Day 1 (D): Naracoorte to Flinders (Saturday 18 April, 2020)
Welcome to our 5 Day Autumn Tour featuring the Mornington Peninsula and Wilsons Promontory. With everyone on board we head off from Naracoorte and make our way to Warrnambool and then onto Geelong. We have a booking on the Searoad Ferry Service this afternoon which will take us from Queenscliff on the Bellarine Peninsula, across “the Heads” to Sorrento - the site of the first Victorian Settlement. The crescent-shaped Sorrento Front Beach is flanked by an attractive foreshore area with lawns, shelters and English trees, plus a couple of small jetties. From here we make our way to the eastern side of the Mornington Peninsula and the village of Flinders where we will stay overnight at the Flinders Hotel. This really is a delightful spot. It’s a contemporary, architecturally designed hotel that blends into the coastal landscape. On arrival we will be met and assisted with our check in before a welcome dinner. (Meal inclusions: Welcome Dinner)
Flinders Hotel, Cnr Cook & Wood Streets, Flinders 03 59890201 – 1 night
Day 2 (BLD): Wonthagi/Leongatha/Foster (Sun 19 April)
We have an interesting day ahead of us. We travel right around Western Port Bay – through Koo Wee Rup and Lang Lang – to Wonthaggi where we’ll stop to buy some lunch then enjoy an afternoon tour of the State Coal Mine. The mine was a bustling network of tunnels, filled with men and pit ponies, dust and dim lights. The mine was Wonthaggi’s lifeblood (active from 1909 to 1968), where miners toiled deep below the surface digging the valuable black coal, to power Victoria’s railway network.
Our guided surface tour gives us an understanding of the life of a miner during the period of operation. We then head around to Foster and our accommodation for the next three nights at the Prom Country Lodge. (Meal inclusions: Breakfast & dinner in the motel)
Prom Country Lodge, 3800 South Gippsland Highway, Foster Tel 03 5682 2022 – 3 nights
Day 3 (BLD): Wilsons Promontory (Monday 20 April, 2020)
Be prepared for an adventure today, travelling in a custom built, amphibious boat designed for cruising the waters in comfort and safety with Pennicott Wilderness Journeys. We will witness the southernmost tip of mainland Australia and cruise into the waters of Bass Strait and Victoria’s first marine national park. Discover a rugged and raw coast like no other as we explore The Glennies, Anderson Islets and Anser Island. Marvel at the prehistoric boulders of Mount Oberon situated behind the white quartz sands of Norman Beach before uncovering the iconic granite monolith that is Skull Rock. Sculpted by waves and surrounded by crystal blue waters, Skull Rock’s eerie facade becomes even more mysterious as more and more skull shapes reveal themselves the closer we get. The waters of Wilsons Promontory Marine National Park are teeming with life above and below the surface. The nutrient rich waters create a veritable smorgasbord for the unique coastal wildlife that lives in and around its waters. Get close and personal with an Australian Fur Seal colony, observe the unique birdlife (including the nesting areas of the majestic White Bellied Sea Eagle), keep watch for common and bottlenose dolphins. Rather than build a jetty on beautiful Norman Beach, we drive straight from the sand into the water so we discover a seascape as unique as the vessel that brought us here. Heading back to Foster we pass through Fish Creek which has a number of interesting craft outlets to fossick. (Meal inclusions: Breakfast, picnic lunch and dinner)
Day 4 (BLD): Port Albert (Tuesday 21 April, 2020)
This morning we are heading east to Port Albert – a small coastal community fronting Bass Straight. Port Albert is one of Victoria’s oldest sea ports, established in 1841 by explorer Angus McMillian who is commemorated with a monument at the roundabout at the northern end of the town. Stories from the historic cemetery to the Maritime museum will transport us back to the 1800’s when the region welcomed thousands of Chinese people heading for the goldfields. Our local guide has some colourful stories to tell as we pass the many Georgian and Victorian style buildings that still exist in the township.
Enjoy a delicious seafood lunch at the end of the jetty where local produce is the key player before hitting the road to meet a true Gippsland identity at Beloka Kelpies Stud. Paul Macphail has been breeding and training dogs since the early nineties and here you’ll get to witness him and his four-legged workers in action. From veterans to little pups it will be a fun and intriguing afternoon. Thanking Paul, we then return to our hotel and relax before dinner. (Meal inclusions: Breakfast & dinner in the motel/seafood lunch)
Day 5 (BL): Home to the South East (Wednesday 22 April, 2020)
Our trip home today will take us via the South Gippsland Highway into Melbourne and then along the Western Highway through Horsham. We will make several stops along the way – including a lunch stop – before arriving home late afternoon. (Meal inclusions: Breakfast in the motel)
All itineraries are subject to change due to occasional restrictions in opening times/days of some attractions, e.g. churches, wineries etc. We cannot be held responsible for any changes due to closures, inclement weather etc.