Plan a group visit to this elegant mansion and heritage garden in the Southern Highlands.

Located in Bowral, Gundungurra Country, Retford Park offers a memorable day out for groups seeking a special day of gardens, art and history.

The elegant Victorian Italianate residence and former home of James Fairfax AC is surrounded by pristine gardens and framed by an arboretum of towering trees. The gardens are a wonder to walk through at any time of the year and feature a patchwork of immaculate hedges and garden rooms, an intricate knot garden, herbaceous border, flourishing orchard and a striking Modernist pool pavilion.

Retford Park offers groups of 20 people or more a number of different options to suit your itinerary and budget.

Group visit options

Step inside

Guided house tour | $25 per person | Allow 90 minutes.
Unlock the secrets of this remarkable home on an intimate tour of the formal and private spaces inside. Highlights of the house collection include original artworks, fine antique furniture, decorative arts and lush soft furnishings. Allow time before or after your tour for a self-guided stroll through the gardens.

Garden ramble

Guided garden tour | $25 per person | Allow 60 minutes.
There is so much more to the stunning garden than first meets the eye. Experienced garden guides will show you seasonal highlights, extraordinary plants and ‘living antiques’, the impressive collection of outdoor sculptures and the striking modernist pool pavilion. Garden ramble tour does not include access to the house.

Quick peek

Self-led garden visit | $15 per person | Allow 45 minutes.
Explore the beautiful formal gardens and vast arboretum at your own pace, with the help of a printed map. A good option for those with a tight schedule. Starts with an introduction and orientation at the White Cottage Gallery and Shop.

The full experience

Guided house tour + guided garden tour | $45 per person | Allow 2½ hours.
Go behind the scenes on a fully guided tour of both the house and the gardens to discover the many layers of history of Retford Park, from its agricultural origins with the Hordern family, to its magnificent transformation into a ‘gentleman’s estate’ by James Fairfax.

“Our two guides were both amazing with their knowledge of the property. A thoroughly enjoyable experience that we will recommend to others.”

Retford Park group visits attendee

Catering Options

Lunch and refreshments are available at the onsite cafe, Hearth by Moonacres, which offers an ever-changing menu with seasonal produce and a selection of breads and pastries made in house.


Other things to see

For visitors wanting to make a day of it, visit the Southern Highlands Regional Gallery Ngununggula, which is located right next door. The delightful Harper’s Mansion is also just a short drive away in Berrima.


How to book a group visit

For more information, see our Retford Park Group Visits brochure.

To organise a group visit to Retford Park, please download and complete the Group Visits booking form.

If you’d like to discuss your group visit, please call us on (02) 4861 1933 or email

Group visit terms and conditions

All bookings are made with the National Trust of Australia (NSW) (ABN 82 491 958 802). By booking a visit with us you are deemed to have agreed to these Group Visit Terms and Conditions (which constitutes the entire agreement between you and us) and your booking will be accepted by us on this basis. The services to be provided are those referred to in your booking confirmation email and invoice.


1. Invoices will be issued for all payments and payments must be made by direct transfer or by debit/credit card. American Express is not accepted. Only a single payment as per invoice will be accepted.

2. A non-refundable deposit of $100 is required to confirm your booking.

3. Final numbers for your group required at least 10 days prior to the date of visit. The balance of payment will be confirmed and invoiced based on these final numbers.

4. Full payment is required before your visit.

5. Group tour leaders, coach drivers and carers acting in that capacity during a group visit are entitled to free admission to the property on the day of the group’s visit.

6. National Trust Membership discounts will be applied subject to Members showing proof of Membership upon arrival. Please advise when confirming final numbers if any of your group are National Trust Members.

Group sizes

7. Minimum group size of 20 people applies. Guided tours of the house have a maximum capacity of 30 people at one time. Groups of 30+ may need to factor in time to allow for two or more consecutive house tours.

Amendments to bookings

8. Any request to change your booking must be made in writing, by emailing

9. Changes to dates and session times are subject to availability.

10. On the day of the visit, should the number of visitors be less than the minimum number required, the cost will remain at minimum number. Should the number of visitors be greater than the number booked you will be invoiced for the additional visitors.

Cancellation and refund policy

11. Cancellations must be made in writing to

12. If you cancel your booking within 10 days of your visit, or if you fail to arrive on the scheduled day, no refunds apply.

13. The National Trust of Australia (NSW) reserves the right to cancel your visit should the need arise. If we cancel your booking, payments made may be applied to a mutually agreed alternative date or you may request a refund. In circumstances where the cancellation is due to external events outside our reasonable control, refunds will be less any unrecoverable costs.

Arrival times

14. Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your scheduled booking time to allow for check-in. In the event of late arrival, please contact
Retford Park on (02) 4861 1933. We cannot guarantee guide availability if groups arrive later than the booked time.

Weather impacts

15. For the safety and comfort of our visitors, it may be necessary to close the property in the event of extreme weather conditions.
If this should happen your booking will be rescheduled or fully refunded.


16. We expect all group visitors to operate their trips in accordance with the Government’s COVID-19 guidelines.

17. The safety and wellbeing of our visitors is of the utmost importance to us and we are continually monitoring and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic situation as it evolves.
We will notify you as soon as possible should we need to amend or cancel your booking in line with updated Government advice.

Protecting the collection and property

18. Access to the house is by guided tour only.

19. For the protection of our historic collections and properties, large bags and backpacks are not permitted inside our buildings. There are a limited number of lockers for bag storage on site. The
National Trust (NSW) takes no responsibility for stored belongings.

Video, sound and photography

20. Photography is permitted. Video or sound recording is not permitted inside the house or on guided tours.


21. Group visitors are covered by National Trust (NSW) Public Liability Insurance. In case of specific concern on the day,
please immediately contact the manager or tour leader.


22. Group bookings for the onsite café, Hearth by Moonacres, must be made directly with the café on 4861 6629. Bookings are strongly recommended.

Trading Terms

23. Group visits are not available on NSW public holidays; and not all tour options are available every day the property is open.

24. Confirmation of a booking request is subject to property and staff and volunteer availability and payment of a non-refundable deposit.


25. Please take care when exploring the gardens: there is loose
gravel on the paths, some paths are uneven or have slopes
which may become slippery in wet weather.

26. If visiting with children, please be aware that the gardens contain open water including a swimming pool and canal. All children
under 15 years must be supervised by an adult at all times.

Plan your Visit

Retford Park group visits


1325 Old South Road, Bowral NSW 2576


Thursday and Friday, 10am – 4pm
Other days subject to availability

(02) 4861 1933
What we offer: