Tantalizing Tasmania – and Mainland Australia

February/March 2020
Australia, Tasmania

This will be PTG’s third tour to this wonderful continent. All have been organised by Stephen Martin who has had the advantage of inspection tours courtesy of Australian railways which meant we’ve built up a significant knowledge of this country. We also work with an expert inbound operator and Australian railways to ensure the best possible tour itinerary. This tour will be different than those we have done previously. The core of the tour is to the wonderful island of Tasmania, which is quite a contrast to the rest of Australia and actually has a number of historic railway artefacts. We have an extensive tour of almost 2 weeks exploring the entire island and some of its fascinating preserved railways (the main rail system no longer has passenger services).

However, we have a number of add-on options to suit all preferences and the tour itinerary is intended to be very flexible with people able to join and leave at different points. The full tour starts with a flight to London to Singapore where we have a three-day stay. There is much to do here and previous clients have much enjoyed a stopover it provides a good rest point part way to Australia.

Our planned then is to take the relatively short hop to Perth and after exploring this modern city to take the famous Indian Pacific train across the outback of Australia to Adelaide. This is one of Australia’s most enjoyable cities. There’s lots to do, including a fantastic State Rail Museum, probably the best in Australia. We’ll then move on to Melbourne in order to catch a flight across to Tasmania. The full itinerary of which is shown below.

On completion of our time in Tasmania there are a number of options available. The main group will return to Melbourne and enjoy a few days in this metropolitan city including a visit to the famous Puffing Billy railway for a luncheon train excursion. It’s then planned to take explore the fabulous coastal route before a domestic flight from from Melbourne to Sydney. Sydney of course is a must do city and there will be time to take city tours, boat trips, and of course visit the Opera house. Experience has shown a visit to the Blue Mountains,and a visit on route to the out of town Sydney botanic Gardens is a must. From Sydney the main group is intended to return to the UK with the option of a further stay over in Singapore and the possibility of taking the Eastern Orient express. The alternative is a direct return to the UK. This will be the completion of the escorted tour but we are well able to arrange add-ons for those that might be interested, including visits to Darwin or Alice Springs or a trip to Brisbane and then on up to Cairns by train with the Great Barrier Reef. So if you’ve never been to Australia this is a wonderful opportunity to explore much of what this continent has to offer. Alternatively, if you have covered some of the country before, this tour offers you the opportunity of tailoring your visit to cover off areas and rail routes you’ve not seen in the past. Please get in touch for further detailed information. We will be happy to make arrangements for any activities you’d like to arrange using an experienced inbound operator. Being an “in style tour” it feature quality hotels, good food and a maximum of 20 clients.

This is certainly a trip of a lifetime.

Singapore Pre-Tour Option

Day S1, Tuesday 4 February Various flight options from the UK are available to Singapore.  On arrival transfer to our centrally located four-star hotel ready to start our exploration the following day.

Day S2, Wednesday 5 February (B) We’ve included a city orientation tour to familiarise you with this well-kept city various options are suggested including a fantastic zoo, a newly constructed world-class botanic Garden inside a multi-storey building, and the island of Sentosa with its many attractions.

Day S3, Thursday 6 February (B) Further  exploration of this incredible city.

Day S4, Friday 7 February (B) Today we will take approximate five-hour flight from Singapore to Perth. Alternatively, if you don’t want to enjoy the pre-tour in Singapore, you could fly direct to Perth and join us at the hotel transfers from the airport to the hotel are included.

The Indian Pacific stops at Cook Australia

Perth and The Indian Pacific

Day P1, Saturday 8 February (B, D) Today will have a private tour with a local guide of the city and the nearby harbour town of Freemantle. We will visit the botanic Gardens and have a’s Birds Eye view of Perth city skyline. There is included tram tour of Freemantle before returning on the Swan River back to Perth. We will have a welcome meal in a riverside restaurant tonight.

Day P2, Sunday 9 February (B, L, D) Today we commence our journey on the Indian Pacific train departing from Perth in the morning in the gold standard service. All food and tours on route are included.

Day P3, Monday 10 February (B, L, D) All day on board the Indian Pacific enjoying this historic rail route with outback scenery.

Day P4, Tuesday 11 February (B) An early morning arrival in Adelaide Australia’s fourth-largest city. It has an abundance of gracious all building churches, beautiful parkland and a multitude of galleries, museums, botanic gardens, an excellent zoo and one of the best rail Museum’s in Australia. Once we checked in at the hotel the free to explore the city after an introductory guided tour around the centre.

Day P5, Wednesday 12 February (B,L) Today we have a full day excursion to the Barroso Valley with his old towns and vineyards. It’s Australia’s most famous wine region home to more than 50 of Australia’s wineries. We will enjoy a visit to Seppeltsfields vineyard for a private wine tasting and lunch. This will be followed by a visit to Hahndorf the oldest surviving German settlement in Australia.

Tasmania – The Main Event

This is the outline itinerary. We do hope to visit most (or all) of the preserved railways on the island. These are Launceston Tramway Museum, Don Valley Railway, Redwater Creek Steam Railway, Wee Georgie Wood Railway, Derwent Valley Railway, Tasmanian Transport Museum, Ida Bay Railway and the highlight being West Coast Wilderness Railway. We hope to include most meals while on Tasmania and these are being finalised.

Day T1, Thursday 13 February (B) Today we transfer on the domestic airport from Adelaide to Melbourne and then from Melbourne to Launceston in Tasmania. Alternatively, clients could join us having flown direct to Tasmania from the UK.

Day T2, Friday 14 February (B) Launceston is Tasmania’s second-largest city, and has much of interest. We will spend the day exploring the city before moving out to cradle mountain via mole Creek caverns where we will do an underground tour seeing some incredible unique wildlife. Our overnight is in a wonderful launch in the national Park. There are over 20 walking trails showing the animal and plant varieties found nowhere else on earth. We also visit the Launceston Tramway Museum.

Day T3, Saturday 15 February (B) Recommended activity. Today is to walk the trail of the Dove Lake return shuttles and the national Park fee are included. This really is a very unique place.

Day T4, Sunday 16 February (B,D) This Morning we continue to enjoy Cradle Mountain before heading north to the coastal town of Bernie where we are able to visit a number of Artisans including a whiskey distillery. We will also visit the Don Valley Railway at Devonport which has many British built vehicles including a Robert Stephenson and Hawthorn built 4-6-2 locomotive.

Day T5, Monday 17 February (B,D) Today we have an opportunity to visit an area of Tasmania rarely visited by tourists. In the far north-west we do a loop trail which takes us through natural and dramatic landscapes. We are surrounded by rainforest and tall eucalyptus, with spectacular views. We include a visit to the Sheffield Steam and Heritage Centre.

Day T6, Tuesday 18 February (B,D) We travel today to Strahan with the opportunity to take a chairlift ride to the top of the nut for superb photographic opportunities. We arrive at Strathearn located on the Tasmanian West Coast a picturesque waterfront holiday town. It became the railway port for a rich Copper mine inland. One of the first British convict colonies was established on an island just off the coast which we will visit tomorrow. En-route today we stop at the Wee Georgie Wood Steam Railway for a short 20-minute ride through the historic town site of Tullah which is located in the mountainous temperate rain forests of Tasmania’s West Coast.

Day T7 Wednesday 19 February (B) One of the highlights of our tour will be the Gordon River cruise. This full day cruise across the harbour and up the Gordon River with its ancient Huon Pines and magnificent mirrored reflections. We will have the opportunity of walking through the rainforest to see 2000-year-old trees. We will visit the remains on Sara island of the convict colony before returning to Strahan.

Day T8, Thursday 20 February (B,L) Today is a full day steam journey on the 35km long West Coast Wilderness Railway. It will include the River George, with a rack section of railway, reportedly the steepest steam railway in the southern hemisphere. We travel through the magnificent rainforest. The train stops at Queenstown the old mining town where there is a walking guided tour. We return the same route to Strahan.

Day T9, Friday 21 February (B) Today we will depart Strahan for Hobart travelling via the picturesque St Clair Lake and the Mountfield National Park.

Day T10, Saturday 22 February (B) The morning is at leisure to explore the city with a private sightseeing tour in the afternoon of Hobart, which is Tasmania’s capital and is Australia’s smallest city. This picturesque city offers a lifestyle not found in other Australian capitals. The city has a strong sense of its colonial 19th-century heritage with many historic buildings graciously restored and in use.

Day T11, Sunday 23 February (B) Today there is the option to take advantage of the many optional tours, including a visit to the historic penal colony. There is also a fantastic modern art museum on the outskirts of the city. Optional visit to the Tasmanian Transport Museum with a fine collection of rail, tram and road vehicles and a short running line.

Day T12, Monday 24 February (B,D) More opportunity to explore this fascinating city. Optional visit south to Recherche Bay and a unique ride on the Ida Bay Railway. This family friendly historical train journey takes you from the Ida Bay station to the silver Elliot’s beach though thick forest and along the waters edge. Sit back and enjoy the scenery, and take in the bird life and friendly wild animals, which might include, black swan, white sea eagles, wood ducks, kangaroo, Tasmanian devil, and perhaps spot a seal or whale swimming alongside the shoreline. Tonight, we have a farewell dinner at The Drunken Admiral.

Ida Bay Heritage Train, Ida Bay, Tasmania, Australia

Day T13/M1, Tuesday 25 February (B) Today we leave Tasmania and fly to Melbourne (or back to the UK if you are finishing your tour here). Best known for its fine parks and gardens and gracious tree-lined streets historic bluestone buildings and international restaurants. Today we’ve included a city tour finishing with panoramic views over the city from the Eureka sky deck.

Melbourne and Sidney

Day M2, Wednesday 26 February (B, L) Today we have a private guided tour to the Dandenongs travelling through the Dandenongs Ranges National Park and enjoying a wine tasting on route to the Puffing Billy railway for a steam and cuisine three course lunch train.

Steam train on Puffing Billy Railway, Belgrave, Victoria, Australia

Day M3 Thursday 27 February (B, D) Today we depart Melbourne for our two-day circular journey along the great Ocean Road. It’s carved into the coastal cliffs side as a memorial to those who served Australia during the First World War. It’s one of the great coastal roads of the world. We will take a diversion and look for koalas in the natural environment before stopping for lunch and continuing along the coast to Port Campbell National Park. This afternoon we take a drive through the Tower Hill reserve. It’s an ideal place to experience Australian bush. We stay overnight in a spa and hot springs hotel.

Day M4, Friday 28 February (B, D) We spend the morning exploring the charming fishing village of Port fairy before continuing through the Grampians a series of rugged sandstone mountain ranges and forests rich with wildlife. We then travel on to Ballarat with grand tree-lined streets dotted with elegant Victorian and Edwardian buildings before driving on to Melbourne airport where we depart on our flight to Sydney where we will transfer to our city centre hotel. XPT Train OPTION – extra night in Melbourne. XPT is basically a re-gauged BR HST (Paxman 185 engine)

See the source image XPT

Day M5, Saturday 29 February (B) What a wonderful place to celebrate leap year we will have a full tour of Sydney visiting the historic area, Chinatown, the harbour and the opportunity to photograph the Opera house and Harbour Bridge. There’s free time to explore the city yourselves and you might like to arrange to see a performance or take a backstage tour at the Sydney Opera House. For those choosing the XPT OPTION we depart from Melbourne at 08:00 in our first class seats to Sydney (arriving 19:47).

Twilight sunset over the sails of the Sydney Opera House Sydney Australia

Day M6, Sunday 1 March (B) A full day for exploration of Sydney there are so many options. There’s an excellent zoo and lots of transport and industrial interest.

Day M7, Monday 2 March (B, D) Today we will take a train from Sydney to Katoomba where we will be met for a full sightseeing tour of the world heritage listed Blue Mountains. We will visit the scenic Railway, reputedly the steepest incline railway in the world. Return to Sydney will be via coach calling in for a guided tour of the Sydney region botanic gardens. Farewell dinner.

Day M8, Tuesday 3 March (B) Today’s the conclusion of our Australian tour with the option of returning on direct flights to the UK or joining your tour guide in Singapore with the expectation of the option of travelling on the Eastern Orient express. Alternatively we have itineraries to take you to Brisbane Cairns and other destinations in Australia.

Place(s) available
Prices (per person excluding flights)
  • Singapore Pre-tour (4 days): £490
  • Perth and the Indian Pacific (5 days): £2,250
  • Tasmania Tour (13 days): £3,250 (single add £850)
  • Melbourne and Sydney (8 days): £2,350

Flight Prices (per person)

  • Tasmania Only: Economy from £775 (via Singapore and Melbourne)
  • Tasmania Only: Premium Economy from £2,300 (via Singapore and Melbourne)
  • Tasmania Only: Business Class from £4,100 (via Singapore and Melbourne)
  • Australia and Singapore add-ons: POA



  • 25% plus any flight costs


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