Day 1. Depart Brisbane for Armidale (MT,L,D)
Board our luxury ‘Gold Class’ coach at Brisbane Transit Centre where we make our way through the Lockyer Valley to Warwick, stopping at the Abbey of the Roses for a guided tour and morning tea. Continuing south, we arrive for lunch at the Queensland College of Wine Tourism for a medley of mains matched to wines. Our afternoon takes us through Glen Innes to Armidale. 1 Night Stay: Cotswold Gardens, Armidale
Day 2. Tamworth & Hunter Valley (B,L,D)
Departing Armidale this morning, we travel via a short stop at the Big Golden Guitar in Tamworth. Standing prominently on the New England Highway on the southern approach, the iconic Golden Guitar is a striking tribute to Tamworth’s country music reputation. We then continue on to Scone, breaking here for lunch before making our way to the Darley Thoroughbred Stud near Denman. Here we spend time with a local guide, Craig Benjamin, who has exclusive rights to conduct tours of some of the most prestigious racing studs in the area. Enjoy an insider’s tour of the thoroughbred racing industry and an interesting introduction to the equine industry. After our stud tour, we make our way to the Hunter Valley. 2 Night Stay: Mercure Hunter Valley. **Please note: These rooms are accessed by stairs.
Day 3. Hunter Valley (B,L,D)
A leisurely start to the day before we head to the magnificent Hunter Valley Gardens for a guided train tour with commentary through parts of the 25 hectares of International Garden. Continuing our food and wine trail today, we set the scene for a progressive lunch where our main course is enjoyed at The Cellar Restaurant. We then spend the afternoon grazing and sipping on the area’s finest wine, visiting a local winery for a tasting and cheese platter. We finish our day treating our palates with a sweet treat at a local artisan chocolate shop before returning to the hotel.
Day 4. Gosford & Bowral (B,L,D)
We leave behind the Hunter region today and make our way to the Pacific Motorway, breaking for lunch in Gosford. After lunch, we travel through Sydney’s western suburbs and head up into the Southern Highlands, arriving in Bowral. We visit the Bradman Museum, an interactive display dedicated to cricket. 1 Night Stay: Gibraltar Hotel Bowral
Day 5. Goulburn, Gundagai & Albury (B,MT,L,D)
Departing the Southern Highlands, we arrive in Goulburn where we stop for a cuppa and visit the iconic Big Merino. Joining the Hume Highway again, we track further inland, stopping for a photo opportunity at the Dog on the Tuckerbox, and a short visit to Captain Moonlite’s Grave in the North Gundagai Cemetery, before breaking for lunch in Gundagai. After lunch we spend some time in town before making our way through to Albury. 1 night Stay: Best Western Plus Hovell Tree Inn
Day 6. Glenrowan, Euroa & Melbourne (B,MT,L,D)
This morning we travel to the township of Glenrowan, which is the site of the final siege and capture of Ned Kelly and his gang in 1880. We spend time in town discovering their story, which is preserved in the local attractions, museums and historic walks. After a cuppa we continue our journey, arriving in Euroa for lunch. This afternoon we arrive in Melbourne. Take time this afternoon to hop on-board the free tourist City Circle Tram to discover Melbourne, take a walk along Southbank or just relax and unwind in the hotel. 4 Night Stay: Sofitel Melbourne on Collins
Day 7. Dandenong Ranges, Melbourne (B,L,D)
Today we head into the Dandenong Ranges, travelling through the lush and picturesque low mountain ranges east of the city. We arrive in Belgrave and board Puffing Billy, travelling to Lakeside Station. Enjoy the grandeur and charm of our hour long steam train journey, crossing three historic bridges including the Monbulk Creek Trestle Bridge and chugging through temperate rainforest, dense fern foliage and wide open fields. After disembarking the train, we board the coach and travel to the Bavarian Cuckoo Restaurant, nestled in the Dandenong Ranges, for lunch. This traditional Bavarian chalet-style restaurant offers a German smorgasbord, yodelling and folk dancing.
Day 8. Melbourne Cup (B,MT,L,AT,D)
Melbourne Cup Day, the race that stops the nation! Don your fancy hats, dresses, suits and ties in readiness for cup fever. Today, we celebrate in true style and elegance that will no doubt be the envy of all other race-goers. Arriving at Flemington Racecourse mid-morning on our private ‘Gold Class’ coach, we spend the day in the inside track Home Straight Enclosure, featuring private betting facilities with bookmaker, race book, 5 course meal and beverage package. The marquee also features a live band, outdoor private garden area and elevated track viewing platform. This promises to be a very special day to remember. **Please note: This Melbourne Cup package is subject to availability.
Day 9. Melbourne (B,D)
A leisurely start to today before we visit Living Legends, the international home of rest for champion horses. This farm is home to many past Melbourne Cup winners such as Might and Power and Rogan Josh, and was established to bring retired champion racehorses back to the public. Our guided tour tells the story of past champions as we visit them in the paddocks before taking a wander through the gardens and historic homestead. Take a free afternoon when we arrive back in Melbourne. Melbourne is a creative, exciting, ever-changing city with extraordinary surprises to be discovered in every basement, rooftop and laneway. This evening we meet in the hotel for finale drinks and dinner. **Lunch is at own expense today.
Day 10. Depart Melbourne (B)
Enjoy breakfast at your leisure this morning. Check-out is at 10am, when we depart the hotel and make our way to Artvo Immersive Gallery. This ‘trick art’ gallery is the first of its kind in Australia where you are encouraged to touch and interact with the artworks, photographing yourself in them. You can become part of over 100 3D artworks, placing you in the midst of scenes, locations and famous paintings. After our time here, we make our way to the airport for our respective flights home.
B = Full Breakfast; MT = M/Tea; L = Lunch; AT = A/Tea; D = Two Course Dinner
dates & pricing
- EARLY BIRD DEAL! Save $100 PER COUPLE OR $50 PER SINGLE – Book by 31/01/2021
- Non-refundable deposit of $1500pp required to secure your reservation.
- N.B. This package is subject to a fuel levy without notice for air and coach components.
- Flights are arranged to suit the tour as a group in advance, therefore we cannot book individual preferences or guarantee direct flights.
- FITNESS LEVEL A RATING OF 2 (MODERATE) Passengers must be able to:-
• Participate in walking tours with time to rest at least every 10 minutes
• Walk on areas such as bush tracks and soft sand – mostly level ground
• Stand for 15 minutes, without needing to sit down
• Tackle a flight of stairs or incline
• Get on and off transportation multiple times unaided
• Manage your own luggage