Exploring Tasmania's Rugged Coast aboard the Coral Discoverer

Overview

On this expedition voyage, discover Tasmania’s breathtaking national parks, from the perfect circular formation of Wineglass Bay to the dramatic peaks of pink granite at Freycinet and the otherworldly remoteness of Maria Island National Park. And at Tasman National Park, seals, dolphins, and albatross await to greet you, backed by intimidating 1,000-foot-high cliffs. With an expert Expedition Team and a guest Tasmania specialist who knows the area inside out, you’ll gain a unique insider’s perspective as you embark on easy to moderate short hikes including the famed Cape Hauy Track at Tasman Peninsula and the rugged Fluted Cape of Bruny Island. Conditions permitting, you’ll spend two days exploring the untouched Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area at Port Davey and Bathurst Harbour. Normally only accessible by seven-day hike or light aircraft, this region is undoubtedly one of the most pristine and beautiful landscapes on earth.

Note: This cruise is not exclusive to, nor operated by, Wilderness Travel, who acts solely as agent in booking your reservation with the ship operator. The itinerary, lecturers, and all other arrangements are subject to change at the discretion of the cruise line.

Itinerary

Day 1
Hobart / Embark

Embark on the Coral Discoverer in the late afternoon for a 5:00 pm departure.

Day 2
Woodbridge and Huon rivers

Cruise to the Woodbridge and Huon rivers, where you’ll learn about the process of sheep cheese-making at the family-run Grandvewe Cheeses, and enjoy a taste of their “ewenique” sheep’s whey vodka. Visit either the Woodbridge Marine Discovery Centre or Pepperberries Garden Café and Art Farm for a walk through lavender fields, enjoying their fine collection of sculptures. Cruise the Huon River and visit the township of Franklin and the Wooden Boat Centre.

Days 3-4
Port Davey / Bathurst Harbour

A marine reserve and part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, Port Davey is Tasmania untouched. If conditions allow, you will spend one to two full days exploring this pristine wilderness, and enjoy the unforgettable experience of kayaking in Bathurst Harbour. Otherwise accessible only via a seven-day hike or charter flight, Port Davey feels like an endless uncharted wilderness, full of sheltered bays filled with endemic marine life. In Port Davey, you’ll disembark to explore the “Narrows” aboard a tender and take a guided hike of Balmoral Hill or the Mount Beattie Track. Take in the surrounds of Melaleuca and the Needwonnee Walk, named after the tribe whose homelands extended throughout this area.

Day 5
Bruny Island / Adventure Bay

Experience the rugged beauty of the Fluted Cape as you walk along the sheer coastal cliffs or cruise by tender for a closer look around Penguin Island under the spectacular dolerite formations. Learn about the rich maritime history of Adventure Bay as you meander past the ruins of old whaling stations under the shade of oaks on the way to Grassy Point.

Day 6
Freycinet National Park / WIneglass Bay / Maria Island National Park

The spectacular peninsula of Freycinet is crafted from pink granite peaks—the Hazard mountains—and is surrounded by azure bays and backed by dry eucalyptus forest. At Freycinet National Park, you can join an optional guided hike (approx. two hours) to the Wineglass Bay beach, consistently voted one of the most breathtaking beaches in the world, via the lookout or Isthmus Track. Witness numerous fur seals lounging on the rocks on the Ile des Phoques, a small rocky island between Freycinet Peninsula and Maria Island. On Maria Island National Park, walk among historic ruins, secluded bays, and rugged cliffs. You can expect to meet local endemic wildlife such as Forester kangaroos, Bennetts wallabies, and wombats. You'll also visit World Heritage-listed Darlington, take in the dramatic Painted and Fossil Cliffs, and walk to the convict ruins of Point Lesueur at Long Point.

Day 7
Tasman National Park / Port Arthur Historic Site

Feel the power of nature as you stand beside the 1,000-foot-high sea cliffs and monumental rock formations of Tasman National Park. See sea stacks—tall dolerite formations—and view the Tasman Arch, The Candlestick, and Cathedral from a perfect position at sea. As this is an area of huge natural diversity, it's possible you may come across Australian fur seals “hauling out” on the rocky shore at Tasman Island, as well as dolphins and albatross that are often sighted in this region. A unique experience awaits at the UNESCO World Heritage–listed Port Arthur Historic Site, Australia’s most intact convict site. Between 1833 and 1877, the penal colony housed Britain and Australia’s worst criminals, and was considered inescapable. Today, the Historic Site has over 30 buildings, ruins, and restored period homes set in 100 acres of landscaped grounds. In the company of Port Arthur’s resident archaeologist, join an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the site, which includes access to private collections and historic buildings not accessible to the general public, as well as a private reception to enjoy Tasmanian wines and canapes made from locally sourced ingredients.

Day 8
Hobart / Disembark

Return to Hobart and disembark in the early morning.

Highlights

Highlights

Explore Port Davey World Heritage Wilderness area and Bathurst Harbour (conditions permitting)
Hike the breathtaking Wineglass Bay Track in Freycinet National Park
Experience the diverse wildlife and history of Maria Island
Spot fur seals hauling up to Tasmania’s rocky cliffs
Taste ewe’s milk cheese and vodka at Grandvewe Cheeses

Details

Length: 8 days
Cost From: $4990  
Arrive: Hobart, Tasmania
Depart: Hobart, Tasmania
Lodging: 7 nights aboard a 72-guest vessel
Meals: All meals aboard ship, with beverages included (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Walking, Wildlife & Natural History, Hiking / Trekking, Small Ship Cruising
Trip Level:

7-night cruise, walking and hiking excursions, optional sea kayaking at selected sites
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