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    Victoria | SW Coast and Grampians | Food Wine Walking
    6 Nights
    **ASK For 2024 dates and pricing
    From the Southern Ocean to the Southern Grampians

    Known as “the birthplace of Victoria”, the far south west coastal region of our home state is wonderfully wild and remote. This new tour here explores this fascinating landscape before the group head north across the plains to the spectacular mountains of the Southern Grampians. Traditional owners have been occupying these ranges for thousands of years and refer to them as Gariwerd.

    With three nights in each location the group get to enjoy a fantastic variety of hikes, seeing seal colonies, volcanoes, petrified forests, unique rock formations and a rich diversity of flora and fauna.

    As with all tours from this local supplier they focus on the very best local produce along the way and the final evening is at the renowned Royal Mail in Dunkeld, where the group enjoy the inspirational cuisine of chef Robin Wickens. Not only does The Royal Mail have one of Australia’s finest working kitchen gardens but also an award-winning wine cellar.

    This trip stays in two accommodations, a charming guesthouse in Portland by the coast and Mount Sturgeon Homestead in Dunkeld at the southern tip of the Grampians mountain range.

    9 - 15 March 2024 Tour Date
    What’s included? Tour Highlights

    What’s included?

    Tour Highlights

    What’s included?

    What’s included?

    • Two professional guides to look after your every need and bring the area to life
    • Six nights’ accommodation, 3 nights each in Portland and Dunkeld
    • Five fully-guided hikes
    • Fabulous dinners every evening with excellent local and award-winning wines
    • Final evening in one of Victoria’s best restaurants: The Royal Mail in Dunkeld
    • Exceptional picnic lunches and snacks en route
    • Private tour of UNESCO World Heritage site, Budj Bim, with an indigenous guide
    • Support vehicle
    • Free transfers to and from Mt Gambier airport
    • Comprehensive pre-trip information

     

    Accommodation
    The group stay in two different accommodations on this tour, 3 nights in each.

    In Portland: Victoria House – a heritage bluestone Guesthouse close to the sea

    In Dunkeld: Mount Sturgeon Homestead – a fabulously-restored colonial house on the Royal Mail estate

    Tour Highlights

    Tour Highlights

    • Fabulous hiking in coastal and mountainous landscapes
    • Visit UNESCO World Heritage site Budj Bim
    • Dine in one of Victoria’s finest restaurants

    Walking/Terrain
    Shortest day: 4km Longest day: 16km

    This is a Level 3 hike with 5½ days of hiking. Undulating terrain on the coast with two big climbs (up to 600m ascent/descent) when in the Grampians. The trails are a combination of purpose-built paths, farm and bush tracks. In the Grampians expect more rugged terrain and some boulder-hopping. Sturdy boots with good ankle support are recommended. Walking poles are an advantage, especially for the descents. The support vehicle meets the group at lunch each day except for the second day. On this day there is no van access and the guides carry the picnic for you. In order to maximize your enjoyment of your holiday we recommend you exercise regularly prior to the trip in order to build up your fitness level.

    Valid for travel
    2022 | 26 March - 01 April | 26 November - 02 December | 25 - 31 March 2023
    Offer expires
    1 Mar 2024 unless sold prior

    Itinerary

    Collapse all Expand all

    Day 1

    Arrive Portland or Mt Gambier

    You have the option to self-drive to Portland or fly to Mt Gambier (SA) from where we will meet you at 9.30am (South Australian time). Rex Airlines flies to Mt Gambier from Melbourne (3 days/week) and Adelaide (weekdays). For guests driving to Portland we will meet you at our accommodation at 12pm.

    A short drive takes us to Mount Richmond, known as Benwerrin or “Long Hill” in the Gundidjmara language. After lunch in a lovely shady picnic spot we enjoy a short walk in the National Park, exploring the coastal forest which sits at the top of this extinct volcano. Grass trees flourish in the volcanic soil and our hike affords far-reaching views over lush farmland all the way to Discovery Bay. After our hike we return to Portland and check-in to our accommodation. The delightful and welcoming Victoria House guesthouse is close to the town centre. After a welcome drink we head out to a local restaurant for dinner. (4km)

    Day 2

    Glenelg River

    A short drive takes us to the start of our hike, just north of Nelson on the Glenelg river. This majestic river rises in the Grampians and, as it flows slowly through the limestone country
    of south-west Victoria, it carves a spectacular deep gorge. An easy hike follows the cliff path along the gorge through the National Park. We have magnificent views over the river some
    fifty metres below and the remote area attracts abundant bird life. We have our picnic along the trail and in the afternoon we return to Portland. European settlement history for the Colony of Victoria began on the shores of Portland Bay with the arrival of Edward Henty in 1834. The city is often referred to as “the birthplace of Victoria”. There is time in the afternoon to walk around the town and discover many of the heritage registered buildings. Dinner is in a local restaurant. (11.5km)

    Glenelg River

    Day 3

    South West Coastal Walk Section

    Our hike today again follows the long-distance trail of the South West Coast Walk. We start overlooking Discovery Bay, looking out at the Blowholes, before passing by the fascinating sandstone rock formations of the petrified forest. Our trail hugs the cliffs, with stunning views of the water below. We often see kangaroos and echidnas on the track and maybe a whale out to sea. After a picnic lunch overlooking the ocean we enjoy a short boat trip out to the seal colony. The colony consists of over 600 Australian Fur Seals who lounge on the rocks and frolic in the bay throughout the year. Our trail then descends to exquisite Bridgewater Bay, a tiny settlement overlooking a lovely white-sand beach. We stop in at the local café for a drink before the short drive back to Portland for our final evening there. (9.5km)

    Day 4

    Depart Portland for the Southern Grampians

    We depart Portland after breakfast (self-drive guests will follow in convoy today). Heading north we stop at Budj Bim UNESCO World Heritage listed landscape – one of the oldest examples of
    permanent indigenous settlement. We spend the morning with an indigenous tour guide and experience a culture that is over 60,000 years old. We see the remains of Australia’s first and largest freshwater stone aquaculture system. After the tour we enjoy a bush tucker lunch prepared by the Budj Bim rangers.

    We arrive in the Southern Grampians in the afternoon and check into Mount Sturgeon Homestead, a beautifully restored, historic 1800’s colonial house. The property is set on a working farm and from the verandah and sitting room we can enjoy the sweeping views of Wurgarri (Mount Sturgeon). Enjoy an in-house dinner this evening.

    Day 5

    Relax or climb | Wine Tasting at Royal Mail Hotel

    Today you can choose to curl up with a good book or just relax on the terrace. For the more energetic, after breakfast a short drive takes us to the base of Mud-dadjug (Mount Abrupt) – our hike for the day. The track climbs steadily up sandstone steps through a mixed forest of stringybarks, grass trees, banksias and tea-tree before arriving at the ridge leading up to the summit. From here there are panoramic views over woodland, farmland, the northern
    ranges of the Grampians and south to Dunkeld. We descend back to the start and head back to our Homestead for lunch on the verandah. (6.6km)

    In the afternoon we join the sommelier from the Royal Mail Hotel to visit their award-winning wine cellar. It houses the largest privately owned collection of Bordeaux and Burgundy in the Southern Hemisphere and holds approximately 28,000 bottles! After the tour we’ll enjoy a tasting before returning to the Homestead for dinner.

    Day 6

    End day hike

    Our final hike starts from the back gate! We cross the creek before following a private track through bushland – with wonderful views to the Homestead and the adjoining farm property – which brings us to the National Park and the start of our climb of Wurgarri (Mount Sturgeon). A steady climb on a rocky trail leads us to the summit with magnificent views, before
    descending via a different track to our picnic. This is the final section of the new Grampians Peaks Trail which will be launched in early 2021. After lunch we leave the National Park and follow a pretty trail along the river through the estate’s property to return to our Homestead. (16km)

    Our final dinner is at the celebrated Royal Mail. Robin Wickens is an innovative chef and The Royal Mail is home to Australia’s largest working restaurant kitchen garden. The farm where Mt Sturgeon Homestead is located supplies beef and lamb which are born and bred for use specifically in the Royal Mail Hotel dining rooms, and further produce is grown and foraged for in surrounding orchards, olive groves and wild pastures. Our menu is matched to wines from the wonderful cellar we have visited the previous day.

    End day hike

    Day 7

    Departure day

    The tour ends after breakfast. Transfers to Mount Gambier airport provided – arriving at Mount Gambier by 11am (SA time)

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    * Conditions

    All tours and arrangements are covered by both TravelManagers Australia Terms & Conditions

    And the terms and conditions of our tour operator

    Subject to availability at the time of booking and deposit being received

    Travel insurance is highly recommended

    *Special gift subject to availability – alpaca / merino walking socks

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