Overnight cruise on the Spirit of Tasmania, Weeda Copper Workshop & Showrooms, Lactos Cheese Centre, Avro Park Orchard Home Hil, Hellyer Gorge, Zeehan and the West Coast Pioneer Museum, Queenstown, Mt. Lyell Mines, Salmon Ponds, Trout Museum, Newfolk and Old Colony Inn, Hobart, Old Cascade Brewery, Female Factory (Old Prison for female convicts), Mount Wellington, Huon Valley, Esperance Forest, Heritage Centre & Model Village, Chocolate Factory, Richmond, Maze Gaol, Constitution Dock, Salamanca Place, the Antarctic Adventure Display, Port Arthur, Tasman's Arch, Devil's Kitchen, Copping and the new Colonial Convict Exhibition, Sandpit Forest Reserve, Swansea and Bark Mill.
Sydney to Albury
As we make our way out of Sydney we head south along the Hume Highway, past the Great Dividing Range and on to Albury, at the border of New South Wales and Victoria. Albury is nestled amongst mountains and valleys along Australia's largest river, the Murray, providing tranquillity and the perfect resting place for the evening.
Albury to Station Pier Terminal then overnight on the Spirt of Tasmania to Devonport
This morning we head to Station Pier Terminal to board the Spirit of Tasmania for the overnight sail to Devonport. As we sail the high seas a buffet dinner will be served in the Promenade or the Nautical Restaurant before we retire to our cabins for the evening.
Overnight: On board the Spirt of Australia
Devonport and Burnie
Our arrival in Devonport on the Tasmanian mainland will be at approximately 8:30 am. Fresh from a magical night on the waters we will proceed to our first stop at the Avro Park Orchards where a tour and informed commentary on apple growing in Tasmania awaits. A tour of Devonport city will reveal many highlights including Home Hill, the home of the late Joseph Lyons, the only Australian Prime Minister to have originated from Tasmania and his wife, Dame Enid Lyons.
As we depart Devonport and make our way to Burnie and Ulverstone along the coast we drop in to the Weeda Copperware workshop and showrooms. An opportunity to admire and purchase genuine hand made Tasmanian copperware awaits before we proceed onto Burnie via the Penguin scenic road. On arrival in Burnie we visit the Lactos Cheese Centre and obtain an overview of Burnie from the lookout before checking into our accommodation.
Stanley, Hellyer Gorge and Zeehan
Today we explore the fertile farm areas of Tasmania's Northwest. We travel west on the Bass Highway with views of Bass Strait to our right and rolling farmlands to our left. We tour Table Cape for the fabulous coastal views and then on to Stanley. A chance to stroll the sidewalks of this pretty little village awaits us or perhaps the chair lift to the top of the "NUT" and back takes your interest more.
Following Stanley we head south along the Murchison Highway towards the wild and rugged West Coast. We visit Hellyer Gorge before travelling on through Roseberry to Zeehan, the mining town steeped in the history of the West Coast. The West Coast Pioneer Museum is well worth a visit before we complete our tour for the day and head to Queenstown.
Strahan, Macquarie Harbout, Sarah Island and Queenstown
Strahan is our first stop this morning for our 9 am morning cruise along the famous Macquarie Harbour and into the heart of the Tasmanian wild country. We pass the notorious Sarah Island and head towards the Gordon River, stopping at the Heritage Landing and taking the boardwalk through the majestic Huon Pines and rain forest. Our return cruise passes Hell's Gates at the mouth of the Harbour and we may take a stroll along the waterfront before heading back to Queenstown for a possible tour of Mt. Lyell Mines.
Derwent River and Salmon Ponds trout hatchery
We head for Hobart today along the Lyell Highway with majestic mountain scenery surrounding us the entire way. A morning tea break at Derwent Bridge is followed by a stop at Lake St. Clair. The Tarraleah Lookout is next offering a view of the massive hydro-electric power station. Then its Gretna followed by Derwent River to Plenty and the Salmon Ponds, the original trout hatchery supplying stock to all streams and lakes in Tasmania. See large trout at close hand and enjoy the wonderful gardens with their century old trees, the trout museum and a cosy kiosk where light lunches are served. We then follow the Derwent River to New Norfolk and the famous Old Colony Inn, now about 160 years old. The final leg of our tour today follows the Derwent River into Hobart, our home for the next three nights.
Hobart, Female Factory prison, Mount Wellington, Huon Valley, Esperance Forest & Heritage Centre
Today offers a relaxing agenda with an early morning tour of the historic City of Hobart featuring an array of historic buildings. We see the old Cascade Brewery and then visit the Female Factory, a prison for female convicts sent to Van Diemen's Land. Within the old prison walls there now exists a modern confectionery factory making delicious fudge. Our tour then takes us to the summit of Mount Wellington for some amazing Panoramic views of the city and the Tasman Peninsula (weather Permitting).
We descend Mount Wellington and follow the Huon Highway into the Huon Valley, formerly the centre of Tasmania's apple industry. At Franklin, founded in 1804, there are quaint colonial buildings, and a museum demonstrating the development of the apple industry. A little further on at Geeveston we enter the Esperance Forest and Heritage Centre where we learn about the delicate balance in forest survival. We then visit Salmon farms and on our return to Hobart stop in at the Tudor Court Model Village.
Richmond, the Chocolate Factory, Antartic Adventure Display and Botanical Gardens
Our first call today is to the famous Cadbury's Chocolate Factory which includes a guided tour and an opportunity for the sweet-toothed to stock up on their supplies. We then tour historic Richmond, a town classified by the National Trust. There we will find time to wander the streets and admire the sandstone Georgian Buildings. Some of the highlights here include St. John's Church and the Old Richmond Bridge. Enjoy a tea break at the Richmond Maze or maybe visit the old Richmond Gaol with its well documented history and relics of harsher days.
Time permitting we may visit Constitution Dock and Salamanca Place to see the new Antarctic Adventure display or take a stroll through the Botanical Gardens. Or if it is a leisurely afternoon you seek there is the opportunity to catch up on some shopping or rest on our return to Hobart.
Port Arthur and Swansea
We farewell Hobart town and travel to Port Arthur for a guided tour of this now infamous penal colony. We will have time to explore the ruins at leisure before viewing Tasman's Arch and the Devil's Kitchen. We then head North to Copping and the Colonial Convict Exhibition before stopping for a lunch break.
After lunch itís cross country through the Sandpit Forest Reserve (gravel road) to join the Tasman Highway at Orford and then on to Swansea and the Bark Mill. The final leg of our tour takes us through the seaside town of Bicheno to our home for the night at Scamader.
Launceston and St Helens
This morning we depart the south of Tasmania and head north for Launceston. Along the way we pass through St Helens and proceed up through Derby to Scottsdale, where we travel through temperate rain forests with 300 year old myrtles. We by pass Bridpot and pay a brief visit to Georgetown before crossing the picturesque Tamar River Valley on the old Batman Bridge.
The unique Swiss Village of Grindewald is our next stop before arriving in Launceston in time for lunch. An afternoon tour of Launceston followed by a visit to Cataract Gorge and the chance to ride the chair lift over the South Esk River is our final agenda for the day.
Woolmers Estate, Longford and the Spirit of Tasmania
Our final day offers a chance to reflect on Colonial Tasmania in its most genuine state. We visit Woolmers Estate, 25 kms south of Launceston near the historic Longford. A tour of the Estate will take you back in time to its settlement by the first Thomas Archer in 1816. You will view the family's personal collections and possessions and imagine the social life styles and working lives of the times.
Leaving Longford behind we join the Bass Highway and tour west through Hagley, Deloraine and the beautiful English style country side to Sheffield. There will be time to explore this township, famous for its 23 hand painted murals on the walls of many of the town's buildings. The rest of the afternoon will be a leisurely one in Devonport before boarding the Spirit of Tasmania for our overnight crossing back to mainland Australia.
Overnight: On board the Spirit of Tasmania
Melbourne to Wagga Wagga
Arriving at approximately 8.30 am in Melbourne, we board our coach and conduct a brief tour of Melbourne city before heading for the New South Wales Riverina town of Wagga Wagga.
Wagga Wagga to Sydney
On our final day of touring we take a brief tour around Wagga Wagga, a large rural township in the New South Wales outback, that inherited its name from the Aboriginal word wagga meaning "many crows". before commencing our journey back to Sydney.
Inclusions: Return travel and accommodation on board the Spirit of Tasmania, admission fees as per itinerary, lunches as per itinerary, all dinners.