Explorer Escape

Want to explore the road less traveled? This 17-day escape has you exploring Hobart, Maria Island, Freycinet National Park, Melbourne, Great Ocean Road, Port Lincoln, and Sydney.

Hobart: Day 1 to 3

First stop is Hobart, Tasmania is Australia’s smallest and second-oldest city. Nestled in-between the banks of the Derwent River and the foothills of Mt. Wellington, Hobart is a vibrant modern city with rich history. Following your long journey, settle into your waterfront room at The Henry Jones Art Hotel, perfectly located for your short stay. Dating back to 1804, this old jam factory has been transformed into a first class hotel displaying over 300 artworks, an ever-changing art exhibit. After a night’s rest, enjoy the day exploring the wild landscapes, coastlines, and marine life of Bruny Island. Keep your eyes peeled for eagles soaring above the cliffs, pods of dolphins surfing the waves, and albatross wheeling on the wind. A day filled with incredible encounters.

Maria Island Walk: Day 3 to 6

Named one of Australia’s Great Walks, Maria Island (pronounced Mariah) National Park is less than 3 miles off the east coast of Tasmania. The island is a walker’s paradise with no motor vehicles or shops to distract you from the island’s unspoiled wilderness. This Great Walk is an active but pampered experience, designed for you to experience the remote wilderness in comfort. You will hike with your guide and small group exploring historical convict settlements, the famous painted cliffs, pristine white sand beaches, ancient Blue Gum forest, encounter rare wildlife while enjoying gourmet food and wine after each day’s unique adventures. The walks are set at a moderate pace to observe the amazing wildlife, listen to the native birds, and to discover the fascinating history of the island. In the evening, your efforts are rewarded as you relax and enjoy candlelit gourmet dining and comfortable accommodation in two wilderness camps and the restored, heritage-listed Bernacchi House. The magic of walking on Maria Island will be mesmerizing.

Freycinet National Park: Day 6 to 8

On the final day of the walk, transfer direct to Freycinet National Park, located on Tasmania’s north east coast, either by chartered plane, helicopter, executive transfer service, or rental car. The next few days, soak up your surroundings at the incredible Saffire Freycinet in Coles Bay. This luxury coastal sanctuary is discreetly positioned overlooking the Hazards Mountains, Freycinet Peninsula and the pristine waters of Great Oyster Bay, absolutely beautiful. The vast range of included activities are designed to connect you with the environment, giving you options for any mood. Frecinyet National Park is a must-see during your stay enjoying a guided lookout walk or purchase the ultimate signature experience charting a boat for a remarkable water expedition. If you love seafood, slip on a pair of waders learning about the marine ecology tasting these prized Pacific oysters. Encounter the endangered Tasmania Devil in a rare natural setting, learning about the history of the Tassie Devil and how they are committed to finding a cure for the DFTD, a rare and contagious cancer threating the species’ survival. Back at Saffire, there is a comfortable lounge area with open fire, a gym and a spa offering both pampering & rejuvenating treatments.

Melbourne: Day 8 to 9

It’s time to head back to the mainland. Fly to Melbourne where you pick up your rental car and check into the Park Hyatt. An elegant hotel, situated on top Collins Street overlooking St. Patrick’s Cathedral, bordering the charming Fitzroy Gardens will make a great stay for your short stint in the city. In the early evening, wander through the laneways feeling like a local. You might want to enjoy Hopetoun Tea Room, one of the oldest tea rooms dating back to 1892 or browse through the quirky local shops like Clementine’s only showcasing fine foods and gifts made and crafted in Victoria. We’re sure you won’t come out empty handed.

Great Ocean Road, Cape Otway: Day 9 to 11

Time to hit the Great Ocean Road with over 150 miles of dramatic coastline having so many wonders to discover. Start your journey by getting out of the city where we suggest stopping in Torque, seeing the world famous surf break at Bells Beach and visiting the Australia National Surfing Museum. Continue to Lorne, a posh seaside town great for a beach stroll and a lunch or ice cream with a view. Continue to the southern tip, to Cape Otway Conservation Ecology Center where wildlife awaits at Great Ocean Ecolodge. Surrounded by bushland, lush rainforest, and some of the countries most spectacular coastlines, the Ecolodge has been built to celebrate natural resources. During your stay, you will have the opportunity to join an ecologist observing native wildlife like koalas, kangaroos, and possible rare sightings of endangered species, and nocturnal wildlife. Sleep soundly knowing you’re supporting the environment and conservation work and research.

Great Ocean Road, Port Fairy: Day 11 to 12

Today, you will experience the highlights of the Great Ocean Road. We recommend an early start, stopping at Gibson Steps. Make your way down 86 steps to the beach, where you will marvel at the 225 feet high vertical cliffs. Next stop, the famous and dramatic limestone cliffs, known as the 12 Apostles. Just think, 20 million years ago, these cliffs were connected to the mainland but have been eroded over time by waves and wind carving them in caves, then arches, now into the columns you see reaching 150 feet. Wander around the visitor center, before taking a breathtaking helicopter tour, getting a unique and up-close perspective of the Shipwreck Coast in style. Continue west, allowing a few hours to explore the self-guided walking trails at Loch Ard Gorge learning more about the shipwreck history and the coastal geology. Final stop, unwinding at Oscar’s Waterfront Boutique Hotel, a serene guesthouse overlooking the Moyne River offers the ideal waterfront location to retreat for the evening.

Great Ocean Road, Robe: Day 12 to 13

Carry on, after your gourmet breakfast exploring the interior. Consider visiting Mount Gambler, driving through the Myora Forest Reserve to the unique Umpherston Sinkhole. A unique spot filled with lush gardens and resident possums, the scenery will leave you in awe. Pick up some lunch and head to Blue Lake where you can enjoy a picnic at some amazing lookouts. Make your way to the World Heritage listed, Naracoorte Caves National Park. Known for its complex caving system, 28 in total, and recognized for its extensive fossil records aging back several ice ages. Head back to the coast where you will rest your head in Robe, staying at the Fairfield House. This exquisite country accommodation offers dynamic views of the lake, ocean sand dunes, and grassy fields where you can take in the bird, wild, and farm life, from your window.

Port Lincoln: Day 13 to 15

Say goodbye to your hosts after a lovely breakfast, driving four hours to Adelaide. Board your plane to Port Lincoln where you are in for a three-day underwater adventure! You’re in for a once in a lifetime experience – shark cage diving! Encounter the Great White Shark, the most feared predator up close and personal in their natural habitat. You will also have the opportunity to swim with underwater acrobats, Australia sea-lions in the clear waters of Seal Cove and Hopkins Island. This eco-friendly adventure will have you talking for years to come.

Sydney: Day 15 to 17

Return to the pier, where you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Australia’s most well-known city Sydney. You will base yourself in the oldest convict settlement at The Harbour Rocks Hotel. This boutique hotel is a mix of past and present, located a short walking distance from all major icons. This evening, grab a beer at Lord Nelson Brewery or Fortune of War, one of Australia’s oldest breweries before dining at one of the cities award-winning eateries. On your final day, explore like the explorer you are – on your own. Consider renting bikes next door, riding along many of Sydney’s amazing bike trails or go kayaking in the Sydney Harbour. In the evening, why not end your escape with a night out at the theater, at the world famous Sydney Opera House. Your journey here has come to an end but we know you will keep exploring after this one!

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