7 days
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Tasmanian Wilderness Summer School 

Tasmania Wilderness Summer School is a small group tour for seniors held each year in Hobart in early January. Designed for those who don’t want hard hiking or an uncomfortable campsite, this summer school allows you to experience the great wilderness of Tasmania with an educational focus, while staying at a comfortable ‘base camp’ in a Hobart hotel.

The great advantage of this approach is that you will leave with a deep understanding of the Tasmanian environment while also witnessing some amazing natural wonders: we’ll visit beautiful places such as the Huon Valley and Mt Nelson, not forgetting some of the wild areas on the very doorstep of Hobart. We travel each day to see a different aspect of the rich Tasmanian landscape.  Days will be moderately long to cover the distances, but there will be opportunities for walking – easy or harder - at each destination. Regardless of whether you're an active walker or not, there will be something suited to your fitness level.

This summer school program is designed to deepen participants' understanding of Tasmania's wilderness, with a series of talks, guided walks, and nature expeditions.

Summer School classes for mature and senior travellers

Odyssey offers a collection of week-long learning programs offered each January in Hobart, Tasmania. Courses are refreshed for each year’s programs. Classes are limited to 15 people.

Over the last twenty-five years, Odyssey’s small group Summer School Program has given countless travellers an unforgettable educational and travel experience. Each summer, we prepare and offer fun and challenging special interest courses and programs designed to give travellers the options and opportunity to learn about history, religion, Australian culture, and the arts, among many other topics. These courses are designed in such a way that enthusiasts can deepen their knowledge of a particular topic or be initiated into new understandings on a subject.

We don’t quite live on campus, but we will be staying in a comfortable hotel in central Hobart! We will enjoy welcome and farewell dinners in between our seminars, as well as daily morning tea and lunch.

These programs offered are tailor-made for mature-aged and senior travellers who are eager to explore in-depth a particular topic. Summer school learning programs for mature and senior travellers who are and remain curious about the world. Read more about our philosophy of the Odyssey Summer Schools.

Frequently Asked Questions About Odyssey Traveller Summer School

Odyssey Traveller’s small group Summer School program has given countless travellers an unforgettable educational and travel experience. Each summer, we offer numerous special interest courses and programs. Courses are designed for senior travellers who are eager to deepen their knowledge of a particular topic or be initiated into new understandings of a particular subject. Often these courses underpin our European small groups tours for seniors that are offered each year. We focus on history, religion, Australian culture, and the arts, among many other topics.

Summer School lecturers and instructors are current or retired university lecturers or experts with a particular passion for teaching their chosen subject. Many of our lecturers have extensive teaching experience, and are gifted educators with the ability to adapt material based on the group’s needs. Many of them have taught with us for several years. They have fine-tuned their courses to allow for deep engagement on the part of participants.

Our teaching rooms are located in a state-of-the-art conference centre in central Hobart. This location enables us to screen relevant documentaries and films, and to maintain engaging teaching environments. This conference facility is perfectly situated, just a a short walk from our hotel.

Summer School programs are designed to encourage participation. Expect regular discussions and tutorial exercises, as well as various group activities. The majority of our courses also feature memorable educational excursions, which take full advantage of all that Hobart has to offer. Our “Tasmanian Wilderness” tour features daily excursions to numerous walking destinations. Other programs feature outings and excursions to sites of cultural significance, in order to blend classroom learning with more interactive and hands-on educational experiences.

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Overview: After checking in to the Ibis, we come together for a welcome dinner at a nearby restaurant (TBC). This is a chance to meet the group leader, other members of the Tasmanian Wilderness program, along with other Summer Schools participants.

Accommodation: Ibis Styles Hobart

Overview: Today we’ll cross the Tasman bridge for a quick visit to Rosny Point, at the eastern shores, with Panoramic views of Hobart. We then drive to the top of Mount Wellington. On clear days you can see far and wide, across the Tasman Sea and into the wild South West National Park, World Heritage Area. We will enjoy lunch at the remodeled ‘Ferntree Park’.

After lunch the group gets the chance to walk the 1.7km Silver Falls walking track and the more energetic to continue along the 1.4km Fern
Glade walking track back to the bus at Ferntree Park.

On the return drive to the Ibis Hotel you may choose to walk the 2.4km Cascade Rivulet Track from the Female Factory in South Hobart to the CBD.

Accommodation: Ibis Styles Hobart

Overview: After an early 8.30am departure we stop for morning coffee (for those needing their daily coffee fix)  at the ‘Possum Shed’ cafe on the banks of the
Tyenna River in the small hamlet of Westerway.

We then drive South-West to Lake Pedder which is famous for its spectacular scenery.

After lunch we drive a very short distance to the Gordon Dam, a spectacular engineering feature and if you are brave enough you may walk across the top of dam wall.
The final stop is a visit to Russell Falls (Mt Field National Park) on the return leg to Hobart.

This is a long day so please bring a few extra snacks to keep your energy up.

There is a walk less than 1 km to and from Russel Falls, a flat walk on formed track.

Accommodation: Ibis Styles Hobart

Overview: Today we drive to the Tasman Penninsular, one of Australia’s most significant heritage areas. It has a fascinating Marine Sea life and Seabirds and some of Australia’s highest Sea Cliffs. Keep a close lookout for sea eagles soaring above the cliffs, pods of dolphins surfing the bow wave, albatross wheeling on the wind and shearwaters skimming the swells.

The program leader will accompany you to the Tasmanian Devil Conservation Park. Come face to face with endangered devils, meet little endemic quolls and pademelons, hand feed friendly kangaroos and join some crazy parrots in Tasmanian’s only free-flight bird show. The all-weather nature trail will take you through a delightful native botanic garden filled with wild honeyeaters and wrens, past majestic eucalypts and streamside ferneries.

After departing the Conservation Park, if time and weather permits, we will visit 3 geological sites along the coastline before returning to the Ibis.

Today you would only be walking a few hundred meters on formed tracks.

Accommodation: Ibis Styles Hobart

Overview: Today we travel south of Hobart to the Huon Valley, which offers some gorgeous sightseeing.

Due to the very sad bushfires earlier in 2019, the Tahune Airwalk is not yet open for visitors. Instead we will start the day with our fist stop at in the town of Geeveston for morning coffee and cake under the ornamental cherry trees at ‘The Old Bank’ cafe. This town has undergone a significant transformation over the past 12 years. You can spend time at the the forest interpretation & visitor centre, as well as visit the highlight of the town -the Platypus viewing platform along the Kermandie River.

We then journey through to the southern forests and we may still witness evidence from the great fire destruction of 2019 around the region of Tahune Air Walk. We enjoy lunch on the Hartz Mountains and thereafter we will walk 1km to the Arve Falls, followed by an optional  2km walk to Lake Osborne.
On the return trip to Hobart we stop at the Willie Smith Apple Shed (apple museum,distillery and large café).

Accommodation: Ibis Styles Hobart

Overview: This day has been revised since last year, due to some repetitive visits and feedback. Today will be a low key day with a visit to historic and National Trust listed township of Richmond, where you will be visiting the historic Richmond Bridge (1824), the oldest Catholic Church in Australia (1836) and the
Old Richmond Gaol which has an exceptional self-guided audio presentation. After Richmond, we will visit the Puddleduck Vineyard, which is a family friendly vineyard with its own dedicated seated tasting room screened off from the public.  Formal tastings with the winemaker are $15 per head (not included in the course cost).

In the evening, we enjoy a farewell dinner at a nearby restaurant.

Accommodation: Ibis Styles Hobart

Overview: After breakfast at the hotel, we say our farewells and the program draws to a close.

Visits to different places of extraordinary natural beauty and learn something about the flora of this unique island.
Visit the Tasman Penninsular, the home of Australia’s most significant convict era penal settlement.
Experience a window to the South-West Wilderness in the Hartz National Park, with a leisurely walk to the glacial Lake Dobson, and marvel at some 200 plant species in this sub-alpine region of Tasmania.
Opportunities each day, for those who want to, to do some bush walking.
Meet some Tasmanian wildlife, including the Tasmanian Devil.

What’s included in our Tour

  • Six nights of accommodation in central Hobart.
  • Lectures and handouts as indicated.
  • Services of a study leader and lecturers.
  • Six breakfasts, five lunches, and two dinners.
  • Complimentary wifi.

What’s not included in our Tour

  • Comprehensive travel insurance.
  • Return airfares to and from Hobart.
  • Airport transfers to/from your Hobart Hotel
  • Costs of a personal nature.
Tasmania Wilderness
Tasmanian Wilderness summer school