7 days
Level 2 - Moderate

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.

PDF of Tour

Overview: The tour will begin with a Welcome Dinner and an opportunity to meet other Summer School participants.

Accommodation: Ibis Styles Hobart

Overview: Today we’ll do an orientation tour of Hobart, including a 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.

A walk along the ‘Pipeline Track’ is available for those who want to stretch their legs. A well graded downhill track, with historic features highlighted by interpretation panels along the way.

The Pipeline Track is from Ferntree to Waterworks, about 3,5 km of mostly flat and gently sloping down, track. There are some (secure) sandstone steps with rail and a few cobbled, sloped grades.

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 Port Arthur, one of Australia’s most significant heritage areas. It has a fascinating Marine Sealife and Seabirds and some of Australia’s highest Sea Cliffs. Those who are up for a little adventure on the water, Odyssey offer an award winning 3-hour wilderness cruise, at an additional $50 per person. 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.

For those who prefer staying on land, 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.  We’ll go as far south as Geeveston, and do the Tahune Air Walk. *TBA closer to date due to undergoing repairs.

The famous Tahune AirWalk is an elevated walkway 30 metres above the forest floor, with the final cantilever section sitting at a height of 50 metres above the Huon River, with spectacular views to the confluence of the Huon and Picton and beyond to the peaks of the World Heritage Area.

Basic fitness is required to complete the 619 metre-length of the AirWalk. The return journey takes about 50 minutes – more if you stop for photographs, spot birdlife or pause to enjoy the clean, fresh scents of the forest.

There are only sloped or flat walkways on formed tracks with a few small steps, the total walk length being about 1 km.

Accommodation: Ibis Styles Hobart

Overview: On our last day we will enjoy a leisurable day at the Bonorong Wild Life park to see Tasmanian Devils at first hand.

You will enjoy a guided tour, including a talk on the Tasmanian Devil, as well as seeing the Tassie devil eat a snack, learn about their quirky personalities as well as some of the threats they face and the efforts to help protect them.

In the afternoon, we will visit the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, before a short drive to Mt Nelson famous lookout point to take in a breathtaking view, before getting back to the Hotel in time to get ready for the evening’s farewell dinner.

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

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.
Optional award-winning wilderness cruise off Port Arthur, with a chance to see Sea Eagles, Dolphins and the highest Sea cliffs in Australia!
Experience the stunning Tahune Air Walk; a steel canopy walkway in Huon Valley, southern Tasmania.* (TBA closer to date due to undergoing repairs)
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.

Odyssey Summer Schools map

Tasmania Wilderness
Tasmanian Wilderness summer school

Tour Reviews

February 1, 2018

Nick Mooney is an excellent leader. His knowledge in so many areas is extensive. It became obvious when meeting other local people that he is regarded very highly. As with Trevor, our driver, nothing was too much trouble for him when trying to make our trip memorable. 10 out of 10.

February 1, 2018

Nick had interesting comments and views on his field of expertise. Made me think about some of the things I took for granted.

February 1, 2018

I thoroughly enjoyed the whole program!

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