Sophisticated Launceston is your launch pad for an effortlessly delivered trip along the east coast of Tasmania (flights to arrive prior to 4.30pm). Spend your first day on Tasmanian soil exploring the beautifully preserved historic cityscape, its Victorian architecture and century-old parks. Take a walk to Cataract Gorge, visit the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery or kick back and indulge in the city's vibrant culinary scene. Later, meet your Travel Director and fellow travellers this evening for a Welcome Reception before connecting with Tassie in ways you could never imagine.
The floral undertones of lavender will linger long after this morning's visit to Bridestowe Lavender Estate, producer of high-quality lavender since 1922. Gain insights into the estate's history and treat yourself to some of its famous lavender ice-cream, before continuing to Legerwood Carved Memorial Trees site, a tribute to the brave Tasmania soldiers who lost their lives in World War I. Take a stroll along the avenue of trees and delve into the role the ANZAC soldiers played at Gallipoli. Spend the rest of the afternoon following Tasmania's scenic east coast to Freycinet Lodge, overlooking Coles Bay. Indulge in the soul-stirring views that will accompany your two-night stay in these beautiful natural surrounds. Tonight, dinner is served at your hotel.
Prime your sea legs on a four-hour cruise of the Freycinet Peninsula with a 'Local Specialist'. Watch seals lazing on granite boulders, admire beautiful beaches fringed by dense bush and witness whales breaching turquoise waters (in season). Your local skipper knows all the best places to spot the resident wildlife. All you'll need to do is keep a keen eye out for penguins, eagles and the gentle giants of the deep. After a morning of sailing in perfection, you'll lay anchor at Wineglass Bay, surrounded by untouched natural beauty - the perfect backdrop to a gourmet ploughman's lunch. Spend the rest of the day enjoying the facilities at your eco-resort hotel.
Journey to historic Ross, considered the finest 19th-century village in Australia. This pretty riverside village was built by convicts in the early 1800s and serves up a slice of convict history you won't find anywhere else. Next up, traverse rich pastoral lands en route to Hobart, Tasmania's trendy capital. Before arriving, you'll 'Connect With Locals' at Shene Estate, whose custodian Anne Kernke will treat you to a walking tour of the property's stunning colonial-era buildings and a 'Be My Guest' morning tea selection of home-baked goodies in her private residence. This afternoon, your choice of sightseeing could see you visit Australia's largest privately funded museum, the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), followed by a cruise back to Hobart on the MONA ferry. You could also join a walking tour with a local guide for insights into Hobart's history, people and places.
'Dive Into Culture' with a poignant visit to Port Arthur Historic Site, which includes a cruise around the Isle of the Dead and a guided walk of Port Arthur's infamous convict prison with a 'Local Specialist'. Spend some free time tracing the stories of the convicts who left their mark on this former penal settlement, a place of hardship and punishment, and today one of Australia's most important heritage destinations. Your return to Hobart is filled with pinch-me moments as you enjoy views from Pirate's Bay Lookout, Tasman's Arch, Devil's Kitchen and the Blowhole. As your epic encounter with Tasmania comes to an end, join your fellow travellers at a Farewell Dinner in one of Hobart's best restaurants. Enjoy a front-row seat to Tasmania's celebrated culinary traditions as you toast to your encounter with the island's history, culture and natural beauty.
This morning after breakfast, say farewell to your newfound friends as your holiday comes to an end (flights anytime).