Take to the open road on Australia's Island state - Our Launceston to Hobart itinerary brings the Tasmanian Wilderness to the fore. Tasmania is a living ark of rare and amazing native animals, many found nowhere else. The outdoor adventures are beyond compare: bushwalking, rafting, diving and mountaineering will take your breath away
Day 1 - Depart US
Day 2 - Cross International Date Line
Day 3 - Arrive Launceston (via Sydney or Melbourne)
LAUNCESTON is known as the 'garden city' because of its abundance of well established beautiful public and private gardens. Tasmania's “northern capital” was established in 1806 by free settlers. It has fine Victorian buildings from the 1870s and 1880s and elegant contemporary architecture. The unique attraction of Cataract Gorge is a natural wonder only a 15-minute walk from the city centre, and not far from the J Boag and Son brewery. Cool climate wines and fine dining are the essence of the new Launceston experience and the city is a perfect base from which to explore the surrounding region
Day 4 - LAUNCESTON – CRADLE MOUNTAIN (150 kms)
CRADLE MOUNTAIN – LAKE ST. CLAIR NATIONAL PARK is part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.
The wildlife most commonly seen in the park are Bennett’s wallabies, rufus wallabies, potoroos and wombats. Bird life consists of parrots, birds of prey and numerous smaller bush birds. Vehicle access is only possible to Cradle Valley in the north of the park and Lake St. Clair in the south. Lake St. Clair is the deepest lake in Australia. A short walk from the Cradle Mountain Lodge is the Visitor Centre where there is a good source of information about the fauna and flora in the region as well as the walks available ranging from gentle nature rambles and day walks to the internationally famous Overland Track. Don’t miss Devils@Cradle Interpretation Center, just a short walk from the entrance to the National Park. Here you will have the opportunity to see and learn about the state’s infamous native animals, the Tasmanian Devil and the Quoll
Day 5 - Cradle Mountain
Day 6 - CRADLE MOUNTAIN – STRAHAN (155 kms)
ZEEHAN is rich in both history and minerals and the discovery of silver and lead in 1882 saw it become the third largest settlement in the early 1900s. Many historic buildings line the main street of Zeehan and one of the best mining displays and history of the region can be found at the West Coast Pioneers Memorial Museum.
STRAHAN, located on the Tasmanian west coast, is the gateway to Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park - one of the world's most beautiful temperate rainforests. The town is situated on scenic Macquarie Harbour and was a penal colony, until 1833 when the convicts were moved to Port Arthur on the east coast. Ocean Beach, 6 km west of Strahan, is Tasmania's longest beach, 33 km in length. Keep an eye out here for the platypuses inhabiting the small creeks that run to the beach. There is also a muttonbird (shearwater) rookery here in season (October to March). Along this stretch of beach are the Henty Sand Dunes, the largest moving dune system in Tasmania, with guided 4 wheel motor bike tours available.
Day 7 - Strahan
Macquarie Harbour is the departure point for cruises on the magnificent Gordon River - a major sightseeing attraction. (We suggest pre-booking this cruise). In the evening, why not take the Bonnett Island Experience cruise out to a Little Penguin rookery at the entrance to Macquarie Harbour. Centuries of pounding seas have carved out sheltered outcrops on the island, where the birds make their burrows and return home after a day fishing at sea. The experience is provided in great comfort aboard a fast cruiser, departing Strahan in time to go ashore just before dusk to enjoy gourmet local Tasmanian specialties. (We suggest pre-booking this cruise as it only accommodates 10 people).
There are some pleasant diversions close to the town. These include the Peoples Park Rainforest Walk to Hogarth Falls, Strahan Historic Foreshore Walkway, Swan Bay picnic area and lookout and West Strahan beach, where there is safe swimming and a barbeque and picnic area. The lookout at Water Tower Hill has fine views over the town and harbour.
Day 8 - STRAHAN – HOBART (290 kms)
LAKE ST CLAIR has an excellent Eco Centre and restaurant. It is only approximately 5 minutes off the highway and well worth a lunch stop.
A detour well worthwhile taking today is to leave the Lyell Highway at Lawrenny and travel via Ellendale to the beautiful Mt Field National Park. A major highlight here is a visit to magnificent Russell Falls. Departing Russell Falls, travel via the towns of Westerway and Glenora to rejoin the Lyell Highway at Gretna, and continue on to Hobart. This detour is approximately 75km to the eastern side of the National Park.
MT. FIELD NATIONAL PARK is Tasmania’s oldest National Park. The striking landscape of the park is bountiful in flora, from rainforest to towering forests of swamp gum, stringybarks and conifers. The bird and animal life is abundant and major attractions are the Lady Barron, Horseshoe and Russell Falls.
HOBART is the smallest of Australia's state capitals. It is situated on the Derwent River, one of the deepest harbours in the world. The old city centre, with its wealth of colonial buildings, clusters around Sullivans Cove, backed by wooded slopes rising to the often snow-capped peak of Mount Wellington. Its limited size, rich architectural heritage and beautiful setting make Hobart a delight to explore. Please note, each Saturday there is an excellent market at Salamanca Place.
Day 9 - Hobart
WORLD HERITAGE LISTED PORT ARTHUR HISTORIC SITE is located on the Tasman Peninsula, which is connected by an isthmus of land known as Eaglehawk Neck. It is a symbol of Australia's 19th century convict system. The settlement operated from 1830 to 1877 as a timber producing sawing station, and later as an industrial prison. After the closure, most of the land and buildings were auctioned off, with new residents renaming it Carnarvon township. Following bushfires in 1895, the old settlement has now been restored and is today, Tasmania's premier historic site.
Consider combining your visit to Port Arthur Historic Site with a 3 hour wildlife/eco cruise along the spectacular coastline or a visit to the Tasmanian Devil Conservation Park. Other natural attractions on the Tasman Peninsula that should not be missed include the Blow Hole, Tasman's Arch and the Devil's Kitchen (unusual coastal rock formations). In the evening, you can attend "Ghost Tours" where you walk around the settlement with a guide who tells of all the ghosts who still "live" in the area!
Day 10 - Depart Tasmania
Starting from pricing is valid for departures until 31 March 2017 for purchase by 31 December 2016. Prices are per person based on double occupancy departures from Los Angeles. Add-on fares are available from other cities. Certain black out dates apply on the accommodation and tour value add offers - check with your Aspire consultant. Seats are limited and may not be available on every flight. Hotels are subject to availability. All prices reflect a discount for purchases made by cash/wire transfer/check, please see terms and conditions for credit card payments. There are no discounts for payment made by credit cards. Cancellation penalties and other restrictions apply.