Retford Park - National Trust of Australia (NSW)

Bowral, NSW, 2576

Retford Park - National Trust of Australia (NSW) - Preview - Register/Login for full details

The house was built in 1887 by Samuel Hordern. In 1964, James Fairfax bought the property and started to turn it from an agricultural property to a gentleman's residence. Having been in the caring hands of Mr Fairfax for over 50 years, the garden is a delight to wonder through. As you venture up the driveway the grand Victorian Italianate homestead appears from a towering arboretum of magnificent trees. Surrounding the eastern side of the homestead is a patchwork of hedged gardens showcasing everything from a detailed knot garden, exquisite swimming pool and pavilion, sculptures and even

Special Event - Coming up next

Retford Park House - The Art of Giving

!0 November to the 30 November - Wednesday to Sunday


Formerly the country estate of the late Mr James Fairfax AC, Retford Park is now part of the National Trust of Australia. An extraordinary exhibition in the main house called The Art of Giving is a first of its kind. It is the centrepiece of a month of celebration of the arts, culture and Fairfax's remarkable philanthropy.

The Art of Giving brings life-size reproductions of iconic Australian art back to Retford Park. This is a unique opportunity to experience museum quality reproductions in the 19th century mansion. Fairfax donated the originals, the likes of John Olsen, Charles Blackman, Tony Tuckson, Fred Williams and Russell Drysdale, to the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. This spring, the reproductions hang with his collection of furniture, paintings and decorative arts. This evet is supported by the National Gallery of Australia, in acknowledgement of the ongoing legacy of James Fairfax.

Outside the main house visitors discover a satellite exhibition of the Artists of the Round Yard Inc. This is a creative group of painters, sculptors, printmakers, philanthropists, glass, jewellery and ceramic artists, based at Retford Park. Their art unfolds around the main house, in the gallery, a garden courtyard, and the exquisitely-built round yard, hence the group's name.

Retford Park celebrates James Fairfax's gifts to Australia, and many, many other instances of 'giving back'. Throughout November there will be dinners in the main house, sunset tours, and a book talk with Archibald winning artist, Ben Quilty  More Info »

Opening Dates/Times

Last open December 2018 Check later for future dates
Warning: Water in the garden, Uneven surfaces, Trip hazards

Location & Contact Info

  • Bowral, NSW, 2576

Local Climate Zone: 9 - Cool Temperate

Summer avg. Max: 23°C Winter avg. Min: 3°C
Avg Frost Days:45
Annual Rainfall avg: 1357mm. Summer avg. 336mm.
No. of rainy days: 51 Winter avg. 298mm.

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Terra Flora - artworks by Mark Callaghan

This insightful exhibition will be open to the public on all Retford Park Open Garden weekends for spring -usual National Trust entry fees will apply

Artist Statement:
'Some walk down a filthy alley or past an abandoned building and think, This should all be cleaned up and given a fresh coat of paint. To my eyes, though, the aged and worn surfaces have an appeal that can only come from nature and the passage of time. My art asks viewers to rethink their thoughts about beauty and where it may be found. For this series, I have followed a path from the figurative to the abstract. Exploring plants and the land, and using materials such as copper, iron and gold, I draw parallels between the mediums in their natural forms and the subjects they depict.'

1, 2, 29, 30 September - 10am to 4pm
1, 6, 7 October - 10am to 4pm
3, 4 November - 10am to 4pm

Retford Park
1325 Old South Rd
Bowral, NSW, 2576

T: 4861 1933

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