Post Congress Tours
Three- and nine-day post-congress tours
Three- and nine-day post-congress tours are also offered. For all post-congress tours, apart from the Granite Belt tour which departs directly from Brisbane, participants must arrange their own air travel to/from the tour start-point. It is usually most cost-effective to include such connecting air travel within your overseas travel itinerary, but the Congress secretariat may make air travel arrangements for you at additional cost if you wish.
Delegates wishing to join the tour to New Zealand must arrange to travel to their tour destination on Saturday 23 August and, hence, will not be able to take part on the one-day technical tours. The post-congress tour to the Granite Belt will depart Brisbane by coach on Sunday, 24 August 2014. For post-congress tours to other Australian destinations and Fiji, you may travel to the tour start-point on Sunday 24 August 2014, allowing you to participate in the one-day technical day tours or have a free day at your leisure before your post-congress tour commences.
Tour costs are inclusive of all accommodation and meals during the tour. For all tours starting at a location other than Brisbane, the tour cost will include accommodation the night before the tour actually commences (ready for an early start on day 1).
Bookings are essential and numbers are strictly limited.
- Prices for each tour are included in the tour itineraries below.
- All prices are in Australian dollars (AUD) and inclusive of Goods and Services Tax (GST).
- Bookings can be made via the Congress Registration form and space will be allocated in order of bookings received.
- You are advised to take out your own travel insurance.
- Although the weather in Brisbane might be quite balmy for late winter, you may experience quite chilly weather on some post-congress tours, particularly the Granite Belt, Hunter Valley and Tasmania, so please come prepared with some warm clothes.
- The closing date to book and pay for Post Congress Tours is 31 May 2014. Late tour bookings may be available, subject to availability.
- Any cancellations made prior to 31 May 2014 will receive a refund less an AUD50 admin fee. Cancellations received after 31 May 2014 will not be refunded.
Four- or six-day New Zealand tour (Saturday 23 - Thursday 28 August 2014)
Tour 9. Horticulture Highlights - the Kiwi Experience
A six day tour, starting with a welcome dinner in Auckland, the ‘City of Sails’ will take you to the Bay of Plenty and Hawke’s Bay in the North Island, giving you the opportunity to experience two of New Zealand’s largest horticultural regions while enjoying some of New Zealand’s most scenic attractions along the way. Two nights in Rotorua, the thermal wonderland of New Zealand, with boiling mudpools, the mighty Pohutu Geyser and a memorable Maori hangi and cultural experience are all on the programme. Continue through the central North Island, past Lake Taupo and on to Hawke’s Bay. Horticultural visits will include kiwifruit, blueberry and pipfruit orchards, a large vegetable producer, aspects of storage and processing, a look at some greenhouse crops and an introduction to New Zealand agriculture with a visit to a sheep and beef farm. The New Zealand wine industry is world renowned and we visit a vineyard to see production methods and experience wine tasting in the famous Hawke’s Bay wine growing region. The aim of the tour is to provide an overview of New Zealand horticulture. A three day option is offered for those with limited time, this covers the first three days with visitors able to fly back to Auckland from Rotorua (own expense) on day four.
Seven-day Pacific Islands (Fiji) tour (Sunday 24 - Saturday 30 August 2014)
Tour 10. Pacific Islands (Fiji) Tropical Wonderland Tour
Fiji is an exciting, welcoming destination and an excellent location in which to wind down after the Congress. The tour offers a mix of sun, sea and sand, spectacular scenery, insights into Pacific island culture and horticulture, a walk through native unspoiled bushland, and the option of more ambitious adventure activities if you are up to it. Horticulturalists will love the colorful tropical plants and flowers, as well as the visit to the Sigatoka Valley where fruit and vegetable production is carried out. Many years ago, this was the heart of Fiji’s banana export industry and the valley gave its name to ‘Black Sigatoka’ – one of the world’s most notorious banana diseases. Bananas are now grown only for local consumption, but the valley produces most of the delicious ‘Fiji red papaya’ and a range of other high-quality fruit and vegetables for export. For those with broader cultural interests, separate visits can be made to archaeological sites that manifest early human settlement in Fiji.
Three-day Australian tour (Sunday 24 - Tuesday 26 August 2014)
Tour 11. Granite Belt Tour – Food,Wine and Natural Beauty – Temperate horticulture in tropical Queensland
Note: This tour departs by coach 24 August 2014
The Granite Belt is a unique, richly diverse and naturally beautiful region offering regionally distinct food and wine, only 2½ hour’s drive from Brisbane. The high altitude and granite sand soils, in combination with summer dominant rainfall and cold winters, supports a temperature horticulture industry specialising in apples, wine grapes, summer vegetables and berry crops. The diversity of seasonal produce supports a gourmet food industry and excellent regional dining. Granite Belt wineries (50+) are at the forefront of pioneering many non-traditional varieties in Australia and offer a personal experience to visitors. A visit to a vineyard, the opportunity to taste award-winning local wines, experience a berry farm in spring, taste some of the many berry products available, tour an apple orchard and packing shed, and visit a local vegetable farm, all with a scenic backdrop, can be part of your Granite Belt experience. An excursion into the “bush” (the beautiful Girraween National Park) with kangaroos in their natural environment may be arranged. A visit to the Granite Belt will be a delicious reward for all horticulturists who are lovers of food and wine.
Five-day Australian tours (Sunday 24 - Thursday 28 August 2014)
Tour 12. Tropical Queensland Tour
Cairns is the heart of the Tropical North, and provides an ideal base for exploring and enjoying the rich, varied pleasures of this region; pristine beaches, Great Barrier Reef islands, lush tropical rainforests, the century-old Botanic Gardens, and mysterious crater lakes, and the Tjapukai aboriginal cultural centre. Delegates will be able to experience the Rainforest Skyrail to Kuranda on the Atherton Tableland, and the historic railway back through ancient, world heritage listed rainforests beside the beautiful Barron Gorge. The tour will take participants from Cairns to the Atherton Tablelands, west of Cairns, a diverse and productive horticultural area featuring avocados, mangoes, lychee, macadamias, coffee and more recently banana and papaya. On the wet coast south of Cairns, orchard tours will include a visit to Fruit Forest Farm, producers of exotic fruit (soursop, rambutan, durian, mangosteen and wax apple). Forest Farm introduced the use of trellising for tropical fruits, as insurance against cyclones (hurricanes) and discussions on improving the productivity of tropical fruits will be a feature of the day.
Cancelled Tour 13. Hunter River Wine Tour
Professor Snow Barlow, Professor of Horticulture and Viticulture, University of Melbourne will lead this fabulous three-day wine tour through picturesque farming and wine growing landscapes of regional NSW. You overnight in Sydney before travelling by coach to the to the beautiful Hunter Valley one of Australia’s oldest and most iconic wine regions, where you will learn of its climate, history and taste its famous wines prior to overnighting in the valley. The Hunter Valley is located approximately 2 hour’s drive north of Sydney and home to 80 wineries producing shiraz, semillon, chardonnay, verdelho and many other wine varieties with unique Hunter regional characteristics. The Hunter has been producing world-class shiraz (Hermitage) since the 1840s. Hunter Valley Semillons are outstanding and acclaimed as the world’s finest. On day two, you will travel through farming country and national parks to the emerging Mudgee wine region of NSW, home of some of the state’s best cool climate wines. It is situated 270 km north west of Sydney in the Central Ranges of NSW. In Mudgee you will visit wineries, taste the wine and meet some of the local wine personalities over dinner in the evening. The region specialises in the production of fine boutique wines and olives. On day three, you will travel back to Sydney through the Blue Mountains, home of more glorious wine and important pome and stone fruit production regions, arriving in good time to enjoy the evening in Australia’s most beautiful harbour city.
Cancelled Tour 14. Tasmanian Tour – Scenic Landscape of Industrial Crops, Vegetables, Wine, Wilderness and the Tasmanian Devil
Explore Tasmania, Australia’s island State, world renowned for its indescribable beauty, remoteness and spectacular experiences in World Heritage Wilderness areas. This tour will encompass the dynamic cool temperate vegetable, extractive crop and viticulture industries located across the north of the island, with the added opportunity to experience unique plants and wildlife such as Tasmanian devils, platypuses and quolls (marsupial tiger cats). Delegates will see some of the world’s most efficient farming systems producing potato, onion, carrot, pea, bean, broccoli and more on deep red earths with these crops destined for processed and fresh produce markets in Australia and overseas. Visit our extractive crop industry which produces approximately 50% of the world’s licit poppy opiates and more than 60% of the world’s leading botanical insecticide, pyrethrin. To complete your experience, you will also be treated with stop-overs at local vineyards to encounter our highly sought after, naturally elegant wines.
Six- or nine-day Australian tour (Sunday 24 - Friday 29 August 2014)
Cancelled Tour 15. Western Australia – a Global Hotspot for Flora and Fine Wine, Timber, Tree Fruits and Vegetable Production
This tour will concentrate on scientific and technical aspects of horticultural production in a region renowned globally for its floral biodiversity (and surfing!); the southwest of Western Australia. It will also present an opportunity to link to independent tours of the flora in remote areas: the gold fields, the Pilbara (a place of great scenic beauty and one the globe’s most advanced centres of iron ore mining); the Kimberley (likewise great scenic beauty and unique aboriginal culture, especially for those willing to venture off-the-beaten track), or to one of the world’s least known but wonderfully biodiverse coral reefs (swim with whale sharks). If there is sufficient interest, an add-on tour to the coastal wildflower region to the north of Perth will be arranged [two day, visit Pinnacles (Nambung National Park), Lesueur National Park and Eneabba; a three day tour would include a visit to Kalbarri National Park]. The main tour will begin in Perth with a visit to Kings Park and Botanic Gardens: the research laboratories, the native plant breeding programme and the floral collection. Visit major and boutique wineries exploiting the local environment. The second to fourth days will involve travelling by coach to the southwest production centres of Margaret River/Manjimup/Pemberton. We will visit famous wineries and a barrel tasting for those who are interested, lunch in the vineyard and to selected local tourist attractions: forests, limestone caves, surf breaks and artist galleries (fine timber products are a specialty). The Manjimup/Pemberton visit will include a tour of the DAFWA research station and the apple breeding programme; visits to selected local fruit and vegetable production businesses and to scenic areas (mainly forests). The return to Perth will be away from the coast and will include an opportunity to see some of the local flora within the scarp landscape (mainly laterite over granite, home of the globe’s most efficient bauxite mines).