Join us for a sensational tour as we travel Tasmania. Experience spectacular rugged beauty and pristine wilderness, uncovering Tassie's compelling convict heritage and so much more...
DAY 1 (D) NARACOORTE TO THE SPIRIT OF TASMANIA:
Monday 12 April 2021
Welcome to our 12 day tour to Tasmania. As we depart Naracoorte, sit back, relax and enjoy the scenery as we make our way to Melbourne. Late afternoon we arrive in Port Melbourne to connect with the Spirit of Tasmania, taking us overnight to Devonport. While the coach is being loaded onto the cargo deck, we can board. The cabins on the Spirit are very comfortable, with twin bed accommodation and ensuite bathroom. The facilities on the vessel are extensive with lounges, bars, shops and viewing areas. Later dinner will be served onboard followed by some time to relax in the bar or lounge or take in a movie. Spirit of Tasmania - Porthole Cabins
DAY 2 (BLD) DEVONPORT TO LAUNCESTON:
Tuesday 13 April 2021
On arrival in Devonport, we commence our tour of Tasmania, starting with breakfast at Anvers Chocolate Factory. The 'House of Anvers' is located in the property formerly known as 'Wyndarra Lodge' - a stylish 1931 Californian Bungalow, set on 1.12 hectares of gardens with mature trees and plants from all over the world. And the retail shop featuring truffles and fudge will tempt us to stock up for our holiday! Our touring will take us through Railton - watch out for the topiaries, to Sheffield - a delightful village near Lake Barrington. Sheffield has put itself on the 'Tourist Map' through murals - huge and fascinating ones, most of which depict the early history of the area. They are on every available blank wall in town. We have time to explore before driving through pretty Deloraine onto Hadspen, home to Entally Estate, one of Tasmania's most historic Trust houses, thought to have been built in 1819. Opened to the public in 1950, it is justly proud of its magnificent collection of Regency furniture and fine silverware. The superb grounds and gardens include a greenhouse, chapel, coach house and stables. Lunch is at Carrick Inn Hotel before we drive into Launceston. 'Lonnie' is the second largest city in Tasmania, situated at the point where the South and North Esk Rivers meet to become the Tamar River, which then flows away to Bass Strait. The city nestles in the wide valleys formed by the river systems and is surrounded by mountains. Before checking into our next two nights accommodation, we can spend some time 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 relax in and enjoy nature. There are some pleasant walks through the landscaped gardens to the tea rooms, or those who are interested can take a ride on the chairlift (own expense) crossing the gorge on the 308 metre central span, claimed to be the longest single span in the world.
Quality Hotel Colonial Launceston - 2 nights
DAY 3 (BLD) THE TAMAR VALLEY: Wednesday 14 April 2021
We have planned to join Tamar River Cruises this morning for a cruise into Cataract Gorge for a different perspective. We spend the rest of the day in the Tamar Valley - just to the north of Launceston. There are three very interesting attractions here that we want to take a look at. The first is the Low Head area at the mouth of the Tamar. We then cross to the western side of the river via the Batman Bridge to Seahorse World. The seahorse - a mythical creature of legend, that Greek poets once spoke of as 'half fish' on which the sea gods rode! Over-fishing and habitat destruction has led to the numbers of seahorses dwindling significantly throughout the world. Here we have the opportunity to experience the mystery that is the Pot Bellied Seahorse (hippocampus abdominals). This is a high tech working seahorse farm. There is a boutique, first class aquarium featuring seahorses, leafy sea dragons, pipefish and freshwater lobsters. This is our lunch venue. At Beaconsfield we drop in at the Gold and Heritage Museum. Who can forget those dramatic television pictures in May 2006 when Todd Russell and Brant Webb emerged from the mine 14 days after being trapped almost 1 kilometre underground. It will be a most interesting day!
DAY 4 (BD) LAUNCESTON TO HOBART: Thursday 15 April 2021
Our day's journey sees us travelling down what was one of the finest highways in Australia. It was originally known as the Main Road through Van Diemen's Land, linking Hobart and Launceston before becoming Highway One or the Heritage Highway. There were many fine buildings along the way as well as the humble wattle and daub huts, long since gone in the weathers of time. Many of the fine country mansions are still there, along with the pit sawn timber cottages and the hand-made brick workers homes. Our first stop today is at Longford - a historic property called Woolmers Estate which was settled by Thomas Archer in 1816 and is the oldest property in Australia to have been owned by the one family. We enjoy a tour and morning tea before continuing south to Campbell Town which began as a staging town on the Elizabeth River. Here there are over 100 buildings, all more than a century old. Then it's onto Ross, a garrison town with a Government Stock Run, a racecourse and the four corners - Temptation, Salvation, Damnation and Recreation and the most beautiful of the remaining old bridges in Australia. We have plenty of time to stretch our legs and explore this gorgeous village and purchase lunch - the pleasing aroma of baked goodies emanating from the local bakery is very tempting! This afternoon, we make our way to the historic town of Richmond which was proclaimed a township in 1824 and is probably Tasmania's best known man-made tourist attraction. Its streets are paved with history and many of the fine colonial buildings have been adapted for use as art galleries, craft shops and restaurants, and a gaol that 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 bridge in Australia and has been the focus of many photos. We have time to explore the township. Perhaps have a look in the gaol or the miniature village 'Old Hobart Town'. We now drive to Hobart where we check in to our next five nights' accommodation.
Wrest Point Casino Hotel - 5 nights
DAY 5 (BLD) EXPLORING HOBART: Friday 16 April 2021
Hobart is a wonderful place to explore so we spend the day getting to know the city's highlights. Set between the towering peak of Mount Wellington and the Derwent River, it is a most beautiful city. Founded in 1804, Hobart is Australia's second oldest capital and everywhere we go the past steps out to meet us. Sullivans Cove is lined with sandstone warehouses reflecting the area's rich maritime history and at Battery Point tiny cottages vie for space with grand mansions and Victorian terraces. The best way to get to know a place is hearing about it from a local so we meet our guide who hops onto our coach to explain why Hobart is so special. We leave our guide and make our way to The Cascades Female Factory. The institution was intended to reform female convicts, where the inmates did laundry and needlework services, offsetting some of the colony's penal costs. We witness the performance 'The Proud and the Punished' centred around a female petty criminal rallying against the system of punishment and redemption. The tale of tragedy and triumph is brought to life in this short dramatisation, highlighting the strength of character of a woman enduring the hardships of the female factory. While we are in South Hobart we visit the Cascades Brewery for our lunch and a tour. The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure to relax at the hotel, or perhaps do some personal sightseeing - you may like to visit MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) which is considered one of the most controversial attractions in Hobart.
DAY 6 (BLD) SALAMANCA MARKETS & THE HUON VALLEY: Saturday 17 April 2021
We're lucky enough to be in Hobart on a Saturday so this morning we head to the famous Salamanca Markets. We have some free time here to wander and perhaps buy a souvenir of our holiday. A pleasant drive this morning takes us into the Huon Valley, an area to the south of Hobart. The Huon Valley and D'Entrecasteaux Channel 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 tasting! We can purchase our lunch in Geeveston before we make our way into the Tahune Forest and the Tahune Forest Airwalk. What an exhilarating experience it is to take a walk high in the treetop canopy. We return to Hobart where we freshen up for dinner.
DAY 7 (BD) PORT ARTHUR: Sunday 18 April 2021
We have a fabulous day in store today. This morning we visit the Port Arthur Historic Site. The penal settlement is a stark reminder of the harsh conditions endured by the earliest European inhabitants of this one time island jail. The ruins are the greatest single tourist attraction in Tasmania and the place where up to 12,000 prisoners were kept in an atmosphere of hopelessness and misery. Even though the Tasman Peninsula is spectacular, you can imagine the conditions, especially on a cold winter's day, endured by the prisoners 150 years ago. The first part of our tour involves time at the Visitor Interpretative Centre where we take a fascinating journey, retracing the life of a convict from the time of his petty crime in England, to his transportation to Port Arthur and finally his life in the penal colony. We then take a guided walking tour through the Penal Settlement before plenty of time to explore. We can cruise around the Isle of the Dead before buying our lunch. We have some additional free time before the drive back to Hobart.
DAY 8 (BLD) BRUNY ISLAND: Monday 19 April 2021
We have an early breakfast this morning. Today we are in for a fantastic experience with Rob Pennicott's multi-award winning Bruny Island Traveller. We spend the full day on Bruny Island, exploring spectacular landscapes and gourmet local produce. This is a delicious day out where every course on the menu is a stop on our journey. We'll visit the home of Bruny Island's cheese, oysters, fudge, berries, wine and whisky to savour their produce and hear the stories behind the harvest. This is more than a tasting tour - at every stop we sit back, relax and enjoy a fully inclusive experience. Throughout the day we'll see incredible scenery. At The Neck, see the narrow isthmus stretch away south in graceful curves. Take a stroll and leave our 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.
DAY 9 (BLD) THE WEST COAST: Tuesday 20 April 2021
We farewell Hobart this morning and begin our journey to the West Coast. The area to our immediate left is part of the huge South West National Park, which, combined with the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park makes up almost a full, one third, of the landmass of Tasmania. Of course, much of this area is now World Heritage Listed. Our morning stop is at the Salmon Ponds - the oldest Salmon & Trout Hatchery in the southern hemisphere, established in 1860. We can experience the serenity of the grounds and visit the Trout Fishery Museum, working Fish Hatchery & Salmon Ponds. We then continue on to Derwent Bridge (the geographical centre of Tasmania) to see the Wall in the Wilderness. The 'wall' is a work in progress which when finished will have an array of panels measuring 100 metres in length. In the reception area, there are many three dimensional sculptures to view. We then enjoy a late lunch at the 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.
West Coaster Motel, Queenstown - 2 nights
DAY 10 (BLD) STRAHAN & THE GORDON RIVER: Wednesday 21 April 2021
We have another fantastic day planned today! We're up early as we drive to Strahan. Macquarie Harbour and the Gordon River area which today produces magnificent Ocean Trout treats visitors to spectacular scenery and protects its ancient Huon Pines was once known as 'hell on earth' when Sarah Island was established as Tasmania's first and most brutal penal settlement. We depart from Strahan and head across Macquarie Harbour - a vast body of water that measures six times the size of Sydney Harbour. First navigated by Captain James Kelly and four companions in 1815, these wild and remote waters offer the only safe harbour on Tasmania's west coast. Our cruise includes a dramatic cruise on the Gordon River. The Huon Pine, which can be found in this area, is commonly known to live for 2000 years. The age of an ancient tree recently 'discovered' was put at 10,000 years and if verified will be recognised as the oldest on earth. We return to Strahan mid-afternoon for a chance to explore before heading back to Queenstown.
DAY 11 (BLD) CRADLE MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK: Thursday 22 April 2021
Another early start today so we can make the most of our time in the National Park. Our travels today take us north through Tullah and into the Cradle Mountain National Park. At the Transit Station, we join the local touring company who will take us on a tour into the National Park. We will see Dove Lake - a beautiful glacial lake situated at the base of Cradle Mountain and located about 7 kms from the Park Headquarters. Our touring will also include Waldheim Chalet, nestled among the myrtles and King Billy pines with a short walk through the beautiful Weindorfers Forest. It's lunchtime now, so we head to the nearby Cradle Mountain Hotel and have plenty of time to look at the stunning Wilderness Gallery. Our last stop in this area is a visit to Devils @ Cradle. 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 the tour, and there may be an opportunity for us to touch one. The centre operates a successful captive breeding program, ensuring the ongoing survival of Tasmanian Devils in healthy numbers in the wild. Leaving the park, we meander back to Devonport via Daisy Dell and Wilmot. Look out for the letterboxes and painted poles in Wilmot, which is also home of the first G J Coles store - unfortunately the original store was burned to the ground in recent years! At Devonport, we board the Spirit and cruise back to Melbourne. Dinner will be again served onboard.
Spirit of Tasmania - Porthole Cabins
DAY 12 (B) MELBOURNE TO NARACOORTE: Friday 23 April 2021
The Spirit of Tasmania arrives at Melbourne's Station Pier this morning. After the coach has been unloaded we'll head off for our breakfast and then commence our travel home. What a wonderful time we've had discovering the history, the wilderness and the produce in Tasmania.
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$4,198.00pp twin share
$1,140.00 pp single supplement
Deposit of $500.00 payable on booking to reserve your place.
Balance due 60 days prior to departure.
PLEASE MAKE CHEQUES PAYABLE TO 'NARACOORTE CHARTERS'
Cancellation insurance is not included but strongly recommended.
Cancellation Policy: More than 30 days, loss of deposit, 29-14 days, 50% of payment, less than 14 days, 100% of payment.
Please note our cancellation policy is currently under review. All changes will be advised as soon as possible. All itineraries are subject to change due to occasional restrictions in opening times/days of some attractions. Whilst every effort is made to adhere to the itinerary as provided, Naracoorte Charters reserves the right to alter the touring and attractions as dictated by circumstances and conditions outside the company's control. Every attempt will be made to ensure alterations do not adversely affect the operation of the tour. The Company will not be held responsible for weather based cancellations or those closures made at the venue's discretion. Naracoorte Charters arrange tours on the condition that they are not liable for injury, damage or loss which may occur due to accident, delay, irregularity or defect of any vehicle or accommodation. Naracoorte Charters reserves the right to cancel tours due to lack of numbers.