7 days
Level 2 - Moderate
Odyssey Summer Schools map

Tasmanian Wilderness Summer School | A tour for seniors

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

For more details, click the ‘Top 5’ or ‘Itinerary’ buttons above! If you’re keen to experience this tour, please call or send an email. Or, to book, simply fill in the form on the right hand side of this page. This is one of a number of summer school programs offered by Odyssey Traveller Australia each year.

Odyssey offers a diverse range of summer school learning programs for mature and senior travellers each January for a two to three week period. All the courses are based in Hobart. To view a complete list of all the Summer schools offered each year, please click through on this link to reach the relevant web page on Odyssey Traveller.

Places are limited, early booking on any of the programs is recommended to avoid disappointment.

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.

PDF of Tour

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 drive to 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 enjoy a return walk of approximately 1,7km from Ferntree Park to Silver Falls. If you have more energy today, you can walk the 2,7km “Hobart Rivulet Track”, from World Heritage Women’s Female Factory (Prison) to the City.  The second leg is ‘all downhill’ and follows the Cascade Stream.

If thirsty mid-way, you can stop at Ferntree Tavern for a coffee or wine.

Accommodation: Ibis Styles Hobart

Overview: Today we enter the South-West: in a long day we visit the famous (or notorious?) Lake Pedder and the Gordon Dam, the Mount Field National Park, Russell Falls, and the Tarn Shelf.

Today’s walk around lake Dobson, a distance of about 2 km. The track is mostly flat but not formed, so rough but well worn. There is also 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.

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

Accommodation: Ibis Styles Hobart

Overview: Today we start early to 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 do a 40 min return walk to Lake Osborne from Huon Valley Geeveston. Lake Osborne has not been affected by recent fires and is in its pristine state.

Lake Osborne has a large parking area and large undercover picnic area, where we will enjoy our packed lunch. We will offer a stop at Geeveston for morning coffee and time permitting, Willie Smith Apple Shed on the return leg.

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. 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).

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