Tour Description

Canberra and the Floriade Festival 

(Combined Departure)
Nine Days: 20th – 28th September 2022

Twin Share: $3695 per person. Sole Use: $4375 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.

 

As the weather becomes warmer and the flowers come into bloom, travel with us to experience the explosion of colour at the beautiful Floriade Festival in Canberra!  Originally a grand one-off floral tribute, now over thirty years later, Floriade is Canberra’s most iconic annual tourism event and Australia’s premier spring festival.  On our nine day trip we also take the opportunity to visit some of Canberra’s iconic attractions; we cruise Lake Burley Griffin, visit the Mint and the National Capital exhibition and much more besides!  So take some time to smell the flowers this spring and join us as we journey to Canberra!

 

Day One – TUESDAY 20 SEPTEMBER 2022

(includes light lunch and two course dinner)

We depart this morning after home pick-ups (limited areas*), to begin our journey east. We head out of the city through the Adelaide Hills, making our way to Tailem Bend for our morning tea break.

A little further on we join the Mallee Highway heading towards the Victorian Border. The small town of Pinnaroo is where we enjoy lunch today, refreshing us for our afternoon drive.

Continuing along the Mallee Highway, we stop in Ouyen to stretch our legs and take in the fresh country air.

We journey along the Calder Highway to Swan Hill our final destination for the day. Tonight’s accommodation will be at the Comfort Inn Campbell (Ph.03 5032 4427), where we enjoy a delicious dinner before retiring for the evening.

Day Two – WEDNESDAY 21 SEPTEMBER 2022

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

Following a hearty breakfast, we board the coach to begin our morning drive to the Riverina town of Deniliquin. Located on the Edward River, a tributary of the Murray, the town is home to a spectacular water tower art work that stands nearly 23 metres high. Painted by street artist Cam Scale in 2019 it features Kookaburras on one side then transitions to a night sky and campfire.

After morning tea and time to admire the stunning art work, we continue east to Lockhart noted for its remarkable main street featuring shady verandahs, decorative iron work and beautifully restored facades. It is also home to a colourful water tower mural and a sculpture trail that features works made from recycled farm materials. We will see some of these works as we drive through town and stop to enjoy lunch at a local café or bakery.

From here we sit back, relax and enjoy the afternoon journey as we pass through Wagga Wagga and Junee.

It is not long before we reach picturesque Cootamundra, birthplace of cricket legend Sir Donald Bradman. Here we settle into our rooms at the Cootamundra Gardens Motel (Ph. 02 6942 1833) before our two course dinner in the restaurant.

Day Three – THURSDAY 22 SEPTEMBER 2022

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

This morning, we continue our travels east along the Hume Highway to Yass, a pretty town situated on the Yass River, a tributary of the Murrumbidgee River. It is here that we stop to enjoy our morning tea

Late morning we drive through Murrumbateman, arriving in The Australian Capital Territory around midday. Making our way to the Mount Ainslie Lookout we get a sense of the layout of our national capital, enjoying spectacular views of Canberra and Lake Burley Griffin.

After lunch, we head to the Royal Australian Mint, where our Australian currency is produced. Opened in 1965, one of the first jobs for the Mint was to produce coins for the introduction of decimal currency.  Since this time, it has struck over 15 billion circulating coins and can make up to two million coins per day. The Mint also manufactures medals, medallions, seals and tokens for the private and public sectors including the Order of Australia medals. We can see the display of rare, valuable and historically significant coins from the National Coin Collection and look into the production factory to see one of the strongest robots in the world. There will also be time to visit the theatrette and wander through the shop.

Our accommodation for the next four nights is at the Alpha Hotel Canberra (Ph. 02 6293 3666) nestled in the Tuggeranong Valley. There will be time to unpack and relax before our dinner together.

Day Four – FRIDAY 23 SEPTEMBER 2022

(includes cooked breakfast, money for lunch and two course dinner)

This morning we make our way to Commonwealth Park at Regatta Point for the highlight of our tour, the Canberra Floriade!  It began in 1988 as a one-off floral tribute to celebrate Australia’s bi-centenary and Canberra’s 75th anniversary, with a stunning floral display of exotic bulbs and annuals which grow beautifully in Canberra’s climate. The community embraced the event, making it such a success that it has become an annual celebration of spring. The floral display of more than a million blooms across 8,000 square metres of inner city parkland is much more than just a flower show. There is an ever expanding program of music, cultural celebrations, food, horticultural workshops, artistic displays and entertainment as part of the festival.  We have plenty of time to explore this morning and enjoy lunch at our leisure.

After leaving Floriade, we will make our way to the National Capital Exhibition. Through interactive displays, the exhibition tells the story of Australia’s national capital and Canberra’s vital role in Federation.

This afternoon we set out to enjoy the Embassy tourist drive. With many of the embassies located in Yarralumla, it is a fascinating tour, as various nations have built their embassies and high commissions using architecture and landscaping reflective of their country and culture.

Following a day filled with colour and culture, we head back to our accommodation for a restful evening.

Day Five – SATURDAY 24 SEPTEMBER 2022

(includes cooked breakfast, money for lunch and two course dinner)

After a delicious breakfast, we make our way to the Southern Cross Yacht Club where we embark on a wonderful cruise on Lake Burley Griffin. This man-made lake has many of Canberra’s famous buildings and landmarks on its banks, making this cruise one of the best ways to view Canberra. An informative commentary by the captain provides an insight into the history and culture of the Nation’s Capital.

As the national capital, Canberra boasts a number of iconic attractions and institutions, which means we are spoilt with choice for places to visit. This afternoon we have the opportunity to choose where we would like to spend our time. The bus will shuttle between some of Canberra’s most popular attractions and each location has a café where you can enjoy lunch at your leisure.

The Australian War Memorial is our national memorial dedicated to the members of our armed forces and supporting organisations who have participated in war. Opened in 1941, it combines a shrine, world-class museum and extensive archive. The War Memorial is widely regarded as one of the most significant  of its type in the world, not just because of the magnificent architecture of the building and extensive collection, but primarily because of the unique experience which provides a true reflection of the Australian character and identity. A visit to the memorial is a truly moving experience.

Located on Lake Burley Griffin is the National Museum of Australia. The museum preserves and interprets Australia’s social history, exploring the key issues, people and events that have shaped the nation. It also holds the world’s largest collection of Aboriginal bark paintings and stone tools, as well as the heart of champion racehorse Phar Lap and the Holden prototype No. 1 car. There is also a Museum Shop which stocks beautiful homewares, glassware, jewellery, indigenous products, an extensive selection of toys, books, bath and body products, candles, giftware and more.

If you would like to enjoy the weather and outdoors, the Australian National Botanic Gardens are nestled in the foothills of Black Mountain. There are a variety of trails to wander throughout the gardens. They offer a breathtaking array of native plants in a spectacular bushland setting. This is the only place in the world which offers such a diversity of Australian native plants in one location.

Before returning to our accommodation this afternoon, we will make our way to Red Hill Lookout. Located just south of the city centre, the lookout offers spectacular sweeping vistas of Canberra and great views of many of Australia’s national icons. From here we head back to the motel with time to relax and freshen up before dinner.

Day Six – SUNDAY 25 SEPTEMBER 2022

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

This morning we have the opportunity once again to choose where we would like to visit. We make our way to the city where we can visit another of Canberra’s national attractions.

Opened in 1988 by Queen Elizabeth II, Parliament House sits atop Capital Hill and its most striking feature, the flag mast, is the focal point of the Parliamentary Triangle. When visiting Parliament House you can join a tour, explore the gardens, visit an exhibition or simply take in the architecture and grandeur of this symbolic building.

The Museum of Australian Democracy tells the story of Australia’s social and political history. It is ideally located in Old Parliament House, a Nationally Heritage listed building which was opened in the 1920s and is synonymous with some of the country’s most important moments in political history. You can join a guided tour and visit one of the many exhibitions on offer.

The National Gallery of Australia and National Portrait Gallery are situated next door to each other on the banks of Lake Burley Griffin. The Portrait Gallery is the youngest of the national cultural institutions in Canberra and maintains a diverse collection of works that date back as early as 1782.

We have the morning to enjoy our chosen attraction before boarding the bus once more to travel to the small village of Sutton. Situated on the west bank of the Yass River, Sutton is home to the spectacular ten acre Tulip Top Gardens. This beautiful garden boasts a magnificent display of tulips and spring flowers, with hundreds of blossom trees, a waterfall, watercourse and viewing platform. We enjoy our lunch on arrival, before taking time to stroll through the surrounding gardens.

Back in Canberra, we make our way to Black Mountain, for our final visit today at Telstra Tower.  Standing 195 metres above the mountain’s summit, it is an imposing structure on Canberra’s skyline. Besides providing essential communication facilities, the tower offers spectacular 360 degree panoramas. An indoor observation deck and two outdoor platforms provide the perfect spot to take in stunning views of the city and suburbs, as well as the surrounding landscapes. It is the perfect way to end our stay in Canberra.

Late afternoon we travel back to our accommodation in Greenway for the last night in our nation’s capital.

Day Seven – MONDAY 26 SEPTEMBER 2022

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

After breakfast, we begin our travels north along the Barton Highway. Crossing into New South Wales, we pass Yass, pausing for morning tea in the small village of Bowning, one of the earliest settlements in the district.

Our journey takes us through Wallendbeen to the heart of the grain growing area of southern New South Wales. We stop for lunch in the town of Temora which sits on the east of Australia’s ‘food bowl’, known as the Riverina.

Continuing our drive this afternoon we come to today’s destination of Griffith. This vibrant, cosmopolitan city was designed by Walter Burley Griffin, the same architect who designed Canberra. The similarity to Canberra is evident in the wide tree-lined streets, radial patterns and parks.

We check into our accommodation for the night at the Kidman Wayside Inn (Ph. 02 6964 5666).

Day Eight – TUESDAY 27 SEPTEMBER 2022

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

Leaving Griffith after breakfast we set off along the Sturt Highway. We arrive in Hay, situated on the picturesque Murrumbidgee River, where we will stop for morning tea.

Continuing through the Hay Plains and the Murrumbidgee Valley we reach Balranald. Here the wetlands meets the outback and we stop to enjoy our light lunch at a local cafe.

Back on the road we sit back and watch the changing scenery as we travel through Euston and cross the border into Victoria in the late afternoon. We arrive in Mildura the largest settlement in the Sunraysia region and a major horticultural centre. It is primarily noted for its grape production, supplying 80% of Victoria’s grapes. The other key crops produced in the district include citrus, almonds and dried fruit.

Our accommodation for tonight  is the Best Western Chaffey Motor Inn, Mildura (Ph. 03 5023 5833) and we have the chance to relax and freshen up before our final dinner on tour.

Day Nine – WEDNESDAY 28 SEPTEMBER 2022

(includes cooked breakfast and two course lunch)

After a good night’s sleep, we embark on the last leg of our journey home. Not long after leaving Mildura, we cross the border into South Australia and drive to Renmark, where we enjoy morning tea by the Murray River.

From here we continue through the vineyards and citrus groves as we travel along the Sturt Highway and cross the river at Kingston on Murray. The scenery changes again as we make our way to Blanchetown, where we stop for a delicious two course lunch.

This afternoon we skirt the edge of the famous Barossa wine region, stopping at some point to stretch our legs. It’s not long before we arrive in Adelaide and are on our way back to our homes, with wonderful memories of the vibrant colours and stunning beauty of Canberra’s Floriade Festival.