20755
Australia
Walking Australia: From Tasmania to the Great Ocean Road
Walk through the beautiful and unique landscape of Australia, joining local experts to discover national parks, pristine coastlines, myriad wildlife and Colonial history.
Program No. 20755RJ
Length
16 days
Starts at
5,199
Flights start at
1,575
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16 days
15 nights
35 meals
13 B 12 L 10 D
Getting There
See travel details and required documents
DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight
DAY
2
In Transit to Program, Crossing International Dateline
In Flight

Activity note: A day is "lost" due to crossing the International Dateline.

DAY
3
Arrive to Launceston, Orientation, Riverside Walk
Launceston
L,D
Sebel Launceston

Activity note: Upon your arrival in Launceston, you will be given an aluminium water bottle to use throughout your program. These items are yours to keep. This afternoon we will walk up to 2 miles on flat, paved surfaces.

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 get lunch in downtown cafes in Launceston.

Afternoon: After lunch we transfer to our accommodation and check in. After time to settle in, we will have a short walk to explore the centre of historic Launceston along the Tamar River. Orientation. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule and any changes, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have. Some meals will be buffets, others will be plated and served; and some we will order in advance. Beverages typically included coffee, tea, water, with other beverages available for purchase depending on location. Free time is reserved for your personal independent exploration. Evenings at leisure offer opportunities to make the program more meaningful and memorable through personal independent exploration, attending performances or other events on your own, or simply relaxing and making new friends among fellow participants. The Group Leader will always be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local conditions/circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. After the orientation our Group Leader will introduce us to Australia and Tasmania.

Dinner: At our hotel, we will have plated meals. We will have "welcome to Australia" wine with dinner tonight.

Evening: After our long flights, we have an early evening. At leisure. Prepare for hotel check out and transfer tomorrow.

DAY
4
Mole Creek Karst & Cradle Mountain National Parks
Cradle Mtn National Park
B,L,D
Cradle Mountain Lodge

Activity note: The drive from Launceston to Cradle Mountain is about 85 miles (140 kilometres), approximately 2.5 hours.Walking approximately 3 miles, maintained tracks, undulating terrain.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: This morning we leave Launceston and head into Mole Creek Karst National Park. Here we will have a walk with our Group Leader getting our first taste of the pristine Tasmanian landscape. We carry on to our accommodation in Cradle Mountain National Park.

Lunch: At the hotel we will have a sandwich lunch.

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 the hotel we will have plated meals.

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.

DAY
5
Walking in Cradle Mountain National Park
Cradle Mtn National Park
B,L,D
Cradle Mountain Lodge

Activity note: Walking at least 5 miles today, maintained paths, predominantly flat surfaces.

Breakfast: At dawn, before breakfast, we can embark on another excursion to try and find the platypus if last night's efforts failed. Hotel buffet.

Morning: This morning we have a half-day Group Leader-led walk around the beautiful Dove Lake on the Dove Lake Circuit.

Lunch: At the hotel we will have a sandwich lunch.

Afternoon: This afternoon is free for you to relax and soak up the natural beauty of this stunning landscape. Your Group 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: At the hotel we will have plated meals.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for hotel check out and transfer tomorrow.

DAY
6
Coach to Strahan, Gordon River Nature & History Cruise
Strahan
B,L,D
Strahan Village Hotel

Activity note: The drive from Cradle Mountain to Strahan is about 85 miles (140 kilometres), approximately 2.5 hours. Getting on and off a cruise vessel. Walking approximately 1 mile on Sarah Island during our cruise. Walking approximately 2 miles this afternoon for those doing the Hogarth Falls Circuit when back in Strahan.

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: On the cruise vessel, we will have a buffet lunch featuring Tasmanian produce.

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. We return to the jetty in Strahan, a short walk from our hotel. 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: At the hotel.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for hotel check out and transfer tomorrow.

DAY
7
Lake St Clair National Park, Coach to Hobart
Hobart
B,L,D
Hadley's Orient Hotel

Activity note: The drive from Strahan to Hobart is about 185 miles (300 kilometres), approximately 5 hours. Walking 3 miles, maintained tracks, undulating terrain.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: This morning we drive through the wilderness bound for Lake St Clair National Park. Our Group Leader will lead us on a 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: At the Lake St Clair Lodge, we will have a plated lunch.

Afternoon: After lunch, there is the option of an additional two-mile circuit walk at Lake St Clair for those who wish to stretch their legs further prior to getting back on our motorcoach. 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 and check in upon arrival.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
8
Historic Battery Point Walk, Free Time
Hobart
B
Hadley's Orient Hotel

Activity note: Walking up to 3 miles, urban surfaces.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We have an early morning Group Leader-led walk around Hobart's historic Battery Point precinct. After our walk, 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 Group Leader will give you additional information on various walks available to you. The day is yours to do as you see fit.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like.

Afternoon: Free Time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for hotel check out and transfer tomorrow.

DAY
9
Return Cruise to Maria Island, Wilderness Walk, Penguins
Freycinet National Park
B,L,D
Swansea Waterloo Inn

Activity note: The drive from Hobart to Triabunna is about 50 miles (85 kilometres), approximately 1.5 hours. The drive from Triabunna to Swansea is about 30 miles (50 kilometres), approximately 1 hour. The drive from Swansea to Bicheno is about 30 miles (50 kilometres), approximately 45 minutes each way. Getting on and off ferry. Walking 5 - 7 miles, undulating terrain.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: This morning we leave Hobart and travel on our motorcoach to Triabunna, where we board our Maria Island ferry. We cruise across the Mercury Passage to stunning Maria Island - a formal penal colony known for its amazing scenery and abundant wildlife. Maria Island is home to 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 exploration of the old Darlington settlement.

Lunch: On the Island we will have a packed lunch we will bring across from Triabunna.

Afternoon: This afternoon, depending on the conditions, we will, under the guidance of our Group Leader, 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 via motorcoach to Swansea, on the edge of the Freycinet National Park, and check in to our accommodation.

Dinner: At the hotel we will have a reasonably early plated meal to allow us to get to the penguins in time.

Evening: This evening we will travel through to Bicheno and have an expert-led visit to the local penguin rookeries so we can get up and close to these delightful little creatures.

DAY
10
Walk in Freycinet National Park, Freycinet Marine Farm
Freycinet National Park
B,L,D
Swansea Waterloo Inn

Activity note: The drive from Swansea to our stop in Freycinet National Park is about 30 miles (50 kilometres), approximately 45 minutes each way. Walking 5 miles, maintained paths, undulating terrain, steep in parts this morning.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We take our motorcoach through to Freycinet National Park this morning. Our Group Leader will guide us on a walk up to the lookout overlooking Wineglass Bay, one of Tasmania’s iconic destinations and most memorable vistas.

Lunch: BBQ buffet as we take in the scenery at Freycinet Lodge.

Afternoon: Our Group Leader leads us on a walk to Cape Tourville lighthouse this afternoon. From here we can take in more spectacular scenery. We then have an expert-led visit to the Freycinet Marine Farm. Here we learn about the local aquaculture industry and have the opportunity to sample some of the fruits of the hard work and research that has gone in to the local industry. We return via motorcoach in time for dinner.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for hotel check out and transfer tomorrow. Those who wish might like to take an additional cliff-top walk from our hotel after dinner.

DAY
11
Fly to Melbourne, Coach to the Great Ocean Road
Great Ocean Road (Apollo Bay)
B,L,D
Comfort Inn, The International

Activity note: The drive from Swansea to Hobart Airport is about 75 miles (120 kilometres), approximately 2.5 hours. The flight from Hobart to Melbourne is approximately 1 hour 15 minutes. Qantas typically uses Boeing 717 aircraft on this route. The drive from Melbourne's Tullamarine Airport to Apollo Bay is about 125 miles (200 kilometres), approximately 3.5 hours.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We check out of our hotel after an early breakfast and board our motorcoach for the drive through to Hobart Domestic Airport. From we fly to Melbourne and commence the Great Ocean Road section of our program.

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 from our Group Leader 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 carry on to Apollo and check in to our accommodation. We will have a short orientation walk in Apollo Bay on arrival.

Dinner: At our accommodation.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
12
Cape Otway Walk, Indigenous History, Native Fauna
Great Ocean Road (Apollo Bay)
B,L
Comfort Inn, The International

Activity note: Walking approximately 5 miles, defined tracks, undulating terrain.

Breakfast: At a local café we will have a plated breakfast.

Morning: This morning we begin our exploration of the Great Ocean Road with a walk around Maits Rest Rainforest Walk en route to Cape Otway. Travelling on our motorcoach to the Cape we will gain another opportunity to hopefully view koalas in their natural habitat. At Cape Otway we have a guided tour of Australia's oldest mainland lighthouse. We will have a walk to the scenic lookout and the historic Signal Station. While there 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.

Lunch: At the Cape Otway Lightstation café, we will have plated meals.

Afternoon: After lunch we walk west along part of the Great Ocean Walk to Point Flinders. We return to our accommodation on our motorcoach.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
13
Great Ocean Walk, Native Fauna Rehabilitation, Tiger Quoll
Great Ocean Road (Apollo Bay)
B,L
Comfort Inn, The International

Activity note: Walking approximately 5 miles, defined tracks, undulating terrain.

Breakfast: At a local café we will have a plated breakfast.

Morning: This morning we have a expert-led visit to the Cape Otway Centre for Conservation Ecology. Here we will see koalas and wallabies being rehabilitated and also learn of the vulnerability of the tiger quoll (often called the Australian native cat). We will then commence a half-day Group Leader-led walk along the Great Ocean Walk experiencing spectacular coastal views in a pristine environment.

Lunch: At Blanket Bay, we will a packed lunch we have carried from Apollo Bay.

Afternoon: This afternoon we continue our walk along the Great Ocean Walk experiencing spectacular coastal views in a pristine environment from Blanket Bay to Point Flinders. We return on our motorcoach 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.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for hotel check out and transfer tomorrow.

DAY
14
Melba Gully, The 12 Apostles, Coach to Port Campbell
Great Ocean Road (Port Campbell)
B,L,D
Great Ocean Road Motor Inn

Activity note: The drive from Apollo Bay to Port Campbell is about 60 miles (100 kilometres), approximately 1.5 hours. Walking approximately 8 miles, defined tracks, undulating terrain.

Breakfast: At a local café we will have a plated breakfast.

Morning: This morning we check out of our accommodation and board our motorcoach bound for Port Campbell. En route, we will make regular stops for walks with our Group Leader in the natural environment. We first have a 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: At a local restaurant, we will have plated meals.

Evening: This evening we will board our motorcoach to have a sunset viewing of the 12 Apostles. We return to our accommodation to prepare for hotel check out and transfer tomorrow.

DAY
15
Coach to Melbourne, Walking Exploration of City Centre
Melbourne
B,L,D
Best Western Airport Motel & Convention Centre

Activity note: The drive from Port Campbell to Melbourne is about 140 miles (225 kilometres), approximately 3.5 hours. Walking approximately 6 miles, defined tracks and flat city streets.

Breakfast: We will have breakfast at our accommodation.

Morning: This morning we walk two miles as we explore the spectacular Bay of Islands Coastal Park before travelling to Melbourne.

Lunch: At a local café en route to Melbourne, we have plated meals.

Afternoon: Upon our arrival in Melbourne we will check into our central-city accommodation. This afternoon our Group Leader will take us on walk of central Melbourne introducing us to Melbourne's historic buildings, its parklands, the Yarra River and its sporting and relaxation precincts. We will walk through some of Melbourne's famously funky laneways as we wend our way back to our hotel.

Dinner: At our hotel, we will have plated meals. We will have "welcome to Australia" wine with dinner tonight.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for hotel check out and departure in the morning.

DAY
16
Program Concludes
In Flight
B

Activity note: Activity Notes: Hotel check out is by 10:00 a.m. See your program’s travel details regarding transfers. If you are an independent traveler (POP status), see the information “For participants NOT taking the group transfer”.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We will check out of our hotel and transfer to Melbourne Airport. This concludes our program. If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!