Tour Description

Christmas around Melbourne

Seven Days: 22nd – 28th December 2019

Twin Share: $2495 per person. Sole Use: $2879 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.

 

Join us this Christmas as we spend a week exploring the gems situated on the outskirts of Melbourne. Staying four nights in Eumemmerring, we take day trips into the Dandenongs and Mornington Peninsula, enjoying the highlights of these beautiful areas—views of the fern gully forests aboard the Puffing Billy steam train, a birds eye view from Arthurs Seat and the fascinating history and coastal views of Point Nepean. We cross the bay via ferry to start our journey home, calling in at Geelong and Ballarat. Enjoy a Christmas getaway with Endeavour Tours exploring picturesque Victoria.

 

Day One – SUNDAY 22 DECEMBER 2019

(includes lunch and three course dinner)

After completing home pick-ups (limited areas*), we begin our journey by travelling through the beautiful Mount Lofty Ranges. Our morning tea stop is at Tailem Bend before we continue towards the Tatiara. Travelling through Coonalpyn, Tintinara and Keith, we reach Bordertown, where we enjoy a light lunch at a local bakery.

This afternoon leads us through the Victorian countryside and as we pass through Horsham, we see glimpses of the spectacular formations of the Grampians landscape.

We continue along the highway to Stawell and our accommodation for the night at Magdala Motor Lodge (ph. 03 5358 3877).

 

Day Two – MONDAY 23 DECEMBER 2019

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

After a good night’s rest we depart the motel and drive west through the Victorian gold-rush town of Ararat.  Not far past Ballarat, we stop at Pykes Creek Reservoir, a popular recreational area for the locals and a beautiful spot to enjoy our morning tea.

After making our way through Melbourne city we reach the eastern suburb of Cranbourne. The Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne is a division of the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne and one of Victoria’s most precious areas of native bushland. It offers nature-lovers the chance to explore 363 hectares of untouched heathlands, wetlands and woodlands.

On arrival we enjoy lunch at the café before having time to explore the gardens at our leisure. The ’Garden Explorer’ is a fantastic way to get around and see all that the gardens have to offer. One of the highlights is the Australian Garden which has been designed to follow the journey of water from the arid inland landscape to the coastal fringes and provides inspiration for using Australian plants in our own gardens.

This afternoon we journey north to Eumemmering where we check into our accommodation for the next four nights, at Atura Hotel Dandenong (Ph. 03 9771 6000). There is plenty of time to settle in, unpack and relax before dinner. 

 

Day Three – TUESDAY 24 DECEMBER 2019  

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

Renowned for its extensive hilly landscape boasting lush green forests and many scenic view points, the Dandenong Ranges is a popular spot for visitors and the destination of our travels today.

Following breakfast we drive to nearby Belgrave, which has been a railway town since a narrow gauge line was opened in 1900 to help the local farmers take their goods to the markets in Melbourne. In 1962 the railway was restored and the now famous Puffing Billy provides a great introduction to the area. This century old train takes us on a scenic journey, crosses a trestle bridge and passes through the southern section of Sherbrooke Forest. It is a fantastic way to experience the beauty of the Dandenongs.

The journey takes us to Lakeside Station, which was the end of the line for Puffing Billy for 23 years. It wasn’t until 1998 that the line to Gembrook was reopened to the public. In 1944 the station consisted of only a small platform and sign, but it has now grown to include a barbeque, picnic area and kiosk and is a popular place for families. We have the opportunity to explore the area before returning to the nearby town of Emerald to enjoy lunch.

Early afternoon, we venture to the top of Mount Dandenong, situated amongst fern glades and towering native forest. The views looking across the Mornington Peninsula to Port Phillip Bay and surrounding areas are breathtaking.

Driving through the ranges, we will pass through the villages of Olinda and Sassafras. These quaint little towns offer a diverse collection of antique, art, craft and specialty shops. From wooden toys to fragrant candles, you are sure to find something hand-crafted and truly special in the local shops. We’ll take time to browse before returning to our accommodation with time to freshen up before dinner.

 

Day Four – WEDNESDAY 25 DECEMBER 2019

(includes cooked breakfast, traditional Christmas lunch and light dinner)

Merry Christmas to all!  We wake to a special day of fun, friendship and relaxation!

For those who wish, there is an opportunity to attend local Christmas Day church services this morning. Others can spend some free time taking a walk or perhaps enjoy an easy morning relaxing at the motel.

At lunch time we gather together for a magnificent three course meal prepared by our hosts in the motel restaurant. Our Christmas lunch will have all the decorations and traditional trimmings and will be a wonderful feast to enjoy with friends!

Full and contented we enjoy some scenic touring around the region with our tour driver this afternoon, exploring more of the Dandenong Ranges.

Returning to our accommodation, there will be time to relax before dinner. Our meal this evening will be a light dinner and a lovely end to a spectacular Christmas Day!

 

Day Five – THURSDAY 26 DECEMBER 2019

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

Today we explore the beauty and diversity of the Mornington Peninsula known for its gourmet product, relaxed coastal living and spectacular scenery.

We will journey to the tip of the Peninsula to Point Nepean National Park. This is one of Victoria’s beautiful natural landscapes and the coastal scenery is outstanding, with panoramic views of Bass Strait, the Rip and Port Phillip Bay.

Point Nepean also has a rich history and played an important part in the early settlement of Victoria, particularly in the areas of quarantine and defence. It is the site of two historic, 19th century landmarks. One is The Quarantine Station that defended the Victorian colony against disease. The second site has the fortifications that defended the colony against foreign attack. It was known as Victoria’s “Gibraltar” and was said to be the best-defended commercial city of the British Empire. Today they are regarded as unique examples of the important role the coastal defence played in protecting the colonies.

From here we will drive to the highest point on the Peninsula, Arthurs Seat, where we make our way to the summit of the towering peak and one of Mornington Peninsula’s newest attraction, the Eagle. Opened in December 2016, the state-of-the-art gondola ride provides a birds eye view. As you soar above the State forest, you are awestruck by the amazing panoramic views of Port Phillip, Safety Beach, Mount Martha, Rosebud and Portsea. We’ll board a gondola for the spectacular journey from the Summit to the base station in Dromana, before returning back to the top again!

We depart Arthurs Seat and travel down to the bayside centre of Dromana, known for it’s vineyards. From here we explore the coast of the Peninsula, travelling east to Mornington, a popular sea-side holiday destination with a history dating back to 1802 when Matthew Flinders landed at Schnapper Point.

After a day of spectacular views, we return to Eumemmerring by late afternoon.

 

Day Six – FRIDAY 27 DECEMBER 2019

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

Following breakfast, we farewell our hosts and journey back to the Mornington Peninsula. Arriving in Sorrento, we’ll board the ferry for a relaxing forty minute journey across to Queenscliff. It is a fascinating trip with views of the Peninsula and across Port Phillip Bay where we may see dolphins and many large ships.

Queenscliff is situated on the Bellarine Peninsula and is a town full of “olde worlde” character, as is evident from the numerous historic hotels, homes and stores that can be seen here. It even has a bona fide fort, built to defend Port Phillip Bay from foreign navies and undesirables!

Departing the Peninsula, we make our way into Geelong to visit the National Wool Museum located in an historic bluestone woolstore in the waterfront precinct. With contemporary displays that talk of shearing, wool cleaning, classing, pressing and dispatching, the museum tells a timeless story of the Australian wool industry through its permanent and travelling exhibitions.

From here we continue our journey to today’s destination of Ballarat. Built on the wealth derived from the goldfields and the location of the infamous Eureka Rebellion in 1854, we stay our last night on tour at the Bell Tower Inn (Ph. 03 5334 1600).

 

Day Seven – SATURDAY 28 DECEMBER 2019

(includes cooked breakfast and two course lunch)

Today we begin the last leg of our journey home. Departing Ballarat we travel through Stawell, admiring views of the Grampians, and onto Horsham where we will pause for morning tea.

The beautiful countryside continues as we travel north, passing through Kaniva and crossing the border into South Australia where we stop for a hearty two-course lunch at Keith. The afternoon takes us along the Dukes Highway, through towns such as Tintinara and Coonalpyn This region was historically known as the Ninety Mile Desert until in 1949 when the AMP Society started to develop the land. By 1970 some 2800 square kilometres of the Ninety Mile Desert had been turned into usable farmland.

After a short stop in Tailem Bend, we travel through the Adelaide Hills and back to our homes after a wonderful trip away exploring the outer suburbs of Melbourne at Christmas.