Journey onboard a steam train departing Queenstown and travelling deep into Tasmania’s western wilderness and ancient rainforest. Climb the southern hemisphere’s steepest steam rail track under the unique power of the Abt rack and pinion rail system.
Step aboard Spirit of the Wild and glide through the UNESCO Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. Experience the untouched rainforest, rugged history and fascinating characters of Tasmania's west coast.
Relax with a train trip on the historic Melrose Line, taking in views of the township of Don and areas of historic value. The train trip travels on the eastern bank of the the Don River to the junction at Coles Beach.
We take a scenic trip to Cradle Mountain and on to Dove Lake for a short stopover. The imposing summit – the fifth highest in the state – stands supreme above Dove Lake, which provides the classic Cradle Mountain view. The ridges and peaks around the lake, meanwhile, add new angles to the panorama.
The UNESCO World Heritage-listed Port Arthur Historic Site, located 90 minutes drive from Hobart is Australia’s most intact and evocative convict site. There is a lot to see and do with more than 30 historic buildings and ruins to explore over 100 acres.
Today we arrive in Hobart, aboard NZ197 departing Auckland at 9am. Arriving Hobart 11am.
After our group has gathered at Hobart's International Airport we will commence our trip in to town, via the scenic Mt Wellington, Tasmania's highest peak. The summit of kunanyi / Mount Wellington has wonderful views of Hobart and much of southern Tasmania. Head to the summit’s west side for views deep into the Southwest wilderness.
Today, explore the Port Arthur Historic Site, Australia’s most intact, evocative and notorious convict prison, on a guided tour. See the famous sandstone Penitentiary then visit the Convict Church and Separate Prison. You'll then step aboard a cruise around the Isle of the Dead and hear haunting stories about the convicts who were transported here from across the world and eventually buried at Port Arthur. Lunch today is at your leisure from the several eateries onsite at Port Arthur.
We depart our hotel this morning and make our way towards Launceston stopping at the scenic townships of Richmond and Ross. We head to Entally Estate Winery just outside of Launceston. A tour, lunch and a glass of Entally Estate Wine is included. The Cataract Gorge Reserve on the South Esk River, a unique natural formation just minutes from central Launceston.
The Gorge has walking tracks, a swimming pool, the world's longest single-span chairlift, a restaurant, cafe, a suspension bridge and panoramic lookouts with spectacular views. Peacocks and native wildlife add to the experience.
After a leisurely start we take our coach to Devonport where we ride the Don River Railway.
The Don River Railway is a volunteer-run vintage railway which runs a passenger train ride from Don to Coles Beach and return. The current line follows a reconstructed section of the former Melrose line that ran between Don Junction and Paloona.
After time in Devonport for lunch we head back to Launceston with time to look at the Launceston Tramway Museum and Queen Victoria Museum and Gallery.
Leaving Launceston this morning, we travel through to Sheffield, home of the Sheffield Railway Museum, and the scenic wall and building artworks.
After our stop in Sheffield we travel along the north-western coastline to the coastal town of Burnie for lunch.
Departing Burnie, we travel to Stanley where we are able to take the chairlift to the top of 'The Nut' before heading to our night's accommodation at Smithton.
Leaving the Northwestern corner of Tasmania, we retrace our steps before heading in to the heart of the Tasmania West Coast.
We first stop at Cradle Mountain for lunch before heading the short distance to Dove Lake. After our scenic stop at Dove Lake, we travel back on ourselves and down to the little town of Tullah to visit the Wee Georgie Wood Railway. After our train ride we depart for Strahan arriving late afternoon.
The award-winning Gordon River Cruise departs from Strahan and takes guests into the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. Cruising the Gordon River on the purpose-built Spirit of the Wild, you experience quiet cruising under the power of the vessel's electric motors. Cruise across Macquarie Harbour to Hell's Gates, the narrow entrance into the Southern Ocean. You then cruise to the Gordon River, where you give yourself the best chance of seeing the famous reflections while on board Spirit of the Wild, the first cruise boat on the river each day. Step ashore at Heritage Landing and walk through rainforest to see ancient Huon Pines. Step ashore again at Sarah Island, a 19th century penal colony, hearing stories of the convicts who laboured there. Local guides enhance the tour with interpretation on the region's history.
Today we coach over to Queenstown and take a heritage steam train journey through remote rainforest to the incredible King River Gorge, turning at Dubbil Barril before returning to Queenstown. As you travel through the West Coast’s cool temperate rainforest, you will climb one of the Southern Hemisphere’s steepest tracks under the unique power of the Abt Rack and Pinion system. This system was designed in the seventeenth century and transformed the fortunes of the West Coast during the late nineteenth century, and is the only operating Abt rack and pinion railway in the Southern Hemisphere. Stop at remote train stations, traverse the deep chasm of the King River Gorge, and see the places where early West Coast pioneers lived and worked to create this extraordinary railway.
This morning we depart for the scenic coach trip to Hobart, including exploring some interesting sites along the way. Our first stop will be at ‘The Wall in The Wilderness’ a stunning work-in-progress carved in wood depicting the history of the region, when finished it will reach 100 metres long. We then travel by coach arriving in Hobart in the early evening. Here we check-in to our hotel for our final two nights of our tour. This evening you are free to enjoy dinner at leisure.
Free Morning: This morning you are encouraged to wander down to the Salamanca Markets and explore some of the best fare that Tasmania has to offer.
This afternoon we will head to MONA, Australia's famous Museum of Old & New Art. It is the largest privately funded museum in the Southern Hemisphere. MONA houses ancient, modern and contemporary art from the David Walsh collection.
This morning we are transferred from our hotel to Hobart's International Airport for our onwards travel. Either join us with travel to Melbourne for our Australian Rail Safari: Melbourne or return to Auckland with a direct flight to Auckland with Air NZ.
Built in 1834, Hadley’s Orient Hotel is situated in the heart of Hobart. A short walk from the waterfront, Salamanca and CBD. This elegant heritage listed Victorian-era property will charm you with its careful restoration.
In the lively Seaport Precinct in the heart of Launceston, where the North and South Esk Rivers meet, sits Peppers Seaport Hotel. Built on the site of an old dry dock, this stylish and contemporary Launceston accommodation is designed in the shape of a ship, giving it a distinct nautical ambience.
Tall Timbers is located at Smithton in beautiful Tasmania, the gateway to the abundant attractions of the North West Coast, including the magical Tarkine Wilderness and historic township of Stanley.
Strahan Village is situated in the heart of Strahan and offers a variety of accommodation types. Accommodation options include individual cottages, terraces, rooms and suites on the top of the hill, with magnificent views over Macquarie Harbour.
Conveniently located amongst all the action, this hotel allows you to sit back and enjoy both harbour and city views from one of the best places to stay in Hobart. The Hotel Grand Chancellor Hobart is also just a short walk away from popular attractions such as Salamanca Place and The Markets, Battery Point, the MONA Ferry and the CBD.