Academy Travel is delighted to offer a 4-day tour to Canberra, exploring the National Gallery of Australia’s blockbuster Botticelli to Van Gogh exhibition. Enjoy a rare opportunity to see masterpieces from the National Gallery of London in Australia – from Titian to Rembrandt, Vermeer, Velázquez, Turner and Cézanne – under the expert guidance of Christopher Menz. We also enjoy lunch at the visionary National Arboretum and a private tour of the Art and Furniture collections of Parliament House. A guided visit of the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery, plus its new Australian Love Stories exhibit, along with fine dining, round out the program.
COVID-19 cancellation policy
The following special cancellation and refund conditions applies to this tour.
If you book on this tour and then find that you are unable to travel due to Government imposed COVID-19 travel restrictions we will provide a 100% cash refund of all monies paid to Academy Travel for this tour. This refund will be given irrespective of how close to the tour start date you become ineligible to travel, but you must inform us within 24 hours of becoming personally unable to travel in order to obtain a full refund.
If the tour cannot proceed due to Government imposed Covid-19 travel restrictions, the tour will be cancelled and all participants will receive a 100% cash refund of all monies paid to Academy Travel for this tour. This refund will be given irrespective of how close the cancellation occurs to the start date of the tour.
Admire 60 masterpieces from the National Gallery of London, spanning 450 years and including rarely-loaned works such as Van Gogh’s Sunflowers
Enjoy a private guided visit of the treasures of Parliament House including Arthur Boyd’s monumental Great Hall Tapestry and the desert Dreaming Forecourt Mosaic
Contemporary Canberra’s vision, from the National Arboretum, a significant collection of rare and endangered trees, to the National Portrait Gallery which highlights individuals’ contributions to Australia’s story
A welcome dinner in one of Canberra’s finest restaurants
Day 1: Assemble at our hotel for background lectures on the National Gallery’s Botticelli to Van Gogh exhibition. Welcome dinner.
Day 2: Explore the National Gallery exhibition with your tour leader, with time at leisure to admire works by Titian, Vermeer, Cézanne and others, as well as the gallery’s permanent collection. After lunch at the National Arboretum and a panoramic drive around its main sites.
Day 3: We visit Parliament House and the National Library of Australia with lunch at a nearby winery.
Day 4: Our tour concludes with a visit to National Film & Sound Archive to visit the Mervyn Bishop exhibition and the National Portrait Gallery, with a tour of both the permanent collection and the temporary exhibit Australian Love Stories.
The tour begins and concludes at our hotel in Canberra. We can assist in booking transport by plane or bus.
Tuesday May 18
Make your way to Canberra and check in to our hotel from 2pm. This afternoon Christopher Menz gives two detailed lectures on the collection history of the National Gallery, London, with special reference to the works exhibited in Canberra. Enjoy a group dinner. (D)
Wednesday May 19
We spend the entire morning at the National Gallery of Australia in the company of Christopher, exploring the seven key themes of this landmark exhibition, the Italian Renaissance, Dutch and Spanish Golden Age painting, Grand Tour and landscape and modern art are exemplified by Titian, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Velázquez, Goya, Turner and Cézanne. After free time for lunch, we travel to the National Arboretum, a huge 250-hectare (618 acre) site and one of the world’s largest living collections of rare, endangered and significant trees. Organised into 44 ‘forests’ with over 44,000 trees, some of them more than 100 years old, the Arboretum also has a delightful Bonsai collection that we tour with the curator. This evening we meet for drinks and a discussion of the exhibition’s highlights. (B, evening drinks).
Thursday May 20
We begin the day with Parliament House, where we enjoy a private tour of the art collection. This keystone of our cultural heritage is not nearly as accessible as a public gallery, and comprises some 7,000 works spread across the more than 4,500 rooms and 22kms of the parliament building. We then depart for a visit to the National Library of Australia and enjoy morning tea on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin. We visit the current exhibition, A Nation Imagined, exploring the late 19th-century colonial view of The Picturesque Atlas of Australia, a work that made a significant impact on the Australian impressionists. We then travel North East into Canberra’s Lake George area, for a fine winery lunch. The late afternoon and evening are at leisure. (B, morning tea, L).
Friday May 21
After checking out of the hotel, we travel to National Film and Sound Archive to visit the Mervyn Bishop exhibition, celebrating one of Australia’s most prolific and influential photographers. We then travel to the National Portrait Gallery, where we have a guided tour of its excellent new exhibition, Australian Love Stories. These charming works, crossing photography, art, sculpture and other media, explore love, affection and connection in the world of Australian film, music and celebrity. There is also time to explore the permanent collection, before we return to our hotel by private coach ca 1.00pm for the end of our tour. (B)
A former art museum director and curator, with expertise in the arts and music throughout Europe, the USA and Australia.
Christopher Menz is a former art museum director and curator and has been leading cultural tours in Europe, the United States and Australia since 2013. He has expertise and interest in the visual arts and music.
Christopher has a BA (Hons) from Flinders University. He is a former director of the Art Gallery of South Australia. Before that he was a curator, specialising in decorative arts, and worked at the National Gallery of Australia, Art Gallery of South Australia, and National Gallery of Victoria. He has published and lectured extensively on Australian and European decorative arts, notably on the design work of William Morris, and curated numerous exhibitions. Christopher is based in Melbourne where he is an art consultant and valuer, and Development Consultant for Australian Book Review.
Christopher has led cultural tours to Germany, England, the United States, as well as in Australia. He has also been a tour leader on European river cruises.
We asked Christopher, what do you think clients get from travelling with you?
“It is always a great thrill to be able to introduce clients to new experiences and to places they might otherwise not have visited or not have visited recently. I always hope to give tour guests something that adds to the experiences of the places, cities, museums and art galleries, and performances that they would not get if travelling alone.”
The award-winning Avenue Hotel provides comfort and luxury in the heart of Canberra, close to Parliament House, local museums, dining and entertainment in the Braddon district. www.avenuehotel.com.au
What is included in the tour price?
Unless otherwise stated in the itinerary, our tours include the following:
All accommodation at properties mentioned in the itinerary
Land travel by private air-conditioned coach. Taxis may also be used for short trips on some tours. Some city stay tours may involve local transport
Lunches and dinners indicated with the letters L and D in the itinerary
Beer, wine and soft drinks at sit-down lunches and dinners. Picnic and light lunches may not include alcoholic drinks
Services of tour leader throughout tour
All entrance fees to sites mentioned in the itinerary
Local guides at some sites
All tips for drivers, local guides and restaurants for included meals
On international tours only
Costs involved in obtaining visas for countries visited, where required, and when stated as included
Background talks on tour, site notes and online resources
Any flights mentioned in the itinerary that take place during a tour
Some trips may be made by public transport such as high-speed train and subway
What is not included in the tour price?
Our tours do not include the following:
Air or land travel from your home city to the tour start/end points
Local taxes and airport levies that we are not able to prepay on your behalf. We will advise you of these charges (if any) before you depart
Lunches and dinners not specifically indicated with the letters L or D in the itinerary
Personal expenses such as passports, laundry and phone calls
Costs associated with any activity mentioned as “optional” in the itinerary, or any suggested free time activity
Airport Transfers on international tours
Tours may begin at either the arrival airport or the first hotel. If you have booked your international flights with Academy Travel, and arrive before the tour commences, we will provide airport to hotel transfers to the closest main city on your arrival, and to the closest airport at the end of the tour. These may be either individual or group transfers
Tours begin either at the arrival airport or the first hotel, depending on the itinerary. If you have booked your international flights with Academy Travel, we will provide airport to hotel transfers to the closest main city on your arrival, and to the closest airport at the end of the tour. These may be either individual or group transfers.
We require all tour participants to have adequate insurance coverage.
For domestic tours, Medicare and your private medical insurance should be used to cover any medical expenses.
Domestic travel insurance is available and strongly recommended to cover non-medical expenses such as cancellation.
For international tours, we require you to have comprehensive travel insurance. Prices vary according to your age, your pre-existing medical conditions, the countries you are visiting and the length of your journey abroad.
A Grade 1 tour is appropriate for travellers in good health with good mobility, who can comfortably participate in up to 3 hours of physical activity per day on most days. More Details
There are currently no places available on this tour. A place on the waitlist is not a confirmed place on tour. If you would like to be notified if a place becomes available on tour, please register your details.
There are currently no places available on this tour. A place on the waitlist is not a confirmed place on tour. If you would like to be notified if a place becomes available on tour, please register your details below.
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Hold a Place
Thank you for your interest in this tour. We are happy to hold a tentative place for 48 hours while you make your final arrangements to come on tour.
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