Mischief and magic at Oberon’s Mayfield Garden with kids

Little girl wearing red and back at Chinese gardens at Mayfield Garden in Oberon

On the road to Mayfield Garden, skittish spring lambs bounce across undulating hills blanketed in yellow canola blooms. Flower-laden acacia trees, their leaves sagging under the weight of wattle flowers, punctuate the road side in golden sorority. 

Adding a touch of flamboyance to the vibrant scene, flame-hued bottlebrush direct us into a moody forest of gnarled gums and weeping willows.

Canola fields at Oberon

As we exit, a rosella swoops by with what appears to be frost fairies in chase but are in reality a flurry of fluffy snowflakes that missed the memo that winter is over. The scene is nothing short of enchanting. Like its mischievous Shakespearean namesake, Oberon’s rolling rural landscape has us under a spell.

Almost exactly Midway between historic Hartley in the Blue Mountains and bucolic Bathurst, Oberon isn’t your typical tourist town, but its location in the cool-climate Central Tablelands of Central NSW makes it an ideal base to explore both. While the utterly charming town’s historic main street boasts bric-a-brac and craft stores, heritage façades and the ravishingly retro Art Deco Malachi Gilmore Hall, the real appeal of this pretty country town lies in its surrounding farmlands and bucolic beauty.

Boy and old truck at Oberon's Mayfield Garden

But it is family friendly Mayfield Garden, just beyond the historic Oberon township, that has lured us here today. Set amidst around 2025 hectares of gently undulating grazing land, the beguiling beauty, itself an impressive 65 hectares, is the largest privately owned, cool-climate garden in the world.

Manicured gardens at Mayfield

The grand folly of Garrick Hawkins, an agribusinessman and investment banker whose home sits at the centre of the beguiling beauty, fantastical Mayfield has grown into one of Australia’s best gardens.

cherry blossoms in Oberon

Bursting with cherry blossoms during our visit, the tranquil gardens are so magical that as I release my playful sprites into Mayfield Garden’s field-sized lawns to bounce past a series of ponds and cascading waterfalls, I imagine them as a real-life Puck and Titania.

Kids leapin off bridge at Mayfield garden

Like forest fairies they flit and fly over a ruby red bridge into a Chinese-style pagoda, cartwheel through a colonnade of plane trees, dance around a copper tree fountain, and dive into secret grottoes to make mischief.

Kids at Mayfield Garden

They frolic in the fruit orchard and tackle Mayfield’s English Box Hedge Maze – Australia’s second-largest – escaping just in time for a local paddock-to-plate lunch at Mayfield Café (with restrictions in place bookings a must). The kids’ appetites are anything but fairylike though, as they devour a hearty meal created from locally sourced and grown produce.

Kids playing giant chess at Mayfield Garden Oberon

After lunch, there’s bocce, croquet and giant chess, and more importantly to my impish offspring, a chicken house, complete with “adorable” chickens for my daughter to bother.

Rooster at Mayfield Garden

Between the blooms, bocce and barnyard birds, visiting Mayfield Garden with kids was such a success that when we arrive back at Jenolan Caravan Park a friendly van park with shiny new amenities and gorgeous cabins located right in the heart of Oberon – my fatigued fairies flake out almost immediately, all that flitting and flapping proving exhausting work.

Mayfield Garden
530 Mayfield Rd,
Oberon NSW
PH: (02) 6336 3131

Open 9.00am to 4.30pm Monday – Sunday. 

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Hey, I’m Aleney! A mum, award-winning travel writer, magazine editor and gallivanting glutton. He’s Raff, the “boy” in boyeatsworld, and a fearless foodie, adventurer and eco-warrior. Along with his all-singing, all-dancing, all-adventurous sister, Sugarpuff, we’re exploring the world’s colour, culture and cuisine on a food safari for the junior set.

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