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'There is no better way to travel than with St James Rail. The journeys are incredibly well researched and meticulously planned by the founder and tour leaders'

Peter and Joan (Mosman)

PO Box N400

Grosvenor Place

NSW 1220

AUSTRALIA

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Tel: +61 2 9326 9660

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Email:sjr@digitor.com.au

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TASMANIA

SCENERY, FOOD, WINE AND RAIL

A PREMIUM QUALITY TOUR OF TASMANIA

Join us for a premium quality tour of Tasmania!

A tour of the Apple Isle, using heritage rail services (both scheduled and special charter) whenever possible. We explore Launceston, Tamar
Valley vineyards, Devonport, the Don River Railway, Penguin, Burnie
and Stanley, Evandale, the Freycinet Peninsula, Coles Bay, Hobart, the
Ida Bay Railway, the Derwent Valley Railway, Queenstown, Strahan, the
Abt Railway, Macquarie Harbour and more. Excellent vineyards,
Tasmanian produce, wilderness and natural beauty.

 

Date : Friday 6 November - Saturday 28 November 2015

Currenty on tour

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Day 1

to Launceston

A mid-afternoon flight to Launceston’s Airport where we are met by our coach and driver (we are fortunate to have Murray and Noela Berkman as our coach driver and hostess on our Tasmanian tour.) We transfer to Devonport for our first two night’s accommodation. Enjoy a welcome dinner together. Overnight Devonport.(D)

Day 2

 Sheffield and the Don River Railway

After breakfast we travel the short distance to Sheffield. Concealed in the foothills of majestic Mount Roland, this enterprising town has created a place where history and art merge to create an entire town of murals, telling the story of the north-west. You’ll learn about the history of the Kentish district from the murals themselves, in local museums, or in the many galleries and studios in the town. Around lunchtime we’ll visit the Redwater Creek Railway, and ride a steam hauled narrow gauge train along part of the original Railton-Roland Branch Line. We then head back towards Devonport and visit the Don River Railway – located on the edge of the Don River near Devonport. The historical society and their volunteers operate short rail journeys from their base to Coles Beach, a return journey of about thirty minutes. We’ll inspect their workshops and carriage restoration, and then enjoy a train ride. We’ll enjoy cheese, wine and nibbles at Coles Beach, and then simple evening refreshments on board the train as we trundle a couple of times along the line in one of their restored trains. Overnight Devonport. (B/LD)

Day 3

Burnie to Stanley and The Nut

After breakfast we’ll join our coach for sightseeing towards Burnie, Penguin and Stanley. Our first stop is the Lactos Cheese Factory - one of Australia’s leading speciality cheesemakers located at Burnie on. We’ll sample Lactos’s fine cheeses, including major brands such as Tasmanian Heritage and Mersey Valley, and you can purchase direct from the maker. Adjacent is the Hellyer's Road Whisky Distillery, where you can sample single malt whisky in the visitor centre. We then travel through Wynyard towards Stanley and in the late afternoon ascend the Nut – a sheer-sided bluff and all that remains of an ancient volcanic plug. A walking track climbs to the summit of The Nut, or you can take the chairlift, with its spectacular views across Bass Strait beaches and over the town. Stanley was discovered by Bass and Flinders in 1798 and was named after the British Secretary of State for the Colonies, Lord Stanley. Enjoy dinner at leisure with local produce, and then two night’s accommodation. Overnight Stanley. (B/D)

Day 4

Stanley to Cape Grim, ‘Woolnorth’ and Allendale Gardens

After breakfast we head further west through Smithton to explore the north west cape of Tasmania. Breathe the cleanest air in the world at Cape Grim whilst you view spectacular coastlines. See Tasmania's largest wind farm and its next stage of construction, and walk the coastal beaches where the Great Southern Ocean collides with Bass Strait. We’ll tour the ‘Woolnorth’ property – 22,000 hectares of dairying, beef and sheep – and experience the state of modern agriculture in Tasmania. This afternoon we return towards Smithton and visit the Allendale Gardens – six acres of landscaped gardens and sixty-five acres of rainforest on Tasmania's North West Coast - on the edge of The Tarkine. Choose from a number of walking paths, including 10, 15 and 30-minute walks. The paths weave through lovely tree fern glades, eucalyptus and blackwood trees. The forest walk includes a rare and endangered fern species known as hypolepus distans. This is the only substantial find across Australia of this species. In the gardens, different plants feature every month and a garden of 16th and 17th century roses has been developed to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the gardens. Dinner at leisure in one of Stanley’s restaurants. Overnight Stanley. (B/L)

Day 5

to Corinna in the Tarkine

After breakfast, a mid morning departure for the small township of Corinna in the Tarkine - a huge area of temperate rainforest, sand dunes and coastal heathland. The Tarkine, named after the Tarkine Aborigines who once lived here, is roughly bounded by the coast to the west, the Arthur River to the north, the Pieman River to the south and the Murchison Highway to the east. Not only does it contain the largest rainforest in Australia, but it is also said to include the greatest concentration of Aboriginal sites in the country. In December 2009 this area was added to Australia's National Heritage List. We travel to Corinna on the Pieman River, on the southern edge of this remarkable untouched rainforest. We stay two nights at Corinna - an Aboriginal name for a young Tasmanian tiger. In 1883, the largest nugget of gold ever discovered in Tasmania (7.5 kilos) was found at nearby Rocky River. It aroused considerable excitement and attracted many men from other Tasmanian goldfields. The town rapidly declined after 1900, when the Emu Bay railway to Zeehan opened. In recent years it has been purchased and developed as an eco-tourism property, and we stay in a range of the restored buildings in the town. Dinner is included tonight and tomorrow at the Tannin restaurant. You’ll enjoy excellent food using local Tasmanian ingredients - ocean trout and Atlantic salmon from Strahan, eggs and pepper berries from Waratah, red meat from Lapoigna farm at Wynyard, poultry from Sassafras and fruit and vegetables from the Derwent Valley - fine regional Tasmanian food. Overnight Corinna. (B/D)

Day 6

the Pieman River cruise and bushwalks

Corinna sits at the southern end of the Tarkine protected area, the largest temperate rainforest in Australia, and is the northern most point where the famous Huon pine grows. The surrounding unbroken tract of rainforest reveals a world beyond human memory and is a living link with the ancient super continent Gondwana. Here nature is the hero and we are fortunate to have access to this pristine wilderness. We journey from Corinna to Pieman Heads on the 79 year old huon pine river cruiser, Arcadia II - the only huon pine river cruiser still operating anywhere in the world. This is one of the two best river cruises in Tasmania, providing an intimate connection to the rainforest (and its mirrored reflections) and the majestic Pieman River. In the afternoon there is a range of lovely walks to choose from, depending on your fitness level and desire. The Huon Pine Walk is a short, easily accessible option that hugs the Pieman River. The Savage River Walk is more challenging, taking you along a spectacular ridge through Myrtle beech rainforest, while the amazing Lover’s Falls is accessible with a boardwalk and viewing platform. Or simply enjoy a relaxing late afternoon marvelling at the beauty of this area – and of course there is the Corinna Hotel to enjoy a cleansing ale. Dinner is included tonight and overnight at Corinna. (B/L/D)

Day 7

 Cradle Mountain and Cradle Mountain Lodge

After breakfast we leave Corinna and head east to Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. Cradle Mountain is at the northern end of the 161,000-hectare (397,840-acre) Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, and its sheer magnificence inspired Austrian-born Gustav Weindorfer to build a chalet of King Billy pine here in 1912 and work tirelessly for a decade to have the area declared a national park "for the people for all time". His dream was realised in 1922, and today a quarter of all visitors to the state travel here to share his vision. Our accommodation for two nights is at the excellent Cradle Mountain Lodge. Placed carefully within this wilderness setting, we stay in the contemporary Pencil Pine timber cabins - dotted amongst tree-lined ranges and overlook grassy folds. Wallabies, pademelons and wombats pause between mouthfuls of buttongrass and possums pose gracefully as they criss-cross timber boardwalks – these are some of the magical sights that await as you make your way along the well-lit trails and boardwalks. Your private timber cabin is set discreetly in the wilderness with each cabin offering soothing outlooks of the natural surroundings. Dinner tonight is at your leisure in one of the dining options at the Mountain Lodge. Overnight Cradle Mountain Lodge.(B/L)

Day 8

Cradle Mountain walks  

Today is a relaxing day to explore this pristine area - take one of the many short walks through the ever-changing vegetation of the shores and mountainside to gain a full appreciation of the magic of this area. A good easy walk circles Dove Lake and takes approximately 1½ hours – with prepared paths it is mostly flat. For the more adventurous, we’ll advise of other walk options. There are more than twenty walking trails to suit every fitness level, and you can discover animal and plant varieties found nowhere else on earth. As a group we’ll inspect the Visitors Centre and learn about the park, and then join mini-coaches to Dove Lake for a walk around the Lake. The walk passes various terrains, from pandanus and wildflowers to Tasmanian myrtle and King William pine forests. There are a number of other organised activities possible (O), and we’ll provide details of these with further information, closer to the tour departure. This afternoon enjoy the facilities of the resort – perhaps the Wilderness Gallery with images of Australia, Antarctica and the Asia Pacific region, the specialist library with reference material and information on the local area, or indulge in a treatment in the Waldheim Spa. Dinner tonight is included at the Cradle Mountain Lodge. (B/D)

Day 9

Wee Georgie Wood, Zeehan and to Strahan

After breakfast we head back to civilisation through lovely scenery, to the small township of Tullah, home of the Wee Georgie Wood Steam Railway - the only operating two foot gauge steam railway on the West Coast of Tasmania. The steam locomotive is a 1921 Fowler 0-4-0 tank engine that operates on the short Farrell Tramway, opened for operation between the then isolated mining township of Tullah and Farrell Siding, some 9.6 kilometres away on the Emu Bay Railway in 1909. Wee Georgie Wood was the prime source of motive power for the tramway between 1921 and 1962, when the new Murchison Highway reached Tullah and the original tramway ceased operations. Most of the original tramway route was inundated by the rising waters of Lake Rosebery, but in the 1980s Wee Georgie was rescued and restored to full running order by a group of local enthusiasts and volunteers. (We hope to have a special ride on Wee Georgie however it depends upon volunteer resources closer to the time.) We then head through Zeehan, with a stop to explore the mining heritage of the city. Zeehan was first sighted by Abel Tasman, in 1642, and was named after Tasman’s brig. In 1871, tin was discovered at Mount Bischoff and a decade later Frank Long discovered silver and lead, sparking the largest mining boom on Tasmania’s west coast. Ultimately, however, the reserves were depleted – and the town once known as Silver City ceased mining the precious metal in 1914. In the late afternoon we’ll descend to Strahan – our base for the next three nights. In 1815, Captain James Kelly navigated the 200-metre opening to Macquarie Harbour, which convicts later dubbed Hells Gates. Between 1822 and 1833, Sarah Island operated as a penal station with the dubious reputation of being the worst convict prison in Australia. The town of Strahan was founded in 1877, and today symbolises proud independence on the edge of the world. A place that tells the story of 19th-century piners and miners and 20th-century protesters who stopped the damming of the wild Franklin River. Our accommodation is in Strahan Village, a range of cottage accommodations set on the edge of the harbour in the centre of town, and in the main building overlooking the harbour. Dinner is included tonight – a seafood buffet in the View 42° Restaurant with views overlooking the harbour.(B/L/D)

Day 10

Gordon River Cruise

After breakfast we join the Lady Jane Franklin II and cruise on the Gordon River, making our way through Hell's Gates, where Macquarie Harbour meets the Southern Ocean. We’ll cruise back across the Harbour into the lower reaches of the Gordon River, where you can reach out and touch the temperate rainforests of the World Heritage Area. On our return to Strahan, we’ll stop at Sarah Island, Tasmania’s first penal colony and site of Australia’s first ever ship-building industry. We’ve reserved the Captain's Premier Upper Deck area for our journey – you’ll enjoy luxurious leather seating and a private viewing deck, a chef-prepared gourmet feast of local delicacies including local seafood, Tasmanian cheeses and a range of other regional specialties, with complimentary Tasmanian wines and premium beers. There’s no more civilised way to appreciate the beauty of the Gordon River. Enjoy an afternoon walk along the waterfront, and explore the interesting shops and woodwork crafts that dot the harbour front. Dinner tonight is at leisure in one of the many eateries and restaurants in the village. Purchase some fish and chips and sit on the verandah of your cottage and watch the world go by, or reserve a table in the View 42° restaurant again tonight. Overnight Strahan. (B/L)

Day 11

the Abt Wilderness Railway

After breakfast we walk to Regatta Point Station (there’s a coach transfer for those who wish) and join the exquisitely restored Abt Wilderness Railway. Through the boom years of west coast mining, steam locomotives hauled a fortune in pure copper from Queenstown's Mt Lyell mine, through the rugged King River gorge and down to the Macquarie Harbour port of Strahan. From 1896 to 1963, steam billowed through the rainforest as the German designed Abt West Coast rack railway dragged the train, cog by cog, up the steep 1:16 slope to Rinadeena. After 40 years the West Coast Wilderness Railway is running again. We travel through one of the world's last pristine wilderness areas crossing 40 bridges, wild rivers, and climb over 200 metres on a fascinating 35 kilometre journey from Strahan to Queenstown. We’ve reserved the Premier Carriage for our group, where you’ll indulge in fine cool-climate wines, fresh local pastries and Tasmanian cheeses accompanied by excellent cabin service. Luncheon is also included on the journey. On arrival in Queenstown, there’s a brief opportunity to explore this remnant mining community. The mine at Mt. Lyell has sustained Queenstown since the late 1800's when gold, silver and copper were discovered. Queenstown sprang up in no time as a typical "frontier town", but in recent years has been somewhat more subdued, with the future of the Mt. Lyell mine repeatedly being questioned. In 1995, it was decided to continue mining into the next century, relieving some economic pressures. The hills around Queenstown were stripped of timber to fuel copper smelters, and rain subsequently eroded the soil, leaving the purple and gold rock exposed. The strangely naked mountains are an eerie sight and in the evening provide for spectacular photographs. We return by train to Strahan, and again the evening is at leisure for you to enjoy dinner as simply or as lavishly as you wish. Overnight Strahan. (B/L)

Day 12

 via Lake St Clair and Derwent Bridge to Hobart

After breakfast a morning departure for Lake St Clair, on the southern edge of the World Heritage Listed wilderness area. Lake St Clair's scenic beauty is characterised by pretty coves and beaches interspersed among moraines formed by glaciers as they forced debris aside in the process of scooping out the lake bed. The vegetation mix of the area is a legacy of thousands of years of burning by Aboriginal people. Wildlife is prolific, and you are likely to see wallabies and a wide variety of birds. If you're lucky, you'll also catch sight of a platypus, echidna or wombat. Weather permitting we’ll enjoy a picnic luncheon on the edge of Lake St Clair, and then make a short visit to the nearby Derwent Bridge to see the ambitious sculpture - the Wall in the Wilderness. Primarily made from rare Huon pine, creator/designer Greg Duncan is carving 100 metres of Central Highland history. You can walk along its length to learn of the hardship and pioneering nature of those who settled in the area, and inspect this extraordinary project, estimated to be complete by 2015. We’ll then head to Hobart for our four night’s accommodation and sightseeing in the area. Our accommodation is at Salamanca Inn apartments, right on the Hobart waterfront, with myriad cafés and restaurants within easy walking distance, as well as self catering possible, as each has kitchen facilities. We have therefore not included breakfast and most dinners during our Hobart stay. Dinner at leisure and overnight Hobart. (B/L)

Day 13

MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) or a free day

After breakfast we have arranged a visit to MONA – the Museum of Old and New Art – for those who wish to see this extraordinary site. Alternatively enjoy a free day exploring in and around Hobart. Chiselled into an escarpment on the banks of the Derwent River in the northern suburbs of Hobart is a subterranean fortress housing one of the most confronting and controversial collections of art in the world. The crowning achievement of Tasmanian David Walsh, a mathematician and art collector who made millions perfecting algorithms that led him to beat casinos and bookies at their own game, MONA (the Museum of Old and New Art) has made a name for itself by breaking every rule in the book since opening its doors in January 2011. The entrance, for example, casts aside the grand porticos and columns commonly seen at museums in favour of a synthetic tennis court and unmarked doorway. From the lobby, a spiral staircase descends 17 metres underground, ending in a cathedral-like basement cordoned by a 250-million-year-old Triassic sandstone wall that Walsh, who once described himself as a “rabid atheist,” left exposed to challenge creationists on their beliefs. What follows are three levels of steel and stone festooned with art and objects based around sex, death and evolution that are concurrently shocking, educational and entertaining. The Museum has certainly created extreme views of like and dislike. We’ll travel to and from MONA by ferry in the private deck of the vessel, with complimentary drinks and canapes, and also enjoy a visit to Moorilla Winery. Overnight Hobart.

Day 14

 Ida Bay Railway, Geeveston and the Tahune “Air Walk”

After breakfast we head south through Huonville and Dover to Lune River on Ida Bay. The Ida Bay Railway is original. Of the hundreds of miles of narrow gauge bush tramways built in Tasmania the Ida Bay Railway is the only original railway in existence. There are relics of the limestone carrying days in the form of wagons and machinery. Several of the passenger carriages are built on bogie flat wagons built in the 1890s - some of the earliest bogie wagons in Australia. We journey seven kilometres from Lune River on the train, travelling through light bush to the shores of Ida Bay. The line passes through the sight of the original town of Ida Bay, past the wharf and grave yard that is all that remains of a once thriving area. Soon after reaching the shores of the Lune River estuary and for a mile or so the scenic views across the waterways are superb. Past the bush site of Jagers sawmill and jetty through bush that lines either side of the track. The line terminates at Deep Hole Bay, a large white swimming beach accessible only by rail. We return on the railway and then head back towards Geeveston for an afternoon visit to the Tahune “Air Walk.” The attraction is one of only a few fixed structure canopy walkways internationally and provides a birds-eye view of the southern forests, the local mountain range and the Tasmanian World Heritage Area. You’ll "walk the high wire", suspended up to 45 metres in the air on steel towers barely visible from the ground. The walk meanders through the treetops in rainforest at the confluence of two mighty rivers – the Huon and the Picton – and one section extends over the meeting of the rivers to create a sense of being suspended above it. The AirWalk also overlooks the Hartz Mountains and surrounding old growth forests and takes you through the changing forest and its life cycle. The visitor centre demonstrates the use of Tasmanian timber from its historic purposes to modern practices, and the nearby Huon Pine walk provides easy access to trees thousands of years old and renowned for sweet-smelling timber that has traditionally be used in boat-building and these days features in high quality timber crafts. We return to Hobart for dinner at leisure and overnight. (L)

Day 15

Hobart, historic Richmond, wine tasting and Tasmanian Transport Museum

This morning visit the popular Salamanca precinct or enjoy a few hours exploring at leisure before we head north out of Hobart towards Richmond - a picture-perfect town that tells the story of an early Australian colonial village - hand-made brick and mellow stone on the banks of the Coal River. Home to Australia’s oldest bridge and more than fifty 19th-century Georgian buildings. Walk across Australia’s oldest bridge, built by convict labour between 1823 and 1825. Stand in the cell of the Richmond Gaol (1825), Australia’s oldest jail, for an eerie insight into the hardships of early Van Diemen's Land convict life. Wander in the cemetery of Australia's oldest remaining Catholic Church, St Johns, built in 1836. Relax on the banks of the Coal River while feeding the local ducks - you'll get the most out of Richmond by wandering its streets. Artists and craftspeople have been drawn to the town for generations, and you’ll find examples of their work in galleries and cafes. We enjoy a simple luncheon of fresh Tasmanian produce at a local winery, and then continue through Bridgewater and back to the Tasmanian Transport Museum. The museum exhibits include railway locomotives, railmotors, carriages and wagons, trams, trolley buses, motor buses, stationary steam engines and many other items of historical interest. There is also a display of historical photographs and other small objects. We enjoy dinner in an unusual transport themed setting, and return to our accommodation. Overnight Hobart. (L/D)

Day 16

Port Arthur and to Triabunna

We join our coach for the journey to Port Arthur. We cross the Tasman Bridge, and stop at Eaglehawk Neck for morning tea, on a narrow isthmus at the top of the Tasman Peninsula. In convict times, it was manned by guards who ran a chain from one side of the neck to the other, and tethered savage dogs to it to stop prisoners escaping. Four spectacular natural formations, all in close proximity, are a short drive from the neck. Tasman Arch - a natural arch between two cliffs cut by wave action. At the Devil's Kitchen, hear the waves roar onto the rocks hundreds of feet below. The sea rushes in under the rock and shoots into the air at the Blowhole. But possibly most spectacular is the Tessellated Pavement, which visitors could almost swear was laid by a bricklayer but is again due entirely to the sea. We travel south to Port Arthur, officially Tasmania's number one tourist attraction, and no visit to the state is complete without seeing it. Port Arthur - established as a convict settlement it soon became Australia's largest. Port Arthur began operating in 1830 as a timber station. In 1833 it became a prison settlement for male convicts and quickly established a reputation as being 'a hell-on-earth'. During the 1840s, with its captive resource of convict labour, Port Arthur became a near self sufficient secondary punishment prison settlement, producing ships, sawn timber, clothing, boots and shoes, bricks, furniture, vegetables and other goods. This productivity waned in the 1850s and 60s following the cessation of Britain's convict transportation system and the subsequent lack of newly arrived young transportees. The prison closed in 1877 and many of the settlement's main features, including the Penitentiary and the Church, were gutted by fire during the next two decades. Today, the Port Arthur Historic Site encompasses over 40 hectares (100 acres) and features a large number of stabilised ruins and restored buildings from the convict era. We have a few hours to explore, returning to Triabunna late afternoon, with dinner included. Overnight Triabunna. (D)

Day 17

Maria Island and to Coles Bay and Freycinet Peninsula

After breakfast we join our chartered ferry from Triabunna across to Maria Island. From Aboriginal contact to whaling and sealing post, from penal settlement to Italianate rural utopia and health resort, Maria Island inspired both intense sorrow and huge dreams in its long history of human habitation. Today it is a wildlife refuge - home to the threatened Cape Barren goose, Forester kangaroo and Flinders Island wombat, which never lived here naturally but have been introduced from mainland Tasmania and thrive amongst the few remaining buildings. Maria Island is also one of the best places in Tasmania for bird-watching, and although you won't be able to miss the geese, there are many Tasmanian endemics, including the rare forty-spotted pardalote and the Tasmanian native hen. We’ll enjoy a guided tour of the heritage precinct, and there is time to walk at leisure, as well as to enjoy a picnic luncheon. For the more active, even if you keep to the shore and cliff tops, you may catch sight of dolphins, whales, seals and sea eagles. The spectacular Fossil Cliffs walk reveals shellfish fossils so prolific that they were once mined for their lime deposits. Or let your imagination conjure up the reality of the once-thriving settlement at Darlington from its many remnants. When it was known as San Diego, after the entrepreneur Diego Bernacchi, it included a vineyard, a coffee palace and a grand hotel, all of which contributed to the promotion of the island as a pleasure resort. We return to the mainland and then travel to Coles Bay and Freycinet Lodge. With a spectacular waterfront location at the foot of the Hazards, just inside Freycinet National Park, Freycinet Lodge is a superb base for exploring the Freycinet peninsula. A world of hidden comfort, the lodge is living proof that communing with nature does not have to mean roughing it. It's a place to relax and rejuvenate. To experience nature's wild harmony without sacrificing your creature comforts. Stylish yet simple, the cabins are designed to impart welcoming familiarity and warmth without the intrusion of telephones or television. Dinner tonight is included, enjoyed in their restaurant with views across the water. (B/L/D)

Day 18

Freycinet Lodge at Coles Bay

Enjoy breakfast with fine views across Coles Bay. The east coast village of Coles Bay sits beneath pink granite mountains at the entrance to Freycinet National Park. Today you can discover Freycinet National Park on foot, following a steep but well designed ascent to the iconic view from Wineglass Bay Lookout. The turquoise water may entice you to follow the trail down to the dazzling white sands of Wineglass Bay, and from here you can head along the Isthmus Track to Hazards Beach (four hours return) or head back the same way (two and a half hours return.) For those who do not wish to undertake such strenuous activity, we’ll arrange some low impact sightseeing in the National Park. In addition, there are a range of specialist activities (O) and we’ll provide details closer to the time. Enjoy a relaxing afternoon soaking up nature, and then dinner in the restaurant tonight. Overnight Freycinet Lodge. (B/D)

Day 19

Swansea, Ross, Campbelltown and St Marys

After breakfast we depart from the Park and head towards Bicheno. Today we have a slightly circuitous journey to our destination at Iron House Point so that we can show you some of the treats on the East Coast of Tasmania, as well as its historic centre. Our first stop is an indulgent oasis, Kate's Berry Farm, near Swansea. Kate's hugely popular Just Deserts Café, with its mouth watering menu, overlooks rows of berries to breathtaking views across Great Oyster Bay to our home of the past two night’s, the world renowned Freycinet National Park. Enjoy a morning coffee or snack here (own expense) or purchase some of her truly outstanding cool climate berries. From here we head to Ross, which sits on the banks of the Macquarie River, and is one of Australia's most appealing convict-built stone villages. Home to Australia’s third oldest bridge, it boasts cobble-style paths and grand old elm trees lining the main street. Arguably the finest nineteenth century village in Australia, you can walk down to the Ross Bridge, designed by John Lee Archer, possibly the most beautiful of its kind left in the world. The detail of its 186 carvings by convict stonemasons were deemed of such high quality that it won the men a free pardon. Like other parts of Tasmania's Midlands, the Ross area is famous for its superfine merino wool, and time permitting we’ll visit the Tasmanian Wool Centre where you will find a Heritage Museum and Wool Exhibition. Then to Campbell Town for a walk along the Convict Brick Trail that runs along High Street. It is dedicated to the convicts transported from 1788 onwards. Each brick details a convict’s name, their crimes and subsequent punishment. From here we head back to the eastern township of St Marys for a brief stop, and then to our overnight accommodation at White Sands Estate Iron House Point. Overnight Iron House Point.(B/D)

Day 20

Binalong Bay, Pyengana and Scottsdale

After breakfast we explore the area north at St Helens, around Binalong Bay towards the Bay of Fires. Enjoy morning tea overlooking the ocean, before we head west to Pyengana. Licensed since 1880, the Pub in the Paddock is one of Tasmania’s oldest country pubs. Literally sitting in the middle of a paddock in the verdant Pyengana Valley. Then through Scottsdale towards the Tamar Valley where the majestic Tamar River meanders for 58 kilometres through the heart of high-yielding vineyard country, orchards, scenic pastures and forests from Launceston city to the shores of Bass Strait. We’ll discover many quaint riverside villages that feature arts and crafts from the local area, the elegant Batman Bridge - the world's first cable-stayed truss bridge – as well as beautiful restaurants where we’ll indulge your senses with the local cuisine and a glass of cool-climate wine. In the late afternoon we’ll head into Launceston for our last three night’s in Tasmania. Overnight Launceston. (B/L)

Day 21

the Tamar Valley, Bay of Fires Winery, Low Head

After breakfast we explore the Tamar Valley, heading north along the eastbank of the river. We head almost to Bass Strait to visit the Low Head Pilot Station Maritime Museum. Low Head Pilot Station, situated at the mouth of the Tamar River, is the oldest group of pilot buildings in Australia. While it was the first station to operate it is the third oldest pilot service after the private operations of Sydney and Hobart. The pilot service dates from 1805 and the first building on the site was probably in 1806. The pilot service still operates from this site today. We then visit the Bay of Fires Winery for a wine tasting and to learn about the unique cool-climate qualities that have led to Tasmania wines being show cased around the world. We’ll enjoy a winetasting and light luncheon fare at the Tamar Ridge Vineyards, overlooking the river, then a late afternoon return to Launceston. Overnight Launceston.(B/L)

Day 22

Launceston, Cataract Gorge and Farewell Dinner

After breakfast we’ll have a relaxed day of sightseeing, including the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, and a brief overview of the city of Launceston. We’ve organised a guided tour of this expansive and interesting Museum as it is built on the original Inveresk Tasmanian Government Railway Workshop and Station site. Our inspection includes their special railway exhibition as well as the Blacksmith Shop – we hope to have a couple of retired blacksmiths who worked at the railway Inveresk workshops to fire up the furnace and conduct a demonstration. There is the opportunity for free time this afternoon, or join us for further sightseeing to Launceston’s Cataract Gorge - a spectacular geological site close to the city centre. The chairlift crossing the Gorge is the longest single span in the world at 308m (924 ft) – but if chairlifts aren't your style, you can opt for the suspension bridge, pausing in the middle to watch the rapids below. On the shady northern side of the gorge, named the Cliff Grounds, is a Victorian garden where wilderness is created with ferns and exotic plants. There’s a kiosk, restaurant and swimming pool, rolling lawns and a rotunda, a footbridge and chairlift across the river, peacocks in the trees, wallabies at dusk. This may be the nation’s most alluring urban reserve. Further upstream is the historic Duck Reach Power Station, now an Interpretation Centre. The Launceston City Council originally commissioned the Power Station in 1893, making it the largest hydro-electric scheme of its day. By 1895 it was lighting the city. Our final night together includes a quality meal. Overnight Launceston.(B/D)

Day 23

Evandale and Clarendon House and to the mainland

After breakfast we travel to inspect the historic village of Evandale - a Georgian village best known for its 19th-century buildings and relatively untouched streetscape. There are plenty of antique galleries, craft shops and even a stained-glass workshop to visit. Many of the arts and crafts made in the area are showcased at the Evandale Market, with more than 100 stalls of crafts, food and amusements – we’ll spend some time at the market for you to explore and purchase things your grandmother’s threw out a few years ago ! Look out for the statue of renowned 19th century artist John Glover, who lived and died in nearby Deddington. We’ll visit Clarendon House, a Georgian mansion owned by the National Trust - set in seven hectares on the banks of the South Esk River, Clarendon was the centre of a large pastoral enterprise developed by James Cox. Complete with servants wing and many farm buildings the House is surrounded by extensive gardens and parklands which you’ve time to explore. The grand colonial house, built in 1838, is beautifully designed with grand hallways and grand Roman columns at the entrance. We’ll enjoy a light early luncheon and then head to Launceston Airport for flights back to the mainland at the end of our wonderful tour of Tasmania.(B/L)

*On some days additional activities will be possible, some at no extra cost, others at additional own cost. Optional additions to the tour (at extra cost) when shown below are followed by (O). Meals included are shown as Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Dinner (D).

FARES

 $ 9,785  (person (twin share), plus airfares)

 $   1990  single supplement for hotels

BOOKING AND ENQUIRY

*Bookings are confirmed on receipt of the booking form and your deposit. The booking form is attached to each tour brochure or can be downloaded above. After receipt of the booking form and deposit, we will send a confirmation letter to you.

For booking, any further details or information,

use the "BOOKING AND ENQUIRY" buttoms above  or  call us on

(02) 9326 9660

0418 585 838

or  email at