Sep 21 - 24, 2021
4 days
$2,580per person, twin share (land content only). $870 supplement for sole use of a hotel room.

Tour Leader

Dr Nick Gordon
Sep 21 - 24, 2021

Tour Leader

Dr Nick Gordon$2,580per person, twin share (land content only). $870 supplement for sole use of a hotel room.
  • Tour Info
  • Itinerary
  • Tour Leader
  • Hotels
  • Inclusions


This spring, Melbourne’s NGV hosts two outstanding exhibitions of European art: French Impressionism from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the renowned prints and drawings of Francisco Goya from the Prado in Madrid. Both exhibitions represent a unique opportunity to enjoy the work of some of Europe’s finest artists from the 18th to the early 20th century. The vast majority of the works on display have never been seen in Australia before, and it is likely to be a long time before they return.

Our four-day program takes you these exceptional exhibitions, with background lectures and visits, as well as to the estates and houses of some of Melbourne’s cultural luminaries who helped shape the art and culture of Victoria. The tour is rounded out with a performance of Sunday by the MTC, a day trip to the Mornington Peninsula and fine dining.

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.


  • Impressionist masterpieces from the Boston MFA An exclusive exhibition at the NGV with over 100 works on show, most of which have never been seen in Australia.
  • Goya from the Prado An exhibition exclusive to the NGV featuring 44 of Goya’s drawings on loan from the Prado in Madrid and 120 prints, including the complete Disasters of War series.
  • Estates of the Mornington Peninsula Visit Mulberry Hill, the home of Daryl and Joan Lindsay, and the gardens of Cruden Farm, residence of Dame Elizabeth Murdoch for nearly 80 years, as well as sampling the food and wine of the region.
  • Sunday by the MTC and the Heide Museum of Modern Art Enjoy a performance of Anthony Weigh’s Sunday, inspired by the life of Sunday Reed, and then visit Heide Museum of Modern Art, where the Reeds fostered the lives and loves of a generation of Australian modernists.

Itinerary Overview

Day 1:Meet Dr Nick Gordon and Dr Michael Adcock at The Langham. Two lectures on the exhibitions,  followed by dinner.

Day 2: In the morning, visit the Impressionism from the Boston MFA at the NGV International. In the mid afternoon, visit the Goya from the Prado exhibition. In the evening, attend Sunday by the MTC.

Day 3: Mornington Peninsula, visiting historic homes and enjoying lunch at an excellent winery.

Day 4: Visit the Heide Museum of Modern Art, departure by coach to Melbourne Airport.

Detailed Itinerary

Start & Finish

The tour begins at The Langham Hotel on Melbourne’s Southbank and ends at Melbourne Airport. Please contact us if you would like us to arrange flights to Melbourne.

Detailed Itinerary

Included meals are shown with the symbols B, L and D.

Tuesday 21 September – Arrival

We meet in the hotel at 4.30pm for a pair of lectures on the Boston MFA Impressionism and Goya from the Prado exhibitions at the NGV. After our lectures, we enjoy dinner together. (D)

Wednesday 22 September – Impressionism and Goya exhibitions

This morning we visit the Impressionism exhibition at the NGV International. Boston Museum of Fine Arts has one of the finest collections of Impressionism in the world, and the NGV show includes no fewer than 16 works by Monet. In the mid-afternoon, after a break for lunch, we visit the NGV’s Goya from the Prado exhibition, with 44 Goya drawings from the Prado and 120 prints, including complete sets of some of his most famous series. Returning to the hotel, there is time to freshen up and have an early dinner before we attend the Melbourne Theatre Company’s performance of Anthony Weigh’s Sunday, based on the extraordinary life of Sunday Reed, the founder of Heide Museum of Modern Art. (B)

Thursday 23 September – The Mornington Peninsula

Today we travel to the Mornington Peninsula, where many of Melbourne’s cultural luminaries created bayside villas. Our first stop is Mulberry Hill, the estate of Sir Daryl and Lady Joan Lyndsay (respectively: director of the NGV and the author of Picnic at Hanging Rock). After our guided visit, we have lunch in an excellent winery on the Mornington Peninsula. In the afternoon, we visit the gardens of Cruden Farm, the residence of Dame Elizabeth Murdoch. The farm remains a working farm and it and its gardens are the product of Dame Murdoch’s 80 years of work. Returning to the hotel, the evening is at leisure. (B, L)

Friday 24 September – Heide Museum of Modern Art

This morning after a leisurely start, we visit the Heide Museum of Modern Art, where Sunday and John Reed lived for decades and fostered the careers of a generation of Australian Modernists, including Sidney Nolan, Joy Hester and Albert Tucker. After a tour of the original house and the exhibition on the Women of Heide, we have time to explore the sculpture garden and the special exhibition at Heide II, which shows the iconic modernist house by McGlashan and Everist as it was when the Reeds lived there in the 1960s. After our visit, we continue to the airport arriving at 1pm. (B)

Dr Nick Gordon

A cultural historian with a PhD in History, and practicing painter who brings this passion to the visual arts.

Dr Nick Gordon is a cultural historian and artist, with over 10 years of experience leading tours to Europe. He has strong interests in art, history, philosophy and architecture, from the ancient world to the present.

Nick holds a University Medal and PhD in history from the University of Sydney. He taught medieval and Renaissance history at the University of Sydney, the history of political thought at the University of Western Sydney, and architectural and Australian history elsewhere. He continues to teach at the Centre of Continuing Education, and gives occasional lectures on topics ranging from Classical Rome through to Australian and contemporary art. Nick has lead tours for Academy Travel since 2007, and designs study tours, residential tours and art-focussed tours, such as the Venice Biennale, Art Along the Rhine, Art Basel, and Amsterdam to Paris: Van Eyck to Van Gogh.

Nick is also an artist and his firsthand experience of art complements his academic expertise, through his knowledge of materials and the processes behind how an artwork is made, and his well-practiced eye for reading art.

We asked Nick, what do you enjoy most about tour leading?

“One of the things I enjoy most about touring is helping people understand more about what they’re seeing. This happens through a combination of background lectures exploring different contexts, cultural commentary on the road, and especially by being able to explain what is going on in an artwork with the artwork in front of us.”

“The aim of all of this is to help people see more for themselves, independently, both on tour and beyond. Some of the best moments for me on tour are when this happens, and you get to be part of something bigger as people start adding their own knowledge and experience to what we’re looking at. It makes each experience unique.” 

View Bio & Upcoming Tours


The Langham Hotel, Melbourne (3 nights)
We have reserved deluxe rooms in this five-star hotel, adjacent to the NGV and the Southbank theatres.

Tour Inclusions

  • 3 nights’ accommodation and breakfast in Deluxe rooms at The Langham hotel
  • Entry to the NGV exhibitions and all other sites included in the itinerary
  • Dinner in Melbourne and lunch on the Mornington Peninsula with wine and beer
  • Travel on excursions by private coach
  • In-depth lectures by tour lecturer
  • Services of tour manager throughout
  • All group tipping

Tour Details

Fitness Requirement

Grade One

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.
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For further information or to secure a place on this tour please contact:
Hannah Kleboe (02) 9235 0023 or 1800 639 699
(outside Sydney)

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