The outer grounds, modelled on the English country park, featured groves of trees, including hawthorns, quinces, medlars and nut trees, Commercial citrus orchards were sheltered by stands of pines and gums. A grove of olives grow along the west perimeter and on the other slopes grew crepe myrtles, Irish strawberries and a Moreton Bay fig.
Since the 1980s several major changes have occurred. The citrus groves were removed and the Sculpture Park created. An allee of oak and cedar running to the north west and a Heritage Apple and Pear orchard was planted. A maze of English Box was begun but later removed and the Petanque Terrain and Children’s Storybook Trail were established.
Features of the outer garden include:
The formal oak and cedar allee allows for a pleasant stroll down to the Storybook Trail and then onto the pedestrian boundary gate situated on Rectory Walk.
Heritage Apple & Pear Orchard
Located on the downward slopes beyond the house to the north corner is the Heritage apple and pear orchard where over 60 varieties and hybrids grow. The orchard was established to preserve the National collection using root stock from Rippon Lea House in Melbourne. Most of these varieties were first bred in the 1700s and were primarily used for preserving, cooking and making apple and pear wines and ciders.
Sculptures located outdoors in the grounds feature the works of artists including Arthur Boyd, Jacob Epstein, Lyn Moore, Greg Johns, Neil Cranney and Kempo Okamoto. The viewer can take a leisurely walk around the grounds discovering these treasures.
The Petanque Terrain or Court is located to the south west of the house just beyond the cypress hedges where large Pistachio trees provide shade for picnicking. Petanque, a game similar to Bocce, can be played any time the grounds are open to the public and there is no cost. Anyone wishing to play Petanque may borrow a set of boulles from the attendant at reception. Bocce rules available from this website.
Natural Bushland and Conservation
There are 20 hectares of natural Grey Box (Eucalyptus macrocarpa) woodland at Carrick Hill. Some of the older trees pre-date white settlement and would have been seen by Captain Mathew Flinders 200 years ago.
This remnant woodland plays a valuable role as a continuation of the vegetation corridor that includes Waite Institute reserve to the north-east and Brownhill Creek Conservation Park to the south-east.
The area has high conservation status as it supports remnant patches of indigenous plant communities. The bushland has survived the impact of land clearing, grazing, pest plants and animals. Other plants include South Australian Blue Gum, Sheoak and a wide range of native grasses, orchids and other understory flowering plants.
The area is also rich in native bird and animal species.
Carrick Hill has a strong commitment to the conservation of its native bushland and considerable efforts are being made to restore degraded sections. This effort is being greatly supported by our volunteer bushland team.
There are a number of walking tracks through the bushland.
To preserve the bushland and protect the wildlife in the area no dogs or bikes are permitted in the Carrick Hill Bushland.
The maintenance of this large exotic garden and outer grounds requires substantial amounts of water, however the use of dams, bores, tanks, rainwater harvesting, automated irrigation systems and heavy mulching all contribute to Carrick Hill’s long term strategy of becoming self sustainable.
Supported by Carrick Hill Development Foundation and a Federal Government Community Water Grant, a Water Management plan has been in place since 2007.