• Sydney Australia - credit Jackie Appleton
    Sydney Australia - credit Jackie Appleton

Lake Wanaka, New Zealand

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Treble Cone, The View – Picture Courtesy of Lake Wanaka Tourism.

With more of our clients heading to New Zealand for their holidays, it is worth mentioning some of the lesser known attractions that would fit in well with your tour. One such place is Lake Wanaka which should certainly be considered for your itinerary. As you leave the exciting west coast of South Island and head inland, Lake Wanaka will tempt you to stay a night or two at least.

Surrounded by the Southern Alps, which in the Southern Hemisphere winter makes Lake Wanaka one of the best skiing destinations, every view has a rugged mountain as a back drop. They also offer some wonderful hiking venues of differing difficulty and duration. If you would rather take the weight off your feet on your adventure, then consider a guided horse ride or quad bike tour.

The Lake itself also offers a wealth of activities such as kayaking, stand up paddling and sailing and it is a great location to just to relax with stunning views in every direction.

So why not talk to us about your New Zealand itinerary and how to include time at Lake Wanaka. Having travelled this far for your holiday, it pays to talk to an expert to ensure you do not miss any of the key attractions.

Take a look at our webpage for our New Zealand itinerary ideas or contact us direct on Tel: 01323 446550 or email: info@experienceholidays.co.uk

Lake Wanaka

Lake Wanaka – Picture courtesy of Jim Bell

Melbourne to Adelaide

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An interesting and varied tailor made driving route, providing a great combination of city, coast and wildlife. The scenery is stunning throughout and this suggested bespoke itinerary can be easily dovetailed with other regions of Australia.

Summary

Melbourne to Adelaide

An interesting and varied tailor made driving route, providing a great combination of city, coast and wildlife. The scenery is stunning throughout and this suggested itinerary can be easily dovetailed with other regions of Australia.

Day 1: Melbourne

Day 4: Apollo Bay

Day 5: Port Fairy

Day 6: The Grampians

Day 8: Victor Harbour

Day 10: Kangaroo Island

Day 12: Adelaide

Day 14: Depart Adelaide

Angie's pic

Photo courtesy of Angie Watson

 

Angie's pic

Photo courtesy of Angie Watson

 

Angie's pic

Photo courtesy of Angie Watson

Description

Description

An interesting and varied tailor made driving route, providing a great combination of city, coast and wildlife. The scenery is stunning throughout and this suggested itinerary can be easily dovetailed with other regions of Australia.

Day 1 – Melbourne

Arrive into Melbourne today for a three night stay. A free tram service circles around the edge of the Central Business District, enabling easy access to many attractions. Take in a sporting event at the Telstra Dome – a sliding roof here means there are no stoppages for rain. For an interesting dinner, try The Tram Car Restaurant, which tours the suburb of St Kilda with an excellent meal (remembering to hold onto your wine glass as the tram passes over the points)! Take a tour out to Pin Oak Court, the home of Neighbours’ Ramsey Street, or enjoy an adventurous city tour by Harley Davidson motorbike. Visit the Eureka Tower, which has a viewing platform 88 floors up, as well as The Edge – a cubed glass room which projects out from the building allowing you the view straight down.

Three nights Melbourne

Day 4 – Apollo Bay

Collect a hire car today and drive to Torquay, recognised as the surfing capital of Australia, and also, the start of the Great Ocean Road. From Torquay, travel first to Lorne, and then onto Apollo Bay, through what is considered by many to be the most picturesque section of the Great Ocean Road, with the highway carved into sheer cliffs that drop away into the ocean, offering breathtaking views of the waves crashing onto the rocks below.  For keen walkers, there are some excellent guided and self-guided walks along the coastal path here, taking 3 to 4 days.

One night Apollo Bay

Day 5 – Port Fairy

Continue your journey along the Great Ocean   Road, where you will see the amazing rock formations of the iconic Twelve Apostles – huge stone pillars rising up out of the surf, carved by millions of years of erosion of the limestone cliffs. Sunrise and sunset offer particularly impressive views of the twelve apostles. Take a helicopter flight for a different perspective of this unusual formation. Drive on to the charming fishing village of Port Fairy for an overnight stop, perhaps taking in a round of golf in the afternoon.

One night Port Fairy

Day 6 – Grampians National Park

Journey inland, a scenic drive through the Grampians National Park. The Grampians provides a diverse array of wildlife, scenery and walking tracks. Highlights include Mount Victoria Lookout, McKenzie Falls and Reids Lookout. Stay in the picturesque town of Halls Gap, set in the heart of the Grampians National Park. Spend two nights here, giving you a full day to explore the National Park.

Two nights The Grampians

Day 8 – Victor Harbour

A long drive west today, as you head across into South Australia and to the town of Victor Harbour on the Fleurieu Peninsula. With its historic horse-drawn tram across the causeway to Granite Island, and its population of Little Penguins, this region is also known for its wineries and lovely scenery.

Two nights Victor Harbour

Day 10 – Kangaroo Island

Take the ferry across to Kangaroo Island today. Kangaroo Island remains one of the most unspoilt natural wonders of our world.  One third of the island is protected as conservation or National Park, and half the Island has never been cleared of native vegetation.  Walk amongst huge weather-sculpted granite boulders at Remarkable Rocks, and roll down the snowy white dunes of Little Sahara.  Stretch out on your own little spot on the Islands 480 km’s of coastline. Kangaroo Island is best known for its wildlife, and here you’ll find seals basking on the quiet beaches, koala’s munching on gum trees right beside the road, echidnas wandering in search of insects and kangaroos, goannas, wallabies, penguins and birds at just about every turn.  Spending two nights on the island will give you time not only to see, but also to enjoy this wonderland.

Two nights Kangaroo Island

Day 12 – Adelaide

Return to the mainland today, and drive up to Adelaide. Two nights is a must in this city – where great shopping and internationally recognised hotels stand alongside historic buildings, great sporting venues and cultural attractions.

Two nights Adelaide

Day 14 – Depart Adelaide

Head to the airport today for the onward or homeward flight.

Angie's pic

Photo courtesy of Angie Watson

 

Angie's pic

Photo courtesy of Angie Watson

Little Gems

Little Gems

Taking a flight over the Twelve Apostles on the Great Ocean Road is a fantastic way to see this rugged coastline from a different perspective, and with the opportunity to take excellent photographs.

Client Feedback

Client Feedback

Kangaroo Island was a fantastic experience – we were thrilled with the amount of wildlife we saw there!

Fly-fishing in Botswana and Zambia

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Vicki Tester

 

 

The Zambezi River flows through and borders Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe.  The area is unique, not only as a game-viewing area, but also as the home of the famous Victoria Falls, complete with its history both recent and not so recent. 

Our Guides are highly experienced and knowledgeable – Lee Whittam in particular is also an accomplished wildlife photographer and a keen fly-fisherman.  Wherever possible he will be guiding trips.  In his words:

The areas in which we concentrate are the Okavango system in Botswana and the Zambezi river system in Zimbabawe and Zambia. The main target species would be the Tiger fish and the many Tilapia species (or Bream as they are locally known). Both species readily take a fly and with the tiger fish being a ferocious predator – large baitfish imitations are the order of the day.  The Tilapia species are also generally predatory and similar flies although slightly smaller than those used for Tiger fish will be savagely taken by most bream species.  Sight fishing is the most rewarding way of targeting these two species and this is particularly true in the Okavango in Northern Botswana.  The crystal clear waters of this system offer the angler pristine wilderness coupled with fantastic fishing.

When fishing the Zambezi River a completely different approach is needed. This impressive  river system, which in some areas (lower Zambezi) can be up to 3 km wide,  is most productive on the fast flowing sections of river.  The tiger fish wait on the outskirts of the main channel and pick off fish as they come past. Apart from the Bream and the Tiger fish there are over 80 fish species in each system and most are catchable on fly, this coupled with the fact that you are fishing in areas where the wildlife roams freely makes for a truly unique fly fishing destination. 

Green headed bream -Okavango Delta Botswana

And for the non-fishermen:  The facilities at the lodges insure that for the non fisherman there are plenty of options in the form of game-viewing walks, bird-watching, boat trips and in some cases cultural tours of neighbouring villages to be enjoyed while “the other half” fish.

The Itinerary:  Your itinerary will typically include three nights in the Delta, three nights on a house boat in the ‘pan handle’ and three nights on the shores of the Zambezi.  Including your flights in both directions, this creates an 11 night holiday, however, this can be extended or curtailed to your requirements.

So what else could we add:

Victoria FallsNo visit to this part of the world would be complete without a visit to Victoria Falls.

Game Viewing in the Linyanti or Selinda Reserve: Without doubt, the Linyanti and Selinda Reserves located to the western edge of the Chobe National Park offer the best game viewing in the world.

Makgadikgadi Pans:  Extend your holiday with a two or three night stay at the salt pans.  This area, the size of a small country is the result of the extraordinary changes that have taken place geologically over the millions of years.  Once an inland sea, the pans are now dry, leaving one of the flattest places on earth – so flat that the curvature of the earth can be seen with the naked eye.

A touch of pampering:  After your fly-fishing holiday and game viewing experience, round off your holiday with a few days rest and relaxation, some excellent wines and fine dining and perhaps a little pampering.

 

 

Country: Japan

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Vicki Tester

 

Japan is a true mix of the ancient timeless past alongside the very modern. With a history that goes back beyond our own, this island nation has much to offer in the way of temples, castles, amazing scenery and a unique way of life. With direct flights, a visit to a different culture and customs is very much on the agenda.

Once there you have a choice of activities that should suit most people. It has excellent skiing, trekking (popular are pilgrimage routes), amazing wildlife and diving (particularly around Okinawa). Climbing Mount Fuji is a popular pastime for foreigners and Japanese alike. Because of this, aim to make your climb before the start of the school holidays in the early summer or the first week in September.

Being here to witness the fabulous cherry blossom is also a popular time to visit. The Japanese publish a calendar showing where and when the blossom should be out so its easy to check that you will be in the right place at the right time.

It is also a self drive destination with the best places to do this being Okinawa (deep south) and Hokkaido Island (high north). Ensure you have a car with English sat nav as all signs are in Japanese BUT the good news is that they drive on the left. The other popular form of travel is on the bullet trains – an experience not to be missed.

 

 

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Sefa-Utaki-Okinawa-CR-©Akimasa-Yuasa©JNTO.jpg

 

Tailormade Namibia Itinerary Ideas

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Here are some of the reasons to visit Namibia with our tailormade Namibia itineraries…

  • Drive through four deserts and learn how different each one is and just how much life exists in what at first appears to be such a harsh environment.
  • Visit one of Africa’s prime National Parks in Etosha which has a string of waterholes around its massive salt pan. These are a life saver for a huge variety of animals.
  • Track desert adapted elephants and rhinos in Damaraland.
  • Visit the colourful Himba tribe who have maintained their way of life.
  • Learn to read the signs of the bush from a genuine San tracker.
  • Quad bike over some of the most colourful dunes in the world.
  • Come face to face with a seal and see the diverse sealife found in Walvis Bay.
  • Kayak with seals and dolphins for close company.
  • Watch hippo below your accommodation on the great rivers in the northern provinces.
  • Trek for three/four days with mules in the Fish River Canyon – the second largest canyon in the world.

Below is just a small sample of the varied itineraries we can offer in Namibia. Whether your interest lies in wildlife, photography, spectacular scenery, geology, history of you a planning a family adventure, let us help you plan the perfect trip.

Tailormade Namibia - Himba Girl Namibia Northern Tour
This sample itinerary tours Northern Namibia taking in some of the most well known parts of this fascinating country. Guided or self-driven…
Highlights
Okonjima (home of the Africat Foudation, world renowned Etosha National Park, Damaraland, Erongo Mountains

ITINERARY
Drive the Four Deserts of Namibia
In this self-drive itinerary idea, explore the magical, unique and enthralling southern parts of Namibia; this could be a stand alone trip or part of a bigger experience…
Highlights: Kalahari, Fish River Canyon, Succulent Karoo, Nama Karoo, Namib Desert, Sossusvlei, Deadvlei

ITINERARY
Tailormade Namibia - childres Tribes and Wild Camping
In this unique itinerary you will be taken to parts of Namibia travellers rarely have the opportunity to experience. You will meet the Himba people and camp in spectacular wild and remote locations.

ITINERARY

South Namibia and Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
For those that like exploring the different kinds of deserts found in Namibia then this itinerary should satisfy their interests. It is an ideal self drive trip with stunning scenery and wildlife.ITINERARY
Namibia Namibia Caprivi Strip
There is another side to Namibia which is greener, with wide rivers running through it and giant trees fringing the banks.ITINERARY

 

Namibia Deserts

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A bespoke itinerary providing the opportunity to explore four totally different deserts in one country.

Summary

Namibia Deserts

An itinerary providing the opportunity to explore four totally different deserts in one country.

Day 1: Kalahari
Day 3: Nama Karoo
Day 6: Succulent Karoo
Day 8: Namib Desert
Day 11: Windhoek

Description

Description

Day 1: Kalahari
From Windhoek, collect a hire car and head south. You will soon start to see the wildlife of Namibia with warthog, baboon and possibly kudu near the road. You will notice how well maintained the roads are and how empty they are in comparison to what we are used to. Some 250 kms from Windhoek will bring you to the Kalahari, your first desert. Here the dunes are in wave formation and some stretch 250 kms. The tops are bare red sand with the sides and troughs having grass and trees growing up them. Between the dunes, grassland supports a wide variety of wildlife and birds. Stay here for two nights at least to give you time to recover from your flight and to explore the surrounding desert. An evening sundowner drive is a must.
Two nights Kalahari

Day 3: Nama Karoo
The next part of the journey is a drive of 4 to 5 hours; you may find that the first half is a little monotonous but the bird life along the roadside is interesting. The scenery becomes more and more dramatic the nearer you get to the Fish River Canyon, with boulder strewn mountains and vast vistas. A stop to see the Quiver tree Forest and the Giants Playground is a rewarding detour and an ideal place for lunch. You may expect to see zebra, springbok and oryx.  The Canyon looks at its best in the morning sunlight. We would suggest two to three nights in this area; available activities include horse riding, sundowner drives, walking trails and scenic flights.

For the intrepid there is the chance to join a trek in the canyons leading to the Fish River Canyon and time down in the main Canyon. Camp out for 2 nights with your guide cooking you meals and mules to carry the heavy stuff. Truly getting away from modern life.
Three nights Fish River Canyon area

Day 6: Succulent Karoo
The next desert on this itinerary is one of the top 20 most important biomes in the world. The flora is rare and worth having an expert along to explain how it all interacts. With a backdrop of massive granite mountains and sweeping desert plains this is a land of far horizons. Added to the usual desert wildlife there are also the Namib Desert Horses to be sought out. Their ancestors made their break for freedom from the armies of the First World War and they have flourished ever since.
Two nights in Succulent Karoo

Day 8: Namib Desert
The fourth and final desert is famous for its red dunes and it is not long before you will see the first of these in your drive north. This is a wonderful scenic drive, which will tempt you to stop and take photos along the way.  There is plenty to do and see here; Sossusvlei and Deadvlei, Sesriem Canyon – this is a photographer’s paradise, with the early morning being the best time to visit. Almost all the Lodges offer game drives and sundowners and you could see decent size herds of springbok and if really lucky, cheetah. Balloon over the dunes, quad bike or just simply relax.
Three nights Namib Desert

Day 11: Begin your return to Windhoek or onward
Head back towards Windhoek and your flight home (we would suggest a night or two as you wend your way back) or explore the Namib Desert even further by making your way to Swakopmund and the sea.

Fish River Canyon      Africa, Namibia. © 2004 Jan Jepsen / NTB

Peter - our Namibia expert      star dunes namib desert

Little Gems

Little Gems

Early morning in the Namib desert is a very special time.  The park gates open at dawn and you need to be the first in to get those all important sunrise shots of Dune 45 and of course to enjoy sunrise with your breakfast picnic. Pick up your entrance ticket the night before.

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Region: Rocky Mountain States

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Yvonne Dann

 

The area encompassing the beautiful US Rocky Mountain States of Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota and into Colorado has its own unique cultural history, combining both the heroic and tragic aspects of the opening up of the American West – from the epic movement of pioneers from east to west to the displacement of a native population. From the Black Hills of South Dakota to Hell’s Canyon in Idaho, from Montana’s breathtaking Glacier National Park to the awesome expanses of Wyoming’s Yellowstone National Park, the area is blessed with an unspoiled and natural scenic beauty.

The Real America

The Wild West

Wild West Story

Yellowstone in Winter

Favourite Road Trips

Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks

Two Countries, Three Cities – Seattle, Victoria, Vancouver

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Vicki Tester

 

On this trip you will combine the fascinating cities of Seattle, Victoria and Vancouver over 11 nights.

Summary

Two Countries, Three Cities

On this trip you will combine the fascinating cities of Seattle, Victoria and Vancouver over 11 nights.  There are plenty of options to add if time allows – self drive through the Canadian Rockies, add Washington State to include Mt Rainier and the Olympic Peninsular, or through Oregon reaching Crater Lake and the fantastic coast.

Day 1: Seattle

Day 4: Victoria

Day 7: Vancouver

Day 10: Seattle

Description

Description

In this itinerary you’ll explore three great cities, using a variety of transport methods as you travel between the USA and Canada, and between mainland and Islands. These three diverse cities, are all in fantastic oceanside locations, with great scenery and activities within easy reach.

 

Day 1 Seattle: Start with your flight to Seattle today. The city is a sophisticated blend of art, nature, technology and culture.  Take a stoll or food tour around Pike Place Market. Head up the Space Needle where the Observation Deck and restaurant offer a unique 360 degree view of mountains, Puget Sound and the City. Nearby, Chihuly Garden and Glass, showcases the career of glass artist Dale Chihuly with galleries, garden and the Glasshouse.

Visit historic Pioneer Square, shop at the Westgate centre and downtown area, and take Bill Speidels Underground Tour, strolling through the passages that once were the main roadways showcasing first-floor storefronts of old downtown Seattle prior to the Great Fire of 1889, and the subsequent rebuilding of Seattle on top

Three nights Seattle

Day 4 Victoria: Today take the Victoria Clipper passenger only ferry between Seattle and Victoria, British Columbia. It’s less than a three hour cruise through Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca to Canada and into Victoria’s Inner Harbour – the heart of the city. Arrive and pass through Canadian immigration at the ferry terminal.

Double-decker buses, horse-drawn carriages, formal gardens and tearooms show off Victoria’s apparent British history. Victoria’s Inner Harbour is at the very heart of the city, and with plenty of attractions within easy reach. Have afternoon tea at the Empress Hotel, head out on a whale watching cruise – Victoria and its surrounding waters are world renowned for the many species of whales and the wildlife tours offered. Stroll around the exhibits and collections in the Royal BC museum.  Enjoy a cycle tour of the city.

Around 30 minutes drive from the city you’ll find Butchart Gardens – a National Historic Site of Canada.

Three nights Victoria

Day 7 Vancouver: A thrilling 30 minute seaplane flight is your transport to the Canada’s mainland and the city of Vancouver, British Columbia. Coming into Vancouver Harbour Flight Centre, located on Canada Place, you are just a short distance from many attractions in the city.

Stroll through diverse neighbourhoods or relax on sandy beaches. Visit the aquarium, take a city tour, cycle or stroll around the seawall in Stanley Park as you follow marked trails.  Head up Vancouver’s Lookout for a birds eye view over the city. Take a mini-tugboat ferry across False Creek to Granville Island where the biggest attraction is the Public Market – perhaps take a walking tour.

Head over to the North Shore for more adventure – Grouse Mountain has plenty of outdoor adventure. Take the Skyride – an 8 minute ride from the Valley Station to the summit. Also on the North Shore, visit the Capilano Suspension Bridge, suspended above the river and amongst the trees. Also here are the Cliffwalk and Treetops Adventure.

Three nights Vancouver

Day 10 Seattle: End your journey here with a flight out of Vancouver International Airport, or alternatively continue your travels with a train journey between Vancouver and Seattle – bus is another option. You’ll pass through US Immigration and customs as you enter Seattle. Spend one final night in the city.

One night Seattle

Day 11 Fly Home: Say goodbye to Seattle as you make your way back to the airport for your overnight flight home.

Day 12 Arrive Home

Float planes at Vancouver – Credit CTC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Space Needle - Seattle

Picture courtesy of Port of Seattle

Floatplanes Vancouver

Credit Yvonne Dann

Totem Pole Victoria – Credit Yvonne Dann

Butchart Gardens Victoria – Credit Yvonne Dann

Butchart Gardens – Credit Yvonne Dann

Vancouver by air – Credit Yvonne Dann

Little Gems

Little Gems

A little gem of Seattle is the famous Pike Place Market, and the perfect way to see it is on a walking tour. See behind-the-scenes and experience the sights, sounds, and flavors of this historic 100+ year old landmark.

Pike Place Market

Credit Helen Wibley

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Experiencing Hobart, Tasmania – 2 – Further Afield

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Vicki Tester

 

Hobart, Tasmania 2 – by Peter Ellis

 

So having had a couple of days to explore the City of Hobart and now with your hire car in hand then consider the following destination. To ensure you have seen a Tasmanian Devil I would strongly recommend that visit the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary where they are working hard to ensure these much maligned creatures have a future – along with many other orphaned or damaged wild animals. The Devils numbers are down by 90% due to a virus that has spread through them but the good news is that scientists have found a vaccine that is seems effective and there is also evidence that the remaining wild animals have built their own immunity.

Tasmanian Devil, Hobart, Tasmania

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Kangaroo, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You will have a chance to see most of the other indigenous Tasmanian wildlife and even feed the kangaroo who are very friendly. A short drive from here brings you to Richmond which truly has a feel of being back in the UK. The Gaol here was built in the 1820s to provide slave labour for the booming farming community. It is still almost intact and well worth a visit.

For another full day out, drive down to the World Heritage site of Port Arthur, the destination of many of the convicts from Great Britain. Built as a modern and ground breaking penal institute it became a town in its own rights. Many of the buildings are ruins while others have been restored to their former glory – particularly the homes of the officers. There is much to see and do here so plan to be there early. Also ensure you join the cruise of the Bay taking you past Point Puer Boys Prison (for convict aged below 17) and the Island of the Dead. The staff play there parts convincingly and the exhibits are well thought through and very hands on. For the brave there is ghost tour in the evening. Do NOT get left in the isolation cell – not a chink of light anywhere and pass through 4 doors to get there.

One evening when the weather is clear, drive to the top of Wellington Mountain for spectacular views over the city and harbour.

Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

Experiencing Hobart, Tasmania – 1

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Vicki Tester

 

Hobart, Tasmania with Peter Ellis

Having just got back from my holiday in Victoria and Tasmania, I thought that I would share some of my experiences and suggested activities while in Hobart. Coming in from the airport has you driving over an iconic bridge giving you a good glimpse of the city. We stayed in an apartment on one of the piers in the harbour, which worked very well – views of the ferry going across to the Mona Museum, plenty of restaurants on the piers and waterfront, and a well appointed flat.

We did not bother with a car for the first couple of days as Hobart is an easy walking city. The first place I would recommend is Mawson’s Huts Replica Museum, located right in the harbour. Not large (they are actual size huts) they are full of information of the Antarctic Expeditions that set sail from Hobart through the 20th. Century. Just a few yards from here is the Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery which is well worth exploring and then sitting in the courtyard with an excellent cup of coffee.  We failed to go the Mona Museum, as we ran out of time but would definitely suggest catching the ferry to see what is a controversial spot in Tasmania.

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are a number of food places to tempt you – along the waterfront and Salamanca Street nearby, in fact coffee houses and restaurants abound in the city.

If you would like some more information on Hobart and what to see or do then please give s a call on 01323 446550 or email info@experienceholidays.co.uk  You could also take a look at one of our visit Australia suggested itineraries in Tasmania, Hobart click here

More on what to do just outside of the capital next week.

Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

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