Natural Beauty, Fascinating History & Food Experiences
Natural Beauty, Fascinating History & Food Experiences
Tasmania, the “Island of Inspiration” is an island of dramatic coastlines, quaint villages, convict-built heritage and magnificent food and wine.
Our tour has special inclusions like an awe-inspiring cruise on the Gordon River, viewing beautiful Macquarie Harbour and a ranger guided walk in Freycinet National Park. You’ll explore Woolmers Estate and National Rose Garden, indulge in gourmet Tasmanian produce and tour the infamous Port Arthur Site. No journey to the ‘Apple Isle’ would be complete without viewing Cradle Mountain. This remarkable rocky outcrop rises 1545 metres above Dove Lake, and is Tasmania’s most iconic scenic attraction. Enjoy shopping in Salamanca Markets which attracts bargain hunters on Saturdays, and the Constitution Dock area is lined with restaurants and bars celebrating the island’s quality produce.
Our luxury coach will take you to all of these must-see sights, including meeting a Tasmanian Devil. Extensive commentary and local knowledge will help you to truly live the destination, not just travel through it.
A deposit of $200pp is due to secure your booking. Final payment due 6 weeks prior to departure. If the tour is cancelled due to COVID, border restrictions or not meeting minimum numbers to proceed, your deposit will be refunded in full. After final payment has been made, if the tour cannot proceed due to the above, the tours will be postponed to when it is safe to travel.
Your holiday begins when you are picked up from home and transferred to the airport in a private vehicle. Meet your Kings Tour Manager and fellow passengers then fly directly to Tasmania. Upon arrival into Hobart you are transferred to your accommodation.
Hotel: Wrest Point Hotel Casino, Hobart for 4 nights
After breakfast we head to the Salamanca Markets. The market has a diverse range of over 300 stallholders, showcasing the best that Tasmania has to offer. You will find delicious food, artisan jewellery, fine Tasmanian handcrafted timbers, handmade clothing, as well as vintage collectables, pottery, plants and flowers. We may want to stay at the markets for the afternoon or visit the Mona Gallery – The Museum of Old and New Art. The Mona Gallery is Australia’s largest private museum and one of the most controversial private collections of modern art and antiquities in the world. Tonight we return to the Waterfront district and enjoy a wonderful dinner in the Drunken Admiral restaurant.
We meet our local guide for a tour of Hobart; hear stories of the past and the many developments of the area. Saying farewell we then board Peppermint Bay II to embark on a relaxing cruise. We take in the harbour and city views, the River Derwent and its magnificent estuary, slicing its way along the stunning d’Entrecasteaux Channel, arriving in the near-pristine waters of Peppermint Bay. The River Derwent and d’Entrecasteaux Channel teems with aquatic life and it is not uncommon to spot a pod of dolphins, a sunbathing seal or even migrating whales on this cruise down to the Bay. The Alum Cliffs, just south of Hobart, are home to rare sea eagles and as we drop our underwater camera over the side at Tinderbox we may see crayfish, squid and a host of other fish darting in and around the colourful sea gardens below. Overlooking the picturesque Bruny Island, the hotel boasts the perfect setting to enjoy your delicious lunch on the water’s edge. With a focus on fresh produce from our gardens and local producers, the food is as stunning as the views – welcome to Peppermint Bay Hotel. This afternoon sitback and enjoy the stunning scenery as we head back into Hobart later today.
Today, we head to the Tasman Peninsula and take a drive through “Do Town” to see some natural attractions such as the Tasman Arch and Devils Kitchen. A little further along is 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 also take a guided walking tour through the Penal Settlement. There’s now some free time to further explore the settlement and purchase lunch. If we wish, we can also take a cruise around the harbour where we pass the Isle of Dead. It was here that around 1,000 convicts and ex-convict paupers were buried, mostly in unmarked graves. Leaving the site, we make our way back to Hobart where we can freshen up ready for dinner.
We say farewell to our hosts early 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 land mass of Tasmania. Of course much of this area is now World Heritage Listed. We stop at the beautiful Russell Falls in the Mt Field National Park for our morning tea at the Waterfalls Café – and a great photo opportunity. We then continue on to Derwent Bridge (the geographical centre of Tasmania) where we stop to view – the Wall in the Wilderness. The “wall” is a work in progress which will take several more years to complete. The panels, when complete, will measure 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. Queenstown is surrounded by mountains, which were once covered in vegetation but which are now strangely bare and stained purple, grey and pink by from sulphur fumes from mining processes. Bushfires and logging, combined with heavy rain which washed the soil away, have stripped many of the hills of vegetation and created Queenstown’s famous “moonscape”. From here we continue through to Strahan where we can settle in for the next 2 nights.
Hotel: Strahan Village for 2 nights
Strahan, this region was once known as “hell on earth” when Sarah Island was established as Tasmania’s first and most brutal penal settlement. We board the west coast wilderness rail for our spectacular River and Rainforest journey; you will enjoy a relaxing steam train journey that departs from the original harbourside Regatta Point Station in Strahan. You’ll take in the fabulous harbour views as the train follows the foreshore and then the river as you journey deep into the rainforest. Marvel at the engineering feats as the train crosses the many bridges, including the formidable iron bridge, one of the two major river crossings on the line. On return into Strahan we have free time this afternoon to explore the township. Tonight, before dinner we will enjoy a show called “The Ship that never was”, a highly entertaining performance that bring history to life as you learn the fate of Sarah Island convicts.
We have a fascinating day today. Our cruise takes us through Hells Gates, the narrow entry into the harbour from the Southern Ocean and 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 have the opportunity at Heritage Walk to see these and other trees of the dense forest close up. It’s a great day topped off with a beautiful lunch. This afternoon we head to Cradle Mountain for the evening.
Hotel: Cradle Mountain Hotel 1 night
Following breakfast we take a tour of the National Park including Waldheim Chalet, beautiful Weindorfers Walk and Dove Lake. We enjoy lunch at the Cradle Mountain Hotel. Our last stop in this area is a visit to Devils @ Cradle, a Tasmanian devil interpretation centre. 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 our tour, and there may be an opportunity for us to touch one. This venture is totally committed to the conservation and protection of this now vulnerable species. The centre operates a successful captive breeding program, ensuring the ongoing survival of Tasmanian Devils in healthy numbers in the wild. Tonight will be spent in Wynyard on the water.
Hotel: The Waterfront Wynyard Motor Inn for 1 night
Weather permitting we head to historic Stanley. A village atmosphere with small craft shops, historic houses (including the cottage where Australian Prime Minister Joseph Lyons was born) and tea houses makes this an ideal stop. A chairlift operates to the summit of the Nut (optional, own expense). We then meander back along the North Coast with a stop in Emu Valley Rhododendron Gardens, we have time to wander the gardens, enjoy the tranquility of this lush environment and enjoy lunch. We make our way to Elizabeth Town to visit Ashgrove Cheese Factory. Here we can discover the range of award-winning cheeses from English county cheeses to a series of uniquely flavored cheeses including the famous Wild Wasabi cheese! As we travel through Sheffield, we experience a delightful township that features many murals depicting the history of the area. After a full day of touring we arrive into Launceston where we have the rest of the evening at leisure.
Hotel: Hotel Grand Chancellor Launceston for 2 nights
Wake up ready for an interesting day getting to know the local area. Today we make our way north along the western side of the Tamar River to Grindelwald, a village established in 1980 inspired by the alpine style architecture of Switzerland. We have some time to enjoy its magnificent setting amid lakes and mountain views. We travel back through this rich country to Beaconsfield – the site of Tasmania’s largest gold discoveries and of course more recently the incredible rescue in 2006 of two miners trapped underground. We’ll visit the Beaconsfield Gold Mine and Heritage Museum, home to Australia’s only waterwheel-driven stamp battery and features an extensive collection of memorabilia and artefacts. Platypus House and Seahorse World are two very unique attractions that are right next to each other so we plan to visit both this afternoon. Platypus are very shy and quite illusive in the wild but here we get a chance to see them face to face as they swim and go about their daily business in this indoor facility. Seahorse World is a working farm and the information we receive here shows us just what fascinating creatures they truly are. Returning to Launceston we have some free time at Cataract Gorge – a magnificent Reserve in the city centre. There are some pleasant walks through the landscaped gardens also we can enjoy a ride on the chairlift which crosses the gorge (optional cost).
This morning we make our way east towards Scottsdale, the main centre in this area, serving some of the richest agricultural and forest country in the State. Close by is the Bridestowe Estate Lavender Farm where we take a tour of the flower shed and distillery. Continuing our journey east, we veer off to a little place called Legerwood. There are some incredible tree carvings here and our lunch stop is at Pyengana. The Pub in the Paddock is one of Tasmania’s oldest pubs (Circa 1880) and is nestled in one of Tasmania’s most beautiful valleys. This afternoon we head to the East Coast of Tasmania and travel south through Scamander to our overnight stop in Bicheno, where our hotel overlooks the water.
Hotel: Beachfront at Bicheno for 1 night
Our travels today takes us through the pretty seaside holiday village of Coles Bay. Sitting beneath stunning, sheer pink granite mountains and overlooking the crystal clean waters of Oyster Bay it’s the ideal stop. We enter the Freycinet National Park and head to Cape Tourville Lighthouse to enjoy spectacular views across Lemon Rock and the Freycinet Peninsula. At the historic town of Richmond, where the streets are paved with history, we stop to capture the oldest bridge in Australia, the convict built, Richmond Bridge. On arrival we have time to purchase lunch before our visit to visit the Old Hobart Town Model Village. Set in stunning landscaped grounds we wander through time. We have arranged a visit to the Historic Richmond Gaol, this gaol predates Port Arthur by five years and is one of the best preserved of Australia’s colonial prisons. Late afternoon we proceed to Hobart airport for our flight home to Perth. Upon arrival into Perth your driver will be waiting to take you safely home.