Day 1 - Sunday 16.10.16 SYDNEY TO ALBURY –Departing Sydney we travel south via the Hume Highway, stopping enroute for our morning break. Just south of Yass, we visit Crisps Gallery which is also our lunch venue. Peter Crisp is internationally regarded as one of the world’s finest glass artisans. Peter began experimenting with glass from his homestead in 1981. Soon he had perfected a new art form allowing glass to develop into a multitude of flowing lines and bounding curves. This new concept takes ordinary glass to the extreme limits of its character. This afternoon, we drive express to Albury. On arrival we can check in to our motel and freshen up before dinner. (BLD) Quality Resort Siesta
Day 2 - Monday 17.10.16 ALBURY TO MELBOURNE – OVERNIGHT SPIRIT OF TASMANIA Today we have a leisurely start to the day to reach Melbourne for our evening departure on the Spirit of Tasmania. We make a stop at Dad and Dave's Billy Tea Rooms in Glenrowan for morning tea, with time to take a photo in front of Ned Kelly’s Statue which is close by. Lunch today will be a travelling lunch break as we continue onto Melbourne. We plan to arrive into Melbourne late afternoon. While the coach is being loaded onto the cargo deck we can board. Be sure to pack a simple overnight bag for tonight. The cabins on the Spirit are quite small but very comfortable, with twin bed accommodation and ensuite bathroom. The facilities on the vessel are extensive with lounges, bars, shops and viewing areas. Once we have had a look at our cabins we can make our way to dinner. (Breakfast / Dinner on Spirit of Tasmania) Spirit of Tasmania
Spirit of Tasmania – Outside Cabins (subject to availability – a great reason to book your tour early)
Day 3 - Tuesday 18.10.16 DEVONPORT TO LAUNCESTON On arrival at Devonport we offload the Spirit and head to our breakfast stop. A good start to the day before making our way to Beaconsfield - the site of Tasmania's largest gold discoveries and of course more recently the incredible rescue in 2006 of two miners trapped underground. Here we visit the Beaconsfield Gold Mine and Heritage Museum, home to Australia's only waterwheel-driven stamp battery and features an extensive collection of memorabilia and artifacts. We have time to purchase lunch before heading to Beauty Point. Our next visit is Seahorse World which offers a rare chance to see seahorses in captivity. The working farm and aquarium gives a rare insight into the mystical and elegant seahorse at various stages of development, along with the leafy sea dragon and the Pipe Fish. Pop over next door for a visit to Platypus World. We cross the Batman Bridge for a close up view of the mighty Tamar River before driving down the eastern side. We continue into Launceston where we can spend the rest of the afternoon in Cataract Gorge - a magnificent Reserve in the city Centre. These gardens have evolved for over a century and are still one of the most popular places in the city to be at one for a while with nature. The area is laced with pathways for walks that have seasonal contrasts like the colorful daffodil walk in spring and the stroll through the trunks of the giant rhododendron stand, which gives a quite different viewpoint to the smaller specimens that are seen in the average garden. There are some pleasant walks through the landscaped gardens to the tea rooms, or those that are interested can take a ride on the chairlift which crosses the gorge. Of the overall length of 457 metres, the 308 metre central span is claimed to be the longest single span in the world. We then check into our accommodation and freshen up for dinner. (Breakfast / Dinner) Commodore Regent Motor Inn
Day 4 - Wednesday 19 October 2016 Launceston After a hearty breakfast we enjoy a guided tour of Launceston CBD. We now travel to nearby Hadspen for morning tea at Entally House, one of Tasmania’s most historic Trust houses, thought to have been built in 1819. Entally House was opened to the public in 1950 and is justly proud of its magnificent collection of Regency furniture and fine silverware. Set in superb grounds and gardens, Entally has a green house, chapel, coach house and stables. We then return to Launceston where we have time for lunch at our own expense. This afternoon we drive through to Nabowla for a visit to Bridstowe Lavender Farm. You have never experienced PURPLE until you have been here. For those that are into photography, this is a must. We return to Launceston late afternoon with time to freshen up before dinner. (Breakfast / dinner, lunch own expense)Commodore Regent Motor Inn
DAY 5 - Thursday 20.10.16 LAUNCESTON TO EAGLEHAWK NECK Today is packed with sights. We pass through Campbell Town and onto Ross. We visit the Tasmanian Wool Centre. The wool exhibition and history museum both feature audio-visual displays and many interesting artefacts. The feel-and-touch wool display allows us to experience wool produced by a range of sheep breeds, and of course features the superfine merino wool the region is renowned for. We travel through Eaglehawk Neck to the Forestier Peninsula. Just south of Eaglehawk are two dramatic natural coastal attractions - the Tasman Arch and the Devils Kitchen. Even more dramatic when there is a rough sea running!
TOUR HIGHLIGHT: Port Arthur Historic Site. Let yourself be drawn into a world of misery, beauty and ghosts. A visit to Port Arthur rouses emotions of sadness, loss and tragedy. But at the same time we see beauty, productiveness and a whole new life. Today we wander through gardens that welcome us and make us appreciate the beauty of nature. We see structures of stone and gardens that adorn the landscape. At the same time we sense the division of the privileged and the enslaved. The rights of the convicts are next to none and their corpses are made available for medical research. The soldiers that guard them are honored for their non-compassionate enforcement of the law. Justice or injustice – Port Arthur is the site of many a paradox. The criminals of the mother land were sent out to this ‘end of the earth’ as punishment. But who was to know they would build gardens, grow successful crops and pave the way to build a nation? It is the site of many further crimes, medical research and the stubbornness to stand for what is just and right. It is the site of murders and yet it stands so majestically within a landscape that denies its own morbid identity. Visit Port Arthur, but visit with an open mind and a closed mouth. Silence was a treatment in the days of the old penal colony, harsh and sadistic. Today silence is a mark of respect for those that have lost their lives in the process that has built Port Arthur to the historic treasure that it currently is. Today is your day to visit this uniquely morbidly beautiful place. Pay homage to those that deserve it and absorb the atmosphere. I cannot describe the way that this site makes me feel, but I hope to share with you the awe and the inspiration, the despair and the tragedy of it.
Optional: Don’t settle into bed yet. Come and join us as we try to scare ourselves stupid. We are heading out on a lantern lit Ghost tour of Port Arthur Historic Site. The silence and soft glow of the lantern light can sometimes make those long gone seem very close at hand. This is truly a different experience from the one we had earlier in the day! (Breakfast and dinner in the motel, Lunch own expense) Fox and Hounds Inn
Day 6 - Friday 21.10.16 EAGLEHAWK NECK TO HOBART: Further on our way, we discover the historic town of Richmond. The streets are paved with history and many of the fine colonial buildings have been adapted for use as art galleries, craft shops and restaurants. We have some free time here to purchase lunch and wander around this lovely village whose gaol predates Port Arthur by five years and is one of the best preserved of Australia’s colonial prisons. The convict-built Richmond Bridge over the Coal River is the oldest in Australia. It is also one of the most beautiful and most photographed. We then set off for one of the worlds most beautiful cities – Hobart. Founded in 1804, Hobart is Australia's second oldest capital and everywhere you go the past steps out to greet you. For lunch we make our way to the Royal Tasmanian Botanic Gardens followed by a guided tour. The Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens, which cover an area of approximately 14 hectares, were established in Hobart in 1818 and are located within the Queens Domain. The Gardens hold historic plant collections and a large number of significant trees, many dating back to the nineteenth century. It also has an increasing number of important conservation collections of Tasmanian plants, of which the Kings Lomatia is one of the most unusual, and the world's only Subantarctic Plant House. Here, plants from subantarctic islands in high southern latitudes are displayed in a climatically-controlled environment, where chilly fogs and mists mirror the wet, cold conditions of their island homes. Following a little time at leisure, we meet our local guide who takes us around the city to give us an interesting orientation of the area and its history and possibly some stories of characters that made a difference! At the end of the afternoon, we check into our accommodation – Wrest Point Hotel Casino – for our 3 night stay.
(Breakfast and Dinner in the motel, lunch at Royal Tasmanian Gardens) Wrest Point Hotel Casino
Day 7 - Saturday 22.10.16 SALAMANCA MARKETS and HUON VALLEY We’re lucky enough to be in Hobart on a Saturday to be able to enjoy the famous Salamanca Markets! Hundreds of stallholders set up their stalls along the elm tree lined street every Saturday, drawing large crowds. We have some free time here to wander and perhaps buy a souvenir of our holiday. Interesting Tour Fact: Errol Flynn was born in Battery Point 1909. Mid-morning we re-join the coach to spend the rest of the day in the Huon Valley, the principal apple growing region in the state. The Huon Valley and D'Entrecasteaux Channel also provide some of the most picturesque touring in Tasmania. Our first stop is at Grove, home to the Apple Shed Museum & Willie Smith Organic Cider! We will experience a guided tour and cider tastings. We take the Channel Highway to Huonville, the hub of the valley and principal apple growing region of the state. This afternoon we travel onto Geeveston to visit the Forest & Heritage Centre. After our fascinating day we return to Hobart.
(Breakfast and dinner in motel, lunch at own cost) Wrest Point Hotel Casino
Day 8 - Sunday 23.10.16 BRUNY ISLAND: (Foodie Island Tour) Today we are in for a treat we will be spending the day on Bruny Island. We will visit the home of Bruny Island's cheese, oysters, fudge, berries, wine and whisky. This is more than a tasting tour - at every stop we sit back, relax and enjoy a fully inclusive experience. Throughout the day we will see incredible scenery. At The Neck, see the narrow isthmus stretch away south in graceful curves. Take a stroll and leave your footprints in the sand of a deserted beach. The light bush of the northern island gives way to the dense rainforest of the south - this pristine wilderness is home to diverse wildlife including rare white wallabies. It certainly will be one of the highlights of our holiday. (Breakfast and dinner in hotel, Lunch on Bruny Island) Wrest Point Casino
Day 9 - Monday 24.10.16 HOBART TO THE WEST COAST: We say farewell to our hosts early this morning and begin our journey to the Park, which, combined with the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park makes up almost a full, one third, of the land mass of Tasmania. Of course much of this area is now World Heritage Listed. We stop at the beautiful Russell Falls in the Mt Field National Park for our morning break – and a great photo opportunity. We then continue on to Derwent Bridge (the geographical centre of Tasmania) where we stop to view - the Wall in the Wilderness. The “wall” is a work in progress which will take several more years to complete. The panels, when complete, will measure 100 metres in length. In the reception area, there are many three dimensional sculptures to view. We then enjoy a late lunch at the rustic Wilderness Hotel. This afternoon, we drive through the pristine wilderness of the Franklin Gordon Wild Rivers National Park through some of the state's most spectacular lakes and mountain areas before the steep drive into Queenstown,a town which was established as a result of the discovery of gold and other minerals at Mount Lyell last century. Queenstown is surrounded by mountains, which were once covered in vegetation but which are now strangely bare and stained purple, grey and pink by from sulphur fumes from mining processes. Bushfires and logging, combined with heavy rain which washed the soil away, have stripped many of the hills of vegetation and created Queenstown’s famous “moonscape”. (Breakfast & dinner in the motel, Lunch at Wilderness Hotel) Comfort Inn Gold Rush Motor Inn
Day 10 - Tuesday 25.10.16 QUEENSTOWN TO WYNARD Departing Queenstown, we make our way through Rosebery and Tullah and into the Cradle Mountain National Park. We take a tour of the National Park including Waldheim and Dove Lake. We enjoy our lunch in the nearby Cradle Mountain Hotel and time to look at the stunning Wilderness Gallery. Our last stop in this area is a visit to Devils @ Cradle, a Tasmanian devil interpretation centre. Our guide will introduce us to the lifestyle of the alpine Tasmanian devil. We then enter a special viewing area for our encounter with the real thing. We may see the devils sunbaking, sleeping in the dens or running around in their enclosures. Our guide will gently handle some of the devils during our tour, and there may be an opportunity for us to touch one. This venture is totally committed to the conservation and protection of this now vulnerable species. The centre operates a successful captive breeding program, ensuring the ongoing survival of Tasmanian Devils in healthy numbers in the wild. Tonight will be spent in Wynyard, right by the sea. (Breakfast and dinner in the motel, Lunch at Cradle Mountain Hotel) The Waterfront Wynyard Motor Inn
Day 11 - Wednesday 26.10.16 WYNYARD TO SPIRIT TASMANIA We have a more leisurely day today, starting off with a later breakfast. Some of us might like to wander along the estuary this morning. We begin our touring with a stop at Table Cape Lookout for magnificent views along the coast. We then make our way to historic Stanley. A small village atmosphere with craft shops, historic houses (including the cottage where Australian Prime Minister Joseph Lyons was born) and tea houses make this an ideal stop. A chairlift operates to the summit of the Nut (optional, own expense). We then meander back along the North Coast with a stop in Burnie to visit Creative Paper. We will experience an amazing paper making tour where we will learn how ancient paper making techniques are used to create beautiful, eco-friendly Tasmanian papers. We can learn how we use materials such as recycled denim jeans, natural plant fibres, apples and even Roo Poo to make paper. Our final stop for the day is quite near Devonport at the House of Anvers Chocolate Factory. We have afternoon tea here with the chance to stock up on some yummy chocolates and fudges. It’s not far to Devonport where we connect with the Spirit of Tasmania. Dinner will be our own choice to purchase on board this evening. From casual to formal dining the choice is ours. (Breakfast in motel, lunch and dinner own cost) Spirit of Tasmania
Day 12 - Thursday 27.10.16 MELBOURNE to GOULBURN: The “Spirit of Tasmania” sails through the Port Phillip Heads and into Melbourne for an arrival at around 7.00am. It maybe a little cool on the outside deck but the views of the city of Melbourne are well worth any discomfort! We head off as soon as we are unloaded stopping along the way to purchase breakfast and then later in the day for lunch. We travel through to Goulburn for our overnight accommodation. (Breakfast and lunch own expense and arrangements, dinner motel)Best Western Centretown
Day 13: - Friday 28.10.16 GOULBURN TO SYDNEY / COFFS HARBOUR
We farewell our hosts this morning and make the return journey north. Today is a travel day, we’ll stop for a lunch break en-route (own expense) and head for home. We arrive home late afternoon with many wonderful memories of our Tasmanian holiday. (Breakfast in hotel, lunch at own expense)
Coffs Harbour Departures:
Saturday 15.10.16 - The tour will depart Coffs Harbour, Urunga, Nambucca, Macksville and any other town situated by the Pacific Highway enroute to Sydney. For details relating to 15.10.16 departures, please phone our office.
All itineraries are subject to change due to occasional restrictions in opening times/days of some attractions, activities. We cannot be held responsible for any changes due to closures, inclement weather etc.
$3599 per person – twin/double share accommodation
$995 single supplement applies for sole occupancy accommodation. .
Prices include all group accommodation, meals listed, coach travel and transfers, activities listed and entry fees as per the itinerary issued. A deposit of $599 per person is required at time of booking. Full payment and cancellation conditions are available on our website or from our office staff.
The tour price includes:
All listed group activities and coach travel,
Return passage on Spirit of Tasmania
Meals as per the itinerary.
Made and Paid: The offer of $100 saving per person is offered as a stand alone offer and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. All bookings Made and Paid in full by April 2016 will save $100/person. Please refer to our office staff for full terms and conditions.
Terms and conditions of payments, bookings etc are listed on your issued itinerary. To receive the itinerary by email, please use the contact page on this website. For snail mail paper version, please phone our office.