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Australia in Summer


Australia in Summer

Image Credit - South Australian Tourism Commission

Summer in Australia – December to February is a spectacular time to visit Australia. Boasting glorious blue skies and sunny days with warm evenings and a whole host of activities and festivals come to life throughout the southern parts of the country. Our aqua waters glisten and our white sandy beaches put on a show like no other. National parks are in bloom, our native wildlife is basking in the warm sunshine, vineyards are alive with musicians’ songs drifting out among the vines. Sydney harbour is alive with superyachts and fireworks ready for another New Year’s Eve extravaganza.

To make the most of our summer months, some of our state governments literally overrule nature, turning their clocks forward an hour to give their states more summertime daylight hours to enjoy the perfect conditions and summer vibes!

Be mindful when visiting Australia in the warmer months, that summer also marks the start of the wet season in northern parts of Australia, bringing high humidity, heavy rains, and cyclones (November to April). Parts of the Northern Territory (including Kakadu), far north Queensland and northern Western Australia will be inaccessible and most tourism operators including accommodation in these regions close over this season. However, no need to worry, as the southern parts of Australia are just as spectacular and have literally thousands of unique experiences and luxury accommodation to uncover over this period. We have highlighted some summer bucket list experiences below.

New Year's Eve Opera Gala Concert at Sydney Opera House
Location: Sydney, New South Wales

Image Credit - Mike King

Kick up your heels and don your finest apparel as you take your seat at the renowned opera gala performance at the iconic Sydney Opera House. As part of the platinum package, you’ll enjoy a pre-performance dinner and midnight party to create a night you’ll remember for years to come!

Overlooking the spectacular harbour, you’ll be mesmerised by both the 9pm fireworks display during interval, then the midnight fireworks extravaganza – with drinks, live entertainment, and of course prime viewing on the Opera House’s Northern Foyer balcony.

Image credit - Mike King

Indulge at Capella Lodge on the World Heritage-Listed Lord Howe Island 
Location: Lord Howe Island, New South Wales

Image Credit - Baillie Lodges

Soaring high above the coral-fringed Lord Howe Island is truly an incredible sight to behold as you prepare to be wowed at the award-winning Capella Lodge. Its casual barefoot luxury feel, coupled with exceptional service, sensational views of the turquoise waters with Mt Gower dominating the horizon and world-class gastronomical menu, make it a bucket-list experience not to be missed!

With only 400 visitors to the island at one time, guests will enjoy the uncrowded beaches and scenic vistas. Fill your days with massages at the spa, scenic hikes, crystal-clear reef snorkelling, kayaking, golf, or getting to know the friendly colourful fish at Ned’s beach. Marvel at the resident turtles as you float alongside them in the shallow corals. Jump aboard a fishing expedition or island cruise and survey the Admiralty Islands or uncover the lagoons’ very own shipwreck. You will never be short of things to do in this little piece of paradise.

Image Credit - Baillie Lodges

Scenic Rim multi-day walks
Location: Queensland 

Photo Credit - Spicers

Making Lonely Planet’s top 10 destinations list is Queensland’s Scenic Rim. Surrounded by idyllic National Parks, lush rainforests and spectacular mountain ranges with exceptional lookouts located in the hinterland of South-East Queensland – only 1 hour from Brisbane. Choose from Spicers 2 to 6 day hikes where no two days are the same, boasting breath-taking scenery, diverse walking terrain, unique luxury eco accommodation and superb food and wine.

Experience mother nature in all her glory, as our well-informed local guide escorts you through this dramatic, world-heritage listed region. Enjoy the company of our native animals along the way and hear tales of the early inhabitants passed through the generations. No heavy packs are carried as your luggage is transferred to your next unique, memorable, luxury retreat each evening, where a hot shower and gourmet food awaits you – complete with cracking fires and iconic bush views under star-lit skies.

Image Credit - Spicers Retreats

Birdwatchers' Paradise
Location: The Eyre Peninsula, South Australia 

Image Credit - Australian Coastal Safaris

A birdwatcher’s delight, the incredibly diverse Eyre Peninsula is home to 270 species of birds! Encompassing multiple habitats, you’ll traverse coastal dune shrublands, mallee woodlands, sandflats, wetlands, saltmarsh and clifftops within National and Conservation Parks with abundant opportunity to observe many fascinating bird species. Pied and Sooty Oyster Catchers or even the endangered Hooded Plover. In the Mallee you’ll look for the fabulously coloured Australian Ringneck Parrots, brilliant Golden Whistlers and much more, you may just be lucky enough to witness the rare sighting of the endangered Southern Emu-wren. Keen bird watchers will keep an eye to the sky for birds of Prey including Osprey, Sea-eagles and Falcons.

Tailor-make your own birding itinerary taking in all the magnificent sites the region has to offer, spending your evenings in your very own beach-front accommodation with a private chef, gazing over the blue horizon to Boston Island off Port Lincoln.

Image Credit - Tourism Australia

Combine a little music with your wine!
Location: The Hunter Valley, New South Wales 

During the summer months the Hunter Valley vineyards come alive with concerts, festivals, and live music. From Aussie rock to international headlines, sunset jazz or the magic of a starlit symphony on your picnic blanket with a glass of Hunter Valley red!

The region is also home to two luxurious Spicers Retreats to indulge your senses. Featuring award-winning dining and elegantly appointed suites nestled into the natural bushland or private vineyards with signature experiences including a sensational sunrise hot air ballooning over the picturesque Hunter region.

Image Credits - Spicers Retreats

Phillip Island Penguin Parade
Location: Phillip Island Victoria

Image Credit - Phillip Island Nature Park

Phillip Island is home to the largest Little Penguin colony in the world with over 40,000 penguins. Only 90-minutes from Melbourne you can experience the magic of these adorable little seabirds as they waddle their way from a hard-day’s fishing in the ocean to their burrows in the sand dunes. Dating back to the 1920’s, just after sunset some 700 to 5,000 penguins make their way to the dunes every night, our private guides provide delighted visitors an unforgettable evening on Summerland Beach. Summer is the perfect time to witness the phenomenon with peak breeding season leading to increased numbers making the pilgrimage.

Image Credit - Phillip Island Nature Park

Tasmanian Hidden Gems!
Location: Tasmania

Image Credit - Tourism Australia

Immerse yourself in the sweet perfume and vibrant purple blooms of the world’s largest privately-owned lavender farm. Spanning over 260 acres with approximately 650,000 lavender plants in rows stretching 200 km in total. In December the farm is in full bloom through to early February.

Wander among a fragrant sea of colour as you take in the striking purple landscape straight out of a story book. Learn about the farms harvesting and the wonderful products that are created from the lavender. Finish your day with a delicious lunch in the ambient surroundings with the striking Mt Arthur in the distance.

Combine this fragrant experience with a few nights at Saffire Freycinet, one of the world’s finest Luxury Lodges. Overlooking the alluring Freycinet Peninsula your beautifully appointed suites ooze luxury with all the trimmings, boasting one of Tasmania’s most exclusive restaurants and array of complementary experiences including Wineglass Bay and the infamous oyster shucking dining experience in Freycinet Oyster Farm.

Historical River Outback Experience
Location: The Murray River - South Australia

Immerse yourself in a unique, opulent, and private retreat on Australia’s longest River. The Frames is a 6-star, award-winning accommodation built for discerning travellers on the peaceful banks of The Murray River. A truly Australian iconic river, teeming with native wildlife and towering river red gums with beautiful desert landscapes and flourishing wetlands to explore in this uniquely Australian outback region.

Take in an Australian sunset on a beautifully restored Gondola with champagne and nibbles or experience an Aboriginal cultural Welcome to Country ceremony. Visit a historic shearing station turned brewery, jump aboard a wetland & wildlife cruise or delight in a Riverland bird watching tour. For the foodies, many local wineries, distilleries and coffee plantations are close by where you can indulge in a gastronomic journey or take in a star-lit glamping experience and dine among the gums in this diverse, red-earthed playground.

Image Credits - The Frames

Ready to tick some experiences off your bucket list? 
Reach out to our team for more information on any of the featured experiences.

We’ve been operating since 2001 as an DMC (destination management company) helping luxury travel agents from around the globe craft unique, luxury and experiential itineraries for their discerning clients.
Our team has an intimate understanding of Australia and we are constantly travelling throughout the country to improve our knowledge of what’s on offer. We hand-pick our suppliers – we test out the guides, the accommodation and the experiences so you can be assured that when we put something in an itinerary there is a good reason for it.
Our creativity. In conjunction with our hand-picked suppliers we aim to create the
un-Googleable! ‘Never-had-before, never-to-be-repeated-again’ experiences.
We know the intricacies of each region and how best to reveal what makes them special. We draw on a big pool of relationships to create unique experiences.
Our network of contacts around the country is second to none and means we are uniquely well-informed to design an experience of Australia that goes to the heart of the country.
Come to us for extraordinary itineraries.
Our mantra:
‘Anybody can book accommodation, where we add value is by layering in the magic’.

Written by Kristi Gomm

Australia in Spring


Bronte Beach
Image Credit - Tourism Australia

Australia in Spring

Spring – September, October and November, is a spectacular time to visit Australia. The southern states are blanketed in vivid purple jacaranda blooms, temperatures are mild with sunny days and cooler evenings. Our deep blue seas are warming up with the promise of summer just around the corner. Milder conditions make way for a whole host of wildlife spotting, outdoor events and unforgettable experiences.

Be mindful that November marks the beginning of the ‘wet season’ in our northern states Queensland, Northern Territory, and the northern parts of Western Australia. Adding a new and enchanting dimension to our rainforests and bringing tropical showers to our waterfalls and flood plains – so plan your experiences accordingly.

For those who have clients coming to Australia in Spring 2023, we have put together 10 bucket list highlights and suggested itineraries to make their Australian experience truly unforgettable.

River Drift Snorkel Adventure in the World's Oldest Rainforest
Location: Daintree National Park, Queensland

Drifting in the daintree
Image Credit - Back Country Bliss

Immerse yourself in the rainforest like never before! This unique, hands-on experience is like no other. Experience the serenity and the beauty of this World Heritage Listed Rainforest as you drift effortlessly down the crystal-clear Mossman River beneath a canopy of green. Don a snorkel and search for turtles, fish, water dragon and the elusive platypus. Our local guides will show you many interesting species of the region on a short rainforest walk during your adventure. 

Daintree Rainforest and Mossman Gorge
Image credit - Back Country Bliss

Charter a Yacht in the Spectacular Whitsundays 
Location: The Whitsundays, Queensland

Yacht Charter
Image Credit - Tourism Australia

Escape reality and create unforgettable memories in the pristine, turquoise waters of The Whitsundays. With over 74 islands to explore – most of them remote and uninhabited, it’s the perfect place to immerse yourself n Australia’s beach culture. Boasting endless stretches of uncrowded white sandy beaches, coral cays brimming with colourful fish, crystal-clear tropical waters and vibrant night life for those who want to call into Hamilton Island or Airlie Beach – there really is something for everyone.

The Whitsunday Islands
Image Credit - Tourism and Events Queensland

Cows & Canapés in the Outback
Location: South-west of Darwin, Northern Territory 

Finniss River Lodge

Wild-bush charm meets contemporary elegance and sophistication at Australia’s newest experiential lodge, only 90 minutes’ drive or a 20-minute charter flight from Darwin. An all-inclusive high-end lodge set on a 50,000-acre working cattle station on the edge of a vast wetland in the Northern Territory. With a maximum of 12 guests your stay can be as adventurous or relaxed as you choose.

This stunning wilderness area showcases Australia at its best! Teeming with birdlife, lizards, dingo’s, crocodiles and of course the cattle – guests are treated to brilliant sunsets, airboat adventures, buggy tours, safari’s, station experiences and of course their Cows & Canapés truly unique experience. Sip sundowners and take a selfie with these curious and friendly cattle as you indulge in canapés and tales of outback life. A visit in September or October will avoid the ‘wet season’ and guests might be lucky enough to spot some baby calves! Equally as invigorating are the airboats adventures that take flight along the flood plains in the wetter months.

Canapes with Cows
Image Credit - Finniss River Lodge

Southern Ocean Lodge - Reopening!
Location: Kangaroo Island 
Dates: 6 December 2023

Southern Ocean Lodge
Image Credit - Southern Ocean Lodge

After the devastating bushfires in 2020 the multi-award-winning Southern Ocean Lodge is well underway to reopen its doors December 6th, 2023. Perched high on the cliff top with 360-degree views you’ll be mesmerised by the breath-taking views of this wildly diverse landscape.

Surrounded by pristine conservation sanctuaries and national parks, Kangaroo Island is a premium destination for nature-lovers. Take a trip out to Seal Bay Conservation Park and wander among the dunes of Seal Bay, getting up close and personal with Australia’s 3rd largest sea lion colony. Finish the evening with a Southern Ocean Lodge signature experience enjoying sundowners with a twilight expedition to witness the kangaroos and wallabies grazing in the setting sun.

Kangaroo Island

Taronga Zoo - Private Tours
Location: Sydney, New South Wales 

Wildlife Retreat
Image Credit - Taronga Zoo Wildlife Retreat

Taronga Zoo’s private tours are back with a whole new and interactive Australian enclosure due for final completion mid-May 2023. A must-see day out for any visitor to Australia. Meander your way through the newly designed board walk taking in the kangaroo, wallabies, emu, dingoes and more as you ascend into the treetops among the Koala’s lazing dreamily in the Eucalyptus trees. Visit the state-of-the-art and interactive nocturnal house and experience close encounters with a number of animals on your private tour, complete with the infamous view of Sydney Harbour as your backdrop.

Finish your visit with an overnight stay at the award-winning Wildlife Retreat nestled in its own private animal sanctuary within the Zoo’s enclosure. Be wowed by more intimate experiences including feeding the resident giraffe, with their incredibly long purple tongues.

Taronga Zoo

Bucket List Dining Experience in the Rainforest
Location: The Treehouse Restaurant, The Daintree Rainforest, Queensland

The Treehouse Restaurant
Image Credit - Silky Oaks Lodge - The Treehouse Restaurant

Perched high in a leafy rainforest canopy overlooking the majestic Mossman River is a tropical paradise like no other. The incredible floor to ceiling open-aired layout of The Treehouse Restaurant creates an unforgettable dining experience complete with the soft flowing sounds of the river tumbling below.

Tantalise your taste buds with spectacular creations from renowned chef Mark Godbeer. A contemporary Australian menu inspired by an abundance of fresh produce sourced from the resort’s kitchen garden and the surrounding local region.

As the evening draws to a close and the warm candlelight radiates from the tables, extend your rainforest dining experience with a stay at Silky Oaks Lodge in their prestigious Daintree Pavilion. High-end luxury showcasing the rainforest from every vista.

Silky Oaks Lodge
Image Credit - Silky Oaks Lodge

Authentic Aboriginal Deep Country Experience
Location: Great Ocean Road, Victoria

Sand Art
Image Credit - Localing tours

Far removed from the traditional ‘tourist’ experience, this transforming cultural experience will see you enjoy a bushfood inspired morning tea on the renowned surf coast along the Great Ocean Road as you get to know our local Aboriginal artist. Hear his tales from the earth and sea as he explains some of the typical ways story and dreaming are represented through symbols in different aboriginal art traditions. Work alongside him to create an authentic aboriginal landscape artwork in the sand.

After a scenic drive and some lunch in the infamous town of Torquay, you will be transported to private, local Aboriginal lands and be treated to a traditional ‘Welcome to Country’ smoke ceremony from the elders of this region. Learn how to throw boomerangs and traditional spears as you listen to the harmonious sounds of the didgeridoo and enjoy a rare dance performance from locals.

Great Ocean Road

Bay of Fires 4-Day Walk
Location: Bay of Fires - Tasmania, Australia

Bay of Fires
Image Credit - Tasmanian Walking Company
One for the nature and walking enthusiasts. This multi-day spectacular coastal walk covers some of the most stunning and remote stretches of coastline in the world, located along the northeastern tip of Tasmania. The Bay of Fires is famed for its white sandy beaches, vibrant red lichen covered boulders, diverse woodlands and tranquil waterways.

An off-grid easy beach walking experience, rich in culture and stories from the traditional owners and first nations people of the region. Enjoy wild swimming and kayaking opportunities along the way whilst your evenings are spent in various high-end accommodation including the award-winning Bay of Fires Lodge with rejuvenating spa and renowned panoramic bathtub experience. Foot spas, gourmet meals, canapés and delicious local wines are all part of the experience. Departures October to May. This great walk is also available in a 3-day, pack free option for those short on time.

Sculpture by the Sea
Location: Sydney, New South Wales 
Dates: 20 October - 6 November 2023

Sculpture by the Sea - Bondi
Image Credit - Sculpture by the Sea - Destination NSW

Witness over 100 sculptures from artists all over the world as you traverse the sandstone cliffs on this iconic, sundrenched, 2km coastal walk in Sydney’s Eastern suburbs. Marvel at the unique sculptures that dot the horizon on this spectacular seascape canvas from September through to October. Celebrating its 25th year, Sculpture by the Sea is the world’s largest, free-to-the-public outdoor exhibition with $100,000 in prize money on offer. 

Sculpture by the Sea
Image Credit - Charlotte Curd

Get Back to Nature Experience
Location: Southern Highlands, NSW

Bendooley Estate
Image Credit - Bendooley Estate

The Southern Highlands are surrounded by national parks with plenty of spectacular hiking trails winding through rainforests and ancient eucalyptus forests, with a multitude of activities to entertain. From thundering waterfalls to picturesque historic towns, antique stores and flourishing gardens, wineries and museums. Our local guide can curate the perfect private tour to suit your interests in this diverse and magical region.

Spend a morning paddling the scenic Shoalhaven River in your custom-built double canoe rig. Indulge your taste buds with wild native canapés and a local award-winning cold-climate wine as you glide through the pristine waters and rugged gorge abundant with birds and wildlife. Enjoy a long lunch at an authentic local winery, take a guided forest walk with local indigenous first nations people in the footsteps of their Ancestors and see Australia through a different lens. Discover many fantastic waterfalls and panoramic views in the surrounding national parks and foodies will enjoy a foraging experience for wild mushrooms and truffles in season.

Southern Highlands

Ready to tick some experiences off your bucket list? 
Reach out to our team for more information on any of the featured experiences.

We’ve been operating since 2001 as an DMC (destination management company) helping luxury travel agents from around the globe craft unique, luxury and experiential itineraries for their discerning clients.
Our team has an intimate understanding of Australia and we are constantly travelling throughout the country to improve our knowledge of what’s on offer. We hand-pick our suppliers – we test out the guides, the accommodation and the experiences so you can be assured that when we put something in an itinerary there is a good reason for it.
Our creativity. In conjunction with our hand-picked suppliers we aim to create the
un-Googleable! ‘Never-had-before, never-to-be-repeated-again’ experiences.
We know the intricacies of each region and how best to reveal what makes them special. We draw on a big pool of relationships to create unique experiences.
Our network of contacts around the country is second to none and means we are uniquely well-informed to design an experience of Australia that goes to the heart of the country.
Come to us for extraordinary itineraries.
Our mantra:
‘Anybody can book accommodation, where we add value is by layering in the magic’.

Written by Kristi Gomm

Dinner with David – a MONA experience in Tasmania

One of Australia’s unlikely superheroes is David Walsh, infamous creator of Australia’s most celebrated private museum – MONA – in Tasmania. Full of quirky, unexpected art, wouldn’t you like to pick his brains to see what makes him tick?

So why not have a private dinner with him and take him to task? Sure, he’s a terrible conversationalist—what with all the art and astrophysics chat—but the rest of this experience should be incredible. Dinner With David, one of the Cultural Attractions of Australia includes a ridiculously lavish private degustation in Mona’s chef’s hatted Source Restaurant. Mona has been known to make the tables out of humans, but that can not be guaranteed. Needless to say, David will also raid Mona’s legendary wine bunker for some game-changing wines.

Aside from dinner with the nerd, this experience also includes the best of everything Mona has to offer   — private jet transport from anywhere in Australia, luxury accommodation in Mona’s 5-star onsite Pavilions, a guided tour of the museum with Mona’s head curator, as well as a VIP tour of Moorilla Winery with the winemaker.

David may invite you play him at tennis on Mona’s not-so-private court at the museum entrance. Avoid this, his serve volley game is too strong.

  • Private jet transfer from anywhere in Australia
  • Two night’s luxury on-site accommodation (Mona Pavilions)
  • VIP museum tour
  • VIP winery tour
  • Private dinner and wine degustation at The Source Restaurant with David Walsh
  • Lunch in Faro (bar and restaurant)
  • Access to all bookable art experiences
  • Breakfast in the Source restaurant
  • and pretty much anything else you might want or can dream up!


Expedition cruising through Southwest Tasmania’s World Heritage Area

Imagine the tranquility of a place so remote that you can only get there by foot, boat or light aircraft. In Tasmania’s Southwest, Port Davey is such a place. This remote wilderness area is a Marine Nature Reserve and forms part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. It’s three times the size of Sydney Harbour and one of the most spectacular landscapes on the planet, with wild rivers, quartzite peaks and extensive waterways.

The best way to explore this area is by purpose built boat. With no roads in or out, the journey starts with a spectacular flight from Hobart across the densely forested Southwest National Park to Melaleuca, a remote locality consisting only of a couple of buildings.

Upon landing you will be taken by tender through the mirrored waters of the inlet to your ‘boutique floating hotel’ the Odalisque, the base from which you will explore the untouched South West.

The itinerary

The itinerary will be tailored to your interests and daily shore excursions will see you totally immersed in the wilderness. It’s all about “getting your feet wet”. During your unforgettable time, you’ll explore narrow winding waterways lined with Huon pine by jet boat, hike to mountain-top vantage points where it feels like you can see over the edge of the world, picnic on remote beaches and soak up the serene views from the deck as you cruise past sea caves, rock arches, blowholes and rocky islets. You could be one of the very few to witness the islands of Maatsuyker, cruise the Davey River gorge, wander the buttongrass moorlands or beachcomb the white sand of seemingly endless beaches.

Looking across Port Davey


The Vessel

Tasmanian owner Pieter van der Woude’s custom-built twenty-metre expedition cruise vessel is designed for the comfort and safety of guests. Cruising with a maximum of 10 guests overnight, the Odalisque has three private cabins, a comfortable entertaining and dining area and three spacious outside decks for sightseeing, photography or sunset barbecues. The galley consists of a contemporary spacious kitchen with an island bench, sofa seating and large open windows to relax and enjoy the spectacular scenery or watch the chef cook up a storm. The open plan saloon area allows panoramic views, has plenty of lounging capacity and a large dining area for a leisurely dining experience. A true boutique floating hotel, it’s perfect if you’re eager for adventure but not so keen on roughing it.

What’s so special about this region?

The Port Davey Marine Reserve was created to protect an extraordinary underwater world. In Bathurst Harbour a very unusual marine environment has been created by a deep layer of dark red-brown, tannin-rich freshwater, which overlies tidal saltwater. The tannins restrict sunlight penetration to the top few metres, limiting the growth of marine plants. In their place live colourful and delicate marine invertebrates, including sea pens. In the clearer marine waters of Port Davey – away from the influence of the freshwater tannins – a more typical Tasmanian underwater world exists. Diverse kelp forests and abundant fish thrive beneath the surging Southern Ocean waves. This Marine Reserve forms part of the Southwest National Park, and is surrounded by the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.

The Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area encompasses a greater breadth of values than any World Heritage property on Earth. Of 1052 sites in the world which are recognised as World Heritage areas, Tasmania is one of only 35 sites that satisfy both cultural and natural heritage values. But even more impressively, the area satisfies seven of the ten criteria, including unique human culture and history, wilderness, plants and wildlife, and geology. Only one other site in the world (located in China) equals this number and none exceed it. There’s a lot to explore; Tasmania’s World Heritage Area comprises 1.38 million hectares, or about 20 per cent of the entire State.


Talk to Alquemie to incorporate this remote part of Australia into an itinerary.


Click here to begin your tailor-made journey to Australia

Pepperbush Adventures in Tasmania

Arno Moulin, one of Alquemie’s Australia specialists recently spent a week travelling all around  Tasmania. One of the highlights of his trip was a visit with Pepper Bush Adventures.

Pepper Bush Adventures offer unique and exclusive wildlife experiences throughout Tasmania, trips to the Tamar Valley to sample delicious Tasmanian food and wine and as well as secluded beaches in the Bay of Fires and visits to visit ancient forests and spectacular alpine mountain peaks.

He said his time spent with Pepper Bush Adventures was one of the best wildlife experiences ever! Below is a summary of his time with Pepper Bush in his own words….

Craig picked us up from Peppers Seaport in Launceston at 12:30pm– within 10 minutes we were driving through the glorious Tamar Valley; being autumn the colours were beautiful.  We enjoyed some commentary about the wine region – which produces most of Tasmania’s wine!

We headed for Ben Lomond – Tasmania’s second highest peak. On the day the weather was foggy so we were unable to see the amazing views; but the drive was a fun adventure in itself on a 4WD only road. On the way up Craig discussed at what points above sea level different trees grow – which is more fascinating than it sounds! Once at the top the land is baron and rocky – which is an amazing contrast over the lush green hills and dense forest landscape surrounding the mountain. We then saw Tasmania’s only ski slope and a few eerie looking chalets – here we also saw a few Bennet’s Wallabies.

We then continued our way to the Quoll Patrol area and kept stopping on the way to visit ‘the bush supermarket’ – here Craig would pick pepper bush leaves and other kinds of berries & eucalyptus and provide commentary about the flora – these were then be used as ingredients for dinner!

On arrival at the property we enjoyed a 20 minute stroll around the property on our way to the ‘shack’.  The walk is very beautiful through a forest plantation – and we saw more wallabies!

After our stroll we were then greeted with the MOST amazing cheese platter ever at the shack. On the platter we found smoked wallaby, lots of different Tasmanian cheeses, different styles of pastes like pear & quince – but the best bit was the freshly warmed bread with Tasmanian truffle oil!

Sitting across the camp fire enjoying a glass of Tasmanian wine and devouring the cheese platter – we were in awe of the surrounding landscape! This is pristine wilderness at its best!

The toilet is a drop loo – but well maintained and has a pretty awesome view!

Next course was wallaby meatballs – which were super tasty. Craig is an ex-butcher and it is easy to tell he only uses the best meat. The Tasmanian salmon was cooked right in front of us on the camp fire oven – with pepper bush leaves and lots of other yummy bush ingredients, the flavours and smells were wonderful!

Once the sun went down suddenly we started seeing wildlife coming out from the forest onto the surrounding paddock. Within about 15 minutes we were greeted by wallabies, possums (common Brushtails), quolls (honey coloured and black ones) and lots of pademelons! In the distance we also spotted a few wombats. At times they were only 1 metre away from us. Craig would then shine the torch allowing plenty of opportunities to take photos.  For the next hour Craig provided commentary on the wildlife and discussed the habits of quolls and wallabies. There were probably about 200 animals around us within a vicinity of 100 metre radius. Everywhere we looked – they were everywhere!!

We got back into the vehicle and within 5 minutes we were out again spotting platypus in a pond just up from the shack! This is a very rare and amazing experience to see these weird animals in the wild!!

On the drive back we were buzzing with excitement from seeing all the wildlife and a bit of red wine warming our tummies – it was talk talk talk! We arrived back at Launceston at about 10:00pm – of course in summer this is much later.

Over the course of the day we saw:

  • Platypus!
  • Kangaroos / Bennet’s Wallabies / Pademelons
  • Wombats
  • Quolls (we saw at least 6!)
  • Possums


Discover the Wild West Coast of Tasmania

Would you like to breathe the world’s freshest air or stand amongst 2000 year old trees? A new Tasmanian experience allows you to do just that, with an easy day trip from Hobart to discover the Wild West Coast of Tasmania.

Departing from the outskirts of Hobart, a 50 minute scenic flight takes you over the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park, one of the most remote areas in the world, towards Tasmania’s Wild West Coast. Landing in Strahan – a harbour-side village on the edge of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, you’ll board a luxury catamaran and embark on a journey to the Gordon River, part of Tasmania’s UNESCO Wilderness World Heritage Area. The area is steeped in history and is full or stories from its convict and pioneering past.

Initially heading out for a peek through ‘Hell’s Gates’ at the mouth of Macquarie Harbour you’ll cruise to see local salmon and trout farms that deliver some of Tasmania’s freshest seafood products around the country.

From there, you’ll head up to the Gordon River through one of the world’s most pristine temperate rainforests where you’ll get to walk amongst the giants of the forest – ancient Huon Pines.

Wild West Coast of Tasmania
Cruise the through Tasmania’s UNESCO Wilderness World Heritage Area.


After a chef prepared lunch you’ll stop to learn about Tasmania’s convict history at Sarah Island – a former Macquarie Harbour Penal Station with a reputation as one of the harshest penal settlements of all the Australian colonies. Operating for just 11 years between 1822 and 1833, Macquarie Harbour Penal Station took the worst of the worst convicts as the chances of escape were “next to impossible”. Conditions on the island were so bad that in 1824 a prisoner named Trenham killed another convict in order to be executed rather than face further imprisonment there. (source: wikipedia) The 2008 film ‘The Last Confession of Alexander Pearce’ was inspired by one of Sarah Island’s escaped prisoner’s tales of resorting to cannibalism to survive.

After visiting this interesting historic site you’ll cruise back to Strahan for some free time before your return scenic flight to Hobart.

Book this experience >

Maria Island Walk

Why we love the Maria Island Walk

Summer is a wonderful time for walking in Tasmania – days should be sunny and warm, rain rarely falls on the east coast and nights are cool and star studded (the clear skies are perfect for star gazing).   Maria Island (pronounced Mar-aye-a) is an island national park and a natural wildlife sanctuary with historic ruins, sweeping bays, dramatic cliffs and peaks and tall woodlands and this is why we love the Maria Island Walk, one of the Great Walks of Australia.

Friendly Eastern Grey Kangaroos seen on the Maria Island Walk
Friendly Eastern Grey Kangaroos seen on the Maria Island Walk

In addition to the island being one of Tasmania’s great bird watching hot spots (11 of the state’s 12 endemic species can be seen here), wombats, wallabies, kangaroos as well as pademelons and Tasmanian devils are frequently seen.  The waters around the island are a Marine Nature Reserve and are regularly visited by whales, dolphins and seals.

Relaxing in the wilderness on the Maria Island Walk
Relaxing in the wilderness on the Maria Island Walk

Flush with awards (the walk has earned more Gourmet Traveller awards than any other product around the globe) here are 7 reasons why this walk is one of our favourites:

  1. Operating in a national park means all aspects of the walk are eco-friendly
  2. This is a great walk for wildlife spotting and for exploring different habitats
  3. The walk can be easy or moderate.  Without the side-trips the walk is an easy 25km over 3 nights / 4 days; add-in the side-trips and the challenge becomes 43km, some of it quite steep.
  4. The walk is owner operated – not that Ian Johnstone hosts every walk, but he does run the business and is very passionate about what he does.
  5. The walk is easily combined with two of our favourite Tassie destinations – Hobart & Saffire (perfect for a little indulgence after a few days of walking).
  6. During the height of the season the walk operates almost daily so it is an easy fit into a well-planned itinerary.
  7. Food glorious food … Tasmanian produce is some of the best in the world so enjoy delicious meals and a glass of wine each evening.
Maria Island walk - The Dining Hut, with a well earned bottle of red waiting on the table...
Maria Island walk – The Dining Hut, with a well earned bottle of red waiting on the table…

The walks operate in groups of 10 guests and two guides, they include transfers from / to Hobart. For those walkers who prefer not to carry the normal 5-8kg pack, The Maria Island Walk is now offering a “pack-free” experience, where guests’ gear is transferred between camps each day so they only carry their lunch, water, camera and jacket.

A cute Common Wombat seen on the Maria Island Walk
A cute Common Wombat seen on the Maria Island Walk.

Maria Island 2 night Winter Escape experience (May to September)

Winter is also a beautiful time to visit Maria Island. In groups of up to 8 guests guides will show you the island’s beauty and history and amazing wildlife. And then each night, in the warmth and comfort of Bernacchi House, a rare, heritage listed house dating back to 1880. Enjoy a delicious candlelit dinner with fine wines while your guides amaze you with their many fascinating stories of Maria Island. And after the night’s banquet take a stroll on to veranda and marvel at the millions of stars and the fragrance of the lavender garden below.

This really is an experience not to be missed.


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