Rhythm of Life: A Community Wellness Festival

Retford Park will bring together Southern Highlands practitioners and individuals for a weekend of wellness.

In April 2016 James Fairfax AC, well recognised philanthropist, gifted to the National Trust of Australia (NSW) his impressive and beautiful Southern Highlands home and surrounding garden.

It was his wish that through the National Trust, residents of the Highlands would have a place to gather – a place for the community to enjoy.

Within the Southern Highlands, there is already a strong awareness of an Eastern philosophy of well-being. It is this philosophy that will be highlighted for this weekend. And, of course, there is no better backdrop for a ‘well-being event’ than a tranquil setting amongst towering trees and graceful gardens!

On 9 and 10 March we will bring together those local practitioners and individuals who embrace this theme in their pursuit of wellness.

An exhibition from a private collection of Indian and Asian art, textiles and artefacts will also be exhibited in the Retford Park Gallery. Although James Fairfax enjoyed many genres of art, one of his favourites was art with an Asian influence.

The focus of this Festival is for families of all cultures to embrace the enjoyment of healthy living, in mind, body and spirit.

Entry fees (no bookings needed):

  • Adults – $20
  • Concession, National Trust members – $15
  • Family – $40


Highlights of the weekend include:

  • an interactive talk by Petrea King from the Quest for Life Foundation on the four keys to a resilient life. Held at 1.30 pm on Saturday and Sunday.
  • a ‘Spice up Your Life’ cooking demonstration by Sara-Jane Clelend from The Naturopath’s Cooking School at noon on Saturday and Sunday.
  • yoga sessions in the Retford Park gardens at various times during the weekend.
  • talks by author, homeopath and naturopath, Jon Gamble.
  • Eureka Horse Wisdom with Soo Woods to explore experiences with therapy horses.
  • The Offering – A Night of Dance and Music” on Saturday, 9 March at 5 pm, featuring music by Ganga Karen Ashworth and dancing by Padma Menon.

To see the other amazing events being held over the weekend of wellness download the full schedule.






1325 Old South Road, Bowral
Directions: Head up Merrigang Street from Bong Bong Street, the main street in Bowral.
Follow to the end of Merrigang and turn right at the ‘T’ intersection.
Watch for the Retford Park white gate, the second driveway on the left.


Open Gardens:
The gardens will open on the first weekend of each month from 10am to 4pm.

Please note: if the first of the month falls on a Sunday, it is that weekend that the garden and/or house is open to the public.

House Tours:
Tours of the house are available on the Open Garden weekends in February, May, August and September.
Bookings are essential.
The gardens are part of this ticket price - open from 10am to 4pm.

* Retford Park will also host a number of special events throughout the year – all will be listed on this page.*


Christmas and New Year
Australia Day
Anzac Day
Queen's Birthday

(02) 48611933
Entry Fees:

Open Garden entry fees:
Adults - $15
Concession (including children) - $10
National Trust members - Free
Family - $35

Open Garden and House entry fees: (Bookings are essential)
Please see link below in the ‘What’s On’ section.
Adult - $25
Concession (including children) - $18
National Trust members -$15

(Sorry, there are no 'House Only' tickets.)

What we offer: