Melbourne & Tasmania - A Grand Circle & Convict Trail
Holidays to Australia
Starting your journey in Melbourne - Australia's sporting capital, home to an extra-ordinary variety of entertainments, lane and roof top cafes and restaurants. Then head to 'Tassie'. Explore the wilderness of 17 National Parks, pristine coastlines of the East Coast, and welcoming regional towns. Visit Hobart, coastal islands and convict sites.Experience Tasmania's World Heritage wilderness, great food and wine, compact cities and clean air. Hobart is gateway to historic Port Arthur, the wildlife of Bruny Island and Maria Island, and breathtaking Wineglass Bay in Freycinet. From Launceston or Devonport, discover Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, Liffey Falls and Flinders Island in Bass Strait and Discover Tasmania's wild west coast via Strahan.
Depart UK on your indirect flight to Melbourne
Arrive Melbourne and transfer to hotel. 3 nights in Melbourne, room & breakfast.
Australia's sporting capital, visit Fed Sq, explore the lanes and street art, Melbourne Jail and the vibrant café culture and the vast array of cuisine.
Take the Tram to St Kilda - Melbournes beach resort
Head to the airport for your flight to Hobart. On arrival in Hobart collect the vehicle and then the rest of the day is at leisure to explore Hobart. Hobart is an attractive city built around a beautiful Harbour in the shadow of Mount Wellington. Places of interest include, the Royal Botanical Gardens, Constitution Dock, Sandy Bay, Salamanca Place and Battery Point.
Collect your vehicle and head to Port Arthur, along the way stop at the charming colonial village of Richmond, taking in its convict history, antique and craft stores, art galleries and tea rooms. On your way through the Tasman Peninsula visit the Copping Colonial and Convict Collection (own expense). Take the scenic road to Eaglehawk Neck and admire the spectacular vista at Tasman National Park Lookout. Visit other amazing landmarks including The Devils Kitchen, the Blowhole and Tasman Arch before continuing on to White Beach near Port Arthur.
Explore the Port Arthur Historic Site (Silver Experience Pass is included). Admission to the site includes a guided walking tour, harbour cruise, the convict museum, and access to many of the restored buildings, ruins and beautiful gardens. This evening take a lantern-lit Ghost Tour of Port Arthur for a truly authentic experience.
Today you’ll head north along the stunning eastern coastline of Tasmania towards Swansea. Enjoy the views over Great Oyster Bay to the spectacular granite peaks of Freycinet National Park, learn about the rich colonial history and take in the old world charm. There are plenty of local cafes and restaurants to sample the fresh harvests from land and sea, including famous oysters, wines and fruits.
Heading back to Hobart today, drive inland along the Heritage Highway passing through Campbell Town, Ross and Oatlands. Oatlands is Tasmania’s oldest settlement with wonderful old buildings and is host to the Callington Mill, the only operating Lancashire Tower Mill of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. After stopping in Oatlands for a bite to eat, conclude your journey to Hobart by following the Midland Highway over and along the River Derwent
Depart Hobart this morning and travel via New Norfolk on the Lyall Highway – a spectacular road across the heart of Tasmania to the village of Strahan. Continue through the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park. A number of excellent short walks lead off the highway to rainforests, waterfalls and spectacular lookouts. Stop in Queenstown, surrounded by stark mountains, giving the town an eerie look. There are good views from Spion Kop Lookout, in the centre of town. Continue as the road winds along to the quiet town of Strahan, situated on Macquarie Harbour. Strahan is the only town on Tasmania’s forbidding west coast.
This morning you can take an optional cruise along the Gordon River. Cruises depart at 9am and return at 2pm. Depart Strahan and travel north to Zeehan, which was a booming mining town in the early 1900’s. The Cradle MountainLake St Clair National Park is renowned for its walking tracks with spectacular mountain peaks, deep gorges, lakes, wild open moorlands and an incredible variety of wildlife.
Today is at your leisure to explore Cradle Mountain National Park including the many walks and spectacular scenery.
Depart Cradle Mountain and travel east to Mole Creek. Along the way visit Marakoopa Cave, a wet cave which features two underground streams and an incredible glow-worm display. Continue east to Deloraine. You can also take short detours to visit some local gourmet delights such as local honey and cheese producers as well as a raspberry farm. Continue onto Launceston, the ‘Garden City’, the second largest city in Tasmania, and the centre of Tasmania's north. It is nestled in the hilly country where the Tamar, North Esk and South Esk rivers meet. Only 10 minutes from the city centre is the magnificent Cataract Gorge, here almost vertical cliffs line the banks of the South Esk River as it enters the Tamar
Depart Launceston and travel north-east to Scottsdale, regarded as the hub of the North East serving some of the richest agricultural and forest country in Tasmania. Near Pyengana take a walk to St Columba Falls and pick up some local gourmet cheese. Continue east to the small bayside town of St Helens, a fishing port well known for its crayfish, flounder and scallops. Visit The Gardens and the Bay of Fires Coastal Reserves near Binalong Bay for stunning beaches.
Travel south to Freycinet National Park. Along the way travel through the towns of Scamander and St Mary’s, before stopping for pancakes at Elephant Pass. Or take the coast road from Falmouth to the Chain of Lagoons.Stop at the small resort town of Bicheno before continuing south through Coles Bay to the Freycinet National Park. Stop along the way to explore the Friendly Beaches.
Time at leisure today to explore all that the Freycinet National Park and has to offer, including abundant wildlife, spectacular beaches including Wineglass Bay and a variety of walking trails.
Make an early start this morning, as you depart Freycinet perhaps make a stop at one of the local wineries or berry farm. Cross the Derwent River to reach Hobart on the Tasman Highway.
Your vehicle needs to be returned today, by the same time as it was picked up on Day 1 to avoid any additional charges. Transfer to the airport for your onward adventure or to melbourne for your connecting flight to the UK