Hobart to Strahan
Heading out from Hobart to western Tasmania into the vast Wilderness World Heritage area with its wild rivers, rainforests, waterfalls and amazing natural attractions. First stop of the day is the Mt. Field National Park where we stretch our legs as we hike Tasmania’s oldest National Park. Enjoy your fully interpreted and guided walk to the beautiful Russell Falls, continue through the forest paths to Horseshoe Falls and then onwards along the Tall Trees Trail. Here we stand beneath the towering Swamp Gums, the tallest trees in Australia looming above at 80m high.
We depart Mt. Field for another amazing natural highlight – the deepest lake in Australia, Lake St. Clair, which marks the end of the great Overland Track walk. Here we enjoy our lunch break with the breathtaking backdrop of the surrounding mountains. We fill our afternoon with the spectacular drive through the World Heritage area that takes us into Strahan.
We stop to enjoy the amazing highlights along this road, Nelson Falls and the Franklin River trail which gives us a glimpse of one of the world’s great wild rivers. The road carves through the rugged mountainous wilderness of the Franklin-Gordon Wild-Rivers National Park.
We pause to take in the remarkable lunar landscape of Queenstown as your guide tells tales of rivalries, riches and railways and stories of the tough folks that call the mining town home today. Our journey ends in the historic fishing village of Strahan on the banks of Macquarie harbour.
Overnight: Strahan – (Lunch)
Strahan is a quaint village set on Macquarie Harbour on the rugged western shore. Today you have a variety of options on how you would best like to enjoy the area. You can opt to participate, at your expense, in one of the many activities on offer in Strahan. Take the Gordon River Cruise, famous for its incredible reflections so have your camera ready. Discovering the regions convict history and hear the story of the battle to save the Franklin river.
You may choose to simply relax, wander and self-guide Strahan at your leisure. Or, you can join our Tour Guide as we explore off the beaten track and venture into the Tarkine wilds where ancient forests meet ancient mountains. See the Huon Pines growing alongside the Pieman River undisturbed and thousands of years old. Embark on a series of easy to moderate walks, all fully guided, as we explore this remote area, on a full day of activity before returning to Strahan.
Overnight: Strahan –(Breakfast/Lunch)
Strahan to Launceston
World famous Cradle Mountain is our destination for today. This morning’s drive takes us through the historic mining towns of Zeehan, Rosebery and Tullah where we hear of the rich history of the hardy miners.
On arriving at Dove Lake the beauty of the area is apparent, postcard selfie time! But the area is best seen on foot and walking options abound dependant on your preference. Those feeling energetic can enjoy the challenging climb to the highest lookout in the park, Marion’s lookout. If you would prefer something more leisurely the walk around Dove Lake is suitable for anyone with scenic stops all along the shore and the beautiful Ballroom forest. Whichever walk you choose be sure to keep your eyes peeled for platypus, eagles and the adorable wombats (but be careful while they may look cute and cuddly they can tend to be a bit grumpy, so keep your distance!)
With weary legs and full memory cards we hit the road on route to Launceston. With a stop along the way at Sheffield Town of Murals, we then replenish our energy with a cheese tasting session at the Ashgrove Cheese Factory.
Launceston to Port Arthur
Today we explore Tassie’s spectacular East coast. Stopping regularly to take in the views of the crystal clear water and the famous lichen covered rocks. First stop is the seaside village of Bicheno famous for its penguin residents! We drop into Bicheno’s Blowhole to see this show of nature’s power.
We then push onto what is the Tasmanian highlight for many guests as we explore the Freycinet (pronounced fray-se-nay) National Park. We have plenty of time to take in the fantastic walk up to the lookout point over this stunning peninsula, and then down onto beautiful Wineglass Bay with its long white sandy beach and crystal clear seas. We dedicate the day to seeing all that the National Park has to offer including the elevated Cape Tourville boardwalk with its picturesque lighthouse. The walk is the perfect vantage point to spot whales on their migration, so keep your eyes on the horizon.
This afternoon’s drive to Port Arthur is one of the most scenic routes in Tasmania it is also a region famed for its food and wine. We take the opportunity to break the journey at a number of the highlights including Kate’s Berry Farm, an institution amongst Tasmanians. When you taste her ice cream you will know why, a well deserved treat. For those with more savoury taste; we will pick up some of the freshest oysters that you will find in the world.
After dinner those of you brave enough will have the option to do a bone-chilling ghost tour, witnessing the darker side of the Port Arthur Historic Site. You may want to sleep with the light on….
Overnight: Port Arthur – (Breakfast/Lunch)
Port Arthur to Hobart
Another action packed day awaits us this morning! We check out some of the local amazing rock formations with a morning visit to Remarkable Cave and Maingon Lookout. Then we immerse ourselves into the harsh and cruel world of the local convicts of the 1800’s as we enter Port Arthur, Australia’s best known penal colony! We join the complimentary guided walking tour and boat cruise around the Isle of the dead where we learn about the harsh and cruel conditions of life in captivity and the amazing rehabilitation techniques used to attempt to reform the criminals of the day.
You have ample time to explore through the morning amongst the 35 buildings contained in this World Heritage Site. From Port Arthur our next stop is at the Tasmanian Devil Unzoo, a well established conservation park. Walk amongst the quolls and hand feed the wallabies (pademelons) in this unique and natural surrounding. The highlight of the visit though is undoubtedly the snarling action of the Tasmanian Devil Feeding as you learn about the research going on to save this iconic animal from the plight of an aggressive face cancer.
The Tasman Peninsula is home to Australia’s highest sea cliffs and an abundance of amazing coastal scenery. We check out some of the finest at Tasman Arch & Devil’s Kitchen as we enjoy a short coastal cliff top walk. Drive through quirky Doo-Town as we depart the region and begin our return to Hobart. Last stop for the journey is Richmond village. Home to Australia’s oldest bridge, Catholic Church and jam packed with its own tales of convict hardship, ghost stories and local delights. We visit a vineyard for a tasting of the local drop (optional) before concluding our day in the Harbour city of Hobart.
Overnight: Hobart – (Breakfast/Lunch)
Today we head into Southern Tasmania for a relaxed and diverse day. Walk through the treetops in the morning, suspended 40m above the ground, then spend the afternoon 40m underground exploring vast chambers during a cave tour. The Tahune Airwalk has a Cantilever that stretches for 597 m through the treetops. Enjoy the sensation of being suspended above the Huon River with breathtaking views across the treetops and surrounding mountains. We have time to explore and enjoy more walking here as we continue onto the “Swinging Bridges”. With a 50m span across the river this is another thrilling experience and makes for fabulous photos!
We continue our day, further south to the Hastings Caves National Park. Bring your swim gear and jump into the Thermal Springs pool where the water is always 28 degrees. Relax in the beautiful forest surrounds or wander the Hot Springs Nature Trail where the warm water meets the cool water. Hastings Caves reserve is home to Newdegate Cave. We head underground with an expert National Park guide, into Australia’s largest tourist cave. The richly decorated chambers make this the must see caving system to visit in Tasmania. We return back through the Huon Valley, stopping to sample the abundance of seasonal fruit grown in this area including apples, cherries and apricots.
Overnight: Hobart (Breakfast)
Today is set aside to explore the beautiful capital city of Hobart, home to the southern fishing fleet, Antarctic ice breakers and a fascinating colonial history. Starting the day with a city sights tour will help you get your bearings, hear the stories of the whalers, entrepreneurs and convicts that shaped this remote British outpost in the early 1800’s. You will come to appreciate the city’s unique place in history and its connection to the Derwent River and Southern ocean that are on its doorstep.
Hobart is dominated by the towering Mt Wellington and our next stop is its summit. At 1,269 meters above sea level it affords a bird’s eye view of the city and much of southern Tasmania. The sub alpine environment at the summit is home to an array of wildlife and hardy mountain plants. Your guide will share stories of ‘The Mountain’ (as the locals call it) its history, geology and its importance to the aboriginal people of the area who know the mountain as ‘Kunanyi’. The summit is famed for wild icy winds straight from Antarctica, swirling mist and snow in any season, so pack your jumper and hold onto your hat, guaranteed the view is worth the chill.
We wind down the day with a visit to the oldest brewery in Australia, Cascade. The brewery is set amongst ornamental gardens with a backdrop of Mt Wellington and its fascinating story is one of convict’s made good, bush-fires and Tasmanian Tigers. They have been making one of Australia’s best beers since 1832, so they must be doing something right! We tour the working factory and learn the secrets of the brewers (they call it call ‘The Feel’) and then taste their brews to decide for ourselves. Cascade also make a range of juices, soft drinks and cordials so there is something for everyone.