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

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Country: Uganda

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Uganda, East Africa

The less well known and visited East African country but one with so much to offer. Lake Victoria dominates part of the country and the capital area and the River Nile is an amazing spectacle as it squeezes through the Murchison Falls – one of the many sites to see. It is also home to forest gorillas and visiting them is at a price well under half of the fee charged in Rwanda. Add in the chance to see chimpanzees in their natural habitat along with National Parks of Uganda filled with usual, and endemic, plains and forest birds and animals, giving you a truly exceptional wildlife experience. Fewer tourists than the other East African countries, Uganda should appeal to those that like their safaris to be more traditional in flavour but still very welcoming and comfortable. You could even finish with a beach stay on one of the islands in Lake Victoria.

 

 

Gorillas - Uganda

Picture courtesy of Bethan Evans

Lion - Uganda

Picture courtesy of Bethan Evans

 

 

Zimbabwe and Rovos Rail

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Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis. Very often we are asked for ideas for a special occasion, a significant birthday or a holiday that is different and memorable. It always has us throwing ideas around the office and arguing the merits of locations and experiences around the world. However there are always one or two front runners and Rovos Rail is one of those.

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Rovos Rail

Very often we are asked for ideas for a special occasion, a significant birthday or a holiday that is different and memorable. It always has us throwing ideas around the office and arguing the merits of locations and experiences around the world. However there are always one or two front runners and Rovos Rail is one of those.

Day 1: Victoria Falls

Day 2: Hwange National Park

Day 5: Victoria Falls

Day 6: Rovos Rail

Day 9: Pretoria

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Synonymous with style, elegance and destinations that cannot fail to catch the imagination, Rovos takes you to all the key places in Southern Africa and further afield. The moment that they meet you on the platform (or in Pretoria in their very own station) you can relax in the knowledge that everything has been meticulously planned. You can lock your wallet in the safe in your suite as everything is covered, including the interesting and exciting off train excursions. The food, wine and service are of the highest quality – all you have to do is enjoy it. You need to experience a journey with Rovos to know why they claim to be the most luxurious train in the world and their repeat clients will be willing to back their claim. Nor are their prices ridiculous and with the strengthening Pound they are becoming more and more a “must do” holiday.

Day 1: Victoria Falls

Arrive in Victoria Falls – on the Zimbabwe side, and stay overnight here. Take time to over the falls.

One night Victoria Falls

Day 2: Hwange National Park

Travel by road into Hwange National Park. This Park has some 40,000 elephant and all of the other Big 5 to seek out as well as wild dog and sable antelope. The bird life is spectacular, particularly as the rainy season arrives, with migrants arriving and the birds producing their courting plumage.

Three nights Hwange National Park

Day 5: Victoria Falls

Head back to Victoria Falls, still with the chance of game viewing as you go. Make your way to the entrance to the Victoria Falls and the 15 odd points to see one of Natures Seven Wonders. The amount of water coming over the Falls, and how wet you get, does depend upon the time of year. If you want to see the Falls in full flood, then you need to be here in April and May.

One night Victoria Falls

Day 6: Rovos Rail

You have most of the day to explore Victoria Falls or take part in one of the many activities around here before making your way to the railway station to board the Rovos Rail Train that leaves in the afternoon. You will be handing yourself over to an expert team that deliver nothing but first class service. From the moment you arrive and your bags are whisked away to your cabin and a glass of sparkling wine is placed in your hand instead, you know that you will be able to relax and enjoy “The Most Luxurious Train in the World”. Watch the world pass by either in your cabin or in the comfort of the lounge and observation cars.

Three nights Rovos Rail

Day 9: Pretoria

An early start to the day as you head in to Pretoria and Rovos Rail’s very own station. The last couple of miles will be with a steam engine taking you in to your final destination. From here, head to Johannesburg for the onward or homeward journey.

Photographs Copyright of Peter Ellis

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Little Gems

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Client Feedback

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Two Countries, Three Cities – Seattle, Victoria, Vancouver

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On this trip you will combine the fascinating cities of Seattle, Victoria and Vancouver over 11 nights.

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Two Countries, Three Cities

On this trip you will combine the fascinating cities of Seattle, Victoria and Vancouver over 11 nights.  There are plenty of options to add if time allows – self drive through the Canadian Rockies, add Washington State to include Mt Rainier and the Olympic Peninsular, or through Oregon reaching Crater Lake and the fantastic coast.

Day 1: Seattle

Day 4: Victoria

Day 7: Vancouver

Day 10: Seattle

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Description

In this itinerary you’ll explore three great cities, using a variety of transport methods as you travel between the USA and Canada, and between mainland and Islands. These three diverse cities, are all in fantastic oceanside locations, with great scenery and activities within easy reach.

 

Day 1 Seattle: Start with your flight to Seattle today. The city is a sophisticated blend of art, nature, technology and culture.  Take a stoll or food tour around Pike Place Market. Head up the Space Needle where the Observation Deck and restaurant offer a unique 360 degree view of mountains, Puget Sound and the City. Nearby, Chihuly Garden and Glass, showcases the career of glass artist Dale Chihuly with galleries, garden and the Glasshouse.

Visit historic Pioneer Square, shop at the Westgate centre and downtown area, and take Bill Speidels Underground Tour, strolling through the passages that once were the main roadways showcasing first-floor storefronts of old downtown Seattle prior to the Great Fire of 1889, and the subsequent rebuilding of Seattle on top

Three nights Seattle

Day 4 Victoria: Today take the Victoria Clipper passenger only ferry between Seattle and Victoria, British Columbia. It’s less than a three hour cruise through Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca to Canada and into Victoria’s Inner Harbour – the heart of the city. Arrive and pass through Canadian immigration at the ferry terminal.

Double-decker buses, horse-drawn carriages, formal gardens and tearooms show off Victoria’s apparent British history. Victoria’s Inner Harbour is at the very heart of the city, and with plenty of attractions within easy reach. Have afternoon tea at the Empress Hotel, head out on a whale watching cruise – Victoria and its surrounding waters are world renowned for the many species of whales and the wildlife tours offered. Stroll around the exhibits and collections in the Royal BC museum.  Enjoy a cycle tour of the city.

Around 30 minutes drive from the city you’ll find Butchart Gardens – a National Historic Site of Canada.

Three nights Victoria

Day 7 Vancouver: A thrilling 30 minute seaplane flight is your transport to the Canada’s mainland and the city of Vancouver, British Columbia. Coming into Vancouver Harbour Flight Centre, located on Canada Place, you are just a short distance from many attractions in the city.

Stroll through diverse neighbourhoods or relax on sandy beaches. Visit the aquarium, take a city tour, cycle or stroll around the seawall in Stanley Park as you follow marked trails.  Head up Vancouver’s Lookout for a birds eye view over the city. Take a mini-tugboat ferry across False Creek to Granville Island where the biggest attraction is the Public Market – perhaps take a walking tour.

Head over to the North Shore for more adventure – Grouse Mountain has plenty of outdoor adventure. Take the Skyride – an 8 minute ride from the Valley Station to the summit. Also on the North Shore, visit the Capilano Suspension Bridge, suspended above the river and amongst the trees. Also here are the Cliffwalk and Treetops Adventure.

Three nights Vancouver

Day 10 Seattle: End your journey here with a flight out of Vancouver International Airport, or alternatively continue your travels with a train journey between Vancouver and Seattle – bus is another option. You’ll pass through US Immigration and customs as you enter Seattle. Spend one final night in the city.

One night Seattle

Day 11 Fly Home: Say goodbye to Seattle as you make your way back to the airport for your overnight flight home.

Day 12 Arrive Home

Float planes at Vancouver – Credit CTC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Space Needle - Seattle

Picture courtesy of Port of Seattle

Floatplanes Vancouver

Credit Yvonne Dann

Totem Pole Victoria – Credit Yvonne Dann

Butchart Gardens Victoria – Credit Yvonne Dann

Butchart Gardens – Credit Yvonne Dann

Vancouver by air – Credit Yvonne Dann

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Little Gems

A little gem of Seattle is the famous Pike Place Market, and the perfect way to see it is on a walking tour. See behind-the-scenes and experience the sights, sounds, and flavors of this historic 100+ year old landmark.

Pike Place Market

Credit Helen Wibley

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Experiencing Hobart, Tasmania – 1

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Hobart, Tasmania with Peter Ellis

Having just got back from my holiday in Victoria and Tasmania, I thought that I would share some of my experiences and suggested activities while in Hobart. Coming in from the airport has you driving over an iconic bridge giving you a good glimpse of the city. We stayed in an apartment on one of the piers in the harbour, which worked very well – views of the ferry going across to the Mona Museum, plenty of restaurants on the piers and waterfront, and a well appointed flat.

We did not bother with a car for the first couple of days as Hobart is an easy walking city. The first place I would recommend is Mawson’s Huts Replica Museum, located right in the harbour. Not large (they are actual size huts) they are full of information of the Antarctic Expeditions that set sail from Hobart through the 20th. Century. Just a few yards from here is the Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery which is well worth exploring and then sitting in the courtyard with an excellent cup of coffee.  We failed to go the Mona Museum, as we ran out of time but would definitely suggest catching the ferry to see what is a controversial spot in Tasmania.

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are a number of food places to tempt you – along the waterfront and Salamanca Street nearby, in fact coffee houses and restaurants abound in the city.

If you would like some more information on Hobart and what to see or do then please give s a call on 01323 446550 or email info@experienceholidays.co.uk  You could also take a look at one of our visit Australia suggested itineraries in Tasmania, Hobart click here

More on what to do just outside of the capital next week.

Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

The Great Ocean Road..

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Vicki Tester

 

Great Ocean Road

Courtesy of Angie Watson

The Great Ocean Road is a world renowned driving route located in the state of Victoria, Australia, running along the south coast. It is an iconic drive that can be enjoyed by car, campervan, motorbike or bicycle, or by escorted tour if you’d prefer. This iconic drive begins in Torquay, not too far from Melbourne, and wends it’s way west hugging the cliffs and providing stunning views across bays, down to rocky shores and of beautiful beaches. Look inland and you’ll see lush green forest, cascading waterfalls and a plethora of activities to enjoy. Stop in the seaside towns along the way, and browse the eclectic mix of shops, galleries and restaurants on offer. Watch the surfers and fishermen, or take in a lesson and have a go for yourself.

Great Ocean Road

Courtesy of Angie Watson

 

The drive is best done in two days, and we’d suggest breaking the journey with a night in the seaside town of Apollo Bay. From here, embark on the second part of the journey, where the road heads slightly away from the coast, but with plenty of stopping points where short walks take you to awe-inspiring views of dramatic coastal scenery caused by erosion of the limestone cliffs. Consider taking a helicopter flight over the renowned 12 Apostle formation (although there are only actually 8), see the Grotto, London Bridge and the Arches. Learn about the Loch Ard- one of the many ships that was wrecked along this dangerous coast.

At the end of the Great Ocean Road, stay overnight in Warrnambool or quaint Port Fairy, enjoying the laid back Aussie lifestyle apparent here. From the coast, you could then choose to head inland to the Grampians National Park or the gold mining town of Ballarat, head back along the coast to Melbourne or head into South Australia- there are plenty of possibilities. For more information on how the Great Ocean Road can be incorporated into a wider Australian holiday, call our office on 01323 446550, email us at  info@experienceholidays.co.uk or see our website- www.experienceholidays.co.uk.

Region: Victoria

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Melbourne in Victoria is a delightful city.  Sit for a while in a café on the South Bank of the Yarra River as its wends its way through the city, ride the tram around the CBD or to the outlying suburbs.  Sip some local Yarra Valley wines and taste some equally excellent local fare, and then discover the rest of Victoria.  The 12 Apostles seen from the Great Ocean Road may have been placed there as a tourist attraction, although on closer examination the visitor will realise that these sentinels are the result of thousands of years at the hand of Mother Nature.  Hike the hills of the Grampians, or the Great Ocean Road trail, visit the gold mining town of Ballarat and get a flavour of the pioneering days of yesteryear.  Don’t forget Philip Island and the Mornington Peninsular.  Melbourne is also the end of the rail for the Overland to Adelaide and the daylight service to Sydney – flying is not the only way to get around Australia.

Victoria - Twelve Apostles

Credit Australian Tourism


Victoria - de Bortoli winery

Credit Australia Tourism


Victoria - Melbourne

Credit Australia Tourism

                    

 

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