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Day 18 – Saturday, November 18: Melbourne / Wilson’s Prom National Park
Drive down to Wilson’s Promontory National Park, about 3 hours from Melbourne. Wilson’s Prom is a small promontory, and Victoria’s most southern place. In addition to sweeping vistas, beaches and untouched bush, the Prom is famous for its wildlife, including wombats and kangaroos. Your accommodation tonight is a self-contained cabin just outside the park at Yanakie, on the waterfront.grey kangaroos

Day 19 – Sunday, November 19: Wilson’s Promontory National Park
Spend the day exploring the park. Late afternoon is an especially good time to see the kangaroos and wombats come out to graze. The ranger station in the park can give you maps and a guide to the park, and make suggestions regarding places to see and when wildlife viewing is best.

Day 20 – Monday, November 20: Wilson’s Prom/Healesville / Melbourne
Leave Wilson’s Prom this morning and head north, at first retracing your route down but then he ading via smaller roads to wards Marysville, in the Dandenong Ranges east of Melbourne. The road from Marysville to Healesville, known as the Black Spur Drive, is one of the most beautiful drives in Victoria, through towering 200ft + Mountain Ash trees lining the road. Once in Healesville visit the Healesville Sanctuary, with its extensive collection of Australian fauna in natural bush settings. We can arrange for a guide to take you through. Overnight near Healesville (this is not prebooked, as once again it will depend on your own inclinations, and just where you end up today. There are many places to stay in the general Dandenongs area, from right at Healesville and Marysville to other small town/villages/suburbs from here to the slightly more south Yarra Valley.

Day 21 – Tuesday, November 21: Melbourne
Slowly return to Melbourne today – it’s only 25 miles away - via the wineries of the Yarra Valley. Some of Australia’s best and newest wines are produced in the hills east of M elbourne, primarily whites but also some interesting reds. There are also many craft and art galleries, and you will get a good sense for the more cultured side of Australia, all in beautiful bush settings. As your return to Melbourne stop at a store on the Maroondah Highway, Redgum, that specializes in native wood furniture and crafts. From here continue to your hotel for the night at Melbourne Airport, Ciloms’ Best Western. The hotel will hold a bag for you while you are in Tasmania, as you return here afterwards for the night prior to flying home.

Day 22– Thursday, November 23: Melbourne / Launceston / Bicheno
This morning return to the airport and fly to Launceston, Tasmania. Pi ck up your rental car and begin your exploration of the Island State. Before you leave you should visit the Tasmania Wood Design Centre, displaying some of the best wood-based crafts and furniture Tasmania has to offer. Drive south to Cambelltown, about 55km, and head east towards the coast, arriving at Bicheno in about 90km. Check in to your accomodation, Bicheno Hideaway, located right on the foreshore, and then head into Freycinet National Park, a few kilometers to the south. Freycinet has some of the most stunning scenery in Tasmania, and there are many walks that take advantage of this. The Ranger Station can help direct you to the best viewing areas.


Day 23 – Thursday, November 23: Melbourne / Launceston / Bicheno
Spend the day exploring the trails and walks of this pristine and beautiful area, many of which are the most scenic and photographed - Wineglass Bay is the classic image - in Tasmania.


Day 24– Friday, November 24: Bicheno / Port Arthur/Dunalley
Head south this morning to Port Arthur (about 2 ½ hours away), one of convict Australia’s most notorious sites. Prisoners, both incarcerated and working for settlers, who committed crimes were sent here. While in appearances a very pleasant place now, its history belies this near pastoral setting. There is much here to learn of one of the darker periods of England’s past. Return a little way up the road to Potter’s Croft for your overnight. As well as accommodation, Potter’s Croft has a gallery with a selection of Tasmanian artists and craftspeople – your host is an accomplished potter with a workshop on site.

Day 25 – Saturday, November 25: Dunalley / Hobart
It’s a short 58km to Hobart, Tasmania’s historic city, so you can leave Dunalley at your leisure. The downtown Salamanca markets are on today, featuring local wares, crafts, arts food and drink. Look around Hobart, much of which is convict built. Overnight in Hobart.

Day 26 – Sunday, November 26: Hobart / Cradle Mountain
Drive northwest today to Cradle Mountain, about 270km via the scenic route through the mountains and the Franklin-Gordon/Cradle Mountain National Park. You stay tonight in a traditional National Park cabin, very basic but heated, and with a kitchen area in the general cabins area. Again the Ranger Station can help you look over the available walks, then enjoy a late afternoon out in this stunning area. There are many shorter walks, including one named The Enchanted Forest that winds its way through both eucalyptus and rainforest, however if the day is fine you will probably want to enjoy a view of the sunset over the mountains.

Day 27 – Monday, November 27: Cradle Mountain
Spend a relaxing day exploring the park. Suggested is the Dove Lake Loop, an easy 2 hour walk along a track takes you under the shadow of Cradle Mountain, through the tranquil Ballroom Forest and back along the western shore of the lake to your starting point.

Day 28 – Tuesday, November 28: Cradle Mountain / Kings Run
Leave Cradle Mountain this morning and head to Tasmania’s north coast and then on to Kings Run, arriving about lunchtime. King’s Run is a former cattle property turned into a wildlife refuge. The features of Kings Run are the spectacular coastline & its nocturnal wildlife. The western boundary is the Southern Ocean that pounds a rugged foreshore studded with quartzite outcrops and an abundance of shorebirds. Inland heath land and low eucalypt areas containing rare flora help to support a rich variety of birdlife including many of Tasmania's endemic species. The rare Orange Bellied Parrot migrates through the property in autumn and spring. The former pasture areas are now a marsupial lawn grazed by wallabies, Common Wombat and bandicoots. These animals in turn support healthy populations of the world's largest carnivorous marsupials, Tasmanian Devils and Spotted-tail Quolls. With the co-operation of the Tasmanian Nature Conservation Branch owner Geoff has developed a method of viewing the Tasmanian Devil in the wild. There are no roads on the property only sandy tracks; devils traverse these tracks during their nightly search for food. A scent trail is dragged along these sandy tracks to a rustic fisherman's shack to view the devils that generally arrive within a few hours of sunset. The devils extraordinary sense of smell & hearing do not detect the guests watching in candlelight through a window as the animals feed on a road kill relocated from a local road. A "Devil Restaurant" as such where it's safe for them to eat! A soft outside light allows guests to see a range of devil behavior and a simple sound system brings the sometimes "raucous vocalizations" inside the 'hide'. After an evening of amazing wildlife retire to your nearby accommodation. Your accommodation is a cottage at Murrawah, where the last Tasmanian Tiger was trapped.

Day 29– Wednesday, November 29: King’s Run
Continue to explore Kings Run this morning, then head a few miles south Arthur River Township (more a small village) at the mouth of the Arthur River. Here board your small cruise boat to travel up the river through temperate rainforest and adjoining ecotone in the Arthur Pieman Conservation Area. The guided cruise will stop about 10 miles up river, where your guide will lead you on a walk through the forest, and you enjoy a picnic lunch. Azure Kingfishers and other birds are usually seen along the river, and on the return White-bellied Sea-eagles swoop in to be feed with thrown fish.

You get back from the cruise at 3pm, and head north and back along the coast to Stanley, about 60 miles away. Stanley is on a small peninsula jutting out into Bass Straight, and at the base of The Nut, a small hill overlooking the sea are colonies of both Short-tailed Shearwaters and Fairy Penguins. This evening watch the return home from foraging at sea of both these species. Both species are easily seen in very close proximity, the penguins literally at your feet. Overnight near Stanley, and enjoy a special meal for the end of your long Australian journey.

Day 30 - Thursday, November 30: Stanley / Devonport
Sleep in this morning after a busy week, complete with several late nights. Head east along the coast, stopping at small towns and villages. Fly from Devonport to Melbourne at 5.15pm, arriving at 6.30pm. Overnight at the airport.

Day 31- Friday, December 1: Melbourne / Los Angeles /Home City
Sadly you leave Australia today, but taking many memories and permanent souvenirs. Due to the International Dateline, you arrive back into Los Angeles early this same morning, in plenty of time to catch your flight to your home city.        (*L,*M,*B)


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