Jul 13 - 16, 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
Jul 13 - 16, 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 winter, Melbourne hosts two outstanding exhibitions of Impressionist painting. At the NGV International more than 100 masterpieces by Monet, Mary Cassatt, Pissarro and Degas from the Boston Museum of Fine Arts are on show, 79 of which have never been seen before in Australia. If that weren’t enough, NGV Australia has created the largest exhibition of Australian Impressionism to date: more than 250 works by exceptional Australian artists.

This four-day tour takes you into the heart of Impressionism in France and Australia, with background lectures and visits to the exhibitions. To understand more of the context behind Australian Impressionism, we visit the properties of Melbourne’s cultural luminaries who helped shape the art and culture of Victoria. The tour is rounded out with a play by the Melbourne Theatre Company,  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,
  • Australian impressionism This monumental exhibition is a must-see for all lovers of Australian art and includes everything from the Tom Roberts’ cigar box lids to the nation-defining art of Clara Southern and Frederick McCubbin.
  • The Johnson Collection Explore the amazing collection of French and English decorative arts amassed by antiques dealer William Robert Johnson, and hear the history behind his wheeling and dealings.
  • Estates of the Mornington Peninsula Visit Beleura, formerly the residence of composer John Tallis and Mulberry Hill, the home of Daryl and Joan Lindsay, as well as sampling the food and wine of the region.

Itinerary Overview

Day 1: Meet Dr Nick Gordon at The Langham for our first lecture with Dr Michael Adcock, our resident expert on all things Impressionism. Dinner in a fine French-inspired restaurant.

Day 2: Visit the Impressionism from the Boston MFA at the NGV International. In the mid afternoon, we visit the Johnson Collection and then have our second lecture with Dr Michael Adcock.

Day 3: Mornington Peninsula, visiting historic homes and enjoying lunch at an excellent winery. Evening performance by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.

Day 4: Visit the monumental Australian Impressionism show at the Ian Potter Centre, with over 250 masterpieces. 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 13 July – French Impressionism

This afternoon, we have an in-depth presentation by Dr Michael Adcock focusing on the Impressionism from the Boston MFA. This evening we dine in one of Melbourne’s French inspired restaurants. Overnight, Melbourne. (D)

Wednesday 14 July – The Boston MFA exhibition

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, we visit The Johnson Collection – the astounding private collection of 18th and 19th century fine and decorative arts amassed by antique dealer William Robert Johnson and displayed in his former home in East Melbourne. In the early evening, Dr Michael Adcock explores Australian Impressionism. (B)

Thursday 15 July – The Mornington Peninsula

Today we travel to the Mornington Peninsula, where many of Melbourne’s cultural luminaries created bayside villas. Our first stop is Beleura, an estate founded in the 1860s by James Butchart, a Scottish migrant who became the wealthiest man in Victoria. We enjoy lunch at one of the peninsula’s excellent wineries. In the afternoon we visit Mulberry Hill, the estate of Sir Daryl and Lady Joan Lyndsay (respectively: director of the NGV and the author of Picnic at Hanging Rock). Back in Melbourne we enjoy a play by the Melbourne Theatre Company. (B,L)

Friday 16 July – Australian Impressionism

This morning we visit She Oak and Sunrise, the extraordinary exhibition of Australian Impressionism at NGV Australia. This exhibition, the largest to date of Australian Impressionism has masterpieces by Tom Roberts, Frederick McCubbin, Arthur Streeton, Jane Sutherland and Clara Southern. In addition to these much-loved giants of Australian art are masterpieces by their less well-known, but equally gifted, contemporaries which help us understand the bigger picture of this momentous movement in Australian art. The exhibition includes more than 250 works from public and private collections and for a show of this size, we have reserved two entry times for you, so you can take your time and a lunch break between visits. In the mid-afternoon, a coach is available for those taking early evening flights from Melbourne airport. (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. langhamhotels.com

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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Speak to a consultant

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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