The world’s smallest continent has it all. Extraordinary wildlife, unique flora, forests which appear to go on forever, rolling pastureland, vineyards, plantations, mountains, rivers, and dramatic coastal scenery. Nowhere is this more true than on the island of Tasmania which, due to its isolated position, has retained a refreshingly ‘untouched’ feel both in its landscape and heritage.
The old cliché of ‘more British than the British’ sits easily with Tasmania, where the predominant settlers were Anglo-Saxon in origin. Due to its small population and remoteness, the island has been by-passed by any massive economic development and the result for the visitor is sheer bliss. Unlike most of Australia, where the old has been torn down and replaced with new, Tasmania has a wealth of historic homes and buildings. During our seven days exploring the island we will spend time on Maria Island, a special place with historical ruins and remarkable wildlife and we will also discover Port Arthur with its impressive architecture and delightful gardens. To experience the Tasmanian Wilderness, which is recognised by UNESCO, there will be opportunities to join guided walks with our naturalists through the Freycinet National Park and the iconic Cradle Mountain National Park with its rich vegetation of ancient rainforests and alpine heaths.
After crossing the Tasman Sea, we begin our exploration of New Zealand which will include three islands off the usual cruise route, Ulva Island, Stewart Island and White Island. In addition we will explore New Zealand’s capital of Wellington, Dunedin’s 19th century buildings and botanical gardens, the Art Deco town of Napier and the famous thermal springs at Rotorua. Our voyage aboard the all-suite MS Caledonian Sky has been perfectly timed for the spring when temperatures will be comfortable for touring with the added advantage that flowers should be in bloom. The itinerary is brimming with highlights and includes a wonderful balance of history, culture, flora, fauna and architecture. With the added advantage of our Zodiac landing craft we will be able to land in otherwise inaccessible places making the most of the region’s extraordinary natural attractions and our knowledge will be enhanced by the expert onboard team.