Over the years, we have operated many tours to Tasmania at different times and of varying lengths, but given the success of our recent tours, we have again opted for this in-depth and comprehensive tour capturing the history, beauty and spectacular scenery of Australia’s southernmost state.
Tasmania is a charming variety of historic elegance, alpine wilderness and stunning mountains that pierce the sky, spectacular coastal scenery, towns and quaint colonial villages, rare flora and fauna, bustling markets, mighty rivers rushing through rain-forested gorges, idyllic and isolated beaches, lush and fertile farmland and much, much more. It is harvest time with the apple pickers busy and a great time to visit with generally settled weather – clear, calm and mild days with cooler evenings.
Sunday 12 March Home – Hobart (L,D)
Today we start the tour by flying directly to Hobart from Auckland.
Tasmania’s capital city is an intriguing blend of heritage, lifestyle, scenery, and vibrant culture. After leaving the airport, we make our way to the harbour front to enjoy a lunch together. This afternoon we tour the city of Hobart and Mt Wellington to enjoy panoramic views of the city and surroundings.
Monday 13 March Hobart (B,L)
In the morning we visit the Royal Botanic Gardens before boarding a luxury catamaran for a cruise through Hobart’s magnificent, sheltered waterways to Peppermint Bay, cruising the Derwent River and Dentrecasteaux Channel past Bruny Island. The ship’s underwater camera will introduce you to the marine life of the Tinderbox Marine Reserve. Our cruise continues past an Atlantic salmon farm and we step ashore at Peppermint Bay and enjoy a delicious lunch at the hotel before cruising back to Hobart later this afternoon. A lovely, relaxing day.
Tuesday 14 March Hobart – Strahan (B,D)
A scenic spectacular day as we visit Mt Field, Tasmania’s oldest National Park. A short walk through the ferns and the rainforest sees us at the much-photographed Russell Falls. We continue and travel to the beautiful glacial Lake St Clair, Australia’s deepest lake located at the southern end of Lake St Clair-Cradle Mountain National Park. We head towards to the mining town of Queenstown with its almost moon-like landscape. Here, we tour the Mt Lyell Copper Mine before the last leg of our journey through to idyllic Strahan where we enjoy a 2-night stay.
Wednesday 15 March Strahan (B,D)
This morning, we board our luxury cruise vessel for the cruise across Macquarie Harbour to Hells Gate where the harbour meets the ocean. As we cruise along the mighty Gordon River, our guide will detail the areas unique native flora and fauna. Visit Heritage Landing and view an ancient 2000-year-old Huon Pine. We enjoy a superb buffet lunch on board and then explore Sarah Island, Tasmania’s first and most brutal penal settlement. Schedules permitting, we may see a local theatre group perform the dramatic and true story of escape from Sarah Island in a “Ship That Never Was”. Another great day today.
Thursday 16 March Strahan – Cradle Mountain (B,L,D)
Leaving Strahan, we journey north through the rugged wilderness of this wild and exquisite part of the country. We re-enter Lake St Clair-Cradle Mountain National Park and explore this World Heritage region, including idyllic Dove Lake and the jagged peaks of Cradle Mountain. Overnight in the Cradle Mountain area. After dinner sit back and relax in our rural retreat.
Friday 17 March Cradle Mountain – Smithton (B,D)
Leaving the mountain region, we travel through the patchwork farmlands of Table Cape enjoying the scenic drive to Stanley, nestled at the foot of the towering volcanic core. We visit the historic grazing property of Woolnorth, which is still owned by the Van Diemans Company and is the last Royal Charter Company in the world. We visit Tasmania’s major wind farm, producing electricity for the region. We stop at Cape Grim on the tip of the West Coast and sample the clean, fresh air before settling in for our overnight stay at Smithton.
Saturday 18 March Smithton – Launceston (B,D)
This morning we travel to Woolmers Estate, an outstanding example of a 19th century Australian rural settlement and home to the National Rose Gardens. We then continue to Launceston with a stop along the way to explore Evansdale and pick up some lunch before continuing on to our accommodation.
Sunday 19 March Launceston (B,L,D)
This morning, we enjoy a cruise of the Tamar River, with lunch on board. We cruise into Cataract Gorge and travel past Tamar Island, Freshwater Point, the vineyards and under the Batman Bridge before turning for home at Devils Elbow. The cruise concludes at Launceston Seaport and we then enjoy a tour of Launceston and discover the charms of this lovely city.
Very close to the city centre is Cataract Gorge Reserve with its tree rhododendrons and peacocks, fern glades and spacious lawns and the longest single span chair lift in the world offering magnificent views of the gorge. This afternoon return to the hotel with the rest of the afternoon at leisure.
Monday 20 March Launceston – Freycinet National park (B,D)
Leaving Launceston, we travel North-East out through the green and fertile valleys to Derby and visit the Tin Centre for morning tea. We visit St Helens on the East Coast with the fishing fleet sitting snugly in Georges Bay before heading to Freycinet National Park noted for its spectacular coastal scenery. We experience our final dinner together in this superb environment with beautiful views and sunsets.
Tuesday 21 March Freycinet National Park (B)
Today we have a lovely cruise on Wineglass bay. The afternoon is at leisure to relax or enjoy a walk on one of the many trails close to the lodge.
Wednesday 22 March Freycinet National Park – Port Arthur – Hobart (B,D)
Today we journey by coach to Port Arthur, where we tour the historic site of the penal settlement which was once home to 12,500 convicts. There is time to wander among the buildings and gardens to soak up the atmosphere and scenic beauty of this once horrific place. We take a cruise around the “Isle of the Dead”, final resting place for over 1000 people who died during 1840 – 1870. After lunch, we continue down to the Tasman Peninsula and its gateway at Eaglehawk Neck. We see the natural wonders including Pirates Bay Lookout, Tasman Arch and Devils Kitchen before returning to Hobart and have our final meal together.
Thursday 23 March Hobart – Home (B)
Time to head for home, as we are transferred back to the airport in time to join our direct flight to Auckland.