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Eyre Peninsula & the Murray Princess

Price $300 AUD + BF Get tickets

Event description

14-day Eyre Peninsula & Murray Princess Tour

   Saturday 28th February to Friday 8th March 2024

What an adventure we have in front of us! We are off to South Australia to explore Port Augusta at the top of the Spencer Gulf, the Eyre Peninsula – often known as the “Forgotten Corner – and the Clare Valley. Then a real treat! We are booked on the Murray Princess for a cruise from the historic river port of Mannum. Step aboard the grand old lady of the river and into a bygone era. A fundamental part of Australia’s heritage was founded in the proud tradition of the paddle steamers on Australia’s greatest river. Equal to any trade route in the world, the Murray was the lifeblood of the pioneers who lived in the driest continent on Earth. The Murray’s banks form protected lagoons for a myriad of bird and animal life including sulphur crested cockatoos nesting high in towering sandstone cliffs. Along the way we will cruise past majestic Red Gums forests, stark Box Tree flats and massive white sand bars forming island retreats.

Day 1 (D): Heading Off (Saturday 24 February 2024)

 Once the coach is loaded and we have everyone on board we head off on our 2-week adventure to South Australia. Sit back and enjoy the ride as we make our way south along the Pacific Highway and then into the Blue Mountains and through to Bathurst for our first night on tour. (Meal inclusions: Dinner in the motel)

The Mantra Bathurst – 1 night

Day 2 (BLD): Bathurst to Hay (Sunday 25 February 24)

 Our morning stop is at Cowra - the town that was made famous by the POW Camp located here during WWII and the renowned “Cowra Breakout”. We learn about more about through a hologram at the local Visitor Centre before visiting the Cowra Japanese Gardens and Cultural Centre. Designed by internationally renowned landscape architect Ken Nakajima, the 5-hectare gardens feature wooden bridges, two large ponds and a stream cascading into waterfalls just waiting to be explored. Lunch is in West Wyalong before the drive out west to Hay. Our afternoon stop is at Goolgowi. Goolgowi is often referred to as the “Crossroads to the Outback”. It’s a relatively new town with settlement  occurring in the 1920’s when the Mid-Western Highway and the railway encouraged development. We stop here for an afternoon tea and, at the Goolgowi Hall we can view the district’s tribute to the pioneers of the area. A large wall hanging was designed and completed by ladies of the district to provide a tribute to those who helped pioneer the land and turn it from miles of mallee scrub into areas of agriculturally abundant land. Dry land farming is done in the immediate vicinity of Goolgowi, with irrigated cropping to the southwest of the town. Hay in Far Western NSW will be our overnight stop. (Meal Inclusions: Breakfast & dinner in the motel/Picnic lunch)

Bishops Lodge 379 Moama Street, Hay Tel 02 69933003– 1 night

Day 3 (BLD): The Hay Plain (Monday 26 February 24)

What a vast country Australia is. Here in Hay, there is an impressive Regional Gallery called Shear Australia – the National Shearers Hall of Fame. We have allowed some time for an inspection and morning tea before heading west across the Hay Plain. It will take about 90 minutes to cross – its flat, remote, and fascinating. On the western side of the Hay Plain is Balranald – a town first settled in the 1840s, on the site of a fording place of the Murrumbidgee River. Balranald gained importance during the riverboat days as a service port for the wool industry. We stop he re for a Club Lunch before pushing through to Mildura. Our afternoon stops include Robinvale just over the Victorian Border and Euston – a great place to stretch our legs and get a close-up view of the Murray River. (Meal inclusions: Breakfast & dinner in the motel/Club lunch)

Best Western Chaffey International 244 Deakin Avenue, Mildura Tel 0350235833 – 1 night

Day 4 (BLD): SA’s Riverland & Mid North (Tuesday 27 February 24)

From Mildura we travel into South Australia’s Riverland Region. Our morning stop is at the Overland Corner Hotel, just to the north of Lake Bonney. With the arrival of European settlement Overland Corner, located halfway between Adelaide and Mildura, became a major stopover point for drovers taking stock from New South Wales to the Port of Adelaide. We will look at the historic pub and enjoy some morning tea before pushing onto Morgan and then Burra for lunch. Copper from Burra's “Monster Mine” saved South Australia from bankruptcy in the 1840's. It was the largest metal mine in the country employing 1,000 people. Cornish and Welsh miners flocked to Burra to work for the South Australian Mining Association, and some set up homes in dugouts hewn out of the banks of the Burra Creek. The town has been classified by the National Trust. Our overnight stay is at Peterborough (Meal inclusions: breakfast & dinner in the motel/Pub lunch)

Roundhouse Motel 25 Queen Road, Peterborough Tel 08 86512078 – 1 night

Day 5 (BLD): To the “Forgotten Corner” (Wednesday 28 February 24)

 This morning we travel through the Southern Flinders Ranges, through Port Augusta at the top of the Spencer Gulf and onto Whyalla - the gateway from the east to the Eyre Peninsula. On arrival we visit the Whyalla Steelworks for an interesting tour. The Steelworks is an important part of this community and this morning we meet our locally based guide at the Visitors Centre for our guided tour. Spread over a 1000-hectare site we will see the Blast Furnace, Coke Ovens Steel Making Plant, and the one kilometre long Rolling Mills and how the iron ore is converted to steel. Before leaving town, we have lunch and look at the brand-new Whyalla Jetty that was recently opened after the old jetty suffered fire damage several years ago. The unique shape and design of the Jetty will make Whyalla a big drawcard for anyone looking to go fishing and at night the special lighting makes it a spectacular sight. Heading down the eastern side of the Eyre Peninsula we stop at Cowell. The “star” of this art is local identity Lionel Deer and his camel Diamantina. Mr Deer is best known in the Cowell community for bringing his camels to the Cowell Christmas Pageant for over 30 years. Lionel stirs up a sense of nostalgia for many Cowell residents as he forms a rich part of Cowell’s history. He is also known as the kind of person who would give you the shirt off his back if he ever wore one! Lionel represents much of what the fabric of Cowell is made of. He is a descendant of early settlers and from a large farming family. He spent many of his years working as a shearer and loves his football.

A prankster at heart and a true larrikin Lionel has and always will smile, wave and welcome anyone who passes him by. There is some more Silo Art at Tumby Bay - an interpretation of two boys jumping off the Tumby Bay Jetty. The inspiration for the silos comes from the artist Martin Ron and his assistant Matt Gorrick, who spent some time in the area before painting the silos. They said the initial idea came from seeing people dive off the jetty into the ocean, even joining in the sport themselves. Our overnight accommodation is at the Port Lincoln Hotel – a 4-star hotel located on the foreshore of sparkling Boston Bay. (Meal inclusions: Breakfast & dinner in the motel/Light lunch)

Port Lincoln Hotel 1 Lincoln Highway, Port Lincoln Tel 08 86212000 – 1 night

Day 6 (BLD): Kimba & Port Augusta (Thursday 29 February 24)

A guide will meet us on the coach this morning for an introductory tour of Port Lincoln. We then tour north to Kimba, located at the hallway mark across Australia right at the top of the Eyre Peninsula. It's surrounded by endless wheat farms growing golden in the sunlight, which was the inspiration behind the concept for the silo art we are about to see this morning. It took the artist 26 days to complete using 200 litres of paint, over five and a half silos. After lunch we in Kimba we make our way to Workshop 26 for a shopping experience with a difference. This creative quarter is a melting pot of   makers, micro-businesses, and all-round good country people. We may even see some of the makers producing their wares if we are lucky. Back on the coach we travel to Iron Knob, birthplace of the steel industry in Australia. We call into the Visitor Centre and Mining Museum for a brief look. Our day ends back in Port Augusta. (Meal inclusions: breakfast & dinner in the motel/Pub lunch in Kimba)

Standpipe Port Augusta – 1 night

Day 7 (BLD): Wadlata & The Pichi Richi Rail (Friday 1 March 24)

We have a cracker of a day planned today! First a visit to the Wadlata Outback Centre. Then a stunning ride along the Pichi Richi Railway (subject to timetable) to the historic town of Quorn. Watch gum-lined creeks, bluebush-studded hills and ancient rocky outcrops roll past at the relaxed pace of years gone by. All trains use historic steam or diesel locomotives or railcars or immaculately restored timber carriages some more than 130 years old. Once we disembark, we make our way to Teas on the Terrace for a relaxing lunch. From here we make our way into the Clare Valley – our base for the next three nights. (Meal inclusions: Breakfast & dinner in the motel/Light lunch at Quorn)

Clare Country Club White Hut Road, Clare Tel 088842 1060 – 3 nights

Day 8 (BD): The Yorke Peninsular (Saturday 2 March 24)

We head to the Yorke Peninsula this morning to spend time in three towns – Kadina, Moonta and Wallaroo, collectively known as the “Coppe r Triangle”. Our first stop is in Kadina, at the Farm Shed Museum and Tourist Centre for a chance to uncover the discovery of minerals that put the Yorke Peninsula on the world map. “Kadina’s Story” is a photographic display depicting the history of the Peninsula’s largest and most important town and the agricultural display tells of the evolution of farming machinery which forms the basis of the National Dryland Farming Interpretive Centre. Next, we visit Moonta, known as Australia’s little Cornwall. Copper was discovered here in 1861 attracting many Cornishmen miners and their centuries old mining methods. Spending some time at the Moonta Mines Museum we’ll hear how the district produced so  much copper the wealth generated exceeded all other mining in the state. There is also an interesting display of an entire 1900 classroom being left as though the teacher only departed a few minutes ago. Settling into our train seats, we take a ride on the Moonta Mines Tourist Railway which departs from a station just outside the museum. Relive life in Moonta as we pass the historic landmarks of the former mining operations, including the reservoir and tunnel within Ryans Tailings Heap. Finally, we visit the pretty coastal town of Wallaroo, where we visit the Wallaroo Heritage and Nautical Museum before returning to Clare (Meal inclusions: Breakfast & dinner in the motel)

Day 9 (BL): Clare Valley (Sunday 3 March 24)

We have a leisurely day planned. One of the most enjoyable things you can do in the Clare Valley is have lunch at a winery – and that’s what we are going to do today - at the Skillogalee Winery. The word “Skillogalee” comes from Celtic origins and the old stone cottage that we’ll be dining in was built in 1851 by a Cornish miner. Look out on the cottage garden and the vines while enjoying a Vine Pruners lunch including a local glass of wine! (Meal inclusions: Breakfast in the motel/Winery lunch/Dinner own arrangements & cost)

Day 10 (BLD): The Murray Princess (Monday 4 March 24)

This afternoon we will be joining the Murray Princess for our 4-night cruise but before we head to the departure point at Mannum we want to look at Bungaree Station which is just north of Clare. This merino sheep station, established in 1841, is still run by the descendants of the original founder, G.C. Hawker as an efficient mixed farm. Consequently, Bungaree Station is not a museum, but rather a living record of rural Australia since 1841. We take a guided tour with a member of the family who will give us wonderful insight into 19th century station life. We will visit such sites as St Michael’s Church and Cemetery, the Homestead gardens, and the Station Store. Re-joining the coach, we travel south via Kapunda to Mannum – the birthplace of the Murray River trade and communication. This afternoon we board the Murray Princess and head upriver (north) whilst enjoying our pre dinner drinks and welcome dinner. As we cruise under floodlight to our overnight mooring at Caurnamont, we may see nocturnal wildlife on the riverbank. Watch for kangaroos, hairy-nosed wombats, tortoises, egrets, and many other species. Our on-board entertainer provides music for the night owls. (Breakfast in the motel/Light lunch at Bungaree Station/Dinner on board)

Outside Cabin PS Murray Princes – 4 nights

Day 11 (BLD): Murray Princess Cruise (Tuesday 5 March 24)

Daybreak is time for the keen photographers to be out capturing the special light and morning movement of wildlife.  Prolific birdlife includes pelicans, wrens, and swans. Enjoy a leisurely morning and lunch cruising upriver to Blanchetown through one of 13 locks which maintain the flow and levels of water. This afternoon we moor opposite to the township of Blanchetown for our overnight anchorage. As the last rays of the sun fade, we join a guided tour of Burk Salter Boutique Winery and surrounding vineyard and enjoy wine tasting at the cellar door which is fitted out with beautiful red gum bars.  After dinner, join us for all the fun and excitement, and participate in our “Murray River Cup”.  A race not quite like any other! (All meals provided)

Day 12 (BLD): Swan Reach & Sunnydale (Wednesday 6 March 24)

After breakfast we cruise downriver to picturesque Swan Reach. The town was first settled in the 1850s, was originally the largest of five sheep and cattle stations in the area and is now home to native flower and fruit growers. The original Swan Reach homestead is now the Swan Reach Hotel where we can enjoy an ale or cappuccino overlooking the Murray River (additional cost). Join the guided walking tour and visit the Swan Reach Museum (gold coin donation at entry). Cruise downriver after lunch and take in the tranquillity as the landscape slides by. When we arrive at Sunnydale, it’s all ashore for the Woolshed Show as we recreate typical Australian woolshed history. Later we visit the Native Wildlife Shelter where some of South Australia’s most intere  sting native animals are cared for. And then of course, there is the great Aussie Barbecue – cooked and served in a bush setting on the banks of the mighty Murray River. An optional Nocturnal tour (additional cost) in a comfortable purpose-built cart is available after dinner. Often there are kangaroos, wombats, foxes, bats, and owls. (All meals provided onboard)

Day 13 (BLD): Younghusband (Thursday 7 March 24)

After an optional early morning Bush Tucker Breakfast (additional cost) or a bush walk with the captain, the vessel cruises slowly downriver past magnificent cliffs scoured by the river over millions of years. We reach Ngaut Ngaut Aboriginal Reserve, one of Australia’s most significant archaeological sites, for a step back in time – tens of thousands of years – for a guided boardwalk tour to view ancient rock carvings and to learn about Aboriginal history in the area. We return to the vessel to cruise downriver to Younghusband. Along the way, adventure seekers can also take a scenic tender boat ride. Tonight, the Captain and his officers host a spectacular Farewell Captain’s Buffet Dinner. Why not dress up and dance!! (All meals provided onboard)

Day 14 (B): Mannum Home (Friday 8 March 24)

We leave Younghusband and head back to Mannum. After breakfast we reluctantly say farewell as we arrive at the Mannum Wharf. What an adventure! Our coach transfer takes us all the way to the Adelaide Airport for our flight back to Sydney with a connection to Port Macquarie. There is time once we are at the airport to pick up lunch and stretch our legs, wandering through the airport shops before departure. (Meal inclusions: Breakfast)

$5,395 pp twin share | $1,425 s/sup

Tour Inclusions

13 nights’ accommodation as per the itinerary

13 cooked breakfasts, 12 x 2 course dinners/buffets & 11 lunches

Cowra Visitor Information Centre (Day 2)

Cowra Japanese Garden and Cultural Centre – group entry & guided tour (Day 2)

West Wyalong Service & Citizens Club - Club lunch (Day 2)

Goolgowi Hall – visit (Day 2)

Goolgowi Ex-Serviceman's Memorial Club - afternoon tea (Day 2)

Shear Outback - entry & morning tea (Day 3)

Balranald District Ex Servicemen's Club - Club lunch (Day 3)

Sightseeing stops at Robinvale & Euston (Day 3)

Overland Corner Hotel - morning tea (Day 4)

Royal Exchange Hotel - pub lunch (Day 4)

Whyalla Visitor Centre (Steelworks) – 90-minute steelworks tour (Day 5)

Hotel Bayview – pub lunch (Day 5)

Silo Art stops at Cowell and Tumby Bay (Day 5)

Port Lincoln Hotel – porterage (Day 5)

Guide - Renae's Tours - locally guided tour of Port Lincoln (Day 6)

Kimba Gateway Hotel - pub lunch (Day 6)

Workshop 26 - country shopping experience (Day 6)

Iron Knob VC (Day 6)

Wadlata Outback Centre - entry (Day 7)

Pichi Richi Rail – one way Port August to Quorn (Day 7)

Teas on the Terrace - light lunch (Day 7)

Clare Country Club – porterage (Day 7)

Farm Shed Museum and Tourism Centre (Day 8)

Moonta Mines Museum – entry/Miners Cottage (Day 8)

Moonta Tourist Railway – 50-minute train ride (Day 8)

Wallaroo Heritage & Nautical Museum – entry & self-guided tour (Day 8)

Skillogalee Wines - Vine Pruners Lunch included glass of wine (Day 9)

**PLEASE NOTE**Dinner has not been included tonight at Clare Country Club – OWN ARRANGEMENTS

Bungaree Station – tour/morning tea/lunch (Day 10)

Captain Cook Cruises - Mannum – 4 nights / 5 day river cruise inclusive of meals

Coach parking at Mannum during the cruise

Air – Adelaide/Sydney/Port Macquarie – TO BE ADDED (Day 14)

Please Note

Travel Insurance is not included but recommended.

Price is net and based on a minimum of 30 paying passengers.

Itinerary may need to be re-costed if minimum numbers are not achieved.

For more information or to book.

Phone   02 6583 3330



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Cancellation fees will be levied relative to the amount of notice given: 42 days or more—loss of deposit 29-41 days: 50% of fare plus deposit 30 days before and the Day of departure: 100% of fare. In the case of concert or sporting tours, where admission tickets are purchased in advance, a minimum cancellation fee equivalent to the cost of admission tickets+ fees will apply. Some accommodations require prepayment and refunds will be subject to their own conditions.