Mayfield was established in 1984, initially as a sheep farm. While agricultural activities continue on the surrounding 2,025 hectares (5,000 acres), the heart of our property has been gradually transformed – with the help of talented local landscapers and tradespeople – from bare paddocks into one of the largest, privately owned cool climate gardens in the world.
Mayfield has been inspired by the magnificent gardens of Europe. Owned by the Hawkins family, Mayfield Garden (open 363 days of the year) and The Hawkins’ Family Garden, together, cover more than 64 hectares (160 acres).
While the garden represents one family’s dream, the long-term vision is that it will be enjoyed by people from near and far for generations to come.
Numerous follies and features have been created including:
A breath-taking 80-metre cascade that leads to a walled kitchen garden; a stunning 2.5-hectare water garden, and the grotto within a cascading waterfall that you can walk behind. There are buildings too: a beautiful sandstone exhibition centre, a bluestone chapel overlooking the garden and the rolling hills, and a Chinese pagoda over Mayfield Lake. Not to mention the huge European inspired boxed hedge maze (easy to get in, harder to get out) and much, much more! Mayfield needs to be seen to be believed.
Although inspired by European gardens, Mayfield is all about local, be it sourcing materials for the construction of our garden, the produce for the food we serve or the team – our Mayfielders – whose skills, labour and imagination are an essential part of the Mayfield experience.
Mayfield employs over 60 full-time local people across many trades, from stonemasons, painters, plumbers, welders, construction workers, equipment operators, to engineers, draftspeople, surveyors, landscapers, irrigators, marketing, event and hospitality services. The investment by the Hawkins family has created new lifeblood of prosperity to the region located just 10 minutes from Oberon, 40 minutes from Bathurst and only 2 hours 45 minutes drive from Sydney.
Mayfield first opened to visitors in 2008, for one weekend, as a charity event. The response was overwhelming. People were astonished by the scale and vision of the project. That enthusiasm lead to the creation of a dedicated visitor experience extending over 15 hectares (36 acres) that nine years later would be called Mayfield Garden and be open 363 days of the year (closed Christmas and Boxing Day).
To further enhance the visitor experience, the family now open The Hawkins’ Family Garden for 16 days, four times a year. Each 16 day period takes on a festival style atmosphere with entertainment in the Garden Centre and numerous experiences throughout the garden, including rowing on Mayfield Lake and getting lost in the maze (and hopefully found!). Wear your walking shoes; it’s best seen on foot, you never know where you’ll end up.
Adding to the experience is the Nursery with its extensive range of cool climate plants and specialists on hand to answer your questions. See something in the garden you like? You can probably find it in our Nursery.
The Mayfield Café and Produce Store serves a seasonal paddock and garden to plate menu with produce grown onsite in our garden, and the remainder is handpicked from local partners. If it’s on the menu, chances are it’s been picked that morning from our 1.5-hectare garden beds in the car park, Kitchen Garden and Walled Vegetable Garden, glasshouse, and orchard.
The Cafe & Produce Store also sells a handpicked selection of local products from our delicious jams and chutneys to homemade soaps, candles and other goodies.
As of 2017, Mayfield is setting out to become the artistic and entertainment hub for the central west and beyond, with an incredible lineup of events and workshops taking place in this spectacular garden setting.
For more on the history of Mayfield, we highly recommend visiting The Gallery, an informative, interactive and educational exhibition space, overlooking the allée of London plain trees and obelisk, which has been especially explicitly designed to become the narrator of the Mayfield story.