Revel in the opportunity to tread some of Tasmania’s greatest coastal tracks while you circumnavigate this island state by sea. Land on remote pristine beaches; trek through coastal heath, buttongrass moorlands, lush temperate rainforests and tall eucalypt woodlands; and drink in the stunning vistas from towering dolerite peaks. Explore islands whose only permanent inhabitants include Bennett’s wallabies, wombats, potoroos, possums and pademelons. Cruise the wild, storm-swept coastlines and sheltered, shimmering bays. Experience a variety of trekking treasures on Bruny, Flinders and Maria Islands. Delight in the raucousness of an Australian fur seal colony’s rocky haul-out on the Hunter Islands; the gregariousness of the gannets at Pedra Branca; and the majesty of a soaring shy albatross in the skies above Mewstone. Create and collate a treasured suite of memories – on foot or by sea – with extraordinary adventures on offer each day.
Arrive in Tasmania and transferred to your hotel. You will have light refreshments in the evenign where you will meet your fellow expeditioners and have a pre departure briefing. Following this you have time at leisure to explore Hobart. Perhaps you will enjoy one of the many restaurants available for dinner. (Dinner not included in voyage cost)
After breakfast enjoy a city tour (approx 2 hours) giving you insight into this historical city. In the afternoon board the Greg Mortimer. Enjoy a welcome drink and meet your crew. Attend the cruise briefing, and Captain’s Welcome Dinner. Leaving Hobart cruise past the impressive cliffs of Cape Pillar and Tasman Islands dramatic dolerite columns rising from the sea.
From the comfort of your floating base camp, make your first forays to the picturesque Cloudy Bay at South Bruny Island. Enjoy picturesque coastal walks through flowering heathlands and eucalypt forests, a more leisurely stroll on long stretches of pristine sand, or a more active tramp up the headland for sweeping views of Cloudy Bay and beyond to the Southern Ranges. Later, as we sail southwards, keep an eye out on our portside for views of Cape Bruny’s historic lighthouse.
At the extreme south-eastern corner of Tasmania, the idyll of Recherche Bay offered French explorer, Bruni D’Entrecasteaux, refuge, replenishment, and scientific discovery. Learn more about his exploits, including the well-documented, amicable encounters and mutual observation between the expedition members and the indigenous Lylequonny people. Enjoy a hike towards the extreme southern tip of Tasmania or towards Fishers Point past the impressive bronze whale sculpture that commemorates the area’s early whaling history. Having rounded South East Cape, experience untamed wilderness of Southwest National Park from the shores of New Harbour with various walking and Zodiac-cruising options. Perhaps explore a short section of the famed South Coast track, or simply revel in the isolation and wildness of this remote and windswept shores.
From the comfort of the ‘mother ship’, enjoy a ship cruise at the Maatsuyker Island Group. Spy Australia’s most southerly lighthouse at Maatsuyker Island, and delight in the majesty of soaring shy albatross in the skies above Mewstone Island before setting sail up Tassie’s wild west coast.
Often described as a ‘coastal wonderland’, the impressive sea-cliffs, pristine beaches and sand dunes, sheltered lagoons and tidal inlets of the remote Hunter Island group provide an exciting backdrop to your adventures. The islands were named after John Hunter (Governor of the Colony of New South Wales) by Flinders on the first recorded circumnavigation of Tasmania in 1798; although the islands show evidence of over 23,000 years of continuous occupation by local Aboriginal people. The islands are a major breeding ground for a range of birds, including a number of threatened species, including the orange-bellied and swift parrots, white-bellied sea eagle, shy albatross, Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle and fairy prion. As part of our explorations, we plan to sail along the steep cliffs of Albatross Island – aptly named for its 5,000 breeding pairs (around 40 per cent of the world’s population) of shy albatross. If Australasian gannets are more your style, delight in the sight of over 12,000 pairs jostling for space on nearby Black Pyramid Rock Nature Reserve.
Marvel at the mystique of the far-flung Kent Islands – often missed on conventional maps – and experience its rich natural and human history. This cluster of three main islands and four smaller islets comprise Tassie’s northernmost national park. Discover the bountiful, nutrient-rich waters created by the convergence of three major ocean currents, which help feed Australia’s largest fur seal colony. Scan the shorelines and skies for sooty oystercatchers, short-tailed shearwaters, petrels and prions; contemplate the looming granite lighthouse; and discover stories of sealers, sailors and shipwrecks in the original lightkeeper’s cottage (the oldest in Australia, and now museum) run by the islands’ only two inhabitants.
Flinders Island – called Great Island until it was renamed in the early 1800s after explorer Matthew Flinders – is the largest of Tasmania’s islands and home to Strzelecki National Park. The island offers sapphire waters, untouched beaches, a rich variety of flora and fauna, rocky ridges and towering peaks as a backdrop to your hiking, paddling or underwater adventures. Energetic hikers may like to scale the granitic beauties of the Strzelecki Peaks to experience spectacular vistas, while strollers might enjoy a shorter meander through shaded casuarina woodlands and coastal heath to secluded bays.
The striking scenery of Freycinet Peninsula tempts you for another day of discovery, whether you hike its towering pink granite peaks for a spectacular view, paddle its iridescent-blue waters, or beachcomb a pristine white beach peppered with orange lichen-covered boulders. The surrounding wilderness is also alive with flora and fauna. On your adventures, keep an eye out for white-breasted sea eagles soaring in the skies above, Bennett’s wallabies lazing under a she-oak, the local pod of bottle-nose dolphins, or perhaps one of the short-beaked echidnas that are sometimes seen foraging for ants in daylight hours. Weather permitting, we may also visit the nearby Schouten Island group, where gangs of fur seals can be seen vying for their favourite rocky resting place.
Known as Tasmania’s ‘Noah’s Ark’, Maria Island is home to an abundance of native wildlife including Bennett’s wallabies, common wombats, and rufous-bellied pademelons; as well as conservation sanctuary to a number of introduced species including the Tasmanian devil. The island is also considered one of the best places for bird watching, with a variety that includes all but one of Tassie’s endemic bird species. In addition to its natural history, the island has a rich human history stretching back over 40,000 years. The Puthikwilayti people of the Oyster Bay tribe were original custodians of the land and surrounding waters, which was later visited by European explorers, and exploited by sealers and whalers. Convict settlements, failed commercial ventures, and an eventual National Park designation are also part of the island’s antiquities. Whether you choose to explore its secluded bays and beaches, snorkel its clear waters, delight in its wildlife, or stretch your legs on a range of hiking options – through tall eucalypt forests, along exquisite coastlines, or upwards to take in the island’s stunning landscapes from its peaks – Maria Island has something special for everyone. Back on board and as we set sail for Hobart, toast your adventures and celebrate with friends – both new and old – at our Captain’s Farewell Dinner.
Your adventure circumnavigating Tasmania comes to an end after breakfast. Farewell your expedition team before your transfer to the airport or accommodation.