Explore the untouched Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area on this wildlife cruise along the southern coast, where we hope to see orange-bellied parrot amongst other endemics.
Travelling on board the Coral Discoverer, this ‘small cruise' experience explores South Bruny National Park, and Maria Island – where successful translocations of the healthy Tasmanian devil have led to an increase in the population size. Equipped with kayaks, zodiacs and the Explorer - a specially designed excursion vessel for landfall – there are plenty of opportunities to explore the surrounding waterways.
Visiting five national parks and two world heritage areas, we take advantage of the long summer days to explore these pristine habitats. The wildlife highlights of this trip include Bennett’s wallaby, eastern quoll, wombat, brushtail possum, Tasmanian pademelon and the iconic Tasmanian devil. Aside from the rich mammal diversity, there is also an impressive array of birdlife with the rare endemic forty-spotted pardalote, the stunning pink robin, the smallest penguin species – the little penguin - and the vibrant yet endangered orange-bellied parrot.
Day1: Depart UK
Day2: In flight via Sydney
Day3: Arrive Hobart
On arrival in Hobart, transfer to overnight hotel. Afternoon is at leisure.
Accommodation: Hobart hotel, 1-night
Day4: Hobart and River Derwent
This morning is at leisure before boarding your vessel in the afternoon. Cruise the River Derwent with views of the city and the mighty Tasman Bridge.
Tasmania is renowned for its gourmet produce, and this morning there is a visit to the family-run Grandvewe Cheese, set on 40 acres overlooking Bruny Island. Grandvewe farm produces fine sheep cheeses using milk from their flock of over 100 Awassi and Grandvewe dairy sheep. Sample some of the farm’s award-winning produce, including the unique Vanilla Whey Liqueur.
Back on board, enjoy spectacular views over lunch while continuing to Recherche Bay. Cruise the bay aboard Xplorer - a specially designed excursion vessel for landfall - and disembark for a scenic hike with the expedition leader and Parks and Wildlife Ranger on the famed South Coast Track. Walk along the picturesque beach to see landmarks such as the Cockle Creek’s bronze southern right whale statue, and a signpost marking the most southerly point in Australia accessible by motor vehicle.
Days6-7: Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area
Enter the remote Port Davey this morning for two full days of exploration in the heart of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area of South West National Park. Accessible only by boat, aircraft or a seven day hike, this region is one of the most magnificent and pristine landscapes on earth.
Four major rivers and numerous creeks cut through gorges and snake across open plains, draining their rust-coloured waters into the marine reserve. Small islands dot the surface of these dark waters and white quartzite sands fringe the shoreline. Mount Rugby, the highest peak bordering the reserve, is prominent on the western shore of Bathurst Harbour. Take the opportunity to kayak here in the crystal clear waters, where the surrounding mountains reflect in the waterways. During the two days spent exploring Port Davey, the ‘Narrows’ and Bathurst Harbour, take a hike with the Parks and Wildlife Ranger on the Balmoral Hill Track, to visit the village of Melaleuca. Here there are conservation efforts which are helping to protect the endangered endemic orange-bellied parrot, and we hope to see this vibrant bird during our time in Tasmania’s South West Wilderness.
Day8: Coastal Cruise and Adventure Bay
Enjoy a scenic cruise along the southern coast of Bruny Island, past Cloudy Bay, the historic Cape Bruny Lighthouse and the Friars, home to a large population of Australian fur seals. Anchoring at Adventure Bay, relax on the beach, enjoy a swim in the sheltered bay, paddle a kayak and try to spot the majestic white-bellied sea eagle, royal albatross, or humpback whales passing by if you are lucky. Alternatively for the active ones, join a guided nature walk through sub-tropical rainforest, looking for the great diversity of birds and mammals, including the world famous white wallaby, and wander through a fern glade next to Waterfall Creek. After a relaxing day, set sail for the Tasman Peninsula and stunning Wineglass Bay to enjoy pre-dinner Tasmanian wine tasting with a selection of local gourmet produce.
Day9: Freycinet National Park and Maria Island
Join a guided hike through the national park to a lookout over Wineglass Bay, with breath-taking views of the beach and beyond to Mount Freycinet. Wineglass Bay, on the east coast of Tasmania, has been named one of the world’s top ten beaches, and following breakfast there is plenty of time to explore the stunning beach at your own pace. You may wish to paddle a kayak in the clear waters, or stroll along the soft white sands to admire the untouched scenery of this iconic location within Freycinet National Park.
This afternoon, explore Maria Island – a national park with historic ruins, sweeping bays, rugged cliffs and mountains, and of course remarkable wildlife. Since the late 1960’s, conservation efforts have led to the introduction of a number of endangered species to Maria Island. The same features that made the island a convict settlement, now make it the ideal location for plant and animal species such as the native forester kangaroo, Bennett’s wallaby and the Tasmanian devil. wombats, Cape Barren geese and pademelons are also frequently seen, with eleven of the state’s twelve endemic species found on Maria Island.
Day10: Tasman National Park and Port Arthur Historic Site
Tasman National Park is known for its spectacular coastline, and seals, dolphins, sea eagles and albatrosses can all be seen here.
During the afternoon, visit the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Port Arthur Historic Site. Of all Australia’s remaining convict sites, Port Arthur remains the most intact, and consists of over 30 buildings, ruins and restored period homes set in 40 hectares of beautifully landscaped grounds. Between 1833 and 1877 the penal colony housed Britain and Australia’s worst criminals, and was considered inescapable. Join an exclusive tour of the site accompanied by one of Port Arthur’s resident archaeologists, before a private reception in Port Arthur’s Asylum building, before returning to the vessel for dinner.
Day11: Cruise concludes, depart Hobart for the UK
Awaken on the River Derwent towards Hobart. The Tasmanian expedition concludes at Macquarie Wharf at around 8.00am this morning. Day at leisure before transferring to Hobart airport for return flight to London, via Melbourne.
Day12: Arrive UK
Duration and price including flights from/to UK: 12 daysfrom £4,795 pp
Duration and price excluding international flights: 9 daysfrom £3,745 pp
An eclectic mix of modern and historic, the small city of Hobart has a vibrant art scene and interesting museums, alongside several bars, cafes and restaurants. It provides access to some of Tasmania’s best natural attractions – including Maria Island National Park and Bruny Island.
Where: Southern Tasmania
Excellent for: City stopover, History & culture
Bruny Island is the ultimate Tasmanian wilderness experience with preserved natural environments, abundant wildlife, tranquil beaches and soaring sea cliffs. A birdwatchers’ paradise, the island’s national park attracts all 12 of Tasmania’s endemic birds including the rare forty-spotted pardalote.
Where: South-east Tasmania
Ideal for viewing: forty-spotted pardalote, white wallaby, little penguin, short-tailed shearwater, Australian fur seal
A dramatic coastline consisting of soaring 300 metre cliffs and monumental rock formations form this spectacular area of natural beauty. Wildlife is in abundance with Australian fur seals, little penguins, brushtail possums, swift parrots, and the endemic forty-spotted pardalote all seen here.
Ideal for viewing: forty-spotted pardalote, brushtail possum, little penguin, Australian fur seal, swift parrot
Excellent for: Wildlife cruises, Birdwatching
At over 600,000 hectares, South West National Park is Tasmania’s largest park, and one of Australia’s wildest places. Amongst its avian highlights are the flame robin, black-headed honeyeater and endemics such as Tasmanian scrubhen and Tasmanian thornbill, and the endangered orange-bellied parrot.
Occupying most of the Freycinet Peninsula on Tasmania's dramatic east coast, the Freycinet National Park, with its pink granite mountains and beautiful white beaches, is a haven for birdlife. The park’s jewels include a RAMSAR wetland, home to migrants such as black swan and white-bellied sea eagle.
Where: East Coast Tasmania
Ideal for viewing: Tasmanian pademelon, Australasian gannet, white-bellied sea eagle, black swan, little penguin
Excellent for: Wildlife cruises, Birdwatching
World Heritage listed Maria Island mixes convict-era architecture, industrial heritage and diverse wildlife. One of Tasmania's great wildlife hot spots, this is one of the rare locations to see healthy Tasmanian devil in the wild, together wtih other rare species such as the Cape Barren goose.
Ideal for viewing: common wombat, Bennett’s wallaby, Tasmanian devil, dusky robin, Cape Barren goose
Excellent for: Wildlife cruises
This itinerary is available on the following
Coral Discoverer, the flagship of the Coral Expeditions fleet, offers the ultimate in small ship expedition cruising around the coastal waters of Australia. Her shallow draft means access to areas larger vessels cannot reach, which is perfect for exploring the coasts of Tasmania and The Kimberley.