Day 1. Flights to Melbourne (D)
Flights arrive in Melbourne Airport where we board our ‘Gold Class’ coach to make our way to the hub of the city and check-in for two nights. Our hotel is ideally situated on the Yarra River and at close proximity to Southbank and theCrown Casino. 3 Night Stay: Crowne Plaza, Melbourne
Day 2. Melbourne (B,L,D)
Arriving at Werribee Mansion, we take a guided tour unveiling the Italianate-style architecture and Victorian period interiors along with a garden tour of the Victoria State Rose Garden, home to 5000 roses. Lunch is included on this day at Wyndham Cache Café. After lunch, we take an off-road safari at Werribee Open Range Zoo, taking in the sights of the savannah discovering wildlife including zebras, giraffes, the rhino and inquisitive meerkats. Tonight, we dine aboard an elegant colonial tramcar and take in views of the streets of the city and outer suburbs enjoying traditional white linen and silver service whilst savouring the flavours of the seasonal menu. **Please note: There will be a 10-minute walk from our hotel to the tramcar.
Day 3. Melbourne (B,L,D)
Discover the Dandenong Ranges, travelling through picturesque low mountain ranges. We arrive at Belgraveto board the Puffing Billy. Travelling first class, we enjoy a three-hour steam train journey whilst savouring a delicious lunch in fully enclosed heritage dining carriages. As the train whistle signals entrees are served before we cross the historic Monbulk Creek Trestle Bridge. The journey continues through temperate rainforest chugging through dense fern foliage and wide-open fields. We arrive at Lakeside Station where we have time to disembark the train and explore the park which is home to abundant birdlife. We then re-board for our return journey finishing off with dessert before returning to the CBD.
Day 4. Melbourne to Warrnambool (B,L,D)
Departing Melbourne we travel the Great Ocean Road via Torquay, Anglesea and Lorne, breaking for lunch at Apollo Bay. We move on to the Twelve Apostles for a thrill helicopter scenic flight over London Bridge, sandstone cliffs and Bay of Islands. Other sights include Peterborough, The Grotto and the Bay of Martyrs. We finish our day at Warrnambool. 2 Night Stay: Best Western Old Maritime OR Mid City Motor Inn, Warrnambool
Day 5. Warrnambool (B,L,D)
This morning we join a guided tour of Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village, home to Australia’s most extensive shipwreck collection. Following lunch we take in the ‘Meet the Maremma dogs tour’, a fun, educational and interactive experience. You will learn about little penguins and the importance of protecting them. You will also learn how this world first project uses Maremma dogs to look after the penguins on Middle Island. You will be given the opportunity to pat and have a photo with a Maremma guardian dog. Tonight, we enjoy the theatrical experience ‘Shipwrecked’ that brings to life the story of the Loch Ard disaster.
Day 6. Warrnambool to Creswick (B,L,D)
A later start today leaving Warrnambool we travel to Port Fairy where we collect a local guide to show us this quaint fishing village steeped in the history of whalers and seal hunters. We then make our way into the Grampians, breaking here for lunch before continuing on to Ararat to visit Gum San Chinese Heritage Centre, housing a fascinating selection of interactive, audio-visual and static displays offering heritage and culture. We end our day checking-in to our resort at Creswick. 2 Night Stay: RACV Goldfields Resort,
Day 7. Ballarat (B,D)
Today we explore Ballarat and learn how this sleepy settlement transformed into a bustling boomtown within a matter of months after the discovery of gold nearby in 1851. We visit Sovereign Hill, where history comes to life as you pan for gold, meet characters in period costume and ride an old-fashioned stagecoach. Wander through the dusty streets past Victorian homes and stop in at old-fashioned shops like the apothecary, sweet shop or candle works and purchase unique souvenirs. **Lunch is at own expense today.
Day 8. Creswick to Moama (B,L,D)
This morning we visit Creswick Woollen Mills to meet sheep, cashmere goats and alpacas; and learn about the journey of natural fibre from the source to our shops. We continue on via Hepburn Springs to Bendigo and the Central Deborah Gold Mine. Walk in the footsteps of miners who discovered almost one tonne of the world’s most precious metal. Next, we board the vintage ‘talking tram’ to be delighted by the grand architecture of Bendigo as the tram tells of the city’s golden past. Later we make our way to Echuca. 2 Night Stay: Madison Spa Resort, Moama
Day 9. Moama (B,L,D)
This morning a local guide takes us back in time and explains the history of Echuca when hundreds of steamers raced along the mighty Murray, opening up large areas in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. We then board the PS Emmylou, a lovingly maintained paddleboat that will take us meandering between the red gum lined banks of the Murray River whilst we enjoy lunch on board.
Day 10. Moama to Albury (B,MT,L,D)
Today we head to Ned Kelly country arriving at Glenrowan in time for a cuppa at the Homestead at Kate Kelly’s Tea House, followed by a visit to the Ned Kelly Museum. Next we witness ‘Ned Kelly’s Last Stand’, a light and sound show that is a reenactment of the events that led up to the capture and hanging of Ned Kelly. Departing Glenrowan, we make our way to Albury. 2 Night Stay: Best Western Hovell Tree Inn, Albury
Day 11. Albury (B,MT,L,D)
This morning enjoy the picturesque Kiewa Valley as we make our way to Mount Beauty, breaking for a cuppa before ascending the mountain, passing Bogong Village (built for the Hydro Electric Scheme) to the alpine village of Falls Creek. We continue, skirting the Rocky Valley Storage Dam to historic Wallace’s Hut, the oldest (but still standing) hut in the Bogong High Plains. After a brisk walk, we descend the mountain making our way to Annapurna Estate Winery for wine tasting and lunch. Our afternoon’s travel is very scenic taking us via Tawonga Gap and the tiny township of Yakandandah back to Albury.
Day 12. Flights Home (B)
On the last leg of our tour we make our way to Melbourne Airport for our flights home.
B = Full Breakfast; MT = M/Tea; L = Lunch; AT = A/Tea; D = Two Course Dinner
dates & pricing
- Non-refundable deposit of $800pp required to secure your reservation.
- N.B. This package is subject to a fuel levy without notice for coach and air components.
- Price includes airfares and taxes ex Brisbane, Sydney or Adelaide at time of printing. Flights are also available from Perth and may incur an additional fee.
- Flights are arranged to suit the tour as a group in advance, therefore we cannot guarantee direct flights or book individual preferences.
- FITNESS LEVEL – A RATING OF 3 (ACTIVE/MODERATE) Passengers must be able to:-
• Walk 20 min without stopping
• Ascend stairs without stopping
• Stand for 45 min without sitting
• Walk over uneven ground
• Embark/debark transport unaided
• Manage their own luggage