Join us as we visit Tasmania, the southern tip of Australian territory; an island separated from the mainland by the Bass Strait. It is a place of wild and beautiful landscapes, with a temperate climate and rich history. We visit Entally House, St Helens, Port Arthur, Wrest Point Casino, The Wall, Gordon River Cruise and much more…
Monday 19 October – Sunday 01 November 2020 (14 Days)
Day 1 Monday 19 October 2020 – HOME CITIES TO MELBOURNE (D)
Fly from New Zealand to Melbourne arriving in the afternoon. Upon arrival, we will be transferred to our nearby accommodation to settle in for the night before heading to Tasmania in the morning.
Accommodation: Best Western Airport Motel & Convention Centre
Day 2 Tuesday 20 October 2020 – MELBOURNE – ENTALLY HOUSE – LAUNCESTON (BD)
After breakfast, travel to Tullamarine Airport to board our flight to Tasmania. On arrival at the Launceston Airport, we are greeted by our Tasmanian coach captain and board the luxury touring coach. Journey back in time as we visit National Trust classified Entally House. Wander around the 19th-century estate (built-in 1819), one of the finest historic homes in Tasmania. The house contains a magnificent collection of Regency furniture and fine silver. It is surrounded by superb gardens and grounds where there is a chapel, a carriage house, stables and Australia’s oldest Conservatory. Tour to the city of Launceston, one of Australia’s oldest cities, which has one of the best-preserved early cityscapes in Australia with its elegant Colonial and Victorian architecture and century-old parks. Highlights include the city centre and magnificent Cataract Gorge with its cliff-side gardens, peacocks, pools, suspension footbridge and one of the longest single-span chairlifts in the world (the ride is optional and own expense). Stroll in City Park and visit the John Hart Conservatory noted for displays of begonias, cyclamens and other hothouse blooms. Continue to our centrally located overnight accommodation.
Accommodation: Best Western Plus
Day 3 Wednesday 21 October 2020 – BEACONSFIELD – NORTHEAST – ST HELENS (BD)
Today, journey through the picturesque Tamar Valley and the Swiss Village of Grindelwald to the Mine & Heritage Museum in the gold mining town of Beaconsfield, site of the 2006 mine disaster and miraculous rescue. Cross the unique A-frame Batman Bridge and tour the northeast through agricultural Scottsdale, Branxholm and former tin-mining centre of Derby. Visit Legerwood and view the War Memorial Tree Carvings, honouring the fallen soldiers of the region. Tour beside the myrtle rain forest of Weldborough Pass before descending to the East Coast at St. Helens and our overnight accommodation, Tidal Waters, which overlooks the tranquil Georges Bay.
Accommodation: Tidal Waters
Day 4 Thursday 22 October 2020 – EAST COAST – TASMANIAN DEVIL – HOBART (BD)
This morning, travel beside the blue waters of the Tasman Sea to visit East Coast Natureworld where we will meet a Tasmanian devil and learn about the threat to their survival during an informative ride on their buggy, ‘The Pelican Express’. Pass through the fishing and holiday village of Bicheno, viewing the ‘Gulch’ fishing harbour and the ocean blowhole. Tour south along the Tasman Highway and pause to ponder he mystery surrounding the convict-built Spiky Bridge before passing through Swansea. Follow the Prosser River valley through Buckland and Cambridge to cross the picturesque Derwent River into the city of Hobart nestled at the foot of majestic Mt. Wellington. Accommodation for the next four nights is at Wrest Point Casino.
Accommodation: Wrest Point Casino – 4 nights
Day 5 Friday 23 October 2020 – TASMAN PENINSULA – PORT ARTHUR (BD)
Travel via Sorell Causeway and Midway Point for a full day tour to the Tasman Peninsula. Take in magnificent views from the look-out above picturesque Eaglehawk Neck and Pirates Bay before continuing to the Port Arthur Convict Settlement. Within the 40 hectares of landscaped grounds lies a rich history of Australia’s convict past. Included in the entry is a guided walking tour, a short harbour cruise, access to the Visitor Centre and Interpretation Gallery as well as more than 30 buildings, ruins, restored gardens and houses. We will have ample opportunity to explore this historic site before departing the historic site to tour beside Norfolk and Frederick Henry Bays back to Hobart. Tonight we dine at a local restaurant before viewing the city lights on return to our accommodation.
Day 6 Saturday 24 October 2020 – SALAMANCA MARKETS – FREE TIME (BD)
As it is Saturday morning, take the opportunity to explore the famous Salamanca open-air Market with its bustle and buskers, colour and excitement. The rest of the day is free for you to explore Tasmania’s capital city with its history, culture and scenery. There are many options on offer (own expense) including a visit to the controversial MONA (Museum of Old & New Art); delve into history at the Maritime Museum; find out what was on the menu at Mawson’s Hut Replica Museum; explore the shopping precinct or simply relax at the hotel. At the end of the day meet up with your fellow travellers to share your experiences over dinner.
Day 7 Sunday 25 October 2020 – RICHMOND – BOTANICAL GARDEN (BLD)
Travel through the delightful Derwent Valley to New Norfolk and spend time at the Willow Court Antiques Centre. Within the eclectic mix, you’re sure to find something of interest for everyone! Continue on to the Plenty Salmon Ponds, circa 1861, which is the oldest trout hatchery in the Southern Hemisphere. It was the birthplace of trout in Australia and the origin of Tasmania’s legendary trout fishery. Enjoy the original 19th-century English style public open space of superb trees, hedges and lawns. After lunch (included) travel to the village of Richmond, where you may view the spire of Australia’s oldest Catholic Church from beneath the arch of Australia’s oldest stone bridge still in use. Wander the streets of this delightful Georgian town and discover the arts and crafts, bakeries and tea rooms. Pause at the magnificent Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens to stroll through the beautifully landscaped site and discover its most significant cultural heritage landscapes and major iconic trees before returning to our accommodation.
Day 8 Monday 26 October 2020 – DERWENT VALLEY – “THE WALL” – STRAHAN (BD)
Departing Hobart, follow the Derwent Valley through hop fields and hills to historic New Norfolk. Climb the Central Plateau through highland trout-lakes country to Tarraleah Gorge, site of an early Hydro-electric Power Station. Visit “The Wall in The Wilderness”, an extraordinary work of art telling the story of Tasmania’s Central Highlands which has been carved out of Tasmania’s unique Huon pine. Enter the Wild Rivers National Park and experience the wonders of Gondwanaland during a short rainforest walk to Nelson Falls. Observe the altered landscape of bare, colourful hills as we cross Lake Burbury and descend through the ghost towns of the Chamouni Valley to the copper mining town of Queenstown. Continue to our accommodation, Strahan Village, which is located at the edge of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.
Accommodation: Strahan Village – 2 nights
Day 9 Tuesday 27 October 2020 – MACQUARIE HARBOUR – GORDON RIVER CRUISE (BLD) Today, cruise the incomparable Gordon River into the heart of Tasmania’s wilderness and the edge of World Heritage. Cross vast Macquarie Harbour past Sarah Island, worst convict settlement of all, to follow the Gordon through stands of ancient Huon pine, sassafras and myrtle rainforest to step ashore for a wilderness board-walk at Heritage Landing. Voyage to Hell’s Gates, the aptly named harbour entrance where many early ships were destroyed by ferocious ocean swells. After a full day’s cruising (lunch included) we return to Strahan where there will be time to explore the village including the visitor centre and Huon pine sawmill before returning to our accommodation. This evening enjoys Australia’s longest-running play ‘The Ship That Never Was’ which tells the dramatic and hilarious true story of the Great Escape from Sarah Island!
Day 10 Wednesday 28 October 2020 – CRADLE MOUNTAIN – DOVE LAKE – SMITHTON (BLD)
This morning, tour through the rugged west coast which is rich in mining history, journey past Tullah which is located on the shores of peaceful Lake Rosebery. Continue north through the rainforest and mineral-rich mountains, crossing the Vale of Belvoir and alpine cattle country to reach Cradle Mountain, National Park. Enjoy lunch at Cradle Mountain Hotel and visit the Wilderness Gallery before boarding the shuttle bus to Dove Lake. This photogenic location is situated at the foot of the crags of Cradle Mountain. Visit Waldheim, forest home of pioneer Gustav Weindorfer, before following the highway through mountains and button grass plains to the North West coast. Our overnight accommodation is at Tall Timbers located in the far north-west coastal town on Smithton.
Accommodation: Tall Timbers
Day 11 Thursday 29 October 2020 – STANLEY – TABLE CAPE – BURNIE – GARDENS (BD)
Discover the historic village of Stanley nestling at the foot of an ancient volcanic core known as ‘The Nut’. Explore this quaint town with its terraces and chairlift access to the top of The Nut (the ride is optional and own expense). Tour Highfield House, the historical headquarters of the early Van Diemens Land Co. Marvel at the breathtaking views from the rich agricultural Table Cape with its amazing diversity of crops and farms. Continue to the coastal port of Burnie to try your hand at paper making before we marvel at Emu Valley Rhododendron Garden which will be in full bloom at this time of the year. Admire over 20,000 plants nestled in a natural amphitheatre then savour afternoon tea overlooking the gardens. Drive east along the scenic coastal route pass through Penguin to Ulverstone and our overnight accommodation in Devonport at Quality Hotel Gateway.
Accommodation: Quality Hotel Gateway
Day 12 Friday 30 October 2020 – SHEFFIELD MURALS – ANVERS CHOCOLATE – LAUNCESTON (BD)
After breakfast tour the hinterland dominated by the majestic Mt. Roland. Spend time in the town of Sheffield and admire the wonderful outdoor art gallery of impressive murals. Wind your way back through the township of Railton where you can view the many displays of topiary throughout the town. Pass through the river town of Latrobe where we will visit the delicious House of Anvers for a taste of Belgian chocolate all produced on-site. At Deloraine, admire the fascinating history of the region woven into silk quilts. Cruise along the highway to Launceston where we will have time for a rest before dinner.
Accommodation: Best Western Plus
Day 13 Saturday 31 October 2020 – LAUNCESTON – EVANDALE – MELBOURNE (BD)
This morning, depending on flight times, enjoy free time in Launceston’s shopping centre followed by touring around the Launceston area. Pause for lunch (own expense) at the historic village of Evandale which is a National Trust classified Georgian village, popular with tourists for its unspoiled heritage buildings. Travel to the nearby airport for your flight to Melbourne. Transfer to our accommodation for a rest before dinner.
Accommodation: Best Western Airport Motel & Convention Centre
Day 14 Sunday 01 November 2020 – MELBOURNE TO HOME CITIES (B)
This morning we head to the airport for our flight to Auckland. We hope you have enjoyed visiting Tasmania and thank you for travelling with us!