• Discover Mt Field National Park, home to awe-inspiring mountain scenery and alpine plants
• Explore Tasmanian history with visits to Port Arthur, Richmond and Ross
• Balance natural wonders with urban delights in the cities of Hobart and Launceston
Tasmania, separated from mainland Australia during the last Ice Age, is a beautiful, dramatic island, where the rugged terrain nurtures a vast collection of Australian mammals: Tasmanian devils, wombats, kangaroos, wallabies, quolls and pademelons – not to mention the bizarre platypus and the spine-covered echidna. The island’s distinctive birdlife fascinates in equal measure, from fairy-wrens and fairy penguins to cockatoos, rosellas and scarlet robins.
Our circuit around and through Tasmania will celebrate the island’s landscape in all its diversity: Mt Field National Park, with its wondrous mountain scenery and striking alpine plant communities; Lake St Clair, where we will stroll through forests of black peppermint; Ben Lomond, surrounded on all sides by precipitous escarpments; and Mt Wellington, “massive and noble like his brother Etna”, in the words of Mark Twain. Macquarie Harbour in the west and Freycinet National Park in the east match these splendours: at Freycinet, as on jagged Cradle Mountain, luxurious lodges will encourage us to savour the natural environment to the full.
As well as acquainting ourselves with the Tasmanian countryside and coast, we will gain insights into the shaping of Tasmania’s colonial history with visits to iconic Port Arthur with its penitentiary, Richmond, and Saltwater River. Our tour includes a handful of cities of great cultural interest, and particular highlights will be Hobart, home to an impressive array of Georgian buildings, and Launceston, Tasmania’s ‘garden city’ situated on the Tamar River, noted for its attractive 19th century architecture.
Travel is by comfortable small coach and accommodation will be in small hotels and lodges with private facilities. The group size will be restricted to 16 participants. Travellers should be comfortable walking over sometimes rugged terrain, and a good level of fitness is required for this tour. Owing to changes in local weather conditions some details may be subject to change, and we cannot guarantee the availability of all wildlife mentioned. Please note that international travel between the UK and Tasmania is not included in the price of this tour.
The Tasmania tour and extension will be led by Mark Hanger, MA, a graduate of Otago University and an experienced botanist and ornithologist. Mark is Director of Nature Quest New Zealand Ltd and President of New Zealand’s largest conservation organisaton, the Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society, and is heavily involved in major conservation projects in southern New Zealand. He has led several tours to Tasmania for ACE and is looking forward to returning in 2019.