Tasmania, Australia

An Antipodean travel company serving World Travellers since 1983

Small group tours Tasmania, Australia

Explore the sights and history of Tasmania, from the cerulean waters of the east coast, to Cradle Mountain, and the capital city of Hobart. Odyssey offers safe, confident, authentic, escorted  small group tours for mature and senior travellers, couples, and solo travelers to Australia. Limited to 15 like minded travellers.

Sitting about 460km below the Australian mainland state of Victoria, (560km from Melbourne) the island of Tasmania is Australia ‘s second smallest, and 6th most populous state or territory. Covering an area the size of Ireland, or similar to Missouri, Tasmania is home to roughly 540,000 people, about 40% of whom reside in the state’s capital Hobart . Tasmania plays host to a climate, and landscape distinct from the rest of Australia, this is due to its position further south towards the Antarctic, its long separation from the mainland and its position in the ‘roaring forties’ wind current. These have all contributed to its distinct flora, fauna, geology, and climate patterns. 

Crafted Tours for Mature World Travellers

Tasmania Tours

Dove Lake
Pre-guaranteed

Tours of Tasmania; exploring colonial history

Escorted program for couples and single travellers visiting Hobart, Launceston through the Tamar Valley along the rugged coastline of the north coast and heading back south to the pristine wilderness around Cradle Mountain and then on through Strahan, Queenstown and past Lake St Clair, before arriving back in Hobart. This 18 day small group tours to Tasmania for mature and senior travellers interested in the colonial history of Tasmania. We follow the footsteps of the colonists, visiting the churches where they worshipped, the houses in which they lived, the taverns where they drank and some of the mills in which they worked.

 

18 days
Departing Mar, Apr, Jun, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Jan, Feb
Tasmanian coastline
Guaranteed

Discovering Tasmania’s Wildlife

Small group tour of up to 15 mature and seniors travellers visiting and learning about Tasmania’s wildlife and history. Visit Maria Island, Freycinet peninsula, Cradle Mountain, Strahan, Lake St Clair and Bruny Island over 16 days.

19 days
Departing May, Feb, Mar, Apr, Sep, Oct, Nov, Jan

Motorcycle tour of Tasmania for mature riders

Escorted Small group tour of up to 8 mature and seniors Motorcycle riders visiting and learning about Tasmania’s wildlife and history. Visit Maria Island, Freycinet peninsula, Cradle Mountain, Strahan, Lake St Clair and Bruny Island over 14 days.

17 days
Departing Apr, Nov, Jan, Feb, Mar
Coastline near Killiekrankie Flinders Island
Guaranteed

Small group tour of Flinders Island

Explore and learn about Flinders Island on an escorted small group tour for mature and senior travellers who enjoy a walking holiday. For couples or solo travellers. We also explore Cradle Mountain and Launceston.

9 days
Departing Nov, Jan, Mar, Apr

Tasmanian Colonial homes, centring on Hobart and Launceston | Summer School in Hobart, Tasmania

Summer School tour that examines the Historic homes and the history of their occupiers.

7 days
Departing Jan

Convicts and Emigrants in Early Tasmania | Summer School in Hobart, Tasmania

The course focuses on  Tasmania and its similarities and differences from the ‘mainland’ as a convict colony, with a particular focus on women’s experiences.

 

7 days
Departing Jan

Tasmanian Wilderness | Summer School in Hobart, Tasmania

The Tasmania Wilderness summer school is held annually in Hobart in early January. This summer school allows you to experience the great western wilderness of Tasmania, while staying at a comfortable ‘base camp’ in a Hobart hotel!

7 days
Departing Jan

Houses and Gardens of Southern Tasmania | Summer School in Hobart, Tasmania

Houses and gardens of Southern Tasmania runs for five days and takes in ten different gardens and three heritage-listed houses. We will step back into the past and experience life as it was two centuries ago.

7 days
Departing Jan, Mar

Romans settling Britain & Gaul | Summer School course

This course will investigate  contemporary accounts of Roman of the path to occupation and then settlement in Britain and Gaul. This class will endeavour to consider and discuss the contribution Rome and the Romans had on the places controlled  by these invaders.

7 days
Departing Jan

Extraordinary Women from Medieval and Renaissance Europe | Summer School course

This Summer school course will examine the life and deeds of a number of strong women living in Medieval and Renaissance Europe. Women seldom wrote the history books in the period between 1050 and 1650.

7 days
Departing Jan

Uncovering Ancient Greece | Summer School course

The Glory of Greece course examines the history of the Ancient Greeks from Mycenaean, Minoan and Homeric times until the commencement of the Peloponnesian War in 431BC. We discover the development of a classical, ancient people and culture.

7 days
Departing Jan

Masterpieces of French Cinema | Summer School course

Discover five masterpieces of French cinema in this new Summer School tour.

7 days
Departing Jan

Sir John Monash | Summer School course

This lecture series  examines the ANZAC story throughout the Great War from Gallipoli (1915) to the Western Front (1918) through the life of Australia’s greatest wartime military leader Lt General Sir John Monash.

7 days
Departing Jan

Victorian Britain | Summer School course

This course will look at the life and times of Queen Victoria who reigned over the British Empire between 1837 and 1901. During that period Britain underwent what amounted to a revolution in industry, agriculture, transport, politics, science, medicine and the arts.

7 days
Departing Jan

Italian Renaissance | Summer School course

This Summer school course looks at the influence and contribution five key families in shaping today’s Italy. In the 15th and 16th centuries the principalities that became Italy were alive with new ideas. The boundaries of art, architecture, music, science, politics, religion and literature were pushed. It was also riven by bitter rivalry and even open warfare between the numerous independent city states.

7 days
Departing Jan

The Great Philosophers and Us | Summer School course

This course takes you back to the birthplace of western philosophy and the basis for our inner growth as individuals, as communities and a civilisation that continues to question its values and our very being ever since. Our small group will explore these origins of thought, the masterpieces of literature and drama that reach far beyond their initial time and place and let them speak again to us today.

7 days
Departing Jan

Charlie Chaplin and the making of Hollywood | Summer School course

Spend a week in Leura, Blue Mountains, attending this summer school course which traces the early life and development of the comic genius of the twentieth century through to the end of the silent era. It is set against the phenomenal growth of the American film industry and lasting impact of Chaplin’s life and art upon the world. It goes deeper than the knock about comedian, pantomime artist and Little Tramp that we see in his early short films.

7 days
Departing Jan

Most of the island has a cool oceanic climate, with the mountainous area towards the centre of the island being cooler still, this climate makes the eastern part of the island productive for agricultural use, while the western portion of the island is densely forested, with huge national parks and protected areas that cover a substantial 42% of the island . Known colloquially as ‘ Tassie‘ to Australians, Tasmania is renowned for its rich natural heritage, with places like Cradle Mountain , Lake St Clair , Mount Wellington , or Wineglass Bay being some of the more well known. The island’s latitude also makes it one of the best places on earth to see the aurora australis , or Southern Lights, if you’re lucky enough to catch them.

As for Tasmania‘s cultural heritage, you can find historic world heritage sites such as Port Arthur on one end of the spectrum, or wild and creative museums such as MONA on the other. MONA is the largest privately owned museum in the southern hemisphere and features large exhibits from artists across Australia. In all, a holiday in Tasmania provides a wide range of experiences, with unique natural and cultural heritage that marks it out as distinct from Australia‘s mainland states.

History

Tasmania‘s earliest history traces back to its Indigenous people , with a history that predates European colonization in the region by around 30,000 years, with Aboriginal settlement on the Australian mainland thought to have begun as early as 125,000 years ago and gradually moving south. Indigenous people in Tasmania were separated from the mainland some 10,000 years ago when sea levels rose during a the thawing of the last ice age. Isolated from the mainland, their culture diverged from that of the population on the mainland.

The first European contact with Tasmania came in the year 1642, with Dutch explorer Abel Tasman landing at today’s Blackman Bay on the island’s southeast coast. This early exploration of the island , as well as New Zealand, and the surrounding seas, has been honoured in the region’s names, with areas such as the Tasman Sea, and the island of Tasmania itself bearing the explorer’s name. Despite the early discoveries of Tasman, Europeans would not return to the area for another 130 years, with French explorer Marc-Joseph Marion du Fresne arriving in 1772, and the British arriving a year later. At this time, though it was theorized, there was no solid evidence that Tasmania, was in fact an island. This was eventually confirmed in 1798, with British Captain Matthew Flinders, and explorer George Bass circumnavigating the Australian continent, and passing through the Bass Strait. (The straight was later to be named after the George Bass.)

Map of Australia from 1826, showing Tasmania and SE coast.

Map of Australia from 1826, showing Tasmania and SE coast.

Colonization started in 1803

Although the islands of the Bass Strait had been used by whalers, and sealers for some time, colonization of the main island did not begin until the year 1803, when the settlements of Risdon and Hobart Town were founded along the island’s south-east coast. Tasmania‘s early settlements were characterised by conflict with the indigenous inhabitants and the extensive use of convict labour, with about 4 of every 10 convicts transported to Australia arriving on the island in its early years.

The continued use of Tasmania as a convict settlement helped create a tremendous gender imbalance on the island, adding to turmoil between the settlers and native population, with convicts and free settlers to abducting Aboriginal women. This, coupled with the increasing strain on the island’s resources, and grazing lands, eventually escalated into violent conflict between the settlers and Indigenous population, in what came to be the most brutal example of settler colonisation in Australia‘s history. As the Aborigines last more and more of their traditional hunting grounds, battles erupted between them and the European settlers. In 1828 martial law was declared by the Lieutenant-Governor Arthur and Aboriginal tribes were forced from their lands at gunpoint. Between 1829 and 1834 all remaining indigenous Tasmanians were resettled on Flinders Island where most of them died of disease or despair.

Van Diemen’s Land

Known in these early years as ‘Van Diemen’s Land’, the island was extremely important to early colonization, with about a third of Australia‘s non-indigenous population residing on the island in 1830, as well as accounting for a full half of cultivated land. The majority of the settlement for agricultural purposes was in the centre of the island and on the east coast. The Van Diemen’s Land Company was also a tremendously influential body at this time, and enjoyed an undisputed monopoly to the entire northwest of the island.

Map of the interior discoveries made by the Van Diemen’s Land Company 1828 (Image Source)
A view of the town and harbour of Hobart Town, Van Diemen’s Land (now known as Tasmania), an island to the south of the Australian mainland. Van Diemen’s Land was colonised by Britain in 1803 as a penal colony and became part of New South Wales in 1825. Hobart was then known as Hobart Town, or Hobarton and was named after Lord Hobart, the Colonial Secretary.

1853, a name change

The transportation of convicts eventually came to an end in the year 1853, and the name of the island was subsequently changed in the year 1856 to Tasmania. The name change came as more and more free settlers made their way to the island, and Tasmania sought to distance itself from its recent history of convict labour. As time progressed and Tasmania came into its own, it became its own fully fledged state, joining with the mainland in federation in 1901 , with the vote to join enjoying the largest margin of any Australian state. In the early years of the 20th century Tasmania suffered something of a depression leading to a lack of development, this in turn led to the retention of many of its fine colonial buildings. Throughout the 20th and 21st century, Tasmania has been shaped by the development of the hydro-electricity sector, and has become an important melting pot from which several of Australia‘s environmental movements have developed. Today it is well known as an eco-tourism destination, as well as for its vibrant arts and culture sector.

Wide view of the hydro electricity dam at Strathgordon, Tasmania

Travelling to Tasmania

Tasmania is easily reached from mainland Australia and from further afield. Hobart, the state’s capital, has an international airport, though most fights come in via Melbourne, Sydney or one of the other mainland capitals. Devonport, on the north coast of Tasmania, close to Launceston, Tasmania‘s second city, can also be reached via ferry from Melbourne. A small group tour of Tasmania with Odyssey usually begins in either Hobart or Launceston. A small group tour of Tasmania can offer the senior traveller a rich experience, delving into the state’s incredible natural, and cultural heritage. Travellers to Tasmania are able to enjoy its historic townships, Jurassic era dolerite cliffs, temperate rainforests and bushland, cerulean blue coasts, as well as some of the world’s cleanest air .

Touring Tasmania

For those starting out on a Tasmania tour, a good place to begin would be the state’s capital city, Hobart.

Hobart

Located on the south-east coast of the island, Hobart is home to some 206,000 people, roughly 40% of Tasmania ‘s population. Hobart has a thriving cultural, and commercial life, and is dotted with cafes and restaurants, as well as museums, markets, art galleries, and more. Visitors to Hobart should be sure to stop by on a Saturday, this is the time when you can catch the famous Salamanca markets , here you can find local craft goods and foods, ranging from carved Tasmanian native woods, to lavender, mountain honey, craft gin, pearls and much much more. While eating out in Hobart you might also want to have lunch or dinner around the famous Elizabeth St Pier, which has incredible fresh seafood, North Hobart is also known as a popular place to eat both lunch and dinner, with a variety of local favourites found in this part of town.

Just outside of Hobart, though always present on the city’s skyline, is Mount Wellington , or ‘Kunanyi’. You can make your way up the mountain to the lookout in about an hour’s drive from town. From the top you can enjoy a spectacular view of the city, the harbour, and at times you can even catch the aurora australis away from the polluting lights of the city below. Another major Hobart attraction is the Museum of Old and New Art, or MONA . Opened in 2011 by professional gambler and philanthropist David Walsh, MONA features large exhibition spaces with brilliant, creative and at times controversial art installations. The best way to get to MONA , since it occupies its own private island, are the Mona Roma ferries, these depart from the Brooke St Pier just next to Salamanca place, where you can also buy entry tickets.

The Aurora Australis visible over the summit of Mt. Wellington/Kunanyi, in Hobart, Tasmania.

Aside from the activities of the city of Hobart itself, the city is an excellent staging point from which to explore much of the surrounding area.

Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary

It is easy to take a day tour from Hobart to many scenic and historic sites. One of the easiest of these would be Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary . Located near the town of Brighton to the north of Hobart, the wildlife sanctuary is an easy way to see much of Tasmania ‘s unique wildlife up close and personal. This can also be an excellent opportunity to meet the island’s famous tassie devil , which can be rather elusive in the wild. To the south of the city, you might want to take a day trip to Huonville and the Huon Valley. This area is a popular region for wineries, as well as craft ciders, mead, liqueurs, whisky and gin. While in Huonville you can stop by at Willie Smith’s Apple Shed for a hearty lunch, tasting palette of ciders, and sometimes even local musicians. Just over an hour west of Hobart, you can also visit Mt. Field National Park, here you can find some incredible walking tracks through the the Tasmanian wilderness, as well as some truly special waterfalls like Russell Falls, or Horseshoe Falls. Here the spectacular scenery is reminiscent of a Tolkien novel.

Russel Falls in Mt Field National Park with the evening light and spectacular waterfall.

Bruny island

Off the southeast coast of Tasmania, and another popular day trip from Hobart is Bruny Island. Bruny Island is famous for its pristine beaches, dramatic cliffs, fresh seafood, and local wildlife. Travellers to Bruny often find one of the best spots for sightseeing on the island is the narrow isthmus connecting north, and south Bruny, known locally as ‘the neck’. Another way to see Bruny Island is on a cruise, where you can oft spot seals and dolphins around the islands coastline, on the land you can also find a unique Bruny Island species of wallaby, which due to generations of mutation have snowy white fur.

On South Bruny you can also take a Bruny Island Lighthouse tour, with the historic Cape Bruny Lighthouse being one of the oldest continually operating in the country’s history. Heading east from Hobart around the coast to the Tasman Peninsula, is Port Arthur. Port Arthur is a World Heritage listed area, with its history harkening back to the colonial era as one of the most notorious and brutal penal colonies in Australian history. The Port Arthur historic site’s colonial history is brought into revealing, and stark contrast, with the site’s museums and tours giving visitors insight into what day to day life was like for some of Australia‘s earliest European residents. Port Arthur is also a good jumping off point for a wildlife cruise around the coastline of the Tasman National Park, along the ride you can find animals such as bottlenose dolphins, and Australian fur seals in abundance, as well as a huge variety of seabirds such as cormorants and sea-eagles.

Port Arthur Tasmania the old church ruins

Day Trip to Richmond and new Norfolk

From Hobart it is also possible to take a day trip to historic townships such as Richmond and New Norfolk. These towns were settled early in the colony’s history and still retain much of their early 19th century architecture. Richmond, on the Coal River, with its historic 1823 convict built bridge, is a particularly popular spot for a day trip. The New Norfolk population was dramatically increased when the first convict settlement on Norfolk Island was closed, and the inhabitants resettled in Tasmania, in 1807. One of Australia‘s oldest hotels, The Brush Inn, has been trading in the same building in New Norfolk since 1825.

Exploring the East coast of Tasmania

Leaving Hobart behind, a journey heading up Tasmania ‘s east coast is a fantastic way to see how the landscape changes as you pass through forests, mountains, and verdant plains along your trip . One of the first highlights along this route would have to be Wineglass Bay, located on the Freycinet Peninsula. This is a place famous for its pristine beaches, blue waters and incredible abundance of wildlife and Wineglass Bay is worth at least a whole day to do it proper justice.

For those on a walking tour , heading south from Coles Bay through the national park is a great way to get to Wineglass Bay Beach. Along the way be sure to stop at the Wineglass Bay lookout , here you’ll get a great view of the sandy beaches , rugged coastline, and see the distinctive U-shape the bay is famous for. Another place to look out for while journeying up the east coast is the seaside town of Bicheno . Bicheno is famous for its large naturally occurring blowhole, which launches out huge jets of water into the air as the tide fluctuates, making for a great photo opportunity, it’s also a good lunch spot for fresh seafood and a break from the road.

Launceston

Another Tasmanian city hub, though smaller than the capital Hobart, is Launceston. Located in the island’s Tamar valley region, Launceston has just under half the population of Hobart, making it Tasmania ‘s second largest city. Launceston is known for its colonial, and Victorian style architecture dating back to the earliest days of settlement, and has one of the best preserved and oldest cityscapes in Australia. Launceston is another great launching pad for a tour of the surrounding region, or for connecting transport heading further afield. One example of this is Flinders Island, which you can make your way to after a short, light aircraft flight from Launceston. Flinders Island is located off the northeast coast of Tasmania, and is the largest in the Furneaux group of islands, it is known for its natural beauty, walking tracks, and its tragic colonial history. With this in mind, the layout of Flinders Island, is ideal for a walking tour, with Odyssey, visiting nearly every major site on the island along our tour.

Flinders Island Killiecrankie Beach
Tip of the point at Killiecrankie Beach, Flinders Island.

Cradle Mountain- World Heritage site

Heading west out of Launceston, eventually you’ll come upon one of Tasmania ‘s most notable attractions, the UNESCO world heritage listed Cradle Mountain. The Cradle Mountain National Park is the highlight of any wilderness tour of Tasmania , with its natural beauty being special even in a place so naturally gifted as Tasmania. The area is dotted with wilderness walks and walking trails necessary to properly explore what the national park has to offer. One of the most popular spots is Dove lake , which lies at the centre of the park with the mountain looming behind, and is the perfect spot for a photo opportunity. The national park is also incredibly abundant in wildlife , and you might find yourself literally tripping over wombats, who have become quite friendly and unafraid of visiting humans. You should also keep an eye out for the island’s famous tassie devil, which could make an appearance.

Dove Lake
Dove Lake, Cradle Mountain.

Stanley

Continuing north, a good place to head to is Stanley , which with its incredibly clean air, and seaside charm, is another great base from which to explore Tasmania ‘s northwest region.

Stanley Tasmania

Along your way to Stanley you may want to stop by the Table Cape, which has one of Tasmania ‘s largest tulip farms , and is a visually stunning stop for any ‘budding’ horticulturalist. The town of Stanley itself is notable for a number of reasons, the first of these is its massive dormant volcano, known locally as ‘the nut’. This is a great lookout from which to take in the surrounding seas and countryside, and you can even take a chairlift to the top.

The town is also famous for its historic buildings, some of which date back to the time of the Van Diemen’s Land Company. Lastly the air around Stanley , and places in northwest Tasmania such as Cape Grim has been measured as amongst the cleanest in the world. At first this may not sound like much to boast about, but in a world characterized by air pollution in the larger cities where many of us live, the effect of fresh, clean air as its supposed to be, is really something of an unexpected marvel.

Near Stanley , you may also want to take a day trip through the Tarkine rainforest , which, as one of the only temperate rainforests in the world, is definitely something to make time for on a tour to Tasmania . The Tarkine is one of Australia ‘s great untamed wild places, with old growth that dates back many hundreds of years. It is home to many of Tasmania ‘s native trees and endangered species, and is a great place to experience one of the few remaining wild places on our planet.

View at the landscape and beaches of Stanley, Tasmania, Australia. In the back the famous landmark is showing, the mountain, The Nut.

The West coast Highway to Strahan and the Gordon river.

Heading further down along the west coast , you’ll find numerous national parks , small towns like Strahan, and rivers such as the Gordon River and Franklin River. The west coast is a great way to see Tasmania ‘s wilderness , that captures the island’s Gondwana heritage. 

West Coast highway Tas

Rounding the west coast route back to Hobart, you’ll come across Lake St Clair , listed along with Cradle Mountain as a UNESCO world heritage site. Lake St Clair is another natural gem to see on a wilderness tour of Tasmania. Lying in a deep basin formed by glaciation over millions of years, Lake St Clair is known for its crystal clear, and incredibly still water. Known as leeawuleena, or ‘Sleeping Water’ in the indigenous language, the huge lake is so calm it reflects the surrounding area, and sky above like an enormous mirror, one which is particularly impressive during the golden hour around sunrise or sunset. One of the best ways to experience areas such as Lake St Clair and Cradle Mountain is with a small group tour. Odyssey specialises in this kind of tour, offering an engaged and intimate tour of Tasmania, ideal for seniors, solo travellers, and couples heading to Australia and Tasmania.

Lake St Clair, Tasmania
Lake St Clair, Tasmania.

 

Odyssey’s collection of Australia tour packages with a tour manager enable you to explore each state with Odyssey’s escorted tours Australia 2021 portfolio as a city based tour or a Australia holidays package into the Western Australia outback of the Kimberley or South Australia‘s Flinders range or just spend a week on holiday in Hobart learning about a range of subjects on Odyssey’s Summer Schools tour package. This collection of some 70 scheduled small group holiday departures provides plenty of choice for an Australian holiday. You can make your booking direct for your Australia escorted tour with us or via your travel agent or travel consultant.

Small group tours throughout Australia

Tours in Australia

Mungo National Park
Guaranteed

Escorted small group tour of World Heritage sites and more in the Southern States 

Discover the World Heritage Sites of the southern states of Australia travelling in a small group tour. A journey of learning around the southern edges of the Murray Darling basin and up to the upper southern part of this complex river basin north of Mildura. We start and end in Adelaide, stopping in Broken Hill, Mungo National Park and other significant locations.

Departing Sep, Oct, Feb, Mar, May, Aug

Small group tour; Broken Hill and back

 Small group tour of New South Wales, Queensland & South Australia deserts, from Broken Hill. Learn about the history of the people who explored the deserts, from indigenous communities to Europeans, as well as Burke and Wills, visit White Cliffs, Birdsville, Maree.

Departing Sep, Oct, Mar, Apr

Small group tour of outback Queensland

To Dubbo and back, this small group tour takes you to learn about the Brewarrina fish traps, we travel high up into North Queensland to see the Dinosaurs of Winton and incredible Aboriginal rock art at Cathedral gorge and learn about opal mining and the history of Lightning ridge.

Departing Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun
Coastline near Killiekrankie Flinders Island
Guaranteed

Small group tour of Flinders Island

Explore and learn about Flinders Island on an escorted small group tour for mature and senior travellers who enjoy a walking holiday. For couples or solo travellers. We also explore Cradle Mountain and Launceston.

9 days
Departing Nov, Jan, Mar, Apr

Small group tour of Queensland

On this Queensland Outback small group tour we travel west from Brisbane all the way to Birdsville then continue high up into North Queensland to see the Dinosaurs of Winton and incredible Aboriginal rock art at Cathedral gorge.

19 days
Departing Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Feb, Mar, May, Jun

Motorcycle tour of Tasmania for mature riders

Escorted Small group tour of up to 8 mature and seniors Motorcycle riders visiting and learning about Tasmania’s wildlife and history. Visit Maria Island, Freycinet peninsula, Cradle Mountain, Strahan, Lake St Clair and Bruny Island over 14 days.

17 days
Departing Apr, Nov, Jan, Feb, Mar

Autumnal small group tour of the Blue Mountains

Spend a week in the Blue Mountains outside Sydney exploring the historic homes and gardens of the region over a week. For mature and senior travellers. This small group tour visits 13 very different homes and gardens during the Autumn.

Departing Apr

Exploring Alice Springs and Uluru-Kata Tjuta National park by Motorbike

Explore on a Motorbike tour in the Outback and learn about historic Alice Springs, The MacDonnell ranges, and Uluru-Kata Tjuta national park. This escorted small group Motorbike tour for mature and senior travellers, travelling as a couple or solo travellers also visits the Hermannsburg Lutheran mission plus Henbury meteorite site learning about the Aboriginal outback and contemporary art. 

Departing Apr, Jun, Aug, Nov, Mar, Jul

Small group tour exploring Alice Springs and Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

Explore and learn about historic Alice Springs, The MacDonnell ranges, and Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. This escorted small group tour for mature and senior travellers, travelling as a couple or solo travellers also visits the Hermannsburg Lutheran mission plus Henbury meteorite site learning about the Aboriginal outback and contemporary art. 

Departing Apr, May, Jun, Aug, Nov, Mar, Jul
Pre-guaranteed

Exploring the Hawkesbury-Nepean River small group tour

Explore the Hawkesbury river region with a small group tour for mature and senior travellers, travelling as a couple or solo travellers . Learning about the Aboriginal outback and contemporary art. as you travel up and down and beside the Hawkesbury river.

Departing Jun, Aug, Nov, Mar, Apr, Jul
Sunrise reflected on Eyre Peninsula SA
Guaranteed

Eyre & Yorke Peninsulas, and the Gawler Ranges

This small group tour to the Yorke Peninsula, Eyre Peninsula, and the Gawler Ranges is designed for mature and senior traveller or solo traveller to discover the hidden gems of South Australia. Visiting the lesser-known western half of South Australia to explore the pristine coasts of the Yorke Peninsula and Eyre Peninsula – often strikingly underdeveloped compared to the East Coast of Australia – and the rugged landscapes of the Gawler Ranges. Delve deeper, and you’ll find a fascinating and often unexpected local history.

Departing Sep, Oct, Nov, Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jul, Aug

Small group tour of Victoria for Senior travellers

This 16 day escorted small group tour of Victoria for the senior or mature traveller who enjoys learning whether as a couple or solo traveller explores an area of central Victoria that is rich in historic houses, gorgeous gardens and some amazing art.

16 days
Departing Feb, Mar, May, Aug, Oct, Nov, Jan

Small group tour of Queensland - 11 days

To short break in Queensland’s Outback is a small group tour taking for a glimpse of the landscape and history of the state. We you to learn about the Carnavorn Gorge, and also we travel high up into North Queensland to see the Dinosaurs of Winton and incredible Aboriginal rock art at Cathedral gorge.

 

11 days
Departing Feb, Mar, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct

Escorted small group tour of Western New South Wales

Discover the the Brewarrina fish traps, Aboriginal art at Mt Garrett and visit the opal fields of  White Cliffs. This small group also visits the World Heritage Site of Mungo man and lady stopping in Mungo National Park and other significant locations such as Broken Hill. 

Departing Mar, May, Jun, Jul, Sep, Oct, Aug

Small group tour of Melbourne

Explore and learn about  the Victorian history of Melbourne over a week. For the senior traveller, a small group tour holiday package to Melbourne city,  limited to 12 travellers.

7 days
Departing Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov
Dove Lake
Pre-guaranteed

Tours of Tasmania; exploring colonial history

Escorted program for couples and single travellers visiting Hobart, Launceston through the Tamar Valley along the rugged coastline of the north coast and heading back south to the pristine wilderness around Cradle Mountain and then on through Strahan, Queenstown and past Lake St Clair, before arriving back in Hobart. This 18 day small group tours to Tasmania for mature and senior travellers interested in the colonial history of Tasmania. We follow the footsteps of the colonists, visiting the churches where they worshipped, the houses in which they lived, the taverns where they drank and some of the mills in which they worked.

 

18 days
Departing Mar, Apr, Jun, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Jan, Feb
Dingo, Oodnadatta Track
Guaranteed

Small group tour of Australia's Flinders ranges

Escorted small group tour of the Flinders range in South Australia from Adelaide. Learn about Coober Pedy, Wilpena pound and water system of Lake Eyre as we explore and learn also about the history of the people who explored the Flinders.

Departing May, Jul, Aug, Oct, Feb, Mar, Apr
Arnhem Land
Guaranteed

Darwin and Kakadu small group tour

Explore and learn as part of a small group tour for seniors on this package tour to Darwin and Kakadu National park, a UNESCO world heritage site. This program also visits Arnhem land. Our focus is on ecology, landscapes and history on this 14 day program in the far north of the Northern Territory.

Departing Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Feb, Mar
Tasmanian coastline
Guaranteed

Discovering Tasmania’s Wildlife

Small group tour of up to 15 mature and seniors travellers visiting and learning about Tasmania’s wildlife and history. Visit Maria Island, Freycinet peninsula, Cradle Mountain, Strahan, Lake St Clair and Bruny Island over 16 days.

19 days
Departing May, Feb, Mar, Apr, Sep, Oct, Nov, Jan

Escorted small group tour North East New South Wales

Small group tour exploring the the North East region of New South Wales for mature and senior travellers. Travel, learn and explore about New England’s history, the coast, National parks and regional towns in a time capsule surrounding Mudgee.

Departing Mar, May, Aug, Sep, Oct, Jul, Apr

The Darling River Run small group tour

Small group tour for the mature and senior traveller of the Darling river. Learn about the history, culture and landscapes of the Darling, a key part of the Australian river system including Aboriginal trading routes and aquaculture. Suitable for mature and senior couples or solo travellers.

Departing Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct

Small group tour of Eastern and Central Australia

 Small group tour for couples and solo travelers touring most of the Australian territory, travelling through the outback and visiting many of the famous sights as well as off the beaten track locations, giving you the opportunity the explore and meet our people in the most remote locations. Learn about the history of the people who explored the deserts, from indigenous communities to Europeans, as well as Burke and Wills, visit Bourke, Normantown, Charters Towers far north Kakadu, returning back along the Stuart Highway to Adelaide and cross country to Sydney through the Blue Mountains. 

Departing Jun, Mar
Birdsville Track
Guaranteed

Long tour of Australia for a small group

 Small group tour for senior couples and solo travellers touring most of the Australian territory, travelling through the outback and visiting many of the famous sights as well as off the beaten track locations, giving you the opportunity the explore and meet our people in the most remote locations. Learn about the history of the people who explored the deserts, from indigenous communities to Europeans, as well as Burke and Wills, visit White Cliffs,  Marree and far north Kakadu and the Kimberley.

Departing Mar, Jun, Aug
Bungle Bungles
Guaranteed

Small group tour of Australia's Kimberley

Escorted small group tour of the Kimberley. We explore and visit Cape Leveque, The Bungles, Bell Gorge, Mitchell plateau & Halls Creek in the dry season. Amazing landscapes intertwined with Aboriginal communities resident more than 45,000 years. We also view the Wolfe Creek meteorite crater.

Departing May, Aug, Sep
Field of Rosy Everlasting wildflowers growing in Western Australia.
Guaranteed

Wildflowers tour of Western Australia

Escorted small group tour for senior and mature travellers as a couple of solo traveller. Upto 12 people of WA’s Wildflower regions including Esperance and the Fitzgerald river National park. Local guides and program leader share knowledge about this fascinating region whilst in bloom.

Departing Aug, Sep, Oct

Small group tour to Southern Highlands and Canberra

Explore and learn on an escorted small group tour of key places to visit in NSW including the Southern Highlands and Canberra. Program for mature and senior travellers limited to 12 people for couples and solo travellers. 

 

Departing Feb, Mar, Apr, Sep, Oct

Articles

Small Group Summer School Experience

Summer School Experience for Odyssey Travellers

5 mins read

Each January Odyssey offers typically a fortnight of classes in Hobart, Tasmania in a classroom setting on a range of topics. The classes are small typically up to 15 retirees sharing a passion and enthusiasm for what their interests maybe. Our students are often regular attendees to Hobart having made lasting associations on our collection of Small group tours  or exploring what a Odyssey program is like before travelling with us.

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.

A small group tour of Australia is a journey between cities with up to 250 years of settlement history and an outback, which has some of the oldest known geologic material on earth. But importantly, it has one of the longest and truly fascinating known periods of human settlement. Indigenous Australians settled via a land bridge on the continent from Southeast Asia at least 85,000 years before the first Europeans from Portugal and Spain began exploration in the 17th century. For senior and mature travellers, a small group tour of Australia is a unique experience.

FAQs

One of the best way to experience what Tasmania has to offer is with a small group tour. Odyssey specialises in this kind of coach tour, offering an engaged and intimate tour of Tasmania ideal for seniors, solo travellers, and couples heading to Australia and Tasmania. These holidays for over 60’s to Australia explore the forests and expanse of wild Tasmania, the small town rustic charm of rural Tasmania and the serene natural beauty of this great state.

An escorted Tasmania tour has a tour itinerary schedule that will typically visit all the popular destinations a traveller seeks when visiting South Australia, with the specific information being available on each of the tour page’s itinerary section. Some of the best known highlights many of our South Australian tours offer include the capital Hobart, the Freycinet Peninsula, Cradle Mountain, and Lake St Clair.

When joining Odyssey Traveller, we seek to journey the road less travelled. We provide small group escorted tours of Tasmania that explore not only the big named attractions, but the little places along the way that give out tours their engaged, and genuine character.

Our Tasmania vacation packages (senior holiday packages) are small group tours that explore, and provide the opportunity to learn as you travel to Hobart, the Freycinet Peninsula, The wild west coast of Tasmania, Bruny Island or the historic colonial penal settlement of Port Arthur. Many of these are places where stories come to life, where the wildlife can be seen, landscapes leave you in awe, and the history of colonial settlement creates introspective moments to pause and wonder. Though this is a package holiday, we ask you to arrange your domestic flights, ensuring you get the best travel deals available to start down the path of the perfect holiday.

The character of Australia’s landscape, combined with its urban density, make Australia feel like a somewhat odd assortment of city states at times. With this in mind, the best way to travel the large distances between state capitals, particularly outside of the southeast, is to arrange flights in advance.

Odyssey traveller operates it tour dates around the ideal times of the year when travelling to our many destinations, with each different climate and season bringing a slightly different experience depending on the destination, and type of tour involved.

With this in mind, when to visit your chosen destination is both up to you, and our tour availability. For travellers visiting Australia from the northern hemisphere, please bear in mind that down under we have our seasons at the opposite times of the year, so for us holiday season means barbeques and beaches, not snow and hot cocoa!

Tasmania has a single time zone, Australian Eastern Standard Time (UTC+10). Daylight savings are observed in Tasmania between the first Sunday of October and the first Sunday of April.

If you’re on an Odyssey tour, we take care of tipping so you don’t need to give it a second thought. However, in your free time, or if travelling independently, it’s essential that you tip an appropriate amount for services. Tipping is not customary in Australian culture, although a small tip will generally be appreciated.

Wi-fi is widely available in Tasmania, and should be freely accessible in most hotels, cafes and restaurants.

Responsible travel tips for Australia

  • Before departing, make sure you have a number of AU dollars in a range of denominations. You don’t want to be carrying around enormous amounts of cash, but take enough to make it easy to pay in locations that might not accept credit card. It will also help you avoid card transaction fees, and it makes tipping a breeze.
  • Carry a card in your wallet or purse from your local hotel, to assist you with the return journey if you do become lost.
  • As a senior traveler ensure that you are covered by travel insurance. If you need advice on this feel free to contact Odyssey and we’ll be able to help.
  • Before departing, make sure you have a number of AUD in a range of denominations. You don’t want to be carrying around enormous amounts of cash, but take enough to make it easy to pay in locations that might not accept credit card. It will also help you avoid card transaction fees, and it makes tipping a breeze.
  • When travelling independently, make sure you check the opening hours of shops and museums so that you don’t miss out! Also be certain to check whether your trip coincides with any public holidays, so you can plan accordingly.
  • Before departing on your trip, contact your bank to inform them that you may be making purchases overseas. Otherwise, they may flag any activity on your account as suspicious. Also, check which ATMs and banks are compatible with your cards, to ensure you can withdraw cash with minimal fees.

Getting around

Odyssey travels by coach and occasionally uses local transport, including trains and ferries. Specifics are always outlined in your tour itinerary. There are no train services in Tasmania, so bus and coach services are your best bet if using public transport. Metro Tasmania operate bus services in Hobart, Launceston and Burnie and the surrounding areas of these locations, while coach services run the length of the island.

Accommodation

In major cities, Odyssey stays in centrally located 3-4 star hotels, with easy access to public transport. In smaller towns or rural areas, we usually stay in family-run hotels or guesthouses. On our longstay tours, during which you spend the length of the tour in a single location, we use serviced apartments.

Tour guides

Odyssey as a reputable tour operator (est 1983) always engages locals as guides with regional knowledge to ensure an authentic experience on a guided tour during which you can learn as much as possible about the history and cultural experiences of the places you visit. The local guide is supported by a tour leader who manages a group size of up to 15 people on the small group adventure

Geography, Environment, & Weather

The island of Tasmania lies 240 km south of the Australian mainland and covers an area of 68,401 square km. Tasmania is Australia’s most mountainous state, with the Central Highlands dominating the centre of the country. Much of Tasmania is covered by forest, with the Tarkine Australia’s largest temperate rainforest. Many rivers run through Tasmania, the largest of which are the Derwent, Tamar and South Esk rivers.

Tasmania has a temperate climate, with warm summers and cool, wet winters. Depending on when you intend to travel, check the weather reports and dress accordingly

World heritage sites

There are 1 property in Tasmania listed on the World Heritage List. You can view the listed property here: (https://whc.unesco.org/en/statesparties/au). Tasmania’s listed properties includes:

Tasmanian Wilderness, which contains one of the last remaining expanses of temperate rainforest in the world.

Festivals & Events

The arts are widely celebrated in Tasmania with festivals and events frequently cropping up on the calendar. The Festival of Voices is Tasmania’s largest singing festival, with singers and vocal artists flocking to Hobart for two weeks in July for workshops, performances and concerts. Festivale in Febraury brings together Tasmania’s loves for eating, drinking and performing, with over 70 stalls serving food and drink alongside live music and dance performances. Cygnet Folk Festival is dedicated to folk music and acts, with the town of Cygnet playing host to 3 days worth of performances and workshops on niche activities such as banjo playing and folk dancing.

Every Saturday Morning the Hobart Salamanca Markets are something you won’t want to miss, with a delicious and beautiful assortment of foods, drinks, and local goods.

Another annual event unique to Hobart is the ‘Dark Mofo’ festival. Not for the faint of heart, though beloved in Hobart, this controversial mid-winter festival includes displays of performance art, live music, an annual nude swim and gothic banquet.

Reading list

Vanishing Towns: Tasmania’s Ghost Towns and Settlements by Michael Holmes
In Search of Hobart, by Peter Timm
The Convict Letter Writer, by Alice Meredith Hodgson
In Tasmania, by Nicholas Shakespeare

Eating & Drinking

Tasmania is famed for its fresh, organic produce, and has food options galore. Seafood is abundant, with fresh salmon, oysters, and wild abalone being particular highlights of Tasmanian seafood. The rich soil of Tasmania has meant the Apple Isle has some of Australia’s finest produce, including wagyu beef, Flinders Island lamb, olive oil and black truffles. Dairy produce is a big part of Tasmanian food, with many varieties of cheese produced including blue cheese, brie, camembert, and even experimental varieties such as wasabi cheddar.

Besides fine food, Tasmania also produces many varieties of beer, wine and spirits. Many local producers of cider, whisky and gin have cropped up across the island, while Tasmania is also home to some of Australia’s leading cool climate wines. If you’re looking to have drink during your travels, be sure to drop by one of the many boutique breweries, distilleries and wineries that dot the island.

Health & Safety

Generally speaking, Tasmania is safe to travel around in, though always exercise common sense while travelling.

Electricity Supply

Whenever you travel on your holidays for solo travellers over 60 Australia, it’s always wise to take an appropriate travel adaptor. The electricity supply in Australia runs at 230V and 50Hz. Australia uses the Type I electric plug, so make sure you have the right travel adaptor with you.

See All

Tour Reviews

Our leader, David Daintree, did a fantastic job. He was able to impart his knowledge and keep an easy-going vibe to the course. Most enjoyable. The two guest speakers were great. As I was reading Alison Alexander's book I was especially pleased to meet her and hear her talk on convicts in Tasmania.
Participant 2018
It all worked out very well - as usual!
Participant 2018
Very knowledgeable with a good sense of humour. Well prepared.
Participant 2018
David is extremely knowledgeable, courteous and friendly. He wasn't rigid with the itinerary (times) as he wanted all the participants to enjoy and see what interested them the most. He did an excellent job.
Participant 2018
Very knowledgeable coach drivers, courteous and friendly (as were they all) but Stuart bent over backwards to show us various landmarks around Hobart on our last day.
Participant 2018
Morning teas and lunches were superb.
Participant 2018
I thoroughly enjoyed the whole program
Participant 2018
It was my first time with Odyssey & I enjoyed it very much
Participant 2018

Join 22,383 travellers receiving our weekly newsletter.