Mayfield Garden is the Largest Cool-climate Garden in the World

By: Joey Richards, 10 May 2024

If you’ve ever dreamed of teleporting to Japan just by stepping through a garden gate, then you need to check out Mayfield Garden.

Nestled near the quaint town of Oberon, less than three hours from Sydney, this sprawling sanctuary is one of NSW's largest gardens that's giving us major Japanese garden vibes.

Mayfield Garden is the Largest Cool-climate Garden in the World 

Mayfield Gardens
Did you know that the largest cool-climate garden in the world is in NSW?!

Mayfield isn't just any garden; it's a whopping 160 acres of cool-climate, European-style splendour, making it the largest privately-owned garden of its kind in the world. It's a passion project that the Hawkins family started back in the '90s on their massive 5000-acre working farm.

This garden oasis is divided into two main areas: the expansive Mayfield Garden and the intimate Hawkins' Family Garden. Together, they create a lush, cool-climate paradise that's open for your wandering pleasure all year round.

Mayfield Garden
The Chinese pagoda on the lake.

Step into a world of arena-sized lawns framed by pencil pines, wander through intricate woodlands, and explore a network of curvilinear granite-gravel pathways. You'll stumble upon a series of lakes and ponds, cascading waterfalls, and even a 600-seat terraced-lawn amphitheatre. Not to mention, there's a hedge maze, elegant filigree-style topiary, and a stunning Japanese-style garden that’s an absolute feast for the senses.

The History of Mayfield Garden

Mayfield Gardens
An aerial view of the gardens during autumn.

The visionary behind this grand garden is Sydney-based businessman Garrick Hawkins, who snagged this pretty piece of countryside back in 1984. Alongside his wife Evelyn, an artist and art historian, they began building a Georgian-style residence that boasts breathtaking 360-degree views and a cosy wraparound verandah.

The gardens are continually evolving, and of course, painstakingly maintained by about 35 locals of all trades ranging from stonemasons to horticulturalists, with an additional 30 or so employed in the cafe, marketing, accounting and retail.

Oriental Magic in the Heart of NSW

Chinese pagoda
The famous Chinese pagoda.

Today, Mayfield sprawls from the Hawkins' elegant home across terraced lawns, clipped hedges, and tree-lined avenues,

Each season brings its own magic to Mayfield, from summer blooms to autumn’s fiery maples, and spring’s explosion of irises, azaleas, and flowering cherries.

Japanese and Chinese influences are dotted throughout and make you feel like you've stepped right into the Orient. A Chinese-style pagoda and a picturesque red-painted bridge sit atop a lake that could be mistaken for a fairytale. And come autumn, the Japanese-style garden comes alive with Japanese maples in fiery reds and maroons.

Mayfield Garden
The Kanangra Walls

Further exploring, you'll encounter a majestic waterfall echoing the sandstone cliffs of Kanangra Walls and a Hydrangea Walk showcasing an array of cultivars. Wander into the Valley of the Five Ponds, a woodland realm under a canopy of oaks, maples, and birches.

Get Lost in Australia's Second-Largest Hedge Maze

Mayfield Maze
Australia's second-largest hedge maze

Garrick and Evelyn also crafted Australia’s second-largest hedge maze, a parterre garden, and vibrant cut-flower gardens bursting with dahlias, zinnias, poppies, and delphiniums.

When Glamping Feels Like a Scene From Bridgerton

Glamping at Mayfield
Glamping at Mayfield.

The Glamping Experience at Mayfield is so chic and picturesque, it quite literally feels like a scene from Bridgerton! 

The ultimate way to soak in all that Mayfield has to offer? A chic glamping stint where you can bask in the exclusivity of the gardens during the serene evening hours and catch the first golden rays in the morning. This isn't just any campout; it's an elegant affair.

Imagine yourself unwinding in a posh bell tent decked out with a queen-sized bed, plush mattresses, natural fibre rugs, and top-notch linen. And the royal treatment doesn't stop at snazzy accommodations—glampers are treated to a three-course à la carte dinner that's nothing short of spectacular.

Mayfield Garden Location & Opening Hours

Mayfield Garden
Stop in for a bite at the Mayfield Cafe.

For those who want to dive deeper, Mayfield offers both group and exclusive private tours. Hungry after all that exploring? The Mayfield Cafe dishes out delicious farm-to-table fare that’s as fresh as the garden's own blooms.

Located at 530 Mayfield Rd, Oberon and open 363 days a year, Mayfield Garden is ready whenever you are. Please note that the Hawkins Family Garden is a seasonal treat that's open just 16 days each season, so plan your visit wisely to catch this hidden gem in all its glory. 

More Family Attractions in NSW

Explore NSW's Ancient Rainforest
Things to do in the Blue Mountains for Adventurous Families
Where to go Cherry Picking in NSW


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