Tour Description

Tasmania’s East Coast

Nine Days: 16th – 24th February 2020

Twin Share: $3995 per person. Sole Use: $4595 per person.

Included in the tour:
  • Home pick-ups & set downs (most metro areas – please contact us for details)
  • Picnic-style morning teas & all meals as per the itinerary
  • All accommodation & admissions to all attractions
  • Experienced & informative tour driver/guide.

 

The beauty of Tasmania’s East Coast lies in its sandy white beaches, sheltered bays and welcoming seaside towns. This tour offers so much variety, from the award-winning cruise on stunning Wineglass Bay to the fascinating history of Port Arthur, plus the chance to get close to Tasmanian wildlife. We explore the historic cities of Hobart and Launceston and enjoy the hospitality of coastal villages, taking in the Great Eastern Drive and the lush Tamar Valley. This tour offers something for everyone, including an overnight journey on the Spirit of Tasmania. Join us as we explore the natural beauty and diversity of Tasmania’s East Coast.

 

Day One – SUNDAY 16 FEBRUARY 2020

(includes light lunch and three course dinner)

After being picked up from our homes (limited areas*) we are taken to the Adelaide Airport. On arrival we are met by an Endeavour Tours representative who assists with our group check-in and helps us through the security procedures. We then head to the gate, ready to board our Qantas flight to Hobart via Melbourne.

At Hobart Airport we are met by an Endeavour Tours representative, who will assist with the collection of luggage and take us to meet our driver.

We have the opportunity to familiarise ourselves with Hobart as we take a guided tour of the city. Set between the towering peak of Mount Wellington and the Derwent River, Hobart is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Founded in 1804, it is Australia’s second oldest capital in the country’s smallest state. It’s rich heritage and setting makes it a real delight to explore and everywhere you go, the past steps out to meet you.

After discovering more of this picturesque city, we check into our accommodation at the Best Western Hobart (Ph. 03 6232 6255). We have a little time to settle in before coming together for a delicious three-course dinner.

 

Day Two – MONDAY 17 FEBRUARY 2020

(includes cooked breakfast, light lunch and three course dinner)

Today we delve further into the fascinating history of the early settlers of the Tasman Peninsula.  After breakfast we leave the city behind and cross the Tasman Bridge to the Eastern Shore. We travel down the Tasman Highway to Sorell one of Tasmania’s oldest farming towns and the last major town on the way to the Tasman Peninsula and the East Coast.

After morning tea we travel down the Arthur Highway to Eaglehawk Neck, famous for its spectacular and unusual natural coastal features. Excellent views of the rugged coastline can be seen from the Pirates Bay Lookout. We will view the Devil’s Kitchen and Tasman Arch before reaching Australia’s best-known historic site, the penal settlement of Port Arthur.

We arrive in time for lunch in the Café before taking a guided tour exploring the ruins and re-established areas of this original convict settlement. We can walk through the buildings, many of which are surrounded by avenues of oak and elm trees planted by the original inhabitants.

Afterwards we take a cruise of Port Arthur Harbour, a wonderful way to take in the surrounds and experience the unusual atmosphere of this place.

After a fascinating day, we return to our accommodation in Hobart for dinner

Please Note: For those who would prefer to not visit Port Arthur or would like a day to relax, there is the opportunity to spend today in Hobart at your own leisure.

 

Day Three – TUESDAY 18 FEBRUARY 2020

(includes cooked breakfast, light lunch and three course dinner)

We farewell our hosts in Hobart and take a scenic drive to the historic town of Richmond.  Proclaimed in 1824, Richmond is as elegant today as it was then, when it was an important military staging post and convict station linking Hobart with Port Arthur. Nestled in the Coal River Valley, this classified historic town is famous for its Georgian architecture. The stone buildings now house galleries, teashops, craft boutiques and museums and it is also home to Australia’s oldest Catholic Church, St Johns.

The Richmond Bridge was built in 1823 and Australia’s oldest road bridge which is still in use. Originally named Bigge’s Bridge, it was built by convicts from sandstone quarried at Butchers Hill and hauled by handcarts to the site.

Continuing our travels we journey towards Swansea stopping on the way for morning tea and to view Spiky Bridge, another convict bridge which was built in 1843. It was constructed from fieldstones which were laid without mortar or cement. It has been claimed that the spikes were designed to prevent cattle falling over the sides.

Travelling further north along the Tasman Highway, we reach the town of Bicheno, located north of the Freycinet Peninsula and surrounded by some of Australia’s most picturesque beaches and nature reserves.

We stop at East Coast Natureworld, set amongst 150 acres of natural parkland and lagoons, to enjoy lunch, before taking a guided tour. The park offers a more intimate, interactive experience with Tasmania’s unique animals, birds and reptiles, including Tasmanian Devils, Quolls, Wombats, Eagles, Bettongs, Sugar Gliders, Parrots and lots more.  There’ll also be time to explore the park at our leisure and browse through the shop which has a wide range of Tasmanian and wildlife souvenirs.

Following our visit, we’ll journey back to Swansea, a seaside village that looks out over Great Oyster Bay to the granite peaks of Freycinet National Park. Our accommodation this evening is at the Swansea Motor Inn (Ph. 03 6257 8102) and while here, our meals will be enjoyed at the nearby Bark Mill Tavern.

 

Day Four – WEDNESDAY 19 FEBRUARY 2020

(includes cooked breakfast, light lunch and three course dinner)

This morning we enjoy a drive around to Coles Bay. This town sits at the foot of the granite mountains known as the Hazards and on the edge of the world-renowned Freycinet National Park.  From here we embark on a real highlight of our tour, an unforgettable cruise with award-winning Wineglass Bay Cruises. We are taken from the gentle shores of Coles Bay and guided through the natural history, geology and eco systems of the Freycinet Peninsula, to the world famous Wineglass Bay.  We discover sheer granite cliffs rising straight from the sea forming a sheltered waterway, sea caves, hidden coves and one of the top ten beaches in the world.  There are generally abundant wildlife sightings on these cruises including sea birds, dolphins, seals and whales and we will enjoy a delicious lunch including some of Tasmania’s finest fresh produce whilst on board.

Following our cruise we travel north along the coast, back though Bicheno and onto Scamander, a beautiful beachside settlement on a white sand coastline lapped by crystal clear waters. We then drive to St Helens which overlooks stunning Georges Bay. This is the largest town on Tasmania’s east coast and the state’s second largest fishing port.

On arrival in St Helens we enjoy time at the Visitors Centre and History Room which is packed with artefacts, information and displays from the early exploration of Tasmania through to the mining boom of the northeast. It gives a great insight into aspects of life at the time and how the area flourished.

We then retire to our accommodation for tonight at Tidal Waters Resort (Ph. 03 6376 1999). Situated on the waterfront, surrounded by natural lagoons and gardens, you can enjoy watching the birdlife in this relaxing setting.

 

Day Five – THURSDAY 20 FEBRUARY 2020

(includes cooked breakfast, light lunch and three course dinner)

After breakfast we start our journey towards Launceston, driving through the North Eastern highlands to the former tin mining town of Derby. A quaint riverside village, Derby is a classified historic town situated amongst a landscape of mountains and rainforests. .

Following morning tea, we continue along the Tasman Highway before taking a small detour to the town of Legerwood. This town features a unique Tasmanian attraction—a series of trees sculpted to honour World War 1 soldiers who came from the area. Planted in 1918, the trees had grown to a dangerous height and were declared a safety risk in 1999. In the same spirit in which the community created the memorial all those years ago, the Legerwood community rallied to preserve the memorials and enlisted the help of chainsaw sculptor Eddie Freeman to bring their fallen soldiers back to life in sculpture. Through extensive research, using stories and photos they created twenty five carvings that are as authentic as possible and are a wonderful tribute to these heroes.

Continuing our journey west, we travel through Scottsdale to Nabowla, a town known world-wide for its lavender. We visit Bridestowe Lavender Estate a producer of beautiful lavender flowers and oil. This is one of Tasmania’s most spectacular vistas at any time of the year, with panoramic views over the fields to Mount Arthur. We stop for lunch and are given a guided tour of the flower shed and distillery before taking the chance for some gift shopping.

Late afternoon we arrive in Launceston where we check into our accommodation for the next two nights  at the Hotel Grand Chancellor (Ph. 03 6334 3434), where a delicious dinner will be waiting for us after we have unpacked and settled into our rooms.

 

Day Six – FRIDAY 21 FEBRUARY 2020

(includes cooked breakfast, light lunch and three course dinner)

Launceston is Australia’s third oldest city and the largest settlement in northern Tasmania. It is situated at the point where the South and North Esk Rivers meet to become the Tamar River which flows into Bass Strait. The city nestles in the wide valleys formed by the river systems and is surrounded by mountains. Its rich heritage and setting makes it a real delight to explore, so this morning we take the opportunity to have a good look around with a local guide who will show us many of the highlights.

We then set off to tour the Tamar Valley. Travelling north along the western side of the Tamar River we reach Brady’s Lookout, a wonderful place to appreciate the diverse beauty of the area.

Further north is Beauty Point, a tiny township in the north-east of Tasmania. It was originally established as the first deep water port on the Tamar River to service the nearby gold mine town of Beaconsfield. When the gold rush ended, it became an apple exporting centre.

The town is also home to Seahorse World, a working seahorse farm, dedicated to the breeding and conservation of seahorses, as well as educating the public about these fascinating marine animals. There will be time to look around and admire these beautiful creatures, as well as enjoy a relaxing lunch.

Just south of Beauty Point, we arrive in Beaconsfield, site of Tasmania’s largest gold discoveries and of course, the incredible rescue of two miners who were trapped underground in 2006. We visit the Beaconsfield Mine and Heritage Centre, a place where visitors can lose themselves in history, play with treasures  and be entertained by the interactive displays.

After exploring this beautiful valley, we cross to the east side of the lovely Tamar River and travel back to our motel with time to relax before dinner.

 

Day Seven – SATURDAY 22 FEBRUARY 2020

(includes cooked breakfast, light lunch and three course dinner)

We farewell our hosts this morning and set off for Cataract Gorge, a magnificent Reserve in the Launceston city centre. We have time for a ride on the chairlift, the chance to stretch our legs on one of the pleasant walks through the landscaped gardens or simply relax to admire the views.

Following our visit we depart Launceston, travelling west towards Deloraine. This delightful riverside village is set in the foothills of the Great Western Tiers mountain range and has streets of Georgian and Victorian style buildings, that have been beautifully restored. At Yarns: Artwork in Silk we are privileged to see a beautiful community art project – four amazing sculptured panels of hand-dyed silk, depicting the four seasons of the Great Western Tiers region. It has a special audio presentation with sound and lighting effects, providing an extraordinary experience.

From here we travel a short distance to Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm. A working farm, it is one of two sites owned by Tasmanian Berries, who grow a number of berry varieties and are in fact, one of the largest independent blackberry producers in Australia. It is the ideal spot to enjoy lunch in the café, which highlights fresh Tasmanian produce and showcases the beautiful raspberries they grow on site.

Heading north-west, we arrive in Railton. A town that began its life as a rail head, but today is better  known as the ‘town of topiary’. One mans vision ‘grew’ into a community project that now boasts over 100 living artworks. As we pass through the town we will see a number of the topiary animals, people and imaginary characters that have been created.

Further north we arrive at Latrobe on the banks of the Mersey River, where we visit The House of Anvers. Producing hand-made chocolates, truffles, pralines fudges from the finest of ingredients including fresh Tasmanian cream and butter, this is a “chocolate lovers’ heaven”. We can see the qualified chocolatiers and confectionery staff at work through the viewing windows and also have the opportunity to taste these delicious treats.

Late afternoon we arrive in Devonport, where we will enjoy dinner before boarding the Spirit of Tasmania ferry for our night time journey across Bass Strait and back to the mainland. Modern and fast, the ferry is able to complete the journey in eleven hours.  we can retire to our comfortable en-suite cabins to sleep.

 

Day Eight – SUNDAY 23 FEBRUARY 2020

(includes cooked breakfast, light lunch and three course dinner)

Those who rise early this morning, might want to take the opportunity to head out onto the decks to see the ferry make it’s way towards Port Melbourne. After disembarking, we refuel with a hearty breakfast, before joining the National Highway, leaving Melbourne behind.

While we start our journey along the freeway, it won’t be long before we detour and take a more scenic route to todays destination. As we travel through the beautiful Daylesford-Hepburn Springs region, we can admire the surrounding lush forests and gullies which boast the largest concentration of natural mineral springs in Australia. We’ll take a moment to stretch our legs, enjoy the lovely views and perhaps even taste the water from the natural springs.

Continuing our travels, we’ll head north to the town of Maryborough, an historic town located in the Central Goldfields of Victoria. The town is known for its heritage-listed buildings, including the grand railway station built in 1890 which also boasts the longest railway platform in country Victoria. It is here we will stop to enjoy lunch at a local bakery or café.

The final leg of todays journey takes us to Stawell, gateway to the Grampians National Park and famous for holding the prestigious foot race, the Stawell Gift. We check into our accommodation for the last night on tour, at the Magdala Motor Lodge (Ph. 03 5358 3877).

 

Day Nine – MONDAY 24 FEBRUARY 2020

(includes cooked breakfast and two course lunch)

After breakfast we farewell our hosts in Stawell and begin our journey home.  We travel through Horsham and on to the small town of Natimuk, known for its proximity to Mt Arapiles.  We pause for morning tea in this small farming community before continuing our travels.

Leaving Natimuk behind we sit back and relax while our driver takes us across the South Australian border. By lunchtime we reach Keith where our friends at the hotel will have a two course lunch waiting for us.

Refreshed, we make our way through Tintinara in the Murray Valley Region before we come to Tailem Bend.  Here we have a chance to stretch our legs before crossing the Murray River, and making our way through the Adelaide Hills.

We arrive back in Adelaide, where we begin returning everyone home with memories of the stunning beauty and diversity of East Coast Tasmania.