Day 1: Arrival Launceston. Depending on your interests you may wish to re-visit the national park or take a tour of the northern beach areas of Brunie and Ulverstone on your way to Launceston. Overnight: Launceston.
Day 2: Launceston & Tamar River. Boag and Son has been brewing on the banks of the Esk River since 1881. Since then, the technology and equipment has changed - gleaming stainless steel dominates now - but the pride and craftsmanship has remained the same as it was 100 years ago. Tours start and finish at the `Boag`s Centre for Beer Lovers` (Museum) which is open Monday to Friday from 0845. Afterward you might like to take a cruise on the Tamar River from Launceston. Alternatively you might like to drive and sample some of the Tamar Valley`s wines in a single day. Individual vineyards and cottages are full of charm and mystique.
The area is swiftly gaining recognition for the regions award-winning restaurants and cafes, the appeal of the Wine Route lies in the diversity of wineries along the way. Enjoy your travels through the Tamar Valley and Pipers River regions of the Tamar Valley Wine Route. This evening we strongly suggest a splurge at the Stillwater River Cafe. Stillwater has been immensely successful, due to the owners inventive and Asian influenced food, Imelda`s standards of front of house service and the wonderfully atmospheric room at the historic and beautifully restored Ritchie`s Mill building in Paterson Street. Also it has probably the best Tasmanian wine list in the state, beautifully displayed in a real wine cellar. Overnight Launceston.
Days 3 & 4: Launceston - Freycinet National Park. On the Midland Highway, south-east of Launceston is Ross, a beautiful old town established as a garrison in 1821. It has a fine collection of Georgian cottages and a fascinating sandstone bridge carved by a convict in 1836 – the work earned him his freedom. The remains of the old female factory, a prison for women between 1847 and 1853, have been restored and are open to the public. Next stop is Scamander, a popular East Coast holiday town with a long sandy beach. The town is also famous for the Scamander Forest Reserve, good surfing and fishing for trout and bream in the local river.
To the south there are more spectacular beaches, then the famous Chain of Lagoons seafood stall – stock up on succulent prawns, oysters and crayfish, or try a scallop and crayfish pie! Then travel south to Bicheno, the gem of the Sun Coast. The beaches are white and inviting and the area is ideal for snorkeling, the East Coast Bird life and Animal Park, the Sealife Center and the town’s blow hole, then take an evening fairy penguin tour. A day trip from Bicheno to Freycinet National Park, Tasmania’s premier coastal reserve is a must! With its sheltered white sandy beaches, bright blue waters, forests, rugged pink and gray hued granite peaks and abundant wildlife, Freycinet National Park is indeed a natural paradise. Overnight: Launceston.
Day 5: Northeast Coast - Hobart. After leaving the Freycinet Park area be sure to stop off at Swansea and visit the "Left foot Cafe" and try one of their famous cakes. Take a look at beautiful Spring Beach near Orford and Buckland’s tiny 1846 church before heading off to Hobart. You’ll then reach picturesque Richmond with its famous bridge, classic Georgian buildings and the 1825 Richmond Gaol. Shop for antiques and knitwear or visit the Richmond Wine Center and the Old Hobart Town Model Village. Overnight: Hobart.
Day 6: Huon Valley. Today we suggest a drive down to the beautiful Huon Valley. Visit many boutique vineyards and we suggest a mouth-watering lunch at the stunning Home Hill Vineyard and Restaurant, and it`s not over priced. If you feel like taking full advantage of the vineyards, we can organize an exclusive tour of the vineyards with great gay friendly tour operator. Overnight: Hobart.
Day 7: Port Arthur. This morning we recommend an early morning start. Approximately one and a half hours scenic drive to Port Arthur. Imagine a new British colony in the new 19th century. The British system of convict transportation sent sailing ships crowded with settlers, soldiers and convicts to this unknown land. The settlers struggled to live off the land, the military ruled the tiny settlements. Allow at least two hours at this historic sight. Afterwards a short stop to meet a Tasmanian Devil at the Tasmanian Devil Park. A range of other native animals including quolls, eagles, rare golden possums, kangaroos and wallabies will greet you. The park also features Kings of the Wind free flight bird show. This show runs twice daily. Overnight: Hobart.
Day 8: Hobart - Strahan. On leaving Hobart in the morning, you will drive to Strahan via Lake St Claire. Spend a very comfortable night in a cottage at the Strahan Village Resort. If you like food, the Franklin Manor Restaurant is a highly recommended experience. Overnight: Strahan.
Day 9: Lady Jane Franklin 2 Cruise. Appearing to stand silent within Tasmania’s World Heritage Area, the majestic Gordon River winds its way from deep in the South-West to the mouth of Macquarie Harbour near Strahan. Take a cruise aboard Lady Jane Franklin II on these majestic Tasmanian waterways – the site of many historic battles for our convict heritage, original settlers and conservationists. Reach out to the ancient temperate rain forests and touch their craggy surfaces that bear witness to hundreds of thousands of years.
For our client who choose to take our Superior Hotels option they will cruise in extra comfort in the Captain’s Premier Upper Deck. The Captain’s Premier Upper Deck with its leather seating, private viewing deck, room to move around the cabin and excellent food and wine, all included in your ticket price. The highly trained guides who tell stories along the way are available to help you fully enjoy your experience. Overnight: Ulverstone (Standard Hotels) Cradle Mountain (Superior).
Day 10: Cradle Mountain Wilderness & Wildlife. Choose from many different grades of spectacular walking tracks and wildlife encounters, or perhaps pamper yourself in their spa treatment centre. Cradle Mountain Lodge is your home for two nights. Here you will stay is a Deluxe Spa Cabin with log fire, however we recommend at least considering the King Billy Suite for a special occasion. The restaurant here is typical of Tasmanian excellence and offers world class food and a scrumptious complimentary Mountain Breakfast. Overnight: Ulverstone (Standard Hotels) Cradle Mountain (Superior).
Day 11: Launceston. Depending on your interests you may wish to re-visit the Cradle Mountain National Park or take a tour of the northern beach areas of Brunie and Ulverstone on your way to Launceston.
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