Smell the freshly cut grass and bursting blooms that scent the Melbourne air once again for the annual International Flower and Garden Show. The exquisite heritage listed Royal Exhibition Building and Carton Gardens explode with beautiful landscapes, vibrant exhibitions and an array of garden products. We then travel on one of the best coastal drives in the world. The Great Ocean Road is famous for its breathtaking coastal views. Built to honour the servicemen and women of World War One, the road extends more than 300 kilometres along some of the best coastal scenery this country has to offer.
A deposit of $200pp is due to secure your booking. If the tour proceeds and prior to final payment you change your mind, your deposit will held in suspense for you to use towards another Kings Tour or transferred to another Kings Tour of your choice.
If we (Kings) cancel the tour due to operational reasons, you will received a full refund of any monies paid.
Tours are based on reaching a minimum number. Home pick-up and return is included based on a set radius – surcharges will apply outside these areas. Other special conditions may apply to each individual tour, please contact the office for further details.
Your holiday begins when you are picked up from home by private vehicle and transferred to the airport. Meet your Kings Tour Manager and fellow passengers and fly to Melbourne. On arrival we are met by our local touring coach who will transfer us through to our luxury accommodation at the Pan Pacific Melbourne for the next 3 nights. Tonight we enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.
Hotel: Pan Pacific Melbourne for 3 nights
Today is festival day! We head to the International Flower and Garden Show. Staged within the world heritage listed Royal Exhibition Building and surrounding Carlton Gardens, this prestigious show is a “must see” event! Over 300 exhibits are “on show” representing horticulture, nurseries, landscape, gardening, floristry and cut flowers together with their associated products and services. The show will simply take your breath away with work from Australia’s leading floral designers, creating exquisite feature displays. We have all day here today to explore and take in the beauty of the show.
We enjoy a relaxed breakfast before visiting the opulent Labassa Mansion. The architecture and the largely intact original decoration make Labassa one of Australia’s most outstanding 19th century buildings. Inside the French renaissance mansion we’ll see fine embossed wallpaper, mahogany timbers and an imposing stair hall, outside we’ll see Italian marble panels, arcaded verandahs and Corinthian columns. Next we are in for a treat when we visit The Hotel Windsor for a lovely High Tea. They have been serving traditional high tea since 1883! We have plenty of time to enjoy the finger sandwiches, exquisite pastries and freshly baked scones with jam and cream. After our indulgent visit we are off to spectacular Eureka Skydeck. The awe inspiring views from the highest viewing platform in the Southern Hemisphere are at Melbourne’s iconic Eureka Tower, currently the world’s tallest residential building. Two dedicated lifts propel us to Level 88 in under 40 seconds –and only Skydeck 88 can give us the world’s only “Edge Experience” (own expense) a switchable glass cube which slides out from the building – with you inside, or simply step on to the “Terrace” and expose yourself to the outside elements.
Today is our journey along the Great Ocean Road for a breathtaking drive along one of Australia’s most spectacular coastlines. We stop for our morning break in Lorne, where the approach to the town is remarkable as the township is built amongst a forest with native trees stretching down to the water. We have arranged lunch at the Apollo Bay Hotel. The afternoon will be filled with stunning scenery and natural wonders of the Great Ocean Road. The road does leave the coast and winds through the slopes of the Otway Ranges and Otway National Park. Back on the coastal road we travel the full length of the Port Campbell National Park – the western section of the Great Ocean Road, spanning over 200km of spectacular coastline. The road is an engineering feat, built by returned servicemen as a permanent memorial to those who died while fighting in WW1; its completion took over 10 years. We see Loch Ard Gorge, which has a sad tale to tell. In 1878 the iron hulled clipper Loch Ard was driven out onto rocks offshore at this point. Of the 50 or so on board only two were to survive, being swept into the narrow gorge named after their ill-fated vessel. Close by is the famous Twelve Apostles – huge pillars which loom out of the surf, carved over time by the fury of the ocean and the well-known London Bridge. This was once a bridge-like promontory arching across a furious sea. However in 1990 it collapsed dramatically into the sea. Our destination is Warrnambool, a beautiful seaside city on the shores of Lady Bay. More than 100 ships and boats were wrecked within 80 kilometres from Warrnambool, hence the current name for the area – The Shipwreck Coast. On arrival we’ll check into our accommodation for the next two nights and freshen up before dinner.
Motel: Mid-City Motel, Warrnambool for 2 nights
This morning we travel through Tower Hill State Game Reserve. The reserve is situated in the crater of an extinct volcano which formed thousands of years ago when a violent eruption created the funnel-shaped crater which was later filled by the lake with its various small islets. The reserve is home to kangaroos, koalas, wombats, sugar gliders, possums, echidnae, numerous waterbirds (including Cape Barren geese, musk ducks, spoonbills and chestnut teals) and some very bold emus! From here we travel to the small fishing village of Port Fairy. Port Fairy’s rich, maritime history and its colonial character have been faithfully preserved. Seaman’s blue-stone cottages rub shoulders with gracious commercial and administrative buildings. Its fine antique shops, pubs and restaurants are all housed in original Victorian buildings – The National Trust has classified 50 of them. We enjoy a locally guided tour followed by lunch at the Caledonian Inn Hotel. Returning to Warrnambool we explore the Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village. Supported by the local community this delightful complex authentically recreates the appearance, atmosphere and activities apparent in a small coastal port during the 50 years prior to 1900. It presents and preserves material, artefacts and vessels relating to Australia’s early maritime museum. We return to the village tonight for a spectacular show. We also enjoy dinner out this evening before the night time sound and laser show called “Shipwrecked”, recreating the tragic story of the Loch Ard Shipwreck that took place in local waters more than 120 years ago.
This morning we travel to Colac situated on the southern shores of Lake Colac. The town is the main centre of a prosperous, closely settled agricultural district. Our visit today will include a stop at the Botanic Gardens, that were influenced by William Guilfoyle who remodelled them in 1910 but they date back to the nineteenth century. Listed on the Australian heritage register, the gardens contain a number of significant specimens. We enjoy lunch just outside Anglesea at the Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie before returning to Melbourne for our last night on tour. Tonight dinner is at own arrangements with many restaurants to choose from close by to the hotel.
Hotel: Pan Pacific Melbourne for 1 night
This morning we head to the Queen Victoria Markets – one of the city’s unique attractions. This is Australia’s largest market. Spread over 7 hectares, it is the largest open air Market in the southern hemisphere. Almost one thousand traders sell everything from exotic Australian fruit and vegetables and local and imported gourmet foods, meat, fish and poultry to hardware, clothing and authentic Australian artefacts and souvenirs. We have some time to look before our transfer to the Melbourne airport for our flight to Perth. We arrive home with many wonderful memories and new found friends made on our 7 day holiday. Your driver will transfer you home safely.