Road Scholar : Home
Walking Australia: From Tasmania to the Great Ocean Road

Program Number: 20755RJ
Start and End Dates:
10/18/2014 - 11/2/2014; 3/5/2016 - 3/20/2016; 10/1/2016 - 10/16/2016;
Duration: 15 nights
Location: Australia
Price starting at: $6,167.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Walking/Hiking Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 35; 13 Breakfasts, 12 Lunches, 10 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

The rainforests, coastlines and islands of Australia are home to some of the country’s most valuable treasures — and there’s no better way to experience them than on foot! Join local experts for a walking exploration along some of Australia’s most notable national parks and iconic coastal paths. Walk in the footsteps of indigenous peoples, learn about early penal colonies and explore the natural habitats of animals such as the koala and platypus.


• Experience Tasmania’s pristine wilderness during walks through Mole Creek Karst, Cradle Mountain and Freycinet National Parks.
• Marvel in Victoria’s coastline as you explore the Great Ocean Walk in the Great Otway and Port Campbell National Parks.
• Get a first-hand look at Australia’s indigenous creatures, including wallabies, platypus, wombats and more.

Activity Particulars

Walking and standing up to four hours per day; some stairs. Elevations of 3,500 feet.

Date Specific Information

10-18-2014, 3-5-2016, 10-1-2016

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.

Itinerary Summary

Arrival Launceston, 1 night; coach to Cradle Mountain National Park, 2 nights; coach to Strahan, 1 night; coach to Hobart, 2 nights; coach to Freycinet National Park, 2 nights; fly to Melbourne, coach to Apollo Bay on the Great Ocean Road, 3 nights; coach to Port Campbell on the Great Ocean Road, 1 night; coach to Melbourne, 1 night; departure.

Coordinated by Road Scholar.

Overnight flight from the USA
1 night
Cross International Dateline
1 night
Flight to Launceston
1 night
Coach to Cradle Mountain National Park
2 nights

Begin your exploration of Australia with a walk through the historic centre of Launceston along the Tamar River. Field trips to Mole Creek Karst National Park and Cradle Mountain National Park offer opportunities to explore the Tasmanian landscape. Search for the elusive platypus, and learn the history of the Waldheim Chalet and look out over beautiful Dove Lake.

Coach to Strahan
1 night
Coach to Hobart
2 nights

In Strahan, marvel in the temperate rainforest and mountain crags along the Gordon River — a UNESCO World Heritage Site — during a study cruise. Learn about Tasmania’s role as a quite often barbaric penal colony during a stop at Sarah Island. Go on an expert-led walk through Lake St. Clair National Park and enjoy a day of walking explorations through Hobart’s delightful historic district.

Coach to Freycinet National Park
2 nights

Ferry to Maria Island for a first-hand look at Tasmanian kangaroos, wallabies and wombats before continuing through to Bicheno to see local penguin rookeries. Walks through Freycinet National Park offer breathtaking views over Wineglass Bay, and opportunities to learn about Cape Tourville lighthouse and the aquaculture industry at Freycinet Marine Farm.

Flight to Melbourne
Coach to Apollo Bay
3 nights
Coach to Port Campbell
1 night

Thrill in the beauty of Australia’s coastline during walks along Great Ocean Road, an Australian National Heritage site. See koalas and wallabies at Cape Otway Centre for Conservation Ecology and explore the rainforest of Great Otway and Port Campbell national parks. Learn something of the shipwreck history of this spectacular coast. Marvel at more than 10,000 Short-tailed Shearwaters on Griffith Island, and walk with emus and kangaroos at the Tower Hill State Game Reserve.

Coach to Melbourne
1 night

Return to Melbourne for an overnight stay prior to flying out to the USA.


From expansive desert to the 1,616 mile Great Barrier Reef, the planet’s smallest continent is also one of the most diverse. Native Aboriginal culture dates back nearly 30,000 years, and with the arrival of Europeans colonists followed by a Gold Rush, Australia evolved into a true amalgam of ethnicities and cultures. Its cities, outbacks and beaches harbor tales of pirates and penal colonies, marine wonderlands and a modern, multi-national citizenry.

Launceston: Centrally-located hotel. Cradle Mountain National Park: Lodge with spa. Strahan: Comfortable motel overlooking the harbor. Hobart: Centrally-located hotel. Freycinet National Park: Hotel with beach views. Apollo Bay: Hotel with beach views. Port Campbell: Four-star motor inn. Melbourne: Airport hotel and conference centre.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Peter Burns

A native of Melbourne, Peter Burns is a civil engineer by training – with a master’s degree in natural resources – but he went on to work as a teacher and environmentalist in addition to engineering. His work brought him remote Aboriginal communities in central Australia. Peter also worked for 18 years as a ranger in charge of the Great Otway National Park, and he is actively involved in the community as a voluteer ambulance officer.
Meals and Lodgings
   Sebel Launceston
  Launceston, Australia 1 night
   Cradle Mountain Lodge
  Cradle Mtn National Park, Australia 2 nights
   Strahan Village Hotel
  Strahan, Australia 1 night
   Best Western Hobart
  Hobart, Australia 2 nights
   Swansea Waterloo Inn
  Freycinet National Park, Australia 2 nights
   Comfort Inn, The International
  Great Ocean Road (Apollo Bay), Australia 3 nights
   Great Ocean Road Motor Inn
  Great Ocean Road (Port Campbell), Australia 1 night
   Best Western Airport Motel & Convention Centre
  Melbourne, Australia 1 night
 Sebel Launceston
Type: Hotel
  Description: The Sebel Launceston Hotel offers boutique Launceston accommodation in the city centre, minutes to the vibrant seaport. Perfectly positioned on the corner of St John and Williams Streets, within walking distance of Cataract Gorge, Aurora Stadium, James Boag Brewery and the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery. Located on Cornwall Square, one of Launceston’s most historic sites. The site was originally used as the city’s market garden as well as a lumberyard and a works depot. It was previously known as the Market Square, however, after the visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York to Tasmania in 1901, it was re-named Cornwall Square in their honour. Showcasing natural Tasmanian stone and timbers throughout the interior and locally commissioned art, this Launceston hotel offers charming, contemporary accommodation in one of Australia’s oldest and most picturesque cities.
  Contact info: Corner of St John & Williams Streets
Launceston, TAS,  7250 Australia
phone: +61 3 6333 7555
  Room amenities: Room features: kitchenette with microwave, cooktop and dishwasher; laundry with washing machine and dryer; bathroom with shower only; furnished private balcony; individually controlled air-conditioning and heating; flatscreen TV with satellite channels; WiFi internet access; work desk; International direct dial access; iron and ironing board.
  Facility amenities: A spacious alfresco dining terrace and private courtyard framed by Oak trees provide fantastic outdoor dining options, whilst the guest lounge with open fire is a cosy place to unwind in the evening. This Launceston hotel also offers the convenience of 24-hour room service.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Upon application. For additional pre- and post-program accommodation, please contact Road Scholar Travel Services at (800) 241-1404 or via email to
  Check in time: 2:00 PM

 Cradle Mountain Lodge
Type: Lodge
  Description: Located on the northern edge of the World Heritage listed Cradle Mountain/Lake St. Clair National Park.
  Contact info: Cradle Mountain Road
Cradle Mountain TAS,  7306 Australia
phone: +61 -3-6492-1303
  Room amenities: Room facilities include heating, tea/coffee making facilities, telephone, refrigerator and hair dryer.
  Facility amenities: Lodge facilities include guest laundry, guest television & video library, Spa Centre, Games area, internet kiosk and foreign exchange.
  Smoking allowed: No

 Strahan Village Hotel
Type: Motel
  Description: Located on the hill overlooking Strahan Harbour waterfront.
  Contact info: The Esplanade
Strahan TAS,  7468 Australia
phone: +61 -3-6471-4200
  Room amenities: Room facilities include tea/coffee making facilities, television, telephone, refrigerator, iron/ironing board and hairdryer.
  Facility amenities: Hotel facilities include guest laundry and safety deposit box facility.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Best Western Hobart
Type: Hotel
  Description: Best Western Hobart provides you with easy access to many of Hobart’s key leisure attractions, including Battery Point, Salamanca Place and the Hobart waterfront, as well as a vast array of restaurants, bars. The hotel is only 2 minute walk from the heart of the CBD’s major retail precinct and a 10 minute walk to Salamanca tourist, dining and retail precinct.
  Contact info: 156 Bathurst Street
Hobart TAS,  7000 Australia
phone: +61 -3-6232-6255
  Room amenities: Room facilities include tea/coffee making facilities, television, in-house movies, ISD/STD telephone, refrigerator, iron/ironing board and hairdryer.
  Facility amenities: Hotel facilities include a guest laundry, swimming pool, fitness centre and safety deposit box facility.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Swansea Waterloo Inn
Type: Motel
  Description: Located overlooking the beach and offering panoramic views to Freycinet Peninsula.
  Contact info: 1 Franklin Street
Swansea TAS,  7190 Australia
phone: +61 -3-6257-8577
  Room amenities: Room facilities include tea/coffee making facilities, telephone, television and refrigerator.
  Facility amenities: Hotel facilities include a guest laundry.
  Smoking allowed: No

 Comfort Inn, The International
Type: Hotel
  Description: Located opposite the beach and golf course.
  Contact info: 37 Great Ocean Road
Apollo Bay VIC,  3233 Australia
phone: +61 -3-5237-6100
  Room amenities: Room facilities include tea/coffee making facilities, television (cable), telephone, refrigerator, iron/ironing board and internet connection.
  Facility amenities: Hotel facilities include guest laundry, guest whirlpool/hot tub, swimming pool and safety deposit box facility.
  Smoking allowed: No

 Great Ocean Road Motor Inn
Type: Motel
  Contact info: 10 Great Ocean Road
Port Campbell, VIC,  3269 Australia
phone: +61 3 5598 6522
  Facility amenities: Great Ocean Road Motor Inn offers spacious, comfortable, tastefully-decorated units with decks. Each apartment has been individually furnished and decorated. All rooms have electric blankets, air conditioning, tv/video and hair dryers. On site is a laundry.
  Smoking allowed: No

 Best Western Airport Motel & Convention Centre
Type: Hotel
  Description: Close to Melbourne Airport. Just used for an overnight stop due to altered flight schedules. The hotel offers free wireless internet.
  Contact info: 33 Ardlie Street
Melbourne,   Australia
phone: +61 3 9333 2200
  Room amenities: All rooms have queen beds, Foxtel cable TV, wireless Internet and reverse-cycle air conditioning. Executive and deluxe rooms feature a private balcony. Each room includes a full size iron/ironing board, hairdryer, refrigerator, mini bar, remote control LCD TV, individually controlled heater/air conditioner and same day dry cleaning service.
  Facility amenities: This Melbourne airport motel features an a la carte restaurant open for breakfast and dinner, guest laundry, outdoor swimming pool and heated spa, outdoor leisure area including a barbeque and impressive purpose-built banquet and conference facilities catering for groups from 2 to 400.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Launceston by 2pm. The designated group flights - QF94 from Los Angeles to Melbourne and QF2283 from Melbourne to Launceston - are due to arrive at Launceston Airport at 1pm on Monday October 20. You will be staying at Sebel Launceston that night.
  End of Program:
Participants will be transferred to Melbourne International Airport in time to check in for the group flight, QF93, due to depart Melbourne for Los Angeles at 11:55am on Monday November 10. You will be staying at Best Western Airport Motel & Convention Centre the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required. All US passport holders travelling to Australia must obtain an electronic visa prior to entering the country. You will not receive a visa stamp inside your passport, nor will you receive anything in writing. Instead you will be registered with the Australian Government as valid to enter/exit Australia. Road Scholar Travel Services will process the visa electronically and will send the visa confirmation to participants three to four weeks before departure.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
To Start of Program
  Location:  Launceston
  Nearest airport:  Launceston Domestic Airport
  Transportation to site: Our Launceston hotel is approximately 15 - 20 minutes from Launceston airport. A taxi to the hotel will cost around AU$30 - 35. Alternatively the Airporter Shuttle Bus Service costs AU$18 to the CBD.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Melbourne
  Nearest airport:  Melbourne International Airport
  Transportation from site: Our Melbourne airport accommodation offers a complimentary shuttle service to Melbourne airport.
Elevation Note: The accommodation and walks in the Cradle Mountain area are at an elevation of around 3,500 feet.

Equipment Requirements: Normal walking equipment for comfortable terrain should be packed. Hiking/walking boots/shoes are highly recommended as being more suited to this program than ordinary sports shoes. Thin, easily stored wet-weather gear is advised as is clothing that can be easily layered. If you are in the habit of using hiking poles, they would be worth bringing. A pair of gaiters would also be useful.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Departure
(Saturday, October 18)
 Evening: Depart the USA this evening on overnight flight to Australia.

Day 2: In flight
(Sunday, October 19)
 In Transit: Cross International Dateline

Day 3: Arrive in Launceston / Program Overview / Orientation to Launceston
(Monday, October 20)
 Morning: If you are on the designated group flights from Los Angeles you will have a brief lay-over at Melbourne airport before boarding your connecting flight to Launceston. Upon your arrival on that flight into Launceston, you will be met by your leader and board our coach to lunch.
 Lunch: We will have lunch at local cafe.
 Afternoon: After lunch we transfer to our accommodation and check in. After time to settle in, we will have a welcome meeting and program overview followed by a lecture introducing us to Australia and Tasmania. We can then have a short walk to explore the centre of historic Launceston along the Tamar River.
 Dinner: Dinner at accommodation.
 Evening: After our long flights, we have an early evening.
Accommodations: Sebel Launceston
Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Mole Creek Karst National Park / transfer to Cradle Mountain National Park
(Tuesday, October 21)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at accommodation.
 Morning: This morning we leave Launceston and head into Mole Creek Karst National Park. Here we will have a guided walk getting our first taste of the pristine Tasmanian landscape. We carry on to our accommodation in Cradle Mountain National Park.
 Lunch: Lunch at accommodation.
 Afternoon: This afternoon we begin our exploration of Cradle Mountain National Park with several short walks in the general vicinity of our accommodation. We can explore the Enchanted Walk, Pencil Pines Falls Walk and the Rainforest Walk.
 Dinner: At accommodation.
 Evening: At dusk this evening we will go on a short stroll to try and locate the elusive platypus. When samples of the platypus were first sent back to the British Museum in the 19th century, the curators believed it was an elaborate hoax and that explorers had somehow joined the remains of a duck to a beaver.
Accommodations: Cradle Mountain Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Exploring the wonderful Cradle Mountain National Park.
(Wednesday, October 22)
 Breakfast: At dawn, before breakfast, we can embark on another excursion to try and find the platypus if last night's efforts failed. We will then return to our accommodation for breakfast.
 Morning: This morning we have a half-day guided walk around the beautiful Dove Lake on the Dove Lake Circuit.
 Lunch: We return to our accommodation for lunch.
 Afternoon: This afternoon is free for you to relax and soak up the natural beauty of this stunning landscape. Your leader will be able to assist those of you wishing to walk further. There is ample opportunity to embark on additional walks along the Cradle Valley and/or along King Billy Walk. You may also choose to walk to the historic Waldheim Chalet to learn something of the history of the area.
 Dinner: Dinner tonight is at our accommodation.
 Evening: The evening is free for you to relax at leisure.
Accommodations: Cradle Mountain Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Coach to Strahan / Nature & history cruise on the Gordon River
(Thursday, October 23)
 Breakfast: This morning we depart early from Cradle Mountain taking a boxed breakfast with us.
 Morning: We drive through to Strahan for our cruise on the Gordon River - a World Heritage Listed area of temperate rainforest and mountain crags. The area is the site of one of Australia's longest-running and most successful environmental protests.
 Lunch: We have lunch on board the cruise vessel.
 Afternoon: Our cruise continues with an exploration of Tasmania's notorious convict past as we visit the ruins of a former convict gaol on Sarah Island and discover the harsh conditions endured by those sentenced there. The remainder of the afternoon is free for us to explore the delightful historic fishing village of Strahan at leisure. For those who wish, there is the possibility of an additional afternoon walk to a local waterfall. This walk takes in Strahan People's Park and the Hogarth Falls Circuit.
 Dinner: We have dinner tonight at our accommodation.
 Evening: The evening is free to relax at leisure.
Accommodations: Strahan Village Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Drive through the World Heritage wilderness en route to Hobart / Walk in Lake St Clair National Park
(Friday, October 24)
 Breakfast: We have breakfast at our accommodation.
 Morning: This morning we drive through the wilderness bound for Lake St Clair National Park. We will have a guided walk to Nelson Falls, located in a cool temperate rainforest within the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park, part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage area.
 Lunch: We will have lunch at the Lake St Clair Lodge.
 Afternoon: After lunch, there is the option of an additional circuit walk at Lake St Clair for those who wish to stretch their legs further prior to getting back on our bus. En route to Hobart we visit the Wall in the Wilderness – "an inspirational tale carved from the mountains and rivers of the Central Highlands of Tasmania" commemorating those who helped shape the past and present of Tasmania’s central highlands. The area is surrounded by wilderness and is full of mining heritage which highlights bygone days when Queenstown was a thriving gold and copper town. We carry on to our hotel in Hobart.
 Dinner: We have dinner at our accommodation.
 Evening: The evening is at leisure.
Accommodations: Best Western Hobart
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Day at leisure in Hobart.
(Saturday, October 25)
 Breakfast: We have breakfast in our hotel
 Morning: We have an early morning guided walk around Hobart's historic Battery Point precinct. After that, the remainder of the day is free for you to explore Tasmania's compact capital at leisure. Perhaps you will join in the fun of the Salamanca Markets in Hobart's historic quarter; perhaps you will head off and visit Hobart's newest attraction, the cutting-edge Museum of Old & New Art and finish in the winery and brewery also located on-site; perhaps you will walk up Mount Wellington for its panoramic outlook. Your leader will give you additional information on various walks available to you. The day is yours to do as you see fit.
 Lunch: Lunch is at own arrangements.
 Afternoon: This afternoon is free at leisure in Hobart.
 Dinner: Dinner is at own arrangements.
 Evening: This evening is free at leisure in Hobart.
Accommodations: Best Western Hobart
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 9: Maria Island walk / Bicheno Penguin Rookeries
(Sunday, October 26)
 Breakfast: We have breakfast at our hotel.
 Morning: This morning we leave Hobart and travel to board the Maria Island ferry at Triabunna. We board and cruise across the bay to stunning Maria Island - a formal penal colony known for its amazing scenery and abundant wildlife. On the island are Tasmanian kangaroos, wallabies, wombats and echidnas. The unique birdlife includes the endangered forty spotted pardalote, Cape Barren geese (the world’s second rarest breed), eagles and numerous sea bird species. On the island we will have a walking tour of the old Darlington settlement.
 Lunch: We will take a packed lunch with us to eat on the Island.
 Afternoon: This afternoon, depending on the conditions, we will walk to the Fossil Cliffs or Mount Bishop. After gaining an insight in to the Island's spectacular vistas, we take the ferry back to the mainland. We carry on to Swansea, on the edge of the Freycinet National Park, and check in to our accommodation.
 Dinner: We will have an early dinner at our accommodation.
 Evening: This evening we will travel through to Bicheno and visit the local penguin rookeries so we can get up and close to these delightful little creatures.
Accommodations: Swansea Waterloo Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Walking in Freycinet National Park / Wineglass Bay Lookout / Marine Farming
(Monday, October 27)
 Breakfast: We have breakfast at our accommodation.
 Morning: We take our coach through to Freycinet National Park and walk up to the lookout overlooking Wineglass Bay, one of Tasmania’s iconic destinations and most memorable vistas.
 Lunch: We have a BBQ lunch as we take in the scenery at Freycinet Lodge.
 Afternoon: This afternoon we take a walk to Cape Tourville lighthouse for another spectacular scenic spot. We then have a field trip at the Freycinet Marine Farm where we learn about the local aquaculture industry.
 Dinner: We return to Swansea for dinner and an evening to relax. Those who wish might like to take an additional cliff-top walk whilst in Swansea.
 Evening: The evening is free to relax at leisure.
Accommodations: Swansea Waterloo Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Fly to Melbourne to start out on Australia's iconic Great Ocean Road.
(Tuesday, October 28)
 Breakfast: As we have an early start this morning to get to our flight to Melbourne, we will be given money to get our breakfast at Hobart Airport.
 Morning: After our early-morning dash to Hobart Domestic Airport, we fly to Melbourne and commence the Great Ocean Road section of our program.
 Lunch: We will have lunch at a local cafe en route to the Great Ocean Road.
 Afternoon: This afternoon we travel to the Great Ocean Road via Torquay and Bell's Beach, famous for the world surfing titles held there each Easter. We will pause and stand under the Memorial Arch on the Great Ocean Road where we will learn about the history of the Great Ocean Road - built mainly with picks and shovels by returned soldiers from WWI and dedicated to all those who died in battle. We will have a brief stop to [hopefully] view the koalas in the gum trees by the ocean at Kennett River. We will have a short orientation walk in Apollo Bay on arrival.
 Dinner: We will have dinner at our accommodation.
 Evening: The evening is free to relax at leisure.
Accommodations: Comfort Inn, The International
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Walking Exploration of Cape Otway - history, native fauna & indigenous archaeology
(Wednesday, October 29)
 Breakfast: We have breakfast at our accommodation.
 Morning: This morning we begin our exploration of the Great Ocean Road with a guided tour of Australia's oldest mainland lighthouse. En route to the lighthouse we will gain another opportunity to hopefully view the koala in their natural habitat. We will have a walk to the scenic lookout and the historic Signal Station.
 Lunch: We will have lunch at the Cape Otway Lightstation cafe.
 Afternoon: After lunch we have a lecture on Indigenous Archaeology followed by a walk along a section of the Great Ocean Walk to view the historic Lightstation cemetery and enjoy spectacular views of the Southern Ocean. We will then have a guided visit to the Cape Otway Centre for Conservation Ecology where we will see koalas and wallabies being rehabilitated and also learn of the vulnerability of the tiger quoll (often called the Australian native cat).
 Dinner: Dinner tonight is at own arrangements in Apollo Bay.
 Evening: The evening is free for you to explore Apollo Bay at leisure.
Accommodations: Comfort Inn, The International
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 13: The Great Ocean Walk
(Thursday, October 30)
 Breakfast: We will have breakfast at our accommodation.
 Morning: Today we will have a half-day guided walk along the Great Ocean Walk experiencing spectacular coastal views in a pristine environment.
 Lunch: We will have a BBQ lunch today at Bimbi Park nestled within unique coastal manna gums abounding in koalas.
 Afternoon: We return along the Great Ocean Road to Apollo Bay and have some time at leisure. Those who wish may like to add in an additional walk from Marengo to Apollo Bay while we are staying in Apollo Bay.
 Dinner: Dinner this evening is at own arrangements.
 Evening: The evening is free for you to explore Apollo Bay or relax at leisure.
Accommodations: Comfort Inn, The International
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 14: Melba Gully & The 12 Apostles
(Friday, October 31)
 Breakfast: We will have breakfast at our accommodation before departing Apollo Bay.
 Morning: This morning we have a guided walk in magnificent rainforest at Melba Gully in the Great Otway National Park. We will have another field trip to the Gables Lookout from where we gain spectacular views of the Southern Ocean and Shipwreck Coast.
 Lunch: We will have a packed lunch en route to Port Campbell.
 Afternoon: Upon arriving in Port Campbell we will explore the magnificent Port Campbell National Park with guided walks to Loch Ard Gorge and the historic Gibson Steps.
 Dinner: We will have dinner tonight at a local restaurant.
 Evening: This evening we will return to have a sunset viewing of the 12 Apostles.
Accommodations: Great Ocean Road Motor Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15: Bay of Islands Coastal Park / Walking exploration of central Melbourne
(Saturday, November 1)
 Breakfast: We will have breakfast at our accommodation.
 Morning: This morning we explore the spectacular Bay of Islands Coastal Park before travelling to Melbourne.
 Lunch: We will have lunch at a local cafe en route to Melbourne.
 Afternoon: This afternoon our leader will give us a guided walk of central Melbourne introducing us to Melbourne's historic buildings, its parklands, the Yarra River and its sporting and relaxation precincts
 Dinner: We will have a farewell dinner at a restaurant in Melbourne.
 Evening: After dinner, we will transfer to our Melbourne airport accommodation in time to do our final pack before our flights home in the morning.
Accommodations: Best Western Airport Motel & Convention Centre
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 16: Depart from Melbourne Airport to the USA.
(Sunday, November 2)
 Breakfast: We have breakfast at our accommodation.
 Morning: After breakfast, we check out and transfer to the airport for our flight to Los Angeles and beyond.
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List

A Commonwealth of Thieves, The Improbable Birth of Australia

Author: Thomas Keneally

Description: With drama and flair, novelist Keneally illuminates the birth of New South Wales in 1788, richly evoking the social conditions in London, the miserable sea voyage and the desperate conditions of the new colony. His tale revolves around Arthur Phillips, the ambitious (and bland) captain in the Royal Navy who would become the first governor of New South Wales. You may be familiar with Keneally as the author of the acclaimed work (made into an equally-renowned film) "Schindler's List".

A Complete Guide to Reptiles of Australia

Author: Steve Wilson

Description: A comprehensive account of the 800 species of Australian reptiles, grouped by family. Each entry includes a distribution map, notes on habitat, range and conservation status. Covering crocodiles, sea turtles, freshwater turtles, geckos, flat-footed lizards, skinks, dragons, goannas, blind snakes, pythons, file snakes, colubrid snakes, terrestrial elapids, sea snakes, and, sea kraits.

Aboriginal Australians

Author: Stephen Muecke

Description: A lively illustrated overview of the culture and history of the Aborigines. The authors explore how the Aborigines came to be in Australia, their rituals and Dreamings, and the importance of kin in their social structures. With a chapter on the atrocious treatment at the hands of white settlers and the pervasive racial prejudice that remained enshrined in the Australian constitution until 1967. The final section deals with the massive indigenous cultural renaissance over the past four decades, and discusses how Aboriginal art - whether Central Desert acrylic art, batik, contemporary urban painting, sculpture or traditional bark painting - has become a flagship for Australian culture.

Australia Map

Author: ITMB

Description: This large folded map of Australia, at a scale of 1:3,500,000, includes national parks, reserves and roads, all clearly marked. Two Sides. 34x40 inches.

Australian Birds

Author: Pocket Naturalist

Description: A fold-up, laminated card featuring color drawings and short descriptions of commonly encountered Australian birds.

Australian Wildlife

Author: James Kavanaugh • Raymond Leung (Illustrator)

Description: This illustrated fold-out guide features almost 150 species of Australian animals. Laminated for durability; pocket-size for quick reference in the field.

Bradt Australian Wildlife

Author: Stella Martin

Description: A guide not just to kangaroo and koala, this compact, illustrated survey, featuring 250 color photographs, takes in habitats, parks and conservation, marsupials, birds and bats.

Chasing Kangaroo

Author: Tim Flannery

Description: An ode to the kangaroo in all their splendid diversity and oddity. Revisiting his early love of kangaroo fossils, Flannery weaves engaging tales of his adventures on the trails of marsupials past and present with his travels and encounters with eccentric scientists and Aborigines.

Dirt Music, A Novel

Author: Tim Winton

Description: Among Australia's finest writers, Tim Winton fashions powerful and elegant tales set within the arid outback of Western Australia. An alcoholic mother and a down-on-his luck poacher are the protagonists of this recent novel, where landscape and nature play just as much a role as the characters themselves.

Field Guide to the Birds of Australia

Author: Ken Simpson • Nicholas Day

Description: A handbook and field guide to Australia's birds with 2,000 vivid color illustrations, each accompanied by a brief description and revised range map. This more compact seventh edition features 16 new or revised color plates, new maps and condensed information.

Field Guide to the Mammals of Australia

Author: Peter Menkhorst • Frank Knight (Illustrator)

Description: A comprehensive guide to 376 species of kangaroos, koalas, bandicoots, wombats, deer, seals, whales and other mammals of Australia featuring full color illustrations by Frank Knight. Third edition

In A Sunburned Country

Author: Bill Bryson

Description: Bill Bryson revels in Australia's eccentric characters, dangerous flora and fauna, and other oddities. As has become his custom, he effortlessly imparts much fact-filled history in this wildly funny book. Included at the end is a short bibliography. This book is published as "Down Under" in Australia, New Zealand and Great Britain.


Author: Bruce Chatwin

Description: Rory Stewart provides the introduction to this 25th anniversary edition of Bruce Chatwin's celebrated travelogue, which is as much about its gifted author - and the meaning of travel - as about the Aboriginal people and their ways of life. Chatwin transforms a journey through the Outback into an exhilarating, semi-fictional meditation on our place in the world.

The Fatal Shore

Author: Robert Hughes

Description: A celebrated social history, both scholarly and entertaining. Hughes traces the fate of those who were transported to the penal colonies of Australia between 1787 and 1868 in this engaging popular account, drawn from the experiences of the colonists themselves. A precursor to the gulags and prison camps of the 20th century, the British penal colonies in Australia are an oft-forgotten experiment in 19th century social reform and colonization. While the colonies were concentrated mainly in small coastal sections of New South Wales and Tasmania, the book helps elucidate how this first chapter in their history was the most vital factor in defining the early Australian character.

Travellers’ Tales Australia: True Stories of Life Down Under

Author: Larry Habegger & Amy G. Carlson

Description: An excellent introduction to the people, culture and traditions of Australia as seen through the eyes of mostly contemporary writers, including Pico Iyer, Paul Theroux, Bruce Chatwin, and D.H. Lawrence. Organized thematically, it includes articles and excerpts on the Great Barrier Reef, the outback, the Nullarbor Plateau and Bondi Beach.

True History of the Kelly Gang

Author: Peter Carey

Description: A powerful, daring novel, steeped in the colonial history of late 19th-century Australia. Outlaw, folk hero, thief and patriot, the Irish immigrant Ned Kelly and his clan figure large in the Australian mindset. Carey's Booker Prize-winning novel (his second after "Oscar & Lucinda") takes the form of a series of rough, captivating letters by the barely literate gang leader to his young daughter. Kelly was hanged in Melbourne in 1880, where his mother was also imprisoned.

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