featured in this blog were taken by Ben Symons of Tito Media. You can also see lots of my own snap shots on my Instagram account. @misspiaandersen
Thanks so much to the National Trust for having myself and Vintage Allsorts take part in your media event we can’t wait for The Heritage Run!