Bendigo, Ballarat and the Great Ocean Road

Great Ocean Road Tour
For as little as $2730.00
Enjoy 10 Days & 9 nights,
Includes: Entry to attractions and places of interest as listed,
Coach Transfers & all accommodation, tours and most meals.10 Days

Adult T/S $2730.00 Adult Single $3435.00

INCLUDES:

  • 9 Nights motel Accommodation
  • 9 Dinners inc 1 in Sovereign Hill
  • 9 Cooked Breakfasts
  • 5 Lunches,
  • 1 Morning tea Vintage Talking Tram Tour,
  • High Tea Fortuna Villa,
  • Sovereign Hill, Ballarat & Warrnambool Botanical Gardens,
  • Ballarat Fine Art Gallery,
  • Port Fairy Cape Otway Werribee Zoo & entry to more attractions.

Other meals at travellers own expense.

Day 1 (D): HOME TO ALBURY: 2017

Welcome to our 10 day tour featuring Bendigo, Ballarat and the Great Ocean Road.  We join the Kings Highway, travelling through the pretty villages of Braidwood and Bungendore to Civic Centre in Canberra where we can purchase lunch.  Our afternoon touring takes us via Yass and Gundagai to Albury for our first night on tour.  (Lunch own cost and arrangements, dinner in motel)

Quality Hotel on Olive, Albury – 02 6021 6100 (subject to availability)

 albury

Day 2 (BLD): ALBURY TO BENDIGO: 2017

Sit back and relax as we make our way to Bendigo, where on arrival we visit Bendigo Pottery known as Australia’s oldest working pottery.  The site and buildings have been placed on the Historic Buildings Register by the National Trust.  We enjoy a light lunch and a self-guided tour of the Interpretative Centre.  Here we step back in time and learn about the production processes, machinery, working conditions and traditional skills of Bendigo Pottery from its beginning in 1858 to the present.  There is also the chance to purchase some quality items at factory prices. Feeling refreshed we continue into Bendigo and enjoy a city tour with our Bendigo Historical Society guide. We take in all the sights including Speciman Cottage, the oldest terrace house in Bendigo and possibly the oldest house in the city.  The cottages have both State Heritage National Trust status.  We will also see the Bendigo Beehive building and the beautiful Sacred Heart Cathedral.  We arrive at our motel and can settle in for the next two nights.  (Breakfast and dinner in the motel, light lunch included)

Quality Colonial Inn Bendigo (subject to availability 03 54470122)

 

Day 3 (BD): DISCOVERING BENDIGO: 2017

Following breakfast we continue our touring of Bendigo and the best place to start is on the Talking Tram’ for an interesting ride through the main areas of Bendigo to learn a little about the history of the Goldfields. We stop off at the Bendigo Joss House Temple which is a Chinese place of worship where we explore Chinese beliefs and have explained to us the story of the Chinese who came to Bendigo in search of gold so long ago.  This is a significant and unique part of Bendigo’s cultural history.  Following our ride we visit the Central Deborah Gold Mine for our guided surface tour of what is an actual working mine – right in the centre of the city.

bendigo

We have time for a browse in the city taking in the feel of the town including her gardens, fountains and antique shops.  This afternoon we discover and explore the history of Fortuna Villa.  In 1871, the Villa and the associated ‘180 Mine’ on the New Chum Reef was bought by George Lansell who had become successful in his gold mining interests and investments. With his continuing success in deep mining, Lansell undertook major extensions to his home. Stained glass, elaborate ceilings, grand cedar and blackwood staircase, solid marble baths, extensive acid-etched glasswork (conservatory) are some of the architectural features that contribute to the outstanding ‘feel’ of the structure. The Fortuna grounds cover some 7.57 ha. and feature an ornamental lake, garden, a ‘Roman-Bath’ and the ‘Pompeii Fountain’.  We have plenty of time here to enjoy our guided tour and afternoon tea.  (Breakfast and dinner in the motel, lunch own cost and arrangements)

Quality Colonial Inn Bendigo (subject to availability 03 54470122)

 

Day 4 (BLD): BENDIGO TO BALLARAT: 2017

This morning we farewell our hosts and make a visit to the Golden Dragon Museum and the Yin Yuan Classical Chinese Gardens.  What a story it is of the impact and contribution made by the Chinese people of Bendigo – from the Gold Rush of the 1850’s to the present day. One permanent display is “Sun Loong” the longest Imperial dragon in the world and “Loong” the oldest Imperial dragon in the world. The Yin Yuan Chinese Gardens (Garden of Joy) are based on the Imperial Palace in Beijing and whilst we wander we’ll see the Reflection Wall and murals of the Taoist Eight Immortals who together represent different conditions of life; poverty, wealth, aristocracy, plebeians, age, youth, masculinity and femininity. The Immortals encourage laughter, banish worries and help enliven the struggle for existence.  From here we travel south to Ballarat on arrival we have arranged our lunch at the Ballarat Golf Club.  Our visit to Ballarat would not be complete without a look through Sovereign Hill, a world standard attraction.  Sovereign Hill provides the opportunity to step back in time to the golden past and the days of the gold rush over 100 years ago.

sovereign-hill

There is so much to see and do at Sovereign Hill with their many sights and attractions.  At the Red Hill Gully Diggings, miners dressed in the bright colours of the 1850’s, show us how to pan for gold and along the main street, horse drawn vehicles offer tours of the town.  We check in to our motel to freshen up, we return to Sovereign Hill for our night’s entertainment including dinner.  Australia’s Eureka lives on in Blood on the Southern Cross”, an exciting show which takes place across the whole 25 hectare panorama of Sovereign Hill.  Blood on the Southern Cross is an outstanding experience, which surrounds and involves the audience in the whole historical chapter.  The thunder of galloping horses on a license hunt, the roar of fire as the Eureka Hotel blazes, the murmur of 500 diggers as they swear allegiance to their flag, the fearful clamour of that fateful battle at the Stockade….all will hold us spellbound.  After our spectacular evening we return to the motel.  (Breakfast in motel, lunch at Ballarat Golf Club, dinner at Sovereign Hill)

Mercure Ballarat – 03 5327 1200 (subject to availability)

Day 5 (BLD): BALLARAT TO WARRNAMBOOL: 2017

This morning our local guide joins us on coach for a guided tour of Ballarat.  We also spend some time in Ballarat Botanic Gardens with the chance to wander through the Robert Clarke Conservatory (this is the centrepoint of the annual Begonia display).  Next we visit the Ballarat Fine Art Gallery, which was the first provincial Art Gallery to be established in Australia (1884) and contains the largest and most comprehensive collection of Australian Art of all regional galleries.  We now have some free time to purchase lunch.

warrnambool

Early afternoon sitback and relax as we travel through to Warrnambool, a beautiful seaside township on the shores of Lady Bay and the main centre for a stretch of coastline where more than 100 ships and boats were wrecked within a distance of 80 kilometres; hence the current name for the area – The Shipwreck Coast.  We check-in to our accommodation where we can unpack and unwind as this will be home for the next two nights.  (Breakfast and dinner in motel, Lunch own cost and arrangements)

Quality Suites Deep Blue Hotel & Spa Warrnambool 03 55592000 (subject to availability)

 

Day 6 (BD): EXPLORING WARRNAMBOOL: 2017

Today we meet our guide for a tour of Warrnambool.  Gardens are a feature of Warrnambool. The Warrnambool Botanic Gardens were also planned by William Guilfoyle. He later became a director of the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne.  We head off to nearby Allansford to visit Allansford Cheese World – home of award winning cheeses.  They have a museum on the premises which will be interesting to wander through.  We enjoy a cheese tasting before returning to Warrnambool with time to explore the shops and to purchase lunch.  This afternoon we visit the Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village. Supported by the local community this delightful complex authentically recreates the appearance, atmosphere and activities apparent in a small coastal port during the 50 years prior to 1900. It presents and preserves material, artefacts and vessels relating to Australia’s early maritime museum. And tonight we relive that era! The night time sound and laser show called “Shipwrecked” it recreates the tragic story of the Loch Ard Shipwreck that took place in local waters more than 120 years agoIt will be one of our highlights of our holiday.  (Breakfast and dinner in the motel, Lunch own cost and arrangements)

Quality Suites Deep Blue Hotel & Spa Warrnambool 03 55592000 (subject to availability)

 

Day 7 (BLD): WARRNAMBOOL AND PORT FAIRY: 2017

This morning we have a later start to the day after our spectacular night before.  We head to the small fishing village of Port Fairy travelling through the Tower Hill State Game Reserve.  The 614 hectare reserve is situated in the crater of an extinct volcano which formed thousands of years ago when a violent eruption created the funnel-shaped crater which was later filled by the lake with its various small islets. The reserve is home to kangaroos, koalas, wombats, sugar gliders, possums, echidnae, numerous waterbirds (including Cape Barren geese, musk ducks, spoonbills and chestnut teals) and some very bold emus!  We’ll drive through the reserve via a one way scenic road, over a land bridge to the main body of land which is virtually surrounded by Tower Hill Lake.  We continue on to Port Fairy.  Port Fairy’s rich, maritime history and its colonial character have been faithfully preserved. Seaman’s blue-stone cottages rub shoulders with gracious commercial and administrative buildings. Its fine antique shops, pubs and restaurants are all housed in original Victorian buildings – The National Trust has classified 50 of them. On arrival we have time at leisure to enjoy the township.  We meet up with our local guide for a tour of the area before our lunch at the Caledonian Inn Hotel.  Early afternoon, we visit the Codrington Wind Farm. The Codrington wind farm was Pacific Hydro’s first wind development and Australia’s first commercial wind farm. The wind farm now generates enough electricity each year to supply the equivalent of 10,000 Victorian homes and each year avoids the emission of 49,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions – the equivalent to taking more than 17,000 cars off the roads!  After our tour we return to Warrnambool with some free time to relax in the motel.  (Breakfast & dinner in the motel, lunch at Caledonian Inn Hotel)

Quality Suites Deep Blue Hotel & Spa Warrnambool 03 55592000 (subject to availability)

 

Day 8: (BLD): WARRNAMBOOL TO POINT COOK – THE GREAT OCEAN ROAD

After breakfast we head off on our day tour along the Great Ocean Road, one of Australia’s most spectacular coastlines.  From Warrnambool the Great Ocean Road runs the full length of the Port Campbell National Park and offers some of the most dramatic coastal scenery in Australia.  The stretch on either side of the town of Port Campbell is the most exciting part!  We pass Loch Ard Gorge, which has a sad tale to tell.  In 1878 the iron hulled clipper Loch Ard was driven out onto rocks offshore at this point.  Of the 50 or so on board only two were to survive, being swept into the narrow gorge named after their ill-fated vessel. Before Port Campbell we also come to London Bridge.  This was once a famous landmark and a bridge-like promontory arching across a furious sea.  However in 1990 it collapsed dramatically into the sea, stranding a handful of amazed (and extremely lucky) visitors at the far end!   We also see the Twelve Apostles – huge pillars which loom out of the surf, carved over time by the fury of the ocean.

great-ocean-road2

Other formations along this stretch of coast are the Crown of Thorns and the beautiful Bay of Islands.  From here we travel through the Otway National Park.  We enjoy the Park with its fern gullies and towering eucalypts stands before heading to the coast for lunch at the Cape Otway Lighthouse.  Steeped in history and surrounded by beauty, the Cape Otway Lighthouse is an unforgettable experience.  This monument to the wild untamed coast has stood the test of time.  For many of our brave forbears it was their first sight of this southern land, for some it was their last!  In 1848 the lighthouse became the beacon of hope on a dangerous coastline and is one of the oldest lighthouses in Australia.  We continue through Apollo Bay and Lorne, which was the first place to be declared an area of Special Significance and Natural Beauty by the Victorian Government.  From here we travel on through Aireys Inlet and Angelsea to Point Cook where we can check in to our accommodation and freshen up before dinner.  (Breakfast and dinner in motel, lunch at Cape Otway Lighthouse)

Quality Suites d’Olive, Point Cook – 03 8376 5300 (subject to availability)

 

Day 9: (BLD): POINT COOK TO ALBURY: 2017

Our morning is spent in Werribee where we visit Victoria’s Open Range Zoo.  Here animals from the grasslands of Australia, Africa and Asia live in conditions as close as possible to those they encounter in their natural habitats.  Victoria’s Open Range Zoo has grown of international standing which provides visitors with a truly unique wildlife encounter.  Developed around the beautiful and picturesque Werribee River, the 200 hectare property is home to a range of magnificent animals from the grasslands of Africa, Asia, North America and Australia. Today we enjoy a guided Wildlife Safari, which takes us amongst the animals and provides superb opportunities for “close up” animal encounters.  Our trained Safari Guide provides a personal and informed interpretation of the animals, their features and behaviour. The Safari includes a trip through the African Savannah, where rhinos, giraffes and zebras all share the magnificent river flood plain. It also takes us into the African waterhole, Australia’s only drive through hippo exhibit.  Animals, including meerkats, cheetah, vervet monkeys and serval cats are on display in wonderful environments, linked by a series of waterways. Experience the evolving recreation of these endangered grasslands (less than 1% of remnant grasslands remain in Victoria). Enjoy views into the Australian exhibit, with kangaroos, emus and wallabies.  We enjoy our lunch here before travelling through to Albury for our final night on tour.  (Breakfast and dinner in motel, lunch at Werribee Zoo)

Quality Hotel on Olive, Albury – 02 6021 6100 (subject to availability)

 

Day 10: (B): ALBURY TO HOME: 2017

Sadly our touring has come to an end.  Today is a travel day for home; we stop along the way for convenience breaks and to purchase lunch.  We arrive home mid-afternoon with many wonderful memories of our 10 day holiday.  (Breakfast in motel, lunch own cost and arrangements)

Adult T/S $2730.00 Adult Single $3435.00

For Bookings or Info Call: 02 4474 4243

  • 10% non refundable deposit at time of booking.
  • Bookings Close & full payment due 3 July 2017
  • Cash, Cheque, Credit Card or D/D CBA BSB 062 650 Acct 10278886
  • Name as reference .
  • Terms and Conditions apply.
  • Travel Insurance recommended.
  • Contact: Sue & Mal Rixon PH: 02 4474 4243
  • Mob: 0402 266776
  • 1017 Princes Highway Mogo NSW 2536

All itineraries are subject to change due to occasional restrictions in opening times/days of some attractions, e.g. churches, wineries etc. We cannot be held responsible for any changes due to closures, inclement weather etc.

The Spirit of the Outback and Longreach

11 Day Outback Queensland Tour Featuring the Spirit of the Outback and Longreach

11 days: 8th June – 18th June 2017

 

Our Outback adventure includes a journey on the “Spirit of the Outback” from Brisbane to Longreach.  This fascinating 1,300 km journey offers a unique insight into the history and culture of early Australia, combined with interesting commentary, a social atmosphere and an authentic dining experience.  From the comfort of a sleeper or seat, we will wonder at the ever-changing landscape as the train moves from the coast through the heart of the Outback with its rugged mountains, wide-open plains and historic towns.  Our destination of Longrech is the centre of a vast area known as the Central West, in the geographical heart of Queensland.  There are some fascinating things to see and do in this part of the world – a region that attracted bush poets like Banjo Patterson and pioneers, like the early post world war one pilots who formed the Queensland and Northern Territory Arial Services, which in turn helped form the Flying Doctor Service.  What really makes the area are the characters who live here.  We will be meeting some of them over the next 11 days.

  dubbo1

Day 1: (D): Home Port to Dubbo:  Thursday 8 June 2017

This morning we embark on our tour to Outback Queensland.  We begin bright and early as we use today as a travel day to get all the way to Dubbo for dinner and our overnight accommodation.  Making convenience stops along the way should see us arriving by late afternoon. (Lunch own expense, dinner at the motel)

Golden West Motor Inn, Dubbo – (02 6882 2822)

 

Day 2: (BLD):  Dubbo to Roma:  Friday 9 June 2017

Setting off early this morning we continue north, taking a lunch break in Lightning Ridge at the Bowling Club before crossing the New South Wales border into Queensland.  First Queensland stop is in St George where we see an interesting venture at The Unique Egg.  This is a world class collection of handcarved illuminated emu eggs, handcrafted by Steve Margaritis over a period of more than 40 years.  Steve’s private collection has been displayed at World Expos, but is permanently housed at the Unique Egg in St George.  This truly fascinating attraction has to be seen to be believed!  The rest of our afternoon is spent expressing to our overnight accommodation in Roma.  (Breakfast and dinner in the motel, lunch Lightning Ridge Bowling Club)

Roma Explorers Inn, Roma (07 4620 1400)

 lr2

 

Day 3: (BD):  Roma to Charleville: Saturday 10 June 2017

Roma is an early Queensland settlement and now the centre for a huge sheep and cattle raising district.  There’s enough oil in the area to support a small refinery, which produces just enough petroleum for local use.  Gas deposits in the region are rather larger and Roma supplies the city of Brisbane with gas through a 450km pipeline. This morning we enjoy the sights of the city before we depart and head west.  We arrive in Charleville around lunch time, giving us a chance to take a stroll along the main street and purchase lunch.  Our afternoon sight-seeing includes a stop at the Steiger Gun, a bizarre piece of Western Queensland history.  It is one of ten guns used by the Queensland Government Meteorologist Professor Clement Wragge at Charleville, September 26 1902.’  It was a vain attempt to induce a deluge and thus break the drought, which had been going on since 1896.  Wragge’s novel approach was to send blasts of air into the atmosphere.  He persuaded the authorities in Brisbane to build Steiger guns, which he duly placed around Charleville.  They were all filled with gunpowder and ignited.  Nothing happened.  We make our way to accommodation for an overnight stay.  After dinner we visit the Cosmos Centre (subject to availability) to enjoy the open-air observatory and view the outback night sky.  (Breakfast and dinner in the motel, lunch own expense)

Charleville Motel, 07 4654 1566 (subject to availability)

charle

Day 4: (BLD): Charleville to Longreach:  Sunday 11 June 2017

This morning we farewell Charleville and travel to Blackall, home to the legendary gun shearer Jackie Howe and where he set the almost unbelievable record of shearing 321 sheep with blade shears in a day.  A bronze statue now stands as a monument to the man and the achievement.  We have a tour at the Blackall Woolscour where we also enjoy our lunch.  This is the only fully intact steam-powered wool washing plant left in Australia. The historic Blackall Woolscour is a living museum and a direct physical link to Australia’s pioneering era.  It is totally authentic, unique, full of history and has great educational and social values.  The Woolscour operated commercially under steam power from 1908 until 1978, and though it is now a tourist attraction, the machinery is as functional now as it was then.  Next stop is Barcaldine, a town steeped in the history of the early pioneers struggles and the evolution of Australia as a nation.  Hear about the shearers strike in the 1890’s and see the “Tree of Knowledge”, which marks the spot where the Australian Labour Party was formed.  We take in the history of this fascinating area before continuing onto Longreach where we base ourselves for the next four nights.  (Breakfast and dinner in the motel, lunch Woolscour)

Albert Park Motor Inn, (07 4658 2411)

blackall

Day 5: (BD): Longreach icons:  Monday 12 June 2017

Today we enjoy two of Longreachs’ most iconic attractions.  First is The Stockmans Hall of Fame which is a fantastic presentation of the life of a stockman.  Here we will see outback antiques, videos that make use of modern technology to tell old stories, an 1866 settlers hut and all the stockmans paraphernalia is on show.  It is easy to become emersed in this museum and spend hours marveling at the achievements of these Aussie icons.  There is a café here we can purchase lunch from if needed.  It is not far back to our motel for a little free time.  Late afternoon our second iconic visit is to the Qantas Founders Outback Museum, adjacent to the historic 1922 Qantas hangar, which has been restored.  The complex houses the museum, theatrette and exhibition hall, visitor information centre and restaurant.  Historic photographs, memorabilia and multi-media interactive displays eloquently tell the inspirational stories of overcoming the problems of long distance travel in Outback Australia.  A Boeing 747-200, donated by Qantas Airways Ltd, is included in the exhibit and forms a spectacular part of the museum’s outdoor display.  Our visit provides us with an appreciation of the vision and achievements of the Qantas Founders, which is “that Qantas would one day become one of the world’s greatest airlines.” Our visit is made even more significant by the fact we are the only ones here!  We have the whole museum to ourselves and our exclusive dinner is right in the middle of the museum displays.  This is a unique event to say the least.  After a wonderful day I believe we will have fallen in love with this town. (Breakfast in the motel, lunch own expense, Qantas founders dinner)

Albert Park Motor Inn, 07 4658 2411 (subject to availability)

stockman-hall-of_fame

Day 6: (BD):  Longreach:  Tuesday 13 June 2017

Today we are going to have a special experience as we get an insight to the area through the eyes of local farmers.  On arrival at the Camden Park Station we meet the Walker family, where diversification is part of history.  Their incredible property tells many stories, from the early Chinese craftsman creating water storage to the drilling for Artesian bore water, changing from Santa Gertrudis cattle stud to harvesting of native Mitchell grasses as hay.  We will be hosted by a family member on board the coach telling these stories first-hand, followed by morning tea.  We then head back into town and really step back in time – at Kinnon & Co in the main street.  Their Station Store has an amazing range of traditionally made leatherwear and a treasure trove of historic nostalgia.  While we are here we will meet that famous horse and the larrikin owner and his son who present a live show “Starlights Spectacular” – a legends tribute.  It will be a lot of fun.  There will be a little bit of free time this afternoon for shopping.  Late afternoon we soak up a spectacular outback as we enjoy the Drover’s Afternoon Cruise aboard the M.V.  Enjoy enthralling commentary on-board, then unwind on the bank of the Thomson River while watching a magnificent outback sunset with nibbles, followed by a two course table-service dinner as we watch the entertaining Smithy’s Outback Show.  This will be a memorable evening and a great way to end our day in Longreach.  (Breakfast in the motel, lunch own expense, Drovers dinner)

Albert Park Motor Inn, 07 4658 2411 (subject to availability)

camden

Day 7: (BLD):  Age of Dinosaurs:  Wednesday 14 June 2017

Our days touring begins by travelling nearly to Winton.  This central area of Queensland abounds with early Australian folklore and history.  It was in this area that Banjo Paterson wrote his famous poem about the swagman and the jolly jumbuck and “Waltzing Matilda” was first heard in a pub in Winton.  Unfortunately the Waltzing Matilda Museum was burnt down last year but we have arranged a very interesting visit none the less.  We arrive at The Australian Age of Dinosaurs, south of Winton, located on top of a Jump-Up.  This is a rugged mesa plateau formation that stands 75 metres above the surrounding plains.  We will have a clear view to spot any dinosaurs in the vicinity.  The area surrounding Winton is full of archaeological digs and today we have the opportunity to take a tour and learn about this prehistoric phenomenon and see real dinosaur bones being prepared in the laboratory.  The newly opened facility has won many awards for its design and content.  We spend most of the day here and include a lovely lunch from a fantastic vantage point.  This afternoon we make our way back to our motel where we have time for a swim before dinner is served.  (Breakfast and dinner in the motel, lunch Age of Dinosaurs)

Albert Park Motor Inn, 07 4658 2411 (subject to availability)

dino

Day 8: (BLD):  Longreach and the Spirit of the Outback:  Thursday 15 June 2017

We check out in time to make our way to the terminal to board our 10am train – The Spirit of the Outback.  This is a unique train that offers us a memorable journey into the Outback.  On board the specially themed carriages reflect the images of the outback and “The Spirit” is the only train of its kind that speaks the language of the Outback and interprets the rich folklore that has developed over time on the dry inland plains of Australia.  There is a well appointed dining car, First Class sleeping berths, bar and relaxing areas to chat with fellow passengers.  We travel to Rockhampton arriving at

midnight before we head south.  (Breakfast at the motel, lunch and dinner on the train)

Spirit of the Outback overnight

 the-spirit-of-the-outback-train

Day 9: (BD): Arriving Brisbane:  Friday 16 June 2017

Having travelled overnight we arrive into Roma Street station in Brisbane at midday.  After meeting our new coach captain for the day we head off on a sightseeing trip around Brisbane, for a closer look at the Queensland Capital.  As well as the city sights we enjoy a visit to the Mount Coot-tha Park.  This large park has a lookout and an excellent Botanic Garden.  The views from the top are superb and on a clear day you can see the distant line of Moreton and Stradbroke Islands, the Glasshouse Mountains to the north, the mountains behind the Gold Coast to the south and Brisbane, with the river winding through, at our feet.  From Mount Coot-tha we return to the city and some free time.  Spend time in the city or you may care to visit the fabulous Southbank Parklands.  Facing onto the Brisbane River and the central city, it occupies the area utilised for the 1988 Brisbane Expo.  Having been extensively redeveloped it is now one of the city’s liveliest and most interesting areas.  A great way to spend some time along the Brisbane River is by taking the FerryCat (passengers own expense), getting on and off at a couple of the notable stops or simply stay on for the wonderful ride!  We are welcomed at our Brisbane accommodation just outside the city with wonderful views of the river.

Riverview Hotel, Brisbane (07 3862 1800)

mount-cootha

Day 10: (BD): Brisbane to Port Macquarie:  Saturday 17 June 2017

Today is a travel day so we jump on the coach, heading south, making convenience stops throughout the day which has us arriving in Port Macquarie for our last overnight stay late this afternoon.  (Breakfast and dinner at the motel, lunch own expense)

El Paso Motor Inn, Port Macquarie (02 6583 1944)

port-macquarie

Day 11: (B): Port Macquarie to Home:  Sunday 18 June 2017

After breakfast we set our sights on travelling home.  We express home with a stop for lunch along the way after a memorable trip.  (Breakfast in the motel, lunch own expense)

 

 

Sunshine and Gold Coast Tour

9 Days/8 nights: 30th July – 8th August 2017

Day 1 (D): MOGO TO PORT MACQUARIE

Welcome to our 9 day tour of the Sunshine Coast & Gold Coast.  We have an early start this morning, so sit back and enjoy the service and facilities aboard our touring coach.  We’ll follow the Pacific Highway north on the outskirts of Sydney to our overnight destination of Port Macquarie.  On arrival we check into our motel and freshen up for dinner.  (Lunch own arrangements and cost, dinner in the hotel)

Rydges, Port Macquarie – 02 6589 2888 (subject to availability)

port-macquarie

Day 2 (BD): PORT MACQUARIE TO THE GOLD COAST

After breakfast we depart Port Macquarie and travel north through Macksville and past Nambucca heads to Coffs Harbour.  We head to the Beacon Hill Lookout to take advantage of the excellent view afforded from the mountains to the sea over Coffs Harbour and up the coast.  From here it’s on through the beautiful country of NSW’s far north coast. The sights include Cape Byron, the most easterly point in Australia and the lush Tweed Valley with its magnificent landscape dominated by Mt. Warning and the Nightcap Ranges. We cross the border into Queensland, and enjoy the sights of Coolangatta including a fabulous view of the Gold Coast from Point Dangar.  We then settle into our accommodation for the next 3 nights.  (Breakfast and dinner in hotel, lunch own cost and arrangements)

Quality Hotel Mermaid Waters, Gold Coast – 07 5572 2500 (subject to availability)

 

Day 3 (BD): “THE COAST”

Our breakfast this morning is a little unusual as we head to the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary to enjoy Breakfast with the Birds. The sanctuary is home to over 1400 birds, mammals and reptiles. We then have some time to experience the program on offer, like feeding the wild lorikeets or perhaps boarding the miniature steam train for “Kangaroo Crossing” and coming face to face with kangaroos and wallabies.  Our next visit today is to Skypoint, the world’s second tallest residential building. We’ll take one of the fastest elevators in the world to the 77th floor and take in the brilliant views from the observation deck. More than just awesome views, the observation deck also has a theatrette with a short presentation on the history of the Gold Coast.  We have the rest of the day at leisure to further explore the Gold Coast or maybe enjoy a little bit of retail therapy.  Early evening, we leave the hotel and make our way to the Australian Outback Spectacular.  There is no place on earth like the Australian Outback Spectacular and no show on earth like the new Myths & Legends Show.  Saddle up for a captivating journey to the High Country, where enchanted whispers and legendary yarns come alive with inspiring stories of Australian characters. We’ll be dazzled by amazing animal stars and the courageous story of Red Dog.  See death defying stunts and aerial performances and hear the brave tale of the girl sold to the circus at the age of 7. We’ll be mesmerized by the display of special effects as we travel the Road to Omeo with Australia’s yesteryear ghosts. At the end of the show, we return to our hotel having had a wonderful night.  (Breakfast with the Birds, Lunch own cost and arrangements, Dinner at Australian Outback Spectacular)

Quality Hotel Mermaid Waters, Gold Coast – 07 5572 2500 (subject to availability)

goldcoast

Day 4 (BLD): SEAWORLD AND PALAZZO VERSACE HOTEL

Today we have the morning at Sea World, the first of many world class theme parks located on “the Coast.”  There is so much to see and do.  The program for the day will be provided on arrival so be sure to take note of the things you want to see –Shark Bay, Polar Bear Shores, Shark Attack, the Dolphin Nursery Pool and much more.  Access to all parts of the Park is easy via the Sea World Monorail.  We will make a time to meet up for our next visit, a short distance from here, for a very special High Tea at Palazzo Versace Hotel. What a place! In a spectacular waterfront setting, every aspect of architecture, ambience, furnishings and ornamentation reflects a level of opulence once confined to the grand hotels of Europe. Richly decorated spaces proclaim the transcendence of Italian design. It is the perfect way to end our time on the Gold Coast.  (Breakfast and dinner in hotel, High Tea at Palazzo Versace)

 Quality Hotel Mermaid Waters, Gold Coast – 07 5572 2500 (subject to availability)

seaworld-12

Day 5 (BLD): THE GOLD COAST TO NOOSA HEADS

Following a hearty breakfast we head north, via Brisbane through to the Sunshine Coast where we have arranged an early lunch. The venue is the unique Floating Boathouse Restaurant situated on the very edge of the Noosa River with panoramic views of the hinterland. Early afternoon we join a river cruise along the Noosa Everglades. Our vessel is enclosed with big windows for great viewing as we cruise through pristine wilderness regions of the Noosa River. We’ll stop at the historic “Harry’s Hut” for afternoon tea before returning to Noosaville. Upon disembarkation later this afternoon we drive the short distance to our accommodation – home for the next 3 nights (Breakfast and dinner in motel, lunch in Boathouse).

RACV Noosa Resort – 07 53416300 (subject to availability)

white-sands-of-mooloolaba

DAY 6 (BD): BLACKALL RANGE

We have a fabulous day in store today as we travel up to The Blackall Range. Our first stop for the day is at the Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve on the southern edge of the Blackall Range, overlooking the unique formations of the Glasshouse Mountains.  We’ll also stop in Maleny for a visit to the Maleny Dairies, a family run dairy farm. Due to the milk industry deregulations, the family were nearly forced to give up farming but fought back by deciding to build their own processing plant. Today we join a tour of the facility.  From here we make our way north along the range, taking in the beautiful vistas to Montville. Montville is probably the most well-known village along the range and was first established in 1887. Today it is a place to step back in time and enjoy the tranquillity of village life in a streetscape unique to any other tourist centre in Australia. We will have free time here to browse the many arts and crafts shops and purchase some lunch.  At the northern end of the Range, we stop at Dulong Lookout, for the last of the breathtaking views. After a great day’s sightseeing we return to the resort.  (Breakfast and dinner in motel, lunch own cost and arrangements)

RACV Noosa Resort – 07 53416300 (subject to availability)

 

Day 7 (BLD): The Eumundi Markets: Saturday or Wednesday for Markets

We’re lucky enough to be here on a Saturday/Wednesday so, after breakfast, we’ll head off to the famous Eumundi Markets. The twice weekly street markets held in the small village of Eumundi are as popular with the locals as they are with visitors to the Sunshine Coast. The town itself is very attractive – the main street is tree lined and features many fine examples of buildings that were constructed between 1890 and 1930. The market operates on Wednesday and Saturday mornings – “rail, hail or shine”! 300 stalls of various handcrafts and produce are controlled by a strict market policy – you can sell your goods if you “can make it, bake it, sew it or grow it”. As a result a very high quality of original product is on offer. We will spend the morning at the markets and have some free time to explore the village.  Late morning, we make our way to Yandina to visit Australia’s only and the world’s largest Ginger Factory.  After lunch, we view the audio visual display tracing the life of ginger from planting to final use, see ginger growing in the patch and then look at the factory from the observation deck to see production.  We also take a ride on the Ginger train.  Afterwards, we can visit the Gingertown shops or stroll through the landscaped gardens.  Just across the road is the Macadamia Factory just in case you’d like to stock up! We return to the resort – relax or perhaps make use of some of the resort’s facilities. (Breakfast and dinner in the Resort, Light lunch supplied)

RACV Noosa Resort – 07 53416300 (subject to availability)

eumundi-markets

Day 8 (BLD): SUNSHINE COAST TO PORT MACQUARIE

We have an early start this morning as we depart the area retracing our steps to Port Macquarie.  We express past Brisbane via the Gateway Bridge, the Gold Coast and cross the border back into NSW.  This afternoon our journey takes us through Ballina, Coffs Harbour and Kempsey arriving late afternoon for our final night on tour.

Rydges, Port Macquarie – 02 6589 2888 (subject to availability)

 

Day 9 (B): PORT MACQUARIE TO HOME

Sadly our touring has come to an end.  This morning we board the coach and travel our last leg of the tour, stopping for lunch (own cost) and convenience breaks along the way.  Late afternoon we’ll arrive home with many wonderful memories of our 9 day holiday to the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast.  (Breakfast in motel, lunch own cost and arrangements)

From $2,845 pp twin share. Call for more details.

Note: All itineraries are subject to change due to occasional restrictions in opening times/days of some attractions, e.g. churches, wineries etc. We cannot be held responsible for any changes due to closures, inclement weather etc

Melbourne International Flower Show – 5 Day Tour

TRIP ITINERARY

 Pick up at your door – time TBA

Day 1 – Monday 27 March

Today you are picked up from home.

We sit back & relax on our deluxe Touring  Coach traveling to the Mid Town Motor Inn Sale for our welcome dinner, take a refreshing dip in the pool before dinner. DM/ TA (Lunch at your own cost Cann River)

Day 2 – Tuesday 28 March

Today we travel to Phillip Island for lunch at the Phillip Island Race Track surrounded by beautiful scenery and the sight of many great races. We will definitely have to stop at the chocolate shop for a few essential supplies. Then we make our way to the famous Heronswood  gardens for a snapshot of what they offer. We continue to the Frankston International Motel and our lovely hosts for the next two nights. BLDA

Day 3 – Wednesday 29 March

After an early breakfast we head for the Melbourne International flower & Garden show for a very exciting day. Now regarded as the largest & most successful horticultural event in the Southern Hemisphere, rating among the top five flower & garden shows in the world. Staged within the world heritage listed Royal Exhibition Building a masterpiece in its own right. Returning to Frankston for the evening. BDA+ Entry to the Flower Show

Day 4 – Thursday 30 March

A very special treat today is the Royal  Cranbourne Botanic Gardens. This is a 363ha property that has many different themed and impressive gardens within. This includes a delicious lunch at the Boon Wurrung Cafe and a guided tour on the Garden Explorer.  We return to our accommodation at the Midtown Motor Inn Sale.  BLDA

Day 5 – Friday 31 March

We can compare our photos and gardening tips on the return journey  home today . BLDA

Remember we are here for a good time, not a long time…………..

Details:

  • Adult T/S $ 935.00
  • Adult Single $ 1195.00
  • 10% Non Refundable Deposit at time of booking.
  • Bookings close and full payment due by Tuesday 14 February.
  • Terms & Conditions apply.
  •  Travel Insurance is recommended.

Early Bookings Recommended Limited Seats

Phone 44744243

 

NB: The Tour operators reserve the right to make necessary changes to the itinerary to facilitate a safe & comfortable tour. In the knowledge the information provided was correct at the time of printing. E&OE

Legend of items included in cost: B = Breakfast, D = Dinner, L= Lunch, M/T = Morning Tea,

 A = Accommodation.

Norfolk Island – 10 Day Tour

For as little as $3580.00, enjoy 10 Days & 9 nights in fabulous Norfolk Island.

Includes:   Entry to attractions and places of interest as listed, Flights, Coach Transfers & all accommodation, tours and most meals.

INCLUDES:

  • Return International Airfares
  • Sydney/Norfolk/Sydney
  • 2 Days of Coach Travel
  • 2 Nights Accom  Holiday Inn Sydney
  • 7 Nights Accom Norfolk Island
  • 7 Dinners and 7 full Breakfasts
  • 2 Lunches in flight, 1 M/T, 1 High Tea
  • Colleen McCullough Tour, Glass Bottom Boat,Historic Convict Tour, Markets
  • & entry to more attractions.
  •  Other meals at traveler’s expense.

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TRIP ITINERARY – Pick-up from your door – times TBA.

Day 1 – Sunday 5 February

Today we travel to the Holiday Inn Sydney Airport Hotel for the evening stopping for morning tea and lunch on the way. The Hotel has a restaurant where evening meals can be purchased at your cost.  M/TA

Day 2 – Monday 6 February

Up early for a 7.15 transfer to  the Sydney International Airport and Air New Zealand check in for our flight to Norfolk Island, lunch in flight. Upon arrival we transfer to our accommodation for the next 7 nights and a wonderful week of Norfolk Hospitality enjoying dinner every night and a full hot cooked breakfast every day  on the Island. In the afternoon we are greeted with a welcome Drink at our hotel as our hosts let us know about the resort.  Then pre dinner drinks and dinner walk around the resort or ride in the moon buggy as Archie a descendant of the Bounty mutineers recites his poems & lights up the dioramas. Light supper after.  BLDA

Day 3 – Tuesday 7 February

This morning we discover this wonderful Island. Our guide will explain all of the Island’s History from Polynesian settlements many years ago to how life is today on Norfolk Island. We visit Kingston, Cascade, Anson Bay and the Melanesian Mission Church. We top off our tour with the amazing Cyclorama. The Cyclorama is an award winning  360 degree mural that covers the journey of the Bounty from England, Tahiti, Pitcairn Island and Norfolk Island.

The recent passing of Colleen McCullough was a sad occasion however  our group will enjoy an afternoon tea at Colleen’s property and guided tour. Later imagine dining with a Commandant! This is a factual fun dinner theatre. The cast will take you on an entertaining journey to another world back in time. Loads of fun! BA/TD

Day 4 – Wednesday 8 February

After breakfast we have some free time till after lunch. Have an explore, visit the shops or relax at the stunning resort but prepare yourself for the Indulgence Tour!! First stop Christian Brothers Cheese Company, boutique dairy and cheese factory owned by two Island brothers. Tour through the farm boasting beautiful ocean views and sample the range of cheeses with tasty condiments and wine. Next stop is the local Liqueur and Soft Drink factory. Here Brad tells us of the history of the factory and of course we are free to sample the many varieties of Norfolk Island Liqueurs. Our last stop is “Sweeties”, the local Norfolk Island chocolate shop where chocolate is made on site. We are free to browse the shop and purchase the local product that we can take home and savour later.  Before dinner we are eyewitness to a courtroom drama the Trial of the 15, 15 extraordinary characters

step on stage to expose Norfolk’s colourful and at times turbulent past. This highly successful play has been running for over ten years. After the show we enjoy a sherry with the actors. Tonight we enjoy a Traditional Island Dinner of local meats and fresh seasonal produce plus a traditional dessert. Red & White wine & Juice provided. Cooked & prepared by a Bounty descendant who will explain the dishes and their history. Served in the ambience of NO: 9 Quality Row in the heart of Kingston.  BDA

Day 5 – Thursday 9 February

After a leisurely hot breakfast at the Resort you have a recovery morning before a truly memorable High Tea. We transfer to one of the Island’s most prestigious homes where we enjoy high tea for the afternoon. We start with a glass of bubbles on arrival and then a leisurely make our way through the menu. We are then treated to a wide selection of Teas as we enjoy the exclusive ambience of this magnificent property. It is such a special way to spend an afternoon on Norfolk Island.  A light dinner & drink poolside as the sun sets over Norfolk Island.  BH/TDA

Day 6 – Friday 10 February

This morning we start the day with a leisurely walk to the beautiful Captain Cook Memorial where we are treated to a delicious breakfast.  Captain Cook Memorial is the landing place of Captain Cook and is part of the National Park. There are beautiful sea views through pines before it opens up on the cliff top to a lovely area with BBQ facilities. Where do  fisherman launch their boats? How does bulk fuel come into Norfolk Island?  How is power generated? What happens to waste? Where is the Meteorological bureau? Where is the Norfolk radio station? This Norfolk Today Tour will not only answer our questions, our guide will take us to visit all these places. We will wind up at The local RSL Club for a complimentary wine, beer or juice.  Refreshments will be provided. BDA

Day 7 – Saturday 11 February

Once we finish breakfast and depending on the tides we transfer to Emily Bay,  where we discover life under the water in  a Glass Bottom Boat cruise through calm waters within the reef. See exotic colourful fish in one of the world’s most southern coral reefs. A free afternoon you could choose one of the other tours that are on offer at your cost or just relax. This afternoon we enjoy one  of Norfolk Island’s most famous dinners – the Sunset Fish Feast. We are transferred to a glorious secluded spot where we enjoy local entertainment. There is also the famous fish, plenty of unique island dishes, salads and of course, dessert. As we enjoy our dinner and entertainment we see the sunset looking back over the Pacific Ocean towards Australia. BDA

Day 8 – Sunday 12 February

Breakfast then transport to the Melanesian Mission for Church services or transfer directly to the markets where you can find many examples of local handicraft. In the afternoon we do the Convict Kingston Tour. We learn about the Heritage listed Kingston. Hear about our first settlers, the Polynesians who came 900 years ago. Learn how Norfolk became home to descendants of the infamous “Bounty” mutiny. This evening we meet in the bar for some farewell pre dinner drinks before we enjoy dinner at the resort. I think we will miss Island life.  BDA

Day 9 – Monday 13 February

Sadly our last leisurely breakfast and free morning in Norfolk Island. Just before lunch we are transferred to the airport where we check in for our flight into Sydney includes an in flight lunch. On arrival we return to the Holiday Inn Sydney Airport Hotel where once again evening meals can be purchased at the Hotel at your cost. BL

Day 10 – Tuesday 14 February

Happy Valentine’s Day!

After breakfast we board our tour bus Maggie for our return to Batemans Bay. Say a fond farewell to your fellow travelers. B

Bookings Close & full payment due Oct 31 2016

Non Refundable

Adult T/S $3580.00

Adult Single $4070.00

Terms and Conditions apply.

Travel Insurance recommended.

Contact: Sue & Mal on 02 4474 4243 or 0402 266776

NB:  The Tour Operators reserve the right to make necessary changes to the itinerary to facilitate a safe and comfortable tour.  To the best of our knowledge the information provided was correct at the time of printing.  E&OE

Legend of items included in cost:  B = Breakfast, D = Dinner, L=Lunch, M/T= Morning Tea, A = Accommodation.

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Lightning Ridge Tour – 6 Days

Lightning Ridge is famous as a thriving frontier town full of iconic Australian characters and the unique and elusive Black Opal.

TRIP ITINERARY

 Pick up at your door – time TBA

Day 1 – Tuesday 2 May

Today you are picked up from home.

We sit back & relax on our deluxe touring  coach  to the Golden West Motor Inn Dubbo for our welcome dinner. DM/ T (Lunch at your own cost)

Day 2 – Wednesday 3 May

We continue north to Gilgandra, home of the Coo-ees & the Town of Windmills. A Plaque commemorates the starting point of the famous” Coo-ee recruiting march of WW1. Lunch at the Bowling Club in Lightning Ridge. We now begin our fascinating local tour of the rich opal field – the only source of black opal in the world. With its scarred landscape this town has a peculiar fascination for visitors. We view an open cut mine, see “Amigos Castle” a huge Italian style castle built by one man, The Bore Baths, Astronomers Monument & Coopers Cottage before settling in for the next three nights at the Wallangulla Motel, Lightning Ridge. BLD

Day 3 – Thursday 4 May

After breakfast we head across to the Lost Treasure Opal Mine to experience the atmosphere of an underground mine for a tour including a video presentation and shopping. Free time to find lunch in the main street. The afternoon we visit the Chamber of the Black Hand. Local artist Ron Canlin has created amazing paintings & carvings.  In the afternoon we spend time at the Opal Cave a great shopping opportunity. BD

Day 4 – Friday 5 May

We travel to Grawin if you think the “Ridge” is unique wait to we see the places like The Pub in the scrub, The Glengarry Hilton & Sheepyard  Flats. We enjoy lunch at the Glengarry Hilton & dinner at the Bowling Club. BLD

Day 5 – Saturday 6 May

A sad farewell to the “Ridge”. Travelling through the Warrumbungle National Park for our picnic lunch. Staying for the night in the Country Gardens Motel, Coonabarabran. BLD

Day 6 – Sunday 7 May

After breakfast we travel to the Cowra Japanese Gardens for lunch then we say a fond farewell to all the new friends you have met. BL

Remember we are here for a good time, not a long time…………..

Pricing:

Adult T/S $1395.00

Adult Single $1695.00

10% Non Refundable Deposit at time of booking.

Bookings close and full payment due by

1 March.

Terms & Conditions apply.

Travel Insurance is recommended.

Early Bookings Recommended Limited Seats

Phone 44744243

 

NB: The Tour operators reserve the right to make necessary changes to the itinerary to facilitate a safe & comfortable tour. In the knowledge the information provided was correct at the time of printing. E&OE

Legend of items included in cost: B = Breakfast, D = Dinner, L= Lunch, M/T = Morning Tea, A = Accommodation.

Hunter Valley Gardens Christmas Lights Tour

A Relaxing four days including

3 night’s accommodation, 3 cooked breakfasts

2 evening meals at Harrigans & Sumptuous Christmas Feast in The Garden

 Terrace Restaurant overlooking the 1.5 million Sparkling Christmas Lights.

(In bad weather the lights would be postponed but the meal would go ahead)

 

Day 1:   Pick up at your door travelling to the Hunter Valley stopping for Morning tea and Lunch, not included in tour. Tonight we dine at the character filled Harrigans inc.

Day 2:   After breakfast travel next door to  stroll through the Hunter Valley Gardens for the morning set on 25 acres with 10 Stunning feature gardens including the train         ride so you don’t miss seeing everything. You can choose to have lunch at the gardens or we will be spending the afternoon at The Hunter Valley Gardens Village for some unique shopping opportunities.  Christmas Dinner and Light Spectacular in the evening, included.

Day 3:   A relaxing day visiting some unique wineries and touring local villages to experience the atmosphere of the Hunter region. Dining at Harrigans for the evening.

Day 4:  Travel Home.

For as little as $ 1050.00 Twin Share     $ 1350.00 Single

Enjoy 4 Days and 3 Nights Coach Travel. E&OE

Early Bookings are recommended as limited seats. 10% Deposit at time of booking. Non- refundable. Bookings Close 25 July 2016 Balance of tour payable by the 14 September 2016.             Terms and conditions apply, available on our website rixonsbus.com.au. Travel Insurance recommended.

Contact: 02 44744243