Day 1 Melbourne and Phillips Island Penguin Parade
Upon arrival in Melbourne, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. In the afternoon, head to Phillips Island in plenty of time to get in good position for the nightly penguin parade. Rangers are on hand throughout the night to answer your questions and discuss the penguins. Head back to Melbourne for the night.
Blue fairy penguins waddle to shore
Meals: none Lodging: Novotel Melbourne or similar
Day 2 Great Ocean Road
The Great Ocean Road is often described as the world’s most breathtaking coastal drive. Follow its winding trail through the lush Otway rainforests to the breathtaking, windswept drama of the Shipwreck Coast. Enjoy morning tea at Teddy’s Lookout. Stop in Lorne to view a colony of wild koalas. Enjoy a sumptuous lunch at Apollo Bay. The first stop after lunch is the famous Twelve Apostles, giant rocks that soar from the swirling waters of the Southern Ocean. Venturing further west, arrive at Loch Ard Gorge, site of one of Victoria’s most tragic shipwrecks more than 120 years ago. At day's end, head back to Melbourne for your overnight stay.
The 12 Apostles along the Great Ocean Road
Meals: Breakfast Lodging: Novotel Melbourne or similar
Day 3 Melbourne / Adelaide / Kangaroo Island
This morning, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Adelaide and on to Kangaroo Island where you settle in for a three-night stay.
Kangaroo Island -- or K.I. -- is 100 miles long, and 35 miles wide at its widest point. Thie island "broke" from the mainland 10,000 years ago and evolution has created a number of endemic subspecies. Because the island is free from feral predator pests such as rabbits and foxes, many wildlife species fourish here as they do nowhere else. More than one-third of the island is National or Conservation Park. Koalas, kangaroos, wallabies, echidnas, goannas, platypus, snakes, bats, sea lions, whales, sharks, penguins and a population of about 6,000 New Zealand fur seals all thrive and are relatively common.
This evening you may wander down to the Kingscote Wharf, to watch the wild penguin feeding, a popular island entertainment that happens daily at 5pm.
Come face to face with kangaroos
Meals: Breakfast Lodging: Aurora Ozone Hotel or similar
Day 4 Kangaroo Island
Today's full day program offers a wonderful taste of island life. You'll find the locals to be very friendly, always waving as they pass, and often stopping to chat. Start the day with a "cuppa" with homemade cakes and then a walk on country tracks through Eucalyptus groves where koalas snooze overhead.
Travel through some of the Island’s best farming country to the north coast. At Lathami Conservation Park walk quietly through the bush with your guide, identifying the animal sounds and tracks. Look for wallabies which are almost extinct on the mainland, and a subspecies of grey kangaroo found only on Kangaroo Island.
Break for a delicious lunch featuring King George whiting (local sea fish), fresh salads and fine South Australian wines at a private bush location. At Seal Bay Conservation Park walk with your guide among Australian sea lions on a beautiful sandy beach. Watch pups nursing or playing in the surf, see old bulls bearing the scars of territorial disputes and learn about their unique breeding biology.
You are being watched from above!
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch Lodging: Aurora Ozone Hotel or similar
Day 5 Flinders Chase National Park, K.I.
Today explore Flinders Chase National Park where, as they say, "kangaroos laze, and Cape Barren geese graze" and many varieties of animals and birds thrive. Then, head to Admiral’s Arch, an ancient limestone formation close to the ocean, to see the active colony of New Zealand fur seals. Continue next to Remarkable Rocks via the spectacular coastline of Cape du Couedic, where the forces of nature have carved modern sculptures out of the granite.
A lunch picnic in the bush features good wines and local produce. Other highlights of the day include searches for echidna (spiny anteaters) and the endemic Cromson Rosella.
Later, enjoy a short bush walks in search of the echidna (spiny anteater) and the colorful, endemic Crimson Rosella, a visit to beautiful Vivonne Bay which supports a colony of Little penguins, and a walk onthe beach at Point Ellen to 'fossick' for shells.
Keep an eye out for various birds
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch Lodging: Aurora Ozone Hotel or similar
Day 6 Kangaroo Island / Cradle Mt., Tasmania
On to the next island -- Australia's island state of Tasmania. Fly from Kangaroo Island back to Adelaide and then on to Launceston, Tasmania. Depending on the size of your party, transportation in Tasmania might be with a van and driver or your own rental car.
Begin your trip with the scenic drive to the fantastically scenic Cradle Mountain in the World Heritage listed national park of the same name.
Day 7-8 Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park
Enjoy two full days exploring Cradle Mountain area. The walking tracks are well cared for and you have many to choose from, including Pencil Pines Falls and Dove Lake. You are likely to see pademelons (a smaller relative of the wallaby) and wombats near your cabin and out on the trails. Guided walks and nighttime wildlife excursions are offered by the lodge. Depending on the time of year, there also may be options to bike, horseback ride or canoe.
This morning travel from Cradle Mountain to Freycinet, approximately 5 hours, with gorgeous scenery along the way. Jutting out into the sea on Tasmania's mild east coast is the rugged and beautiful Freycinet Peninsula. Freycinet National Park consists of granite mountains, azure bays and picture-perfect white sand beaches.
Freycinet is a great place to go bird watching, and also offers a wide variety of activities. This afternoon, take a walk to Coles Bay or the pass overlooking the perfectly shaped Wineglass Bay which some say is the most beautiful bay in the world. In the evening, drive to the lodge for a restful evening.
Meals: Breakfast Lodging: Freycinet Lodge or similar
Day 10-11 Hobart
There are several options to consider in Hobart, one of the world's most beautiful capital cities. Consider a day cruise to the pristine waters of Bruny Island, experience the mesmerizing history of Port Arthur, or the attitude-challenging Museum of Old and New Art (MONA).
If you are lucky enough to be in Hobart on Saturday, be sure to spend some time at the weekly Salamanca Market.
Bruny Island cruise
Meals: Breakfast Lodging: Mercure Hadleys Hotel or similar
Day 12 Tasmania / Onward
Today check in for your flight to Sydney or Brisbane, and onward.
Consider connecting to Brisbane and on to Fraser Island, for another, very different, superlative island experience.
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