Tasmania, picturesque coastal towns and the eastern Outback are the focal points of this trip. The itinerary includes: flying the remote and rugged SW coast of Tasmania, a scenic flight over Sydney Harbour, a sea cruise to see the Tasman Island cliffs close up, a visit to the restored convict prison of Port Arthur, the city of Hobart, King Island, and a working Outback station. And seeing it all by air is spectacular!
Days 1 & 2: Brisbane / Toowoomba, QLD
Our first two days will focus on preparations for the flying portion of the trip, including briefings and check rides. If you do not wish to attend all the briefings, Toowoomba offers a vibrant downtown area and there are many optional activities. Talk to your Tour Director for more information.
Days 3 & 4: Trilby Station, NSW
Trilby Station is a 320,000 acre working outback station running about 240,000 Merino sheep.
We stop here to give you an authentic outback experience. Our hosts, the Murray family, have owned the station since 1981 and they can trace their ancestry in the region back six generations to 1860. Their goal, in opening up their station to visitors, is to inspire visitors to understand the allure of such a lifestyle.
During our time here, we will stop in at our first outback pub in Louth as we wait for our hosts to pick us up. On our full day we have a half-day station tour that will give you a real insight into the family’s life on Trilby. Afterwards, there are walking trails along the Darling River where you have an excellent chance of seeing kangaroos, emus and other wildlife. Or you may opt to just lounge by the pool!
Day 5: Lake Mungo National Park, NSW
The Lake Mungo Park and surrounding region is a World Heritage Area because it was here that 40,000 year old human remains were found – Mungo Man and Mungo Woman. It is the oldest site of human occupation in the Southern Hemisphere and proof of the longevity of Aboriginal habitation of the Australian continent.
After arriving midday, we will have a guided tour the National Park where we will see the dried bed of a lake that once provided a rich environment for its inhabitants.
After the tour we will still have time to enjoy Mungo Lodge, our overnight accommodation. Each couple or single will have their own private cabin with excellent views of the surrounding area from which it’s just a short walk to the main lodge, where we gather for meals and a few drinks. A surprisingly luxurious venue in a somewhat remote area.
Days 6 & 7: King Island, TAS
King Island is one of those off-the-beaten track destinations we like to have in the itineary. Not visited by most tourists it is loved by those who know it. King Island has a real, away-from-it-all feeling and is a unique Australian stop.
A bit of local culture: when on “KI”, Tasmania is the “mainland” and the rest of the country is referred to as Australia.
While on KI, we will be shown some of the best that the island has to offer including:
- Fresh seafood dinners at restaurants with wonderful sea views
- A day tour to see spectacular beaches, the tallest lighthouse in the Southern Hemisphere and KI’s fabulous coastline
- Cheese tasting at the island’s famous King Island Dairy
Days 8 & 9: Cradle Mountain, TAS
Cradle Mountain and its national park is considered by all to be one of the highlights of the trip.
Your accommodation will be a private cabin, with its own fireplace, a short walk from the main lodge where we will dine and enjoy a Tasmanian wine & cheese tasting event.
During our full day there, you will have time to take any of the the many walks in this pristine, rugged landscape. This area is also abundant with wildlife, particularly wombats and pademelons. You might even see an echidna or two!
Days 10 , 11 & 12: Hobart, TAS
Hobart is one of the key stops on our trip. It has much to offer so you may feel that even with three nights you would like a few more!
During our time here, we will have two, truly unique Tasmanian experiences: a sea cruise around Tasman Island, with it’s spectacular cliffs, and an afternoon at Port Arthur which, in its heyday, was one of the biggest convict prisons in Australia.
Both tours have been arranged through awardwinning Pennicott Journeys with Tasman Island in the morning and Port Arthur in the afternoon.
Tasman Island Cruise
For this cruise we will be in custom made 43-person boats which will take us close-up to some of the most beautiful and dramatic sea cliffs you will see anywhere. We will explore waterfalls, rock formations, archways and deep-sea caves. No long-distance viewing on this trip! The shoreline is also home to a wide variety of sea life including a seals, migrating whales and many different types of sea birds.
Port Arthur Historic Site
Australia’s first white settlers, who arrived in the “First Fleet” in January 1788, were primarily convicts and their guards. Thus began the convict period in Australia history. Over the years, the convict prison in Port Arthur Tasmania became one of the largest, with over 1100 convicts in the mid 1800’s. Convict life was very harsh with lashings as standard punishment. It was also a place where the idea of mental subjugation was tried through strict isolation of prisoners.
At the end of the convict era, the site fell into disrepair but it has now been extensively restored so on tour we will gain a real appreciation convict life, now difficult to comprehend, and how it fits into the history and the culture of modern Australia.
You will have a full day to explore on your own. Some of the more popular local attractions that you might consider are:
- Salamanca Market – Note: Only on Saturdays
- MONA Museum – www.mona.com.au
- Tasmania Museum and Art Gallery
- Tasmanina Botanical Gardens
- Hobart Historical Walk – www.hobarthistorictours.com.au
- Mount Wellington, for a fabulous view of the city.
Day 13: Mallacoota, VIC
This quiet seaside town, in the very south east corner of the country, is typical of all the small coastal towns before they were developed, including a caravan park on the prime coastal location. This feature makes it very popular with the large “grey nomad” population who travel throughout Australia year round.
We will arrive mid to late afternoon so your best time to explore will be next day, when we have a relaxed morning before having lunch at a surprisingly good asian noodle shop across the road from the hotel. A walk to the harbour to see the pelicans or to the point, where you can look out over the Pacific Ocean, are recommended.
Days 14, 15: Kiama, NSW
Our next stop is Kiama, a popular local seaside town. Not as “undiscovered” as Mallacoota, but still a lovely spot and a favourite weekend destination for the locals.
On our full day in Kiama you will have the option of exploring the town on your own or, probably of most interest to the pilots, visiting the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society [HARS] museum and hangar. This all-volunteer group has gathered an amazing collection of vintage aircraft, many of which are still flown, in including one of only two airworthy Lockheed Super Constellations in the world.
Day 16: Port Macquarie, NSW
Port Macquaire, is another popular coastal town and a favourite vacation spot. En route, we will fly the beautiful Sydney Harbour scenic route. Be sure to have your camera ready for the amazing views.
This day is mostly flying, but we will arrive in Port Macquarie early enough for you to enjoy a walk along the pier, to wander in town or to just hang out at our hotel in your sea view room or in the lounge, also with great water views.
Day 17: Port Macquarie to Toowoomba / Brisbane
On our final day we will continue along the beautiful pacific coast, turning inland at Gold Coast. Then, after landing back at Toowoomba, it’s off to Brisbane for our farewell dinner at a riverside restaurant.
Day 18: Depart Brisbane
Our adventure together will officially end after breakfast.
After many wonderful experiences on this trip we will depart with rich memories that will only leave you wanting to come back to Australia for more!