Oh, Oberon!

Se­cret gar­dens, gem­stones and caves – this town is a na­ture-lover’s par­adise

Better Homes and Gardens (Australia) - - Contents - jenolan­caves.org.au

Ex­plore the de­lights of this quaint town

on the western side of the Blue Moun­tains in New South Wales is the town of Oberon. Think spec­tac­u­lar cool-cli­mate gar­dens – in­clud­ing the cel­e­brated May­field Gar­den – in­cred­i­ble scenery, fos­sick­ing for all man­ner of trea­sures and awe-in­spir­ing nat­u­ral caves. It’s easy to see why Oberon is a fantastic road trip des­ti­na­tion. Here’s where to go.

WAN­DER THROUGH MAY­FIELD GAR­DEN

It took pas­sion and true grit to trans­form bare pad­docks into May­field Gar­den. In­spired by their Euro­pean trav­els, own­ers Gar­rick and Evelyn Hawkins be­gan plant­ing and land­scap­ing in the 1990s, and the re­sult is ‘bloomin’ mag­i­cal’. New display The Val­ley of the Five Ponds fea­tures cas­cad­ing wa­ter link­ing the wa­ter­holes, while the Camellia Walk has mo­bil­ity-friendly path­ways that let ev­ery­one en­joy the gar­dens. There’s also a cafe with a farm-totable sea­sonal menu. Be sure to also get lost in the 1.4km long English Box Hedge Maze. may­fieldgar­den.com.au

GO FOS­SICK­ING FOR GEM­STONES

Fancy for­ag­ing for your own gem­stones, per­haps to wear as jew­ellery? You can do it in Oberon, as the area is rich with sap­phires and zir­cons. Just stop by the vis­i­tor cen­tre to find out where to go – the staff are pas­sion­ate and will likely draw you a map of the best fos­sick­ing ar­eas. In fact, they reg­u­larly con­duct demos in the fos­sick­ing pit next to the Vis­i­tors Cen­tre.

DIS­COVER JENOLAN CAVES

A spec­tac­u­lar labyrinth of sta­lac­tite-lined lime­stone chasms carved by un­der­ground rivers, Jenolan Caves is one of the high­lights of the Greater Blue Moun­tains World Her­itage Area. The CSIRO con­firmed them to be the world’s old­est known open caves, at more than 340 mil­lion years old. You can ex­plore nine of the caves, with the Lu­cas Cave be­ing one of the most well-known. It fea­tures The Bro­ken Col­umn lime­stone for­ma­tion, as well as The Cathe­dral – a 54m high cham­ber, which of­fers the per­fect acous­tics for con­certs and per­for­mances.

Get lost in May­field Gar­den – once bare pad­dock, it’s since been con­verted into lush green­ery.

Nat­u­ral beauty at Jenolan.

Sleep un­der the stars in style at May­field Gar­den.

r e k k i e a tMB a y f i e l d G a r d e n

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