7 days: Tasmania

Tasmania is an archipelago of more than 300 islands sitting just 240 kilometres (150 miles) south-east of mainland Australia. There are more than 1,000 mountain peaks, four mild seasons and more than 40 per cent of the Island is protected as national parks and reserves. The air is scientifically proven to be just about the world’s cleanest; the soils are rich and fertile and Tasmania is home to some of the world’s rarest animals. Hobart is the second oldest city in Australia. It grew out of the penal settlement on the island at Risdon Cove, eight kilometres up river, which was founded in 1803 and abandoned five months later for the present site of Hobart. The city has many beautiful historic buildings and precincts, especially in the area around the river. There are many fine examples of Georgian and Victorian architecture, such as Salamanca Place, which has a terrace of warehouses dating back to the whaling days of the 1830s.

Tour Highlights

  • Spirit of Tasmania – Port Hole Cabins

  • Launceston & the North West

  • Port Arthur Historic Site

  • Hobart’s Salamanca Markets

  • Sheffield & Anvers Chocolates

Spirit of Tasmania Ferry

Spirit of Tasmania Ferry

Day 1: Spirit of Tasmania

Welcome to our 7 day tour of Tasmania. Early afternoon we load the coach and complete our pickup service before the transfer to Station Pier where we connect with our departure on the Spirit of Tasmania transferring us overnight to Devonport. While the coach is being loaded onto the cargo deck, we can board. The cabins on the Spirit are very comfortable, with twin bed accommodation and ensuite bathroom. The facilities on the vessel are extensive with lounges, bars, shops and viewing areas. Dinner tonight will be at our own leisure and cost with different dining options to choose from (dinner at own cost on Spirit of Tasmania).

Spirit of Tasmania – Outside Cabins

Day 2 (BLD): The North West/Launceston

After a good night’s sleep we are ready to begin our touring. On arrival in Devonport this morning, our coach is unloaded and we head to our breakfast stop at the Argosy Motor Inn.

Our touring today will take us to Elizabeth Town where we stop for morning tea at the beautiful Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm. We then drive through Deloraine and onto Perth for a Honey Farm Visit. Lunch today is at nearby Hadspen – home to Entally House, one of Tasmania’s most historic Trust houses, thought to have been built in 1819. Entally House was opened to the public in 1950 and is justly proud of its magnificent collection of Regency furniture and fine silverware. Set in superb grounds and gardens, Entally has a green house, chapel, coach house and stables.We then head into Launceston. Launceston is the second largest city in Tasmania, and the centre of Tasmania’s north, situated at the point where the South and North Esk Rivers meet to become the Tamar River, which then flows away to Bass Strait. The city nestles in the wide valleys formed by the river systems and is surrounded by mountains. This afternoon we join Tamar River Cruises for their two and a half hour Discovery Cruise which includes Cataract Gorge – a magnificent Reserve in the city centre.  (Breakfast & dinner, lunch at Entally House)

Balmoral on York Launceston (or similar)


Day 3 (BLD): Eastern Tasmania

This morning we travel south to Campbell Town on the Heritage Highway. This was once the finest highway in Australia originally known as the Main Road through Van Diemen’s Land, linking Hobart and Launceston. Campbell Town began as a staging town on the Elizabeth River. Here there are over 100 buildings, all more than a century old. Then it’s onto Ross, a garrison town with a Government Stock Run, a race course and the four corners: Temptation, Salvation, Damnation and Recreation and the most beautiful of the remaining old bridges in Australia.

Joining the Tasman Highway we travel south to Swansea, a classified historic town, nestled on the magnificent blue waters of Great Oyster Bay, overlooking the Freycinet National Park. We enjoy a visit and light lunch at Kates Berry Farm followed by a visit to the Swansea Bark Mill, the only one in Australia. Back in the 1880’s the machinery in the mill, which has been beautifully restored and is now fully operational, was used to crush black wattle that was the basic ingredient for tanning leather. From here we head to Port Arthur for our overnight’s accommodation. (Breakfast & dinner /light lunch)

Fox & Hounds Motel Port Arthur (or similar)

Day 4 (BD) Port Arthur & Richmond

Today we visit the Port Arthur Historic Site. The penal settlement is a stark reminder of the harsh conditions endured by the earliest European inhabitants of this one time island jail. The ruins are the greatest single tourist attraction in the Tasmania and the place where up to 12,000 prisoners were kept in an atmosphere of hopelessness and misery. Even though the Tasman Peninsula is spectacular, you can imagine the conditions, especially on a cold winters day, endured by the prisoners 150 years ago. The first part of our tour involves time at the Visitor Interpretative Centre where we take a fascinating journey, retracing the life of a convict from the time of his petty crime in England, to his transportation to Port Arthur and finally his life in the penal colony. We then take a guided walking tour through the Penal Settlement. This afternoon we head to historic Richmond – one of Tasmania’s best known man made tourist attractions. Its streets are paved with history and many of the fine colonial buildings have been adapted for use as art galleries, craft shops and restaurants.

The gaol here predates Port Arthur by five years and is one of the best preserved of Australia’s colonial prisons. The convict-built Richmond Bridge over the Coal River is the oldest in Australia! From Richmond we head into Hobart. (Breakfast & dinner/Lunch own cost)

Wrest Point Hotel Casino – Tower Rooms (or similar)

The Batman Bridge and Mount Wellington, Hobart

The Batman Bridge and Mount Wellington, Hobart

Day 5 (BLD): Salamanca Markets & MONA

We’re lucky enough to be in Hobart on a Saturday so this morning we head to the famous Salamanca Markets. We have some free time here to wander and perhaps buy a souvenir of our holiday. We are then off to MONA – The Museum of Old and New Art. It’s the new $150 million museum carved out of a sandstone cliff, offering a unique museum experience. Its owner, the multi-millionaire David Walsh, has put hundreds of items from his private collection on display, creating what he calls a “subversive adult Disneyland”. And it can be confronting! We will spend several hours here including a light lunch before a quick visit to the famous Cadbury Factory Visitors Centre before we return to the hotel for some free time. Later this evening we are going out for dinner, to an iconic Hobart Restaurant, the Drunken Admiral, located in the historic wharf area. (Breakfast & dinner /Light lunch included)

Wrest Point Hotel Casino – Tower Rooms (or similar)

Day 6 (B): Heading Home

We leave Hobart this morning and travel north – this time heading through the centre of Tasmania, past the Great Lake and onto Deloraine.

Nearby Railton is home to Tasmania’s “outdoor Art Gallery” – topiaries around the town that are in various stages of growth. We stop briefly before heading to Sheffield – a delightful township that sits in the shadows of Mt Roland and the Western Tiers. The town centre features many murals depicting the history of the area in Australia. Our afternoon visit is just out of Devonport at Anvers Chocolate Factory. The “House of Anvers” is located in the property formerly known as “Wyndarra Lodge” – a stylish 1931 Californian Bungalow which is set on 1.12 hectares of gardens with mature trees and plants from all over the world. And the retail sales shop is tempting, featuring Truffle D’Anvers, Fudge D’Anvers, Praline D’Anvers and the Stefano Pieri range. Well travelled and well fed we board the Spirit of Tasmania for our departure this evening back to Melbourne. (Breakfast/Lunch & Dinner own cost on the Spirit of Tasmania)

Spirit of Tasmania – Outside Cabins

Day 7 Home to Melbourne

The Spirit of Tasmania docks back into Melbourne at around 7am. After disembarkation we rejoin the coach for the transfer back to the Club to complete a sensational 7 day tour. (Breakfast own cost on the Spirit of Tasmania)

Tour Cost

From $1465 per person twin share (minimum 40 people)

From $1573 per person twin share (minimum 30 people)

Add $390 for a guaranteed single room

Fares subject to change and availability of services. Includes most meals, local guides, entry fees, deluxe coach touring and Spirit of Tasmania (Outside Cabins) between Melbourne and Devonport.

Terms and Conditions

Contact ARJ with the preferred dates your Club would like to travel. ARJ will then confirm all the arrangements in your Club Name – subject to availability. The Club’s Group Organiser or Tour Manager should then collect a minimum deposit $200 per person from those members who wish to travel on the tour. ARJ will fully refund this amount for anyone who cancels up to 60 days from departure. The deposit becomes non refundable within 60 days of departure. Balance of payment is due 30 days prior to departure. Any cancellation within 30 days of departure attracts an additional cancellation fee of $200 per person. No refund inside 7 days. Travel insurance is strongly recommended.

All itineraries are subject to change due to occasional restrictions in opening times/days of some attractions, e.g. churches, wineries etc. We cannot be held responsible for any changes due to closures, inclement weather etc.