19 days
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Tasmanian coastline

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Small group tour to Discover Tasmania's wildlife

Tasmania is one of Australia's last great wildlife strongholds. This makes it a naturalist's paradise on one of our Tasmania package tours. On this guided tour for a maximum of 15 people, Wildlife-rich destinations are found at regular intervals along our route on this 19-day tour of Tasmania for mature and senior travellers. There is an opportunity to observe a variety of endemic species, like the Eastern Quoll, the Quoll are rare or extinct on the Australian mainland, but still relatively common in many parts of Tasmania. Combine this with the dramatic scenery of places like the Gordon River, Cradle Mountain, the rugged South East coast and the South West coast and any National Park creates for a visually stunning trip. We enjoy a relatively easy walk during the tour to the stunning Shadow Lake for example, near Lake St. Clair and experience the ‘real Tasmania’. Each day of this trip reveals amazing aspects of Tasmania’s ecology. By day, Wombat, Platypus and Echidna are foraging abroad and as night falls, many other animals, like the Tasmanian Pademelon, Bennett’s Wallaby and Long-nosed Potoroo appear from their hidden daytime resting places. This particular holiday package allows our tour guide to get you to the right locations to observe the shy creatures of the night.

The aim of Odyssey's Tasmania package tours is to provide access to a variety of natural Tasmanian locations where wildlife can be experienced, including visiting World Heritage areas such as the Tarkine rainforest or places such as Cape Grim in the North West Where possible, ecosystems will be analysed in relation to the animals we see. During our learning about the wildlife of Tasmania we will also examine aspects of Tasmania’s Aboriginal and Early European history, as well as a look at the conservation history of this island state.

Odyssey's package tours to Tasmania are limited to a maximum of 15 travellers on any one program.

Tour of Tasmania

We commence the tour of Tasmania wilderness leaving Hobart promptly in the morning to travel round to Port Arthur. This small group tour has a full itinerary to work through to complete these package tours to Tasmania. Our first day tour is from Port Arthur, out on the water on a Wilderness Cruise to experience and learn about the Tasman National Park on the east coast and its’ rich wildlife. There is a chance to observe species like Australian and New Zealand Fur Seals, Common and Bottlenose Dolphins, migrating whales, seabird feeding frenzies, including Shearwaters, Gannets, Gulls & Little Penguins for example. We will travel in a 12.5 metre purpose-built Naiad vessel around this maritime National park. We return to Port Arthur and take time after lunch to explore the notorious Port Arthur Prison.

Maria Island

The following day your tour of Tasmania group of seniors travellers departs for Coles bay but first stop is to have a day trip on Maria Island. As you cross to Maria island on the early morning ferry you follow the path of the Aboriginal people, who for thousands of years made regular canoe crossings to the island they knew as Wukaluwikiwayna. Archaeological evidence suggests that more than 35,000 years Aboriginal people have lived in the homelands of the Oyster Bay nation. The Tasmanian Aboriginal people from Maria Island were known as the Puthikwilayti.

Maria Island became a penal settlement in 1825 and was soon infamous for the number of escapes across the water. The settlement, located at Darlington, was conceived as a half-way house between the extreme of hard labour at Macquarie Harbour at Strahan on Sarah Island (that the group visits on Day 9) and a stint in a road or chain gang. From 1842 Maria was used as a convict probation station, but by 1850 this mainly agricultural station was abandoned. The significance of the convict probation era at Marie Island, Darlington was recognised in 2010 by World Heritage Listing as part of the Australian Convict Sites World Heritage Property. More information on World Heritage listings can be found on our page, and on the Heritage Tasmania website.

Maria Island’s landscape today almost 200 hundred years on is a microcosm of unique cultural heritage of the indigenous community and British settlement, overlain today as a National park with native Pademelons, who have always called Maria Island home, forester kangaroos, Bennett's wallabies, Flinders Island wombats, Cape Barren geese and Tasmanian native hens. Maria Island has all but one of the Tasmania's twelve endemic birds living on the island, including the endangered forty-spotted pardalote, green rosellas, and the majestic wedge-tailed eagle. Sharp eyes may spot tiny hooded plovers, sooty and pied oyster catchers, and little and fairy terns on the beaches of Maria Island during our visit. We spend the day taking a slow walking tour around the island pausing for lunch before taking the mid-afternoon ferry back. Our coach takes the tour group along the east coast to Coles bay.

Freycinet peninsula

Coles bay enables this tour of Tasmania to walk from the lodge in a loop following Hazards track through the National park to Wineglass Bay on the Freycinet Peninsula. Freycinet peninsula is a dramatic coastline. The eastern side of the Freycinet Peninsula has soaring sea cliffs, secluded coves, and dramatic ocean beaches shaped by the granite peaks that form Hazards range on Tasmania's east coast. We pause at the Wineglass bay lookout for photos. Whilst Wineglass bay is considered by travellers to be one of the top ten beaches in the world. Our guided tour continues on past wide deserted beaches and aquamarine shallows at Bryans and Cooks beaches on the western side of the peninsula, we learn about the aboriginal history in the area as we walk back along Hazards beach and the stories about the middens behind the dunes we past. We continue round to return to the lodge at Coles bay.

Welborough pass and Launceston

The following day, this small group tour of Tasmania heads to Launceston. We follow Tasmania's east coast for some distance and then turn inland for Launceston via Weldborough Pass. The purpose of visiting Weldborough pass is to take a short walk to view and learn about the wet Sclerophyll fern forest that once covered much more of this region. We carry onto Launceston. In the afternoon we take a short walking tour around the town to get an appreciation of the history and visiting the Victoria museum which covers Aboriginal history, colonial settlement, geology, etc., as well as Tasmania’s unique natural history.

Cradle Mountain

Next, your Tasmania tour heads up to Cradle Mountain via the Tamar wetland centre and Sheffield.

This small group tour of Tasmania has this morning a guided tour of the wetlands. They are a superb site to see early morning bird life in Tasmania from. Some 60 birds species have been identified on the island including several species of duck, black swans, egrets, cormorants and swamp harriers and northern hemisphere migrants such as the common greenshank. Tamar island reserve is an important breeding site for the nationally vulnerable green and gold frog. This frog was formerly abundant in the Tamar valley but has declined significantly since the 1970s. The Tamar Wetlands also include one of the largest remaining areas of vegetation dominated by Phragmites Australis, or common reed and Swamp paperbark, Melaleuca ericifolia. From Tamar we drive on to Sheffield for lunch and to have time to walk around this town to look some 140 + murals that decorate the walls and are part of an annual festival.

We spend 2 nights in the Cradle Mountain National park. Initially Cradle mountain was called Ribbed Rock, this iconic peak was renamed the more evocative Cradle Mountain by Van Diemen's Land Company surveyor Joseph Fossey. The name was due to the 1545-metre mountain's now-familiar dipping profile between the main summit and Little Horn. Cradle Mountain and surrounds have been shaped by glacial erosion and deposition over the past two million years part of this heritage are the spectacular landscapes to view. The various glaciers that covered the area have left behind a variety of glacial features, including the valley of the Dove River that flows from Dove lake and numerous lakes and tarns. The National Park is also one of the best places in Tasmania to view the Aurora Australis, with the minimal light pollution highlighting the dancing aurora for those lucky enough to catch it. Cradle Mountain also has a diverse mosaic of vegetation communities from rainforests to buttongrass moorlands. Many of these plant species in these habitats have a direct descendancy from Gondwana, including long-lived endemic conifers such as the King Billy pine, pencil pine, celery-top pine, and Tasmania's deciduous beech (fagus), which colours the hillsides each autumn.

Cradle Mountain Gondwanan heritage is further revealed through the existence of species such as velvet worms, fish in the family Galaxiidae, aquatic insects and crustaceans. Other invertebrates, such as the pencil pine moth, reveal even more ancient links to the super-continent Pangea.

Cradle Mountain contains a wide range of habitats and is home to some of the world's largest carnivorous marsupials – the Tasmanian devil, spotted-tailed quoll and eastern quoll – as well as wombats, platypus and echidna. Cradle mountain National park goes beyond spectacular views. Archaeological evidence indicates ongoing human settlement on Cradle Mountain through the last ice age. evidence suggests the Aboriginal community where using the Mountain as a hunting ground for some 3,000 years. Today's Aboriginal community continue to have a strong connection to this cultural landscape. From the 1820s to the park's declaration as a reserve in 1922, these Aboriginal homelands were visited by explorers, prospectors, trappers, hunters, timber getters and graziers. Proposals for the area varied from large mines and railways, to farms and plantations, though such activity was restricted.

The group spends time with a guided tour of the Tasmanian Devils at the Cradle mountain sanctuary and taking a walking tour around Dove lake with a focus on the areas biodiversity. In the afternoon we take time to visit the Waldheim Chalet, not only to see where Kate & Gustav Weindorfer lived but to pause and reflect on the vision of the couple in pursuing the early call for this area to be a National park and to appreciate the early work undertaken in studying and cataloguing the Flora and Fauna of Cradle Mountain.

"in January 1910, Kate ­Weindorfer clambered over ice-covered boulders in her ankle-length skirt and beribboned hat, sometimes crawling on all fours, to reach the summit of Tasmania’s Cradle Mountain. She was the first white woman to stand on this peak. Her Austrian-born husband and fellow botanist, ­Gustav Weindorfer, a man bred in high altitudes, had breezed up here an hour earlier with two other bushwalkers in tow, encountering lizards, grasshoppers and a soaring eagle hunting for prey." Kindred, A Cradle Mountain Love Story by Kate Legge 2019.

Stanley and Cape Grim

Returning to the coast the group heads to Stanley and the "Nut" where we spend 2 nights exploring the region including a visit to Cape Grim and the Wind power station. It is the groups first experience of West coast. The following day we carry through to along the unsealed West coast highway to Corina where we base ourselves for 2 nights.

This small group tour of Tasmania remains in the National park network of Tasmania, moving from Cradle Mountain National Park via the wildlife-rich walk to Pencil Pine Falls to the historic mining town of Zeehan. Our day takes along the West coast Highway, which demarks the southern edge of the Tarkine rainforest. It is an exhilarating day whether blue skies of fresh into the roaring 40's at the edge of the World. it does not take a lot to imagine the sailing ships under 3 acres of canvas finally reaching Tasmania! The Tarkine is the largest area of Gondwanan cool-temperate rainforest in Australia , it is an area that featured in Tasmania's early mining history and is therefore controversial as pressure from Mining groups continues today. The area's high concentration of Aboriginal sites has led to it being described by the Australian Heritage Council as "one of the world's great archaeological regions". We find time to enter a National park to explore and understand the ecological importance of the Tarkine rainforest.

Corinna proppies a place to explore in the wilderness.

Macquarie Harbour & Gordon River

We travel to Zeehan and this tour of Tasmania wildlife continues to Strahan on the west coast. Strahan is on the edge of Tasmania's World Heritage-listed, Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers and South West National Park, they have been combined to protect one of the world’s last great temperate rainforests. During the groups time in Strahan we take a guided tour across the bay to Sarah island and along part of the Gordon river, this is expected to be visually a unique cruise with spectacular views along the Gordon river. The guided tour of Sarah island is Macquarie Harbour Penal Station, just over 1150 prisoners served time at Macquarie Harbour, of whom fewer than 30 were women. The main settlement was located on Sarah Island, but there were many outlying stations and the penal station covered a vast area. The enigma of Macquarie Harbour penal station is that, despite its fearful reputation as a site of punishment, it also functioned as a highly productive colonial shipyard. This small island was known to Aboriginal people as Langerrareroune, was called Sarah Island by the British colonisers It was in Aboriginal records a bitter staging-post for west coast Aboriginal people or Toogee to be forcibly detained en route to Flinders Island. The group then tours part way along the river on a Gordon river cruise, viewing the temperate forests and gaining an understanding of the importance of Huon pine from the local Huon valley.

The Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park is home to important archaeological sites marking the southern-most extent of human habitation during the last Ice Age.

After the groups evening meal there is an opportunity to take a trip out in the dunes to a shearwater colony to witness the return from feeding of the migratory birds along this rugged coastline, exposed to the weather. The following day we take a the Gordon river cruise into this world heritage listed National park.

Lake St. Clair

This small group tour of Tasmania changes location today, swapping the west coast for central Tasmania and Lake St. Clair. Having spent several days learning and observing the ecology of Tasmania, the groups arrival in Queenstown will be a shock, this is an area of Tasmania that was denuded for copper, though the native vegetation are covering the scars. We stop in Queenstown to visit the Galley Museum, Queenstown's first brick hotel, the elegant Imperial (1898) on the corner of Driffield and Sticht Streets. The museum was established by Eric Thomas who spread his remarkable photo collection through seven rooms. There are over 800 photographs, all have been collected by Mr Thomas and all record the history of Tasmania's West Coast. Each photograph is accompanied by a detailed caption recording the history of the image. As we depart Queenstown we drive past The Gravel Football Oval. To play a game on Queenstown's gravel oval has got to be the height of stupidity or a crazy brave preparedness to come off grazed and bleeding. Not surprisingly it has terrified visiting teams for nearly a century. It is located off Wilsdon Street which runs off the Lyell Highway.

From Queenstown this Tasmania tour carries on to Lake St. Clair, where we spend the night. The Aboriginal name for Lake St. Clair is leeawuleena, meaning ‘sleeping water’, and on still days you can genuinely appreciate the origins of this name. Lake St. Clair is part of the celebrated Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park – the heart of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. Lake St. Clair, the deepest lake in Australia. The day starts with a guided tour on a boat to Narcissus Bay at the northern end Lake St. Clair. The group then has the option of a return walk or boat ride back to the Lodge. Spend the rest of the day walking to Shadow Lake on the loop track from the Lodge this is a walk with spectacular scenery in a pristine wilderness setting .

Mount Field National Park & Styx river

Today our guided tour takes us through the various ecosystems from the valley floor to the top of Mount Field National Park, where we can explore the boulder streams and the alpine meadows. This tour is almost a recap of all we have seen during the period of the tour. As we descend from the central plateau we detour to view the giant gums of the Styx River, the rugged World Heritage scenery and great display of heathland flora, including the Leatherwood to the backdrop of the rugged Western Arthurs Range. The group then continues, returning to Hobart for 2 nights on Tasmania's east coast via Derwent Valley, Mount Wellington & if time Russell Falls.

Bruny Island

For our last full day of our holidays to Tasmania itinerary, our small group tour of Tasmania leaves Hobart to visit Bruny Island. We take Bruny island's guided tour, learning about conservation work as well as the Wildlife and fauna on the island.


On this holiday to Tasmania tour we typically spend between 1-3 nights in each location, a range of forms of accommodation types will be used on this tour including hotels, motels and lodges.

Prices for this Tasmania holiday package are indicative only at this time, based on general rates for regional Australia touring. April 2020.

Articles about Australia published by Odyssey Traveller:

For all the articles Odyssey Traveller has published for mature aged and senior travellers, click through on this link.

External articles to assist you on your visit to Adelaide and Tasmania:


The Aurora Australis

3 mins read

Witness the incredible sights of the Aurora Australis, the Southern Lights. Much like its northern counterpart, the dancing lights of the Aurora are a magical, and unforgettable sight. For the fortunate traveller, you just might catch a glimpse of this phenomenon on your trip to Tasmania or New Zealand. Odyssey offers small group tours for mature and senior travellers, couples, and solo travelers to Australia and New Zealand.


Odyssey Traveller generally moves in small groups of between six and twelve travellers on these bespoke Tasmania holiday packages that we offer to senior travellers. We will in good faith guarantee our coach tours to Tasmania for seniors to proceed when it reaches the minimum number of participants required to operate the tour.

Tasmania is very safe. Hobart has been ranked as Australia’s safest capital city. While Tasmanian roads can be notoriously windy and slippery, we will be travelling in a tour bus escorted by an experienced driver in order to ensure your safety.

Tasmania is the coldest Australian state by some margin. Summer offers pleasantly cool temperatures – usually between 17 and 23 degrees celsius each day – but is slightly more crowded; while winter is cold (usually between 3 and 11 degrees). Reflecting this, our tour will leave between October and February 2020-2021.

Tasmania is located 240 kilometers (150 miles) to the south of the Australian mainland, separated by Bass Strait. It is the 26th-largest island in the world, and the surrounding 334 islands.

Tasmania has a population of around 530,000 people.

There are 19 national parks and 800 other reserves in Tasmania.

The Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area is a World Heritage Site in Tasmania. The area is one of the largest conservation areas in Australia, covering 15,800 square kilometers.

Tasmania’s compelling convict heritage is also officially recognized as worthy of world heritage listing. A total of 11 Australian convict sites were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, five of which are found in Tasmania.

Tasmania is famous for its incredible beaches, charming towns, and epic mountains. Cradle Mountains, the Tasmanian Devil, Port Arthur, Wineglass Bay and Montezuma Falls, are just a few of many attractions in Tasmania.

Winter daily temperatures sit between 3 and 11 degrees Celsius, so yes, it gets pretty cold here compared to the rest of Australia. Summers are enjoyable with average daily temperatures between 17 and 23 degrees Celsius.

Tour Notes
  • Activity Level is introductory to moderate, since we will be visiting national parks and conservation areas and walking the trails provided
  • There are no ‘strenuous’ walks on this trip and usually there are easy options available on the days we are doing longer walks
  • Transport will be a Coaster mini-bus with a trailer for luggage.
  • Group size restricted to 12 people.

PDF of Tour

Wineglass Bay in Freycinet National Park
Port Arthur village historic site, a 19th-century penal settlement
Tasmanian Wilderness (Summer School 2017) tour_image_284592614.jpg
Tasmanian Wilderness summer school