• Sydney Australia - credit Jackie Appleton

Victoria

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Explore the Great Ocean Road and the Grampians National Park in this itinerary.

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Victoria

Each Australian state has its own highlights and Victoria is no exception

Day 1: Melbourne
Day 4: Yarra Valley
Day 5: Walhalla
Day 7: Mornington Peninsula
Day 9: Apollo Bay
Day 10: Warrnambool
Day 11: Port Fairy
Day 12 : Hall’s Gap
Day 14: Ballarat
Day 15: Mebourne

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Description

Each Australian state has its own highlights and Victoria is no exception, from cosmopolitan Melbourne to the beauty of the rugged coast, from the wines of the Yarra Valley to the walking trails of the Grampians.  This idea concentrates only on the state of Victoria, but could easily link in part of full to a wider Australian itinerary.

Day 1: Melbourne
Arrive into the city, where we recommend at least a 3 night stay. Hop on board the free City Circle Tram to visit the main city sights and attractions. Sports fans will enjoy a tour of Melbourne Cricket Ground. Explore Melbourne from the water on a cruise along the Yarra River past Melbourne’s parks and gardens and Herring Island. Explore historic Williamstown.
Melbourne 3 nights

Day 4: Yarra Valley
Collect a hire car this morning and drive out to Yarra Valley. Take an authentic historic steam train through the scenic Dandenong Ranges or perhaps take a hot air balloon ride for spectacular views of the valley and surrounding areas.
Yarra Valley 1 night

Day 5: Walhalla
Drive to the remote town of Walhalla, once a thriving gold mining town – visit the restored Goldfields Railway, or Long Tunnel Mine. The valley is a rain forest area with some lovely walks; the more adventurous may consider an extended overnight walk.
Walhalla 2 nights

Day 7: Mornington Peninsula
Back to the coast and the Mornington Peninsula to begin your journey along the Great Ocean Road. On Philip Island enjoy spectacular coastal scenery and an abundance of wildlife.
Mornington Peninsula 2 nights

Day 9: Apollo Bay
This morning take the ferry from Sorrento to Queenscliffe. Drive to Apollo Bay for an overnight stay. Keen hikers may extend their time here to include one of the excellent guided or self-guided walks along the coastal path.
Apollo Bay 1 night

Day 10: Warrnambool
Continue along the Great Ocean Drive, stopping at the Twelve Apostles visitor centre where you can take a dramatic helicopter flight. Continue on to Warrnambool where you overnight stop could include dinner and the sound and light show at Flagstaff Hill.
Warrnambool 1 night

Day 11: Port Fairy
Begin your day with a second daylight visit to Flagstaff Hill followed by a tour of Tower Hill, an extinct volcano. Continue on to Port Fairy; keen golfers may consider a round here
Port Fairy 1 night

Day 12 : Hall’s Gap
Inland to The Grampians where a 2 night stay gives you a full day to explore the area – keen walkers may want to extend this.
Halls Gap 2 nights

Day 14: Ballarat
Head east with an overnight stop at Ballarat, Victoria’s largest inland city. Visit the former gold mining site of Sovereign Hill and the opportunity to pan for real gold
Ballarat 1 night

Day 15: Mebourne
Return to Melbourne for your return home or to continue your Australia exploration…

Photographs Tourism Australia Copyright

Great Ocean Road      Vic - Melbourne      Vic - Twelve Apostles

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Little Gems

A helicopter ride over the Twelve Apostles will settle the conundrum of exactly how many ‘apostles’ there are once and for all.  You may like to buy a DVD of your trip to remind you of a great day out – and don’t forget to take your own camera too.

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[wptabtitle] What our clients say[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent]

Client Feedback

Content coming soon

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Tropical North Queensland

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Explore Great Barrier Reef and the ancient Daintree Rainforest in this itinerary. ‘Beautiful one day – perfect the next’ more than adequately describes Tropical North Queensland 

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Tropical North Queensland

‘Beautiful one day – perfect the next’ more than adequately describes Tropical North Queensland and although travellers can and do visit year round, do beware that the months of December through to March are the wet season – you may get wet! 

Day 1: Cairns
Day 2: Cape Tribulation
Day 3: Palm Cove
Day 7: Return to Cairns

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Description

Day 1: Cairns
Arrive in Cairns and collect hire car before heading north; the Captain Cook Highway soon reduces to a single carriageway, hugging the coast as it wends its way to Port Douglas. Spend two nights in Port Douglas, a pretty little town with an attractive marina, good shopping and home to the famous Iron Bar on Macrossan Street.
Port Douglas 2 nights

Day 2: Cape Tribulation
Take a full day drive north to the Daintree National Park and on to Cape Tribulation. See the perfect white sandy beaches as Captain Cook saw them many years before. Stop at the one of the many excellent boardwalk trails into the Rain Forest, or climb the observation tower giving you fabulous views over the canopy.
Cape Tribulation 1 night

Day 3: Palm Cove
Return south to Palm Cove for a further 3 nights. We suggest that on one of the days here you take a full day trip out on the Great Barrier Reef; your boat will take you to the pontoon for the opportunity to dive, snorkel or view this amazing living garden from underwater observation decks. See exotic fish of all colours and sizes. On the other full day take a trip on the Kuranda Skyrail, a gondola journey skimming you over the top of the rain forest canopy to Kuranda. You will see the Barron Falls and may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the railway on the other side of the valley.
Palm Cove 3 nights

Day 7
Return to Cairns for your journey home or onward journey.

Photographs Copyright Australia Tourism

Cape Tribulation      Fitzroy Island Great Barrier Reef      Great Barrier Reef

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Little Gems

Hotels come and hotels go or change ownership, but the The Reef House in Palm Cove has remained one of our favourites for many years.  Simple colonial elegance probably describes it best and the honesty bar is still as good as ever it was – we love it!

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Client Feedback

The end of the rainy season and the box jellyfish season in Tropical Queensland was not an issue. Virtually no rain and as we are not avid sea-bathers the ‘stingers’ (as they call them) didn’t bother us so we didn’t bother them, although we did notice some areas of beaches had an anti-stinger (and anti-shark) boom around them. We would have no hesitation in recommending all of the aspects of the itinerary and no hesitation in recommending you and your company. Thanks for a wonderful holiday.

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Region: Western Australia

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Western Australia, in our experience is a second-timers destination, and if you’ve enjoyed other parts of Australia already, just wait until you’ve seen what WA has to offer.  From the Kimberley, Broome and the Bungle Bungles in the north, through the pristine, untouched and relatively undiscovered Ningaloo Reef, to the extraordinary ecology of Shark Bay, the wild flowers in the spring, Perth and the award winning wines of the south-west – and we haven’t even started on the Nullabor, the Indian Pacific rail journey, the gold fields of Kalgoolie and the whales!

Hamelin's Pool Stromatolites Western Australia          Pinnacles Western Australia          Western Australia - KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Wildlife of New Zealand

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Vicki Tester

 

With over 20 percent of the country covered in 14 National Parks, New Zealand offers pristine wilderness and the perfect habitat for its native flora and fauna. As always, sightings of wildlife can never be guaranteed, but if you plan to be in the right place at the right time of year, you’ll maximise your chances. And that’s where we come in – we can discuss with you when and where to go, and build a tailor made holiday to New Zealand to incorporate wildlife viewing along the way.

 There is an abundance and great variety of birdlife to be found in New Zealand. Before humans settled the country, there were no natural predators for some birds, and as such several native species evolved to become flightless. The most famous of these is the nocturnal kiwi – New Zealand’s national symbol. Other native birds include the kea – one of the most intelligent birds in the world, the vibrant takahe, the weka and the tui with its beautiful birdsong. One of the best places in New Zealand to admire the birdlife is on Stewart Island and nearby Ulva Island – these are two of the few places it is still possible to see the kiwi in the wild, along with Kapiti Island.

 

 

Kiwi -= New Zealand

Picture courtesy of Tourism New Zealand

New Zealand

Ulva Island-Stewart Island- Picture courtesy of Miles Holden and 100% Pure New Zealand

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the Otago Peninsula, see the royal albatross – the largest seabird in the world, and at Cape Kidnappers near Napier, join a tour to see the resident gannet colony. On the west coast of the South Island in the Waitangiroto Nature Reserve, take a tour to see the rare white heron – sacred to the Maori and believed to bring good fortune if seen.

New Zealand is also home to diverse marine life. Find the blue penguin and rare yellow eyed penguin in the Catlins and on the Otago Peninsula. Also in this region see New Zealand fur seals and sea lions. See the fjordland crested penguin near Lake Moeraki or Milford Sound.

 

New Zealand

Yellow Eyed Penguin – Picture courtesy of 100% Pure New Zealand

New Zealand

Picture courtesy of Chris Stephenson and 100% Pure New Zealand

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Only found in New Zealand’s waters, hector’s dolphins are regularly seen off the Banks Peninsula and are one of the smallest marine dolphins in the world. Board a sightseeing cruise and if you’re lucky take the opportunity to swim with these beautiful creatures in the wild.

 Kaikoura is widely known as the whale watching capital of New Zealand, and is one of the few places in the world where sperm whales can be seen year round and close to shore. Humpback whales are frequently found during the winter months (June, July & August), blue whales and southern right whales can sometimes be seen here too. Dusky and hector’s dolphins are found in this region, and sea birds here include six species of shearwater, along with petrels and albatross.

The Bay of Islands on the North Island is another region known for its dolphins – bottlenose and common dolphins are most often seen here, along with baleen whales, orca and seals.

Any and all of the above regions can be included in a bespoke holiday to New Zealand – just give us a call and we can discuss your plans and preferences before putting together a tailored itinerary.

New Zealand

Picture courtesy of Jim Bell

 

New Zealand

Picture courtesy of Matt Winter and 100% Pure New Zealand

New Zealand

Picture courtesy of Jim Bell

New Zealand

Picture courtesy of Jim Bell

Otago Peninsula New Zealand

Picture courtesy of Angie Watson

Lake Tekapo New Zealand

Picture courtesy of Angie Watson

 

Australia’s Great Railway Journey’s – BBC 2

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Picture courtesy of Great Southern Rail

 

If you would like to find out more of what Australia’s railways have to offer then make sure you tune in to BBC 2 at 20:00 on Saturday 26 October to watch Michael Portillo’s Great Australian Railway Journeys.

There will be six episodes starting with The Ghan – Port Augusta to Darwin in episode one.  The other episode we recommend not to miss is episode three The Indian Pacific, but all are great journeys.

These are a couple of our favourite railway journeys in Australia and a fantastic way to see the country.  If you like what you see and would like to know how to corporate a railway journey into your bespoke tailor-made holiday to Australia then please contact us.

 

Picture courtesy of Great Southern Rail

Picture courtesy of Great Southern Rail

 

Picture courtesy of Great Southern Rail

Picture courtesy of Great Southern Rail

Picture courtesy of Great Southern Rail

Sydney to the Hunter Valley Wine Region by Rail

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If you are planning a holiday to Australia and fancy visiting the Hunter Valley but are not keen on self drive, then why not include a rail trip in your itinerary?

You can travel to the Hunter Valley, which takes about three hours by express train, from Sydney Central Station. Along the way you will only experience seven stops. The modern trains are very comfortable and feature an on board café and toilets. Large windows offer views of the stunning scenery throughout your journey.

The package would include:

  • Return train tickets from Sydney’s Central Railway Station to Singleton Station
  • Meet and Greet transfers to and from Singleton Railway Station via private Mercedes
  • Two nights’ accommodation in a choice of guestrooms and cottages at the Hunter Valley Resort.
  • Onsite Vineyard Tour followed by a private tasting with a Cellarmaster
  • Hunter Wine Theatre experience showing the onsite winery in action followed by wine tasting
  • Accommodation, breakfast, and wine activities are included in the package.

Picture courtesy of Hunter Valley Resort

Hunter Valley Resort is a superb country inn or lodge with 35 rooms and cottages surrounded by 70 acres of countryside and 50 year old shiraz vineyards.

Whilst there see the Hunter Wine Theatre Experience, explore and enjoy the facilities in the resort, visit the Brewery, souvenir shops, go bike riding, visit local wineries and a cheese factory, try a segway, horse riding, enjoy a relaxing massage in the Hunter Valley Heaven Massage Centre, take a carriage ride, play tennis, or go swimming – there really is something for everyone!

 

Picture courtesy of Hunter Valley Resort

Picture courtesy of Hunter Valley Resort

Picture courtesy of Hunter Valley Resort

Picture courtesy of Hunter Valley Resort

Picture courtesy of Hunter Valley Resort

Sydney to Brisbane

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An interesting coastal drive between two iconic cities on the east coast of Australia.

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Sydney to Brisbane

Australia is a vast continent and virtually impossible to explore in one holiday.  The lengthy distances will often be linked with a flight, but do consider getting behind the wheel and linking some of Australia’s iconic cities by road.  Here is one such itinerary idea:

Day 1: Sydney
Day 4: Hunter Valley
Day 6: Port Stephens
Day 8: Port Macquarie
Day 10: Coffs Harbour
Day 12: Byron Bay
Day 14: Coolangatta
Day 16: Brisbane

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Description

Australia is a vast continent and virtually impossible to explore in one holiday.  The lengthy distances will often be linked with a flight, but do consider getting behind the wheel and linking some of Australia’s iconic cities by road.  Here is one such itinerary idea:

Day 1: Sydney
Arrive into Sydney for a 3 night stay. With its compact city centre and efficient public transport, Sydney is an easily accessible city with many of the main attractions close by. Enjoy a morning harbour cruise, a concert at the Opera House and blow away the cobwebs doing the Bridge Climb. Visit Bondi Beach and watch the surfers on the waves, shop in Paddington’s markets, enjoy a stroll around the Rocks and Circular Quay, or head out to glamorous Double Bay for designer shopping.

Three nights in Sydney

Day 4: Hunter Valley
Collect a hire car this morning and drive north from Sydney and into the Hunter Valley for a 2 night stay. This does take you inland slightly, but is well worth the detour. Renowned for producing award winning fine wines and gourmet dining, the Hunter Valley has developed in recent years to offer a wider range of activities such as hot air balloon flights, golf and horse riding.

Two nights in the Hunter Valley

Day 6: Port Stephens
Head back to the coast and on to Port Stephens for a 2 night stay. Port Stephens is comprised of a scattering of seaside villages with white sandy beaches and a resident population of over 140 bottlenose dolphins. Between late May and July, and between September and November, whales can be found in the area as they migrate north and return south. Explore Tomaree National Park from here.

Two nights in Port Stephens

Day 8: Port Macquarie

Continue north today through the Great Lakes region and the Manning Valley and on to Port Macquarie for a two-night stay. A vibrant town with plenty of shopping, entertainment and dining possibilities, Port Macquarie is also a great base for visiting nearby Camden Haven.

Two nights in Port Macquarie

Day 10: Coffs Harbour
Drive north to Coffs Coast, where the mountains meet the ocean. Coffs Harbour is a bustling town where you can surf the waves and just an hour later be bushwalking in the Dorrigo rainforest, where you can see a number of spectacular waterfalls.

Two nights in Coffs Harbour

Day 12: Byron Bay
Your destination today is the laidback surfer town of Byron Bay. With galleries, boutique shops, cafes and restaurants, Byron Bay attracts an eclectic mix of surfers, backpackers, families and couples.

Two nights in Byron Bay

Day 14: Coolangatta
Leave New South Wales behind today as you drive north into Queensland and the border town of Coolangatta. The Gold Coast is known for stunning beaches and spectacular surf and is also home to a number of theme parks, water parks and wildlife sanctuaries. Visit Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary’s Wildnight Adventure evening for something unique.

Two nights in Coolangatta

Day 16: Brisbane
Complete the drive north to Brisbane today, dropping off the hire car on arrival. Dissected by the Brisbane River, this city is an eclectic mix of culture, shopping and the laidback lifestyle that epitomises this part of Queensland. Take a riverfront walk, enjoy a sight-seeing cruise or climb the Story Bridge – one of only three bridge climbs in the world.

En route from Coolangatta to Brisbane, you could opt to add in a stop at Lamington National Park – beautiful rainforest, with opportunities for walking, wildlife watching, zip lining and much more. For a little luxury and relaxation before arriving in Brisbane, stop at Willowvale in the Gold Coast Hinterland for a stay at a luxurious lodge.

Photographs courtesy of Australia and NSW Tourism

ATE 2011 Gold Coast      Ballooning, Hunter      Gold Coast hinterland

 

Lamington NP      Summit of Sydney Harbour Bridge

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Little Gems

You might choose to slot in a couple of nights in the Lake Macquarie area en route to Port Stephens. This is one of the largest saltwater lakes in the southern hemisphere and consists of long stretches of unspoilt coastline and beautiful beaches.

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Client Feedback

‘What a wonderful holiday – thank you to all at Experience Holidays for fulfilling our dream’

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Melbourne to Adelaide

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An interesting and varied tailor made driving route, providing a great combination of city, coast and wildlife. The scenery is stunning throughout and this suggested bespoke itinerary can be easily dovetailed with other regions of Australia.

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Melbourne to Adelaide

An interesting and varied tailor made driving route, providing a great combination of city, coast and wildlife. The scenery is stunning throughout and this suggested itinerary can be easily dovetailed with other regions of Australia.

Day 1: Melbourne

Day 4: Apollo Bay

Day 5: Port Fairy

Day 6: The Grampians

Day 8: Victor Harbour

Day 10: Kangaroo Island

Day 12: Adelaide

Day 14: Depart Adelaide

Angie's pic

Photo courtesy of Angie Watson

 

Angie's pic

Photo courtesy of Angie Watson

 

Angie's pic

Photo courtesy of Angie Watson

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Description

An interesting and varied tailor made driving route, providing a great combination of city, coast and wildlife. The scenery is stunning throughout and this suggested itinerary can be easily dovetailed with other regions of Australia.

Day 1 – Melbourne

Arrive into Melbourne today for a three night stay. A free tram service circles around the edge of the Central Business District, enabling easy access to many attractions. Take in a sporting event at the Telstra Dome – a sliding roof here means there are no stoppages for rain. For an interesting dinner, try The Tram Car Restaurant, which tours the suburb of St Kilda with an excellent meal (remembering to hold onto your wine glass as the tram passes over the points)! Take a tour out to Pin Oak Court, the home of Neighbours’ Ramsey Street, or enjoy an adventurous city tour by Harley Davidson motorbike. Visit the Eureka Tower, which has a viewing platform 88 floors up, as well as The Edge – a cubed glass room which projects out from the building allowing you the view straight down.

Three nights Melbourne

Day 4 – Apollo Bay

Collect a hire car today and drive to Torquay, recognised as the surfing capital of Australia, and also, the start of the Great Ocean Road. From Torquay, travel first to Lorne, and then onto Apollo Bay, through what is considered by many to be the most picturesque section of the Great Ocean Road, with the highway carved into sheer cliffs that drop away into the ocean, offering breathtaking views of the waves crashing onto the rocks below.  For keen walkers, there are some excellent guided and self-guided walks along the coastal path here, taking 3 to 4 days.

One night Apollo Bay

Day 5 – Port Fairy

Continue your journey along the Great Ocean   Road, where you will see the amazing rock formations of the iconic Twelve Apostles – huge stone pillars rising up out of the surf, carved by millions of years of erosion of the limestone cliffs. Sunrise and sunset offer particularly impressive views of the twelve apostles. Take a helicopter flight for a different perspective of this unusual formation. Drive on to the charming fishing village of Port Fairy for an overnight stop, perhaps taking in a round of golf in the afternoon.

One night Port Fairy

Day 6 – Grampians National Park

Journey inland, a scenic drive through the Grampians National Park. The Grampians provides a diverse array of wildlife, scenery and walking tracks. Highlights include Mount Victoria Lookout, McKenzie Falls and Reids Lookout. Stay in the picturesque town of Halls Gap, set in the heart of the Grampians National Park. Spend two nights here, giving you a full day to explore the National Park.

Two nights The Grampians

Day 8 – Victor Harbour

A long drive west today, as you head across into South Australia and to the town of Victor Harbour on the Fleurieu Peninsula. With its historic horse-drawn tram across the causeway to Granite Island, and its population of Little Penguins, this region is also known for its wineries and lovely scenery.

Two nights Victor Harbour

Day 10 – Kangaroo Island

Take the ferry across to Kangaroo Island today. Kangaroo Island remains one of the most unspoilt natural wonders of our world.  One third of the island is protected as conservation or National Park, and half the Island has never been cleared of native vegetation.  Walk amongst huge weather-sculpted granite boulders at Remarkable Rocks, and roll down the snowy white dunes of Little Sahara.  Stretch out on your own little spot on the Islands 480 km’s of coastline. Kangaroo Island is best known for its wildlife, and here you’ll find seals basking on the quiet beaches, koala’s munching on gum trees right beside the road, echidnas wandering in search of insects and kangaroos, goannas, wallabies, penguins and birds at just about every turn.  Spending two nights on the island will give you time not only to see, but also to enjoy this wonderland.

Two nights Kangaroo Island

Day 12 – Adelaide

Return to the mainland today, and drive up to Adelaide. Two nights is a must in this city – where great shopping and internationally recognised hotels stand alongside historic buildings, great sporting venues and cultural attractions.

Two nights Adelaide

Day 14 – Depart Adelaide

Head to the airport today for the onward or homeward flight.

Angie's pic

Photo courtesy of Angie Watson

 

Angie's pic

Photo courtesy of Angie Watson

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Little Gems

Taking a flight over the Twelve Apostles on the Great Ocean Road is a fantastic way to see this rugged coastline from a different perspective, and with the opportunity to take excellent photographs.

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Client Feedback

Kangaroo Island was a fantastic experience – we were thrilled with the amount of wildlife we saw there!

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Walking in New Zealand

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Vicki Tester

 

New Zealand is a country known for its varied and stunning scenery, from rolling farmland, lush forests, deserted beaches and boiling mud pools to rugged mountains, dramatic glaciers and crystal clear lakes. A favourite pastime for locals and visitors alike, tramping (or hiking/walking as we would call it) is a wonderful way to get out and explore some of the most pristine wilderness the country has to offer.

Whether you’re interested in a short walk, a long distance walking track or something in between, the tracks are well marked, well maintained and the operators very professional.

Walks can be self-guided (making sure to follow sensible safety protocol such as ensuring the authorities know your intended route and timeframe), or you could opt to join a small guided group, with a knowledgeable expert on the region. In some cases, luggage can be transferred to the next accommodation each day, enabling you to simply travel with a day pack whereas on other routes, all luggage required for the walk will be carried by you. The long distance walking tracks should be planned and booked well in advance, and can be easily combined within a wider holiday to New Zealand.

There are nine designated ‘Great Walks’ in New Zealand, which are all long distance tracks:

 

Tongariro Northern Circuit

Winding its way past Mt Tongariro and Mt Ngauruhoe, the Tongariro Northern Circuit offers dramatic volcanic landscapes and a rich geological and ancestral past. From Alpine herb fields to forests, and tranquil lakes to desert-like plateau, you’ll journey through a landscape of stark contrasts with amazing views at every turn. To the north is Lake Taupo, to the east the rugged Kaimanawa ranges and on a clear day you may even catch a glimpse of Mount Taranaki on the west coast.

Tongariro Northern Circuit Oturere Hut_99914

Picture courtesy of The Department of Conservation NZ

Tongariro Northern Circuit Taranaki Falls_99913

Picture courtesy of The Department of Conservation NZ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a four day walk over a total distance of 43.1 kilometres. It can be walked in either direction, and is a looped route from Whakapapa Village. It is also possible to take just a one day section of this trip, which is called the Tongariro Alpine Crossing.

 

Lake Waikaremoana

A refuge amongst prehistoric rainforest with access to some of New Zealand’s most iconic birds, this Great Walk around the shoreline of Lake Waikaremoana is truly outstanding. Marvel at giant native trees, stumble upon beautiful remote beaches and be enchanted by the area’s fascinating cultural history. A visit to the heart of Te Urewera on the eastern side of the North Island will offer a glimpse of how New Zealand used to be.

Lake Waikaremoana, Suspension Bridge_99909

Picture courtesy of The Department of Conservation NZ

This is a four day walk covering a total distance of 46km. It can be walked in either direction, and goes from Onepoto to Hopuruahine Landing.

 

Whanganui Journey

This is technically a canoe or kayaking trip rather than a walk. Paddle your way from mountains to sea through a landscape of remote hills and valleys on the magical Whanganui Journey. Experience the scenic beauty, history and cultural significance of the winding Whanganui River in the southwest of the North Island.

Whanganui Journey On The River_99906

Picture courtesy of The Department of Conservation NZ

Whanganui Journey_99905

Picture courtesy of The Department of Conservation NZ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Choose a five day journey from Taumarunui to Pipiriki (145km), or a shorter three day journey starting at Whakahoro (87km), featuring the most scenic stretches of the river.

 

Abel Tasman Coast Track

Blessed with a mild climate, golden beaches and lush, coastal native bush, the Abel Tasman Track has it all. Located in Abel Tasman National Park on the South Island’s northern shores, this gentle Great Walk showcases the best that the park has to offer. Marvel at naturally sculptured granite cliffs and crystal clear waters. Choose to hike the whole track, or water taxi and kayak between different locations at any time of the year.

Abel Tasman Coast Track Onetahuti Bay_99911

Picture courtesy of The Department of Conservation NZ

The whole track will usually take five days and covers a total distance of 55.2km. It can be walked in either direction.

 

Heaphy Track

If it’s varied and rugged landscape with mountain views you’re looking for, you’ll be spoilt for choice on the Heaphy Track. This is located in Kahurangi National Park in the northwest of the South Island and has a range of options to suit different fitness levels. Tackle the track in four or five days, or take your time and soak in the views over six days.

Heaphy Track Images_100655

Picture courtesy of The Department of Conservation NZ

Heaphy Track Images_100658

Picture courtesy of The Department of Conservation NZ

Heaphy Track Images

Picture courtesy of The Department of Conservation NZ

The track covers a total distance of 78.4 kilometres, and can be walked in either direction. It goes from Brown Hut to Kohaihai river mouth. There is also a popular two-day overnight return trip on the western side from Kohaihai to Heaphy Hut.

 

Routeburn Track

This is the ultimate alpine adventure, taking you through ice-carved valleys and below the majestic peaks of the Southern Alps. A short trip from bustling Queenstown, this Great Walk links Mt Aspiring and Fjordland National Parks in the Te Wahipounamu – South West New Zealand World Heritage Area. Weaving through meadows, reflective tarns and alpine gardens, you’ll be rewarded with spectacular vistas over vast mountain ranges and valleys.

Routeburn Track, Earland Falls_99923

Picture courtesy of The Department of Conservation NZ

This is a three day walk, covering a total of 32.1 kilometres. It can be walked in both direction, and runs between Routeburn Shelter and The Divide.

 

Milford Track

Follow this historic route through Fjordland National Park, part of Te Wahipounamu – South West New Zealand World Heritage Area. Take a pilgrimage along valleys carved by glaciers and through ancient rainforest, before reaching your final destination: the spectacular Milford Sound.

Milford Track, Anita Bay_99917

Picture courtesy of The Department of Conservation NZ

Milford Track, Bridge Over Arthur River_99920

Picture courtesy of The Department of Conservation NZ

 

 

 

This is a four day walk that can only be taken in one direction, from Glade Wharf to Sandfly Point. It covers a total distance of 53.5 kilometres.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kepler Track

This is an incredible wilderness experience right on Te Anau’s doorstep. It’s a fantastic opportunity to experience the most accessible of Fjordland’s Great Walks. It traverses Fjordland National Park in the southwest of the South Island and is part of Te Wahipounamu – South West New Zealand World Heritage Area. The remarkable scenery includes everything from remote lakes and peaceful beech forest backdrops to rocky peaks and exposed alpine tussock lands.

Kepler Track View From Ridgeline_112643

Picture courtesy of The Department of Conservation NZ

Kepler Track, Ridgeline_99915

Picture courtesy of The Department of Conservation NZ

 

 

It is a four day walk that can be walked in either direction, and is a looped route from the Kepler Track car park. The total distance covered is 60.1 kilometres.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rakiura Track

Escape on an island adventure, and exchange the hustle and bustle of the mainland for the tranquillity of the Rakiura Track. Located in Rakiura National Park on Stewart Island, the Rakiura Track is a leisurely three day hike suitable for anyone with a moderate level of fitness. Relax and unwind in the peaceful surroundings with the bush, birds and beach at your side. Stewart Island is one of the few places that kiwi birds can be found in the wild.

Rakiura Track, Log Hauler_99919

Picture courtesy of The Department of Conservation NZ

Rakiura Track_99918

Picture courtesy of The Department of Conservation NZ

 

 

 

The track is circular and can be walked in either direction. The total distance covered is 32.1 kilometres.

Experiencing Hobart, Tasmania – 2 – Further Afield

Posted on:
Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

Hobart, Tasmania 2 – by Peter Ellis

 

So having had a couple of days to explore the City of Hobart and now with your hire car in hand then consider the following destination. To ensure you have seen a Tasmanian Devil I would strongly recommend that visit the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary where they are working hard to ensure these much maligned creatures have a future – along with many other orphaned or damaged wild animals. The Devils numbers are down by 90% due to a virus that has spread through them but the good news is that scientists have found a vaccine that is seems effective and there is also evidence that the remaining wild animals have built their own immunity.

Tasmanian Devil, Hobart, Tasmania

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Kangaroo, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You will have a chance to see most of the other indigenous Tasmanian wildlife and even feed the kangaroo who are very friendly. A short drive from here brings you to Richmond which truly has a feel of being back in the UK. The Gaol here was built in the 1820s to provide slave labour for the booming farming community. It is still almost intact and well worth a visit.

For another full day out, drive down to the World Heritage site of Port Arthur, the destination of many of the convicts from Great Britain. Built as a modern and ground breaking penal institute it became a town in its own rights. Many of the buildings are ruins while others have been restored to their former glory – particularly the homes of the officers. There is much to see and do here so plan to be there early. Also ensure you join the cruise of the Bay taking you past Point Puer Boys Prison (for convict aged below 17) and the Island of the Dead. The staff play there parts convincingly and the exhibits are well thought through and very hands on. For the brave there is ghost tour in the evening. Do NOT get left in the isolation cell – not a chink of light anywhere and pass through 4 doors to get there.

One evening when the weather is clear, drive to the top of Wellington Mountain for spectacular views over the city and harbour.

Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

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