Tour Description

Stunning Scenery of Tasmania’s West

Eight Days: 9th – 16th February 2020

Twin Share: $3495 per person. Sole Use: $3995 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 island state of Tasmania is known for its pristine, rugged wilderness and none is more breathtaking than that found on the West Coast. Cruising the mirror-like surface of the stunning Gordon River, exploring the splendour of Cradle Mountain, and riding the West Coast Wilderness Railway through lush rainforests, are all unforgettable highlights of this tour. We’ll also explore the north west coast, get close to the vulnerable Tasmanian Devil, see inspiring art and discover Tasmania’s capital, Hobart, a city rich in beauty and history. Join us on this unforgettable journey exploring the spectacular scenery of Western Tasmania.

 

Day One – SUNDAY 9 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 terminal. On arrival we are met by an Endeavour Tours representative who assists us with our group check-in, guides us through the security procedures and to the gate, ready to board our Qantas flight to Launceston via Melbourne.

In Launceston, we are met at the airport gate by our Endeavour Tours driver, who assists with luggage and takes us to meet the Endeavour Tours coach and driver, ready to start our Tasmanian adventure!

We take the highway to Devonport and our accommodation for the next two nights at the Quality Hotel Gateway (Ph: 03 6424 4922). Located on the Mersey River and the Bass Strait coast, Devonport boasts spectacular river, ocean and mountain views and has a bounty of fresh produce on its doorstep.

 

Day Two – MONDAY 10 FEBRUARY 2020

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

Today we explore the picturesque north-west coast of Tasmania. This drive offers beautiful views as the Bass Highway winds its way along the coast, in many places right next to the water. Our first stop this morning will be at the village of Penguin, which sits on the shores of Bass Straight. The town is named after a nearby rookery and pays tribute to its feathered friends with a three metre tall sculpture, The Big Penguin, which stands proudly on the esplanade and was a commemoration of the town’s centenary in 1975.

Travelling west, we arrive in Wynyard for our morning tea break, before continuing through towns such as Table Cape and Boat Harbour Beach, admiring some of the magnificent coastal views along the way.

As we near Stanley, looking east you will notice a landform on the horizon. This ancient volcanic rock formation is ‘The Nut,’ and nestled at its base is the fishing village of Stanley. Not only is it steeped in the early history of Tasmania but it is also a town full of beautifully preserved historic buildings.

On arrival we have lunch before taking the chairlift to the summit of The Nut where we enjoy the spectacular views across Bass Strait and over Stanley township. This is said to be the prettiest spot on the tip of the north-west coast of Tasmania.
Mid-afternoon we travel back to Devonport, arriving with time to freshen up and relax before dinner.

 

Day Three – TUESDAY 11 FEBRUARY 2020

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

This morning we leave Devonport to travel south towards Cradle Mountain, one of the highlights of our tour. We pass through the Mount Roland Range which consists of Mt Roland, Mt Van Dyke and Mt Claude.  This group of Tasmanian mountains form a natural amphitheatre, in the centre of which is Gowrie Park, where we have our morning tea today.

We continue our journey to the heritage-listed Cradle Mountain National Park, one of Tasmania’s principal tourist sites. The Park covers an area of almost 125,000 hectares characterised by a rugged, glaciated landscape with over 25 major peaks and today we are taking a guided tour of some of the highlights. A bus meets us for our journey into the glacially formed Dove Lake to view the jagged peaks of Cradle Mountain, so named after its resemblance to a gold mining cradle. As the local driver shares his knowledge of this spectacular area, we have time to stretch our legs and admire the inspiring, dramatic views.

We then make our way to the Cradle Mountain Interpretation Centre where we will enjoy our picnic lunch. There will also be time to browse the Centre, which has a series of information and displays about this pristine natural environment, as well as an art gallery.

As we make our way out of the park, we will stop at the nearby [email protected], a unique sanctuary that is committed to the conservation and protection of the now vulnerable Tasmania Devil. The centre operates a successful captive breeding program, ensuring the ongoing survival of Tasmanian Devils in healthy numbers in the wild. Our guide will introduce us to the lifestyle of the Alpine Tasmanian Devil before taking us to a special viewing area where we hope to see these beautiful animals up close.

Leaving the Cradle Valley region, we make our way further west, arriving in Zeehan by late afternoon.  Zeehan is rich in mining history and has been formerly known as the “Silver City”. In its heyday it was home to more than 10,000 miners working the rich silver bodies located in this area.

We check into our hotel for the next three nights at the Heemskirk Motor Hotel(Ph: 03 6471 6107).

 

Day Four – WEDNESDAY 12 FEBRUARY 2020

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

The fight to protect the wilderness of Tasmania has been very well publicised and today, we are taken into the heart of some of Tasmania’s most stunning river and rainforest country, in a UNESCO World Heritage Wilderness Area.

Our morning drive takes us from Zeehan to the delightful town of Strahan on Macquarie Harbour. This harbour is the second largest inland waterway in Australia, surpassed only by Port Philip Bay in Melbourne.

We board Spirit of the Wild for a breathtaking six hour cruise with Gordon River Cruises. We cross the  Macquarie Harbour to the convict-named Hell’s Gates at the entrance to the Southern Ocean and if weather permits, we will cruise out through the ‘Gates’ into the ocean. As we continue south in the Harbour, we pass high-tech aquaculture farms where hundreds of thousands of Tasmania’s famous Atlantic Salmon and Ocean Trout are produced.

We enter the ancient wilderness of the Gordon River and the quiet electric motors of our boat allow us to take in the awe and serenity of the this mesmerising river as we cruise. The surface of the water offers mirror-like reflections and we are surrounded by the majestic rugged mountain ranges of the South West Wilderness Area.

When we arrive at Heritage Landing there is an opportunity to disembark and stroll along the boardwalk. This wilderness area consists of temperate rain forest and we can admire the ancient Huon Pine Trees, Myrtle, Native Laurel and Whitey Wood.

During the cruise we enjoy a sumptuous buffet lunch, freshly prepared on board and featuring local produce, including smoked Maquarie Harbour salmon.

On our journey back towards Strahan, we stop at Sarah Island. One of the world’s most brutal penal settlements, Sarah Island is the ‘hell’ in Hell’s Gates and is home to some of Australia’s oldest convict ruins, which pre-date Port Arthur by decades.

After such a memorable cruise, we travel back to Zeehan for dinner and a relaxing evening.

 

Day Five – THURSDAY 13 FEBRUARY 2020

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

This morning we drive to Queenstown, the largest town in Tasmania’s west. Once the world’s richest mining town, the surrounding hills and mountains now bare the scars of mass logging and copper mining in the early 1900’s. Queenstown is now famous for its “moonscape”, as opposed to its landscape.

The original railway between Queenstown and Strahan has been restored and a journey on The West Coast Wilderness Railway is a unique experience not to be missed! We climb aboard a majestic steam train and travel along the steep grades of the rack and pinion that the railway is renowned for. We journey deep into the wilderness, experiencing the cool temperate rainforest that is only accessible on this remarkable railway. On the return trip to Dubbil Barril, we sit back in heritage coaches that have been painstakingly restored, to ensure a comfortable journey, while our guide tells us stories of the railway and how the pioneers who built it in 1896, accomplished such a great feat of labour.

On our return to Queenstown we enjoy lunch at a local café before taking some time to look around. Many of the buildings in the town have been incredibly well preserved and we’ll take a trip to Iron Blow Lookout. This is a cantilevered lookout which provides fantastic views over the former open cut mine, site of  the earliest major mining activity at Mount Lyell back in the 1880’s.

Mid-afternoon we’ll journey back to Zeehan with some free time to relax or discover more about the town.

 

Day Six – FRIDAY 14 FEBRUARY 2020

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

This morning we farewell our hosts in Zeehan and travel east, back through Queenstown to the impressive Nelson Falls where we enjoy our morning tea.

Continuing on, we reach the town of Derwent Bridge, gateway to some of Tasmania’s most stunning wilderness country. Here we visit an extraordinary creation, the Wall in the Wilderness. Acknowledged as Tasmania’s finest piece of art, it is the work of one incredibly talented man, Greg Duncan, who is carving a wall from solid Huon Pine that illustrates Tasmania’s history.  When completed it will measure 100 metres in length and if you look carefully, you may see “Endeavour Tours” carved on a commemorative panel celebrating the halfway mark of the project!  There is nothing like this impressive work of art anywhere else in Australia.

After lunch we continue our travels towards Hobart. We drive to Tarraleah, once the home of hundreds of workers while they were building one of Australia’s first hydro-electric schemes here in Tasmania’s central highlands. From the lookout, the views of the mighty steel pipes as they plunge down the hill, are amazing. The town’s central Lodge and cottages which were hand-built by Tasmanian craftsmen in the 1930s for the Hydro engineers and company directors, have been restored.

Late afternoon, we arrive in Hobart after a day experiencing both natural and man-made marvels.

Our accommodation for our last two nights in Tasmania is at the Best Western Hobart (Ph: 03  6232 6255).

 

 Day Seven – SATURDAY 15 FEBRUARY 2020

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

After breakfast we set out to visit Hobart’s famous Salamanca Markets, one of Australia’s largest and most vibrant outdoor markets. Every Saturday crowds gather to experience the atmosphere and excitement of these markets, located along the gracious, tree-lined and historic Salamanca Place. Hundreds of stallholders set up their wares close to Hobart’s picturesque waterfront, showcasing arts, crafts, jewellery, fresh food, produce, collectables and home wares.

Historic sandstone warehouses from the nineteenth century, now renovated and converted to cafes and galleries, complete the scene. We have some free time here to have morning tea, wander and perhaps buy a souvenir of our holiday.

After lunch, we have the opportunity to become more familiar with Hobart, when a local guide joins our coach and takes us on a comprehensive town tour. 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 as a penal colony, it is Australia’s second oldest capital and everywhere you go, the past steps out to meet you.

There’ll be some free time to relax or explore the city further this afternoon, before we return to our motel for the last night of our tour, with many highlights to reflect on over dinner.

 

Day Eight – SUNDAY 16 FEBRUARY 2020

(includes cooked breakfast and light lunch)

We farewell our hosts this morning and set out for kunanyi/Mount Wellington. Rising 1271 metres above sea level, we will drive up to its peak for sensational views over the city (weather permitting). It is quite a drive up the mountain but it is certainly worth it, as we also have a wonderful perspective on the Derwent River estuary and the wilderness forest to the west of the city. The views on a clear day are magnificent, but we may need a jumper as the temperatures here can be much lower than in the city!

As we descend the mountain, we’ll stop part way for morning tea, enjoying the surrounds of Wellington Park, before continuing to Hobart Airport. We will be assisted through the Qantas check-in process and accompanied to our departure gate. We have a short flight to Melbourne before changing planes for the final flight home.

On arrival at Adelaide Airport we will be met by an Endeavour Tours representative who will assist us to the vehicles that will transfer us home, with memories of the spectacular wilderness and beauty of Western Tasmania.