- International Flower & Garden Show
- Royal Botanic Gardens
- Colonial Tramcar Restaurant
- Seal Rocks
- National Vietnam Veterans Museum
- Antarctic Journey
- Penguin Parade
- Mornington Peninsula
- Arthurs Seat
- Cape Schanck
- Moonlit Sanctuary
- National Wool Museum
- Bellaraine Express
- Artvo 3D Interactive Art Gallery
Wednesday 27 March 2019
Welcome to our very special 7 Day tour to Southern Victoria featuring The Melbourne International Flower Show and the regions around Port Phillip Bay.
Sydney passengers depart on the morning XPT
Depart Bathurst on the NSW TrainLink Coach to Cootamundra where we transfer to the XPT. Sit back and enjoy the views while being whisked away to Melbourne. When we disembark from our train it is literally a two-minute walk to our accommodation where we settle in before dinner.
Thursday 28 March 2019
Melbourne Flower Show
Today is festival day! After breakfast we head off to the International Flower and Garden Show. This show is a hallmark event for Victoria and the most prestigious of its kind in Australia. Over 300 exhibits are “on show” representing horticulture, nurseries, landscape gardening, floristry and cut flowers together with their associated products and services. The show will simply take your breath away with the work of Australia’s leading floral designers creating exquisite feature displays. Spend as little or long as you want here, and you can even explore the shops in the city before mid-afternoon returning to our hotel.
Our early dinner this evening will be a very special one as we board Melbourne’s famous Colonial Tramcar Restaurant. The Colonial Tramcar Restaurant offers us an enjoyable perspective of Melbourne’s leafy boulevards and best attractions. This glossy, burgundy restaurant on wheels is the first travelling tramcar restaurant in the world and ensures a delightful innovative approach to dining. As we cruise the scenic streets of Melbourne, enjoy fine cuisine and the best of Australian wines. The atmosphere is cosy, the service friendly and the decor as inviting as the colonial period these trams reflect.
Friday 29 March 2019
This morning we are off to Cranbourne and visit the Royal Botanic Gardens – a division of the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne. This uniquely Australian garden is a place where we can immerse ourselves in Australian flora, landscapes, art and architecture. We experience arid inland landscapes usually found in central Australia, be amazed by the massive Escarpment Wall sculpture and admire the beauty of the 100,000 plants on display.
Our lunch stop today is at the National Vietnam Veterans Museum located on Phillip Island. The Museum currently has over 5 000 artefacts, memorabilia and photographic material which are displayed either under glass or in walk-through areas which allow the visitor to fully appreciate what it was actually like to be “in country” and absorb the era which was Vietnam.
We’ll check in to our accommodation and then head off for a little more sightseeing on the Island, before arriving at the Nobbies Centre. This area offers spectacular coastal scenery as well as viewing the offshore seal colony at Seal Rocks. We take a virtual journey into the wonderful world of the Southern Ocean and Antarctica and engage with the many interactive and immersive experiences included through the Antarctic Journey. We return to our hotel for dinner, and then we are off to the Penguin Parade, which is part of the Phillip Island Nature Park. The area is a reserve designed to protect and promote awareness of the Little Penguin After sunset, the penguins cross Summerland Beach to return to their sand-dune burrows. To see the Penguins come out of the surf in small groups and waddle up the beach is a unique and fascinating spectacle.
Saturday 30 March 2019
The Mornington Peninsula
We have a fantastic day of sightseeing planned today. Leaving Phillip Island we head around to the Mornington Peninsula, which is regarded as Melbourne’s summer playground. Our first stop is in Tyabb at the famous Tyabb Packing House Antiques Centre. It claims to house Australia’s largest collection of antiques and collectables! There are over 30 dealers here specialising in antiques, deco, old wares, retro, vintage and specialty items – something for everyone. Not far away is the Ashcombe Maze & Lavender Gardens which is home to Australia’s oldest and most famous hedge maze, a beautiful circular rose maze, and the year round flowering Lavender Labyrinth, all set among 25 acres of world acclaimed gardens.
We have plenty of time to enjoy the gardens before our next stop at Arthurs Seat – the highest point of the Mornington Peninsula. At 300 metres it provides spectacular panoramic views of Port Phillip Bay. On a clear day the view extends as far as the city skyline, the You Yang Mountain Ranges and Mount Macedon. We board the state of the art Arthurs Seat Eagle Chairlift and take the 14 minute gondola journey, as we travel over state forest making our way to the bottom.
Our coach will be waiting for us at the bottom and from here we into Mornington where we check into our hotel. For dinner we will be heading somewhere a little different and nearby is the award winning Moonlit Sanctuary. At night, Moonlit Sanctuary comes alive with its world-famous lantern-lit tours. Night birds are active, tiny Feathertail Gliders and giant Yellow-Bellied Gliders swoop around, and endangered Quolls, Pademelons and Bettongs forage for food. Here we enjoy a BBQ Dinner and our lantern lit tour.
Sunday 31 March 2019
The Mornington & Bellaraine Peninsulas
Today’s sightseeing takes us first to Cape Schanck where we’ll stop for a photo opportunity, then onto Portsea. Nearby is the Point Nepean National Park, the most westerly point of the peninsula. Closed to the public for over 100 years, Point Nepean National Park is now a popular tourist destination and home to the historic Quarantine Station established in 1852. Here we join a shuttle, The Transporter which will take us on a drive out to Point Nepean. We’ll see spectacular ocean scenery and have bay views across the ‘rip’ to Point Lonsdale. We’ll have time to inspect the old gun placements before returning to the coach and heading to Sorrento.
It’s here we board the Searoad Ferry across “the Heads” to Queenscliff on the Bellarine Peninsula. This enchanting historic town was established in 1838 as a pilot station to guide ships through the Rip (the narrow entrance to Port Phillip Bay). Queenscliff was once known as “Queen of Watering Places” and it is imbued with olde worlde character, historic hotels and homes, stores, rugged beaches and even a bona fide fort, built to defend Port Phillip Bay from foreign navies, privateers and other undesirables.
This afternoon we travel into Geelong and visit the National Wool Museum, with its many displays dealing with the arts of shearing, wool cleaning, classing, pressing and despatching. We complete our day by checking into our hotel for the night
Monday 1 April 2019
Geelong to Melbourne
Following breakfast, we welcome a local specialist, who will step on board the coach and give us a guided tour of Geelong. Situated on Corio Bay, an arm of Port Phillip Bay, it is the state’s most sizeable provincial city. Regardless of Geelong’s industrial reputation the CBD is quite elegant and beautiful owing to the Victorian public architecture, the floral gardens and parklands, the festive seaside qualities created by Corio Bay’s presence, the beauty of Eastern Park and the Botanical Gardens on the headland overlooking the bay, and the thoughtful presentation of the promenade at Eastern Beach.
On conclusion of our tour we drive to Portalington and board the Bellaraine Express for the 75-minute ferry trip into the Docklands. Relax and enjoy the scenery as this brand new, state of the art vessel will take us right into the heart of Melbourne and arrive in the Docklands District. We spend the majority of the afternoon here with its various shops, cafes, the Artvo 3D Interactive Art Gallery We have some free time to look through several of the large outlet stores in this precinct before we have a short transfer to our overnight hotel
Tuesday 2 April 2019
Following breakfast, we make our way across the road to the Southern Cross Railway Station to board our XPT which departs at 8.30am, Leaving Melbourne we can be assured of having been part of something quite spectacular during this tour.
Bathurst passengers changing at Cootamundra to our charter coach direct to Bathurst.
while Sydney passengers continue travelling on the XPT to arrive Sydney in the late evening.
To finish a wonderful holiday!
Rail Holidays Australia
Po Box 1430 Bathurst 2795
Telephone: 02 6331 1128 or 0418 337 263
*All prices and touring are correct at time of printing but are subject to change without notification.
Travel insurance strongly recommended.. Conditions apply.