About Private Gardens of the Monaro

Private Gardens of the Monaro includes a group of rural property owners passionate about their gardens and proud of their history and homesteads.  The gardens are among the finest on the Monaro and have been held in the families for many generations. Some of Australia's most respected Architects and Landscapers have been involved in creating these homesteads and gardens including Prof. Leslie Wilkinson, Paul Bangay and Claude Crowe.

The Monaro region is in south east New South Wales, Australia.  It extends from the Australian Capital Territory (Canberra) in the north to Victoria in the South.  To the west it is bordered by the Snowy Mountains and to the east by the eastern coastal ranges.  It's overriding feature is the naturally treeless undulating landscape dominated by extinct volcanoes interspersed with occasional timbered ridges.  Unlike much of eastern Australia, the Monaro has never been cleared and retains much the same character it had when the first white settlers arrived nearly 200 years ago.  Nestled into this landscape are the Private Gardens of the Monaro.

All the gardens are located on historic pastoral properties, where sheep and cattle graze over the extensive Monaro plains.  At altitudes of around 1000mtrs, the gardens are "cold climate" with four distinct seasons giving fabulous autumn colour, spring flowering bulbs, leafy summery greenery and cold winters with frosty mornings and sometimes snowy days.

Each garden is distinctly different, among them one recently renovated under the guidance of renowned garden designer Paul Bangay, and another, one of Australia's most prominent Merino Sheep and Angus Cattle Studs.  All have an interesting history, and are the result of a wish to create a beautiful space and a welcome retreat from the often harsh reality of life on the land.

The owners enjoy sharing their gardens with those who have an interest in spectacular landscapes and beautiful gardens around historic homes.  These places are the essence of Australian pastoral history and life.

Access to the gardens is by appointment only and limited to only a few visits per year.  They are rarely open to the general public making Private Gardens of the Monaro an opportunity for those that appreciate gardens, their history and their beauty to view them as part of a small exclusive group.

The gardens have been opened occasionally over many years, including during the Australian Open Garden Scheme, for the Australian Garden History Society, The National Trust and Events for Charities.


The gardens have all featured in various publications, including magazines Country Style, Vogue Living, Country Home Ideas, Australian Country Homesteads, Australian Country Magazine,The Women's Weekly, and in books "Australian Garden Design" by Andrew Pfeiffer, "Garden Design and Style" & "Banjo Paterson' s High Country" by Trish Dixon. The Shirley garden is part of Paul Bangay's latest book, "Country Gardens"

Click on the headings below to read the latest articles on our gardens:

The Sydney Morning Herald - Spectrum, Robin Powell, March 2019

The Land, Stephen Burns, February 2019

The Weekly Times, Sarah Hudson, October 2018

Queensland Country Life, Penelope Arthur, February 2018

The  Weekend Australian Magazine, Helen Young, March 4-5 2017

The Canberra Times, Susan Parsons, August 28 2017

The Weekend Australian Magazine, Helen Young, October 2017

UK Country Life October 2017 (Review of Paul Bangay's book which features Shirley Garden)