A Heritage Tour of Tasmania

14 - 24 Apr 2021
  • Cultural Tours

About the tour

Australia’s only island state is small, but its riches encompass botany, history, natural beauty and cuisine. With a character all its own, Tasmania is the place to reconnect with nature and wildlife, as well as treat your taste buds and hear stories about past and present. Its pristine natural beauty and outstanding local food and wine form an ever-present backdrop to its fascinating culture and history.

In the company of tour leader, John Pearn, explore a history that encompasses humanity, brutality and wonder. Learn about maritime and medical history and Antarctic exploration and hear from a wide range of local experts and guides, who reveal fascinating insights into Tasmania’s history, its local characters and their achievements and struggles. Along the way, enjoy fresh local apple cider, gin, whisky, cheese, berries and wine, and seafood straight from the ocean.


You can book on this tour secure in the knowledge that if you have to cancel due to borders being closed because of Covid you will receive a 100% refund. This refund applies up until the day of departure.

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Your tour leader

Picture of JBT tour leader, ​Professor John Pearn

​Professor John Pearn

Professor John Pearn is a clinician and medical historian based in Brisbane, Australia. He has been an Academic and Clinical Teacher for 50 years in Medicine and Health Sciences, based at the University of Queensland. He is the Author of some thirty books and more than 200 published papers on the history of medicine and health. As Major General John Pearn, he served in the Defence Reserves for 35 years, ultimately in the appointment of Surgeon General of the Australian Defence Force. He commanded the 2 Field Hospital, formerly No. 1 Casualty Clearing Station which was the pivot medical unit on the beach at Gallipoli, 25 April 1915. Professor John Pearn was a founder, later President and then Honorary Life Member of the Australian and New Zealand Society of the History of Medicine. He is an historian of the Order of St John. He has been a Member of the Council for the International Society of the History of Medicine for many years; and its Vice President for the last four years. His books include the history of one of the Greek Islands and research publications on Simpson (of Gallipoli fame) and on ancient Greek medicine.

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  • Mon-Fri: 9am-5pm
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Itinerary at a glance

  • Day 1: Hobart (Wed, 14 April)
    Arrive Hobart and check into to the historic Hadley’s Orient Hotel, which was the starting point for the Antarctic explorers. Meet with Dr Peter Sullivan and hear of his experiences in the Antarctic and the Antarctic explorers, at the site of Roald Amundsen’s return to Tasmania. In the evening enjoy a private welcome dinner at the hotel.
  • Day 2: Hobart (Thurs, 15 April)
    Explore with a specialist botanical guide the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens on a specialist private tour. The gardens were a food bowl for First Nations people, a produce garden for struggling pioneers, and a passion project for ambitious colonialists aspiring to showcase botanic collections. After lunch take part in a historic Hobart sightseeing tour on foot and by bus with specialist historical guide. See the Theatre Royal with its acclaimed acoustics, the workers’ cottages and grand home of battery point, the first cool store and shot tower, the docks of Salamanca and Battery Point. Return via medical museum COMA and meet the curator. Dinner at the Drunken Admiral.
  • Day 3: Hobart (Fri, 16 April)
    Drive to Kettering and take the ferry to north Bruny Island and drive across the neck to South Bruny Island and Adventure Bay. This sheltered bay was visited and used as a re-watering site by Captains Cook, Bligh, Furneaux and D'Entrecasteaux amongst others. Visit the small Captain Bligh Museu and the Jurassic Garden and see examples of the flora of Gondwana. Time at leisure with opportunity to see the plant fossils in the museum. Dinner at the Ball and Chain.
  • Day 4: Hobart (Sat, 17 April)
    Visit the Salamanca Market and browse the market stalls. Drive along Alexandra Esplanade - where Charles Darwin walked and collected - to the Tasman National Park. Visit the Port Arthur historic site including a walking tour, visit to the site of the dockyard, the museum and the Convict Study Centre. Lunch at the 1830 Restaurant with wonderful views. Take a harbour cruise past the Isle of the Dead. Return to Hobart via the Tessellated Pavement and cross Eagle Hawk Neck. Visit the Bangor Vineyard for a glass of local wine on the site where Abel Tasman raised the Dutch Flag back in 1642. Continue via Imlay Street in Dunalley and learn of surgeon and pastoralist, Dr Imlay.
  • Day 5: Hobart / Strahan (Sun, 18 April)
    Drive via Tarraleah and learn of this Art Deco resort and early hydro power station. Drive to Strahan along the scenic drive via Lake St Clair in Cradle Mountain National Park, Nelson Falls and at Derwent Bridge, see the Wall of Wilderness carved in rare Huon Pine. Arrive and check into Franklin Manor in Strahan.
  • Day 6: Strahan (Mon, 19 April)
    Take a cruise on the Harbour Master II through Macquarie Harbour to Hell’s Gates and continue to Sarah Island. Disembark and take a guided tour. Following lunch on board continue up the Gordon River with a stop to walk through the rainforest and another to visit a Huon Pine sawmill. Arrive back in Strahan in mid-afternoon. Passengers have an allocated seat but may walk freely around all levels of the vessel. Return to the hotel mid-afternoon and at leisure. Evening option to see the play “The Ship that Never Was” about the real life story of convicts stealing a ship from Sarah Island.
  • Day 7: Strahan (Tues, 20 April)
    Drive to Queenstown and take the historic West Coast Wilderness Railway through rainforest gorges and climb one of the Southern Hemisphere’s steepest tracks under the unique power of the (Mr) Abt Rack and Pinion system.Lunch at The Queenstown Station Café. Return to Strahan and at leisure.
  • Day 8: Strahan / Launceston (Wed, 21 April)
    Drive to Zeehan (silver mining) and visit the West Coast Heritage Centre including the school of mines and the ornate Gaiety Theatre. Take part in a gourmet food tour as part of the Tarkine Cradle to Coast with various tastings. Arrive and check into Hotel Grand Chancellor and dinner.
  • Day 9: Launceston (Thurs, 22 April)
    Walking tour of Launceston and learn about Dr Pugh, who conducted the first operation under anaesthetic in Australia. Walk along the Tamar and take the chair lift across Cataract Gorge. Drive out to local winery for lunch. Return via Brady’s Lookout and the Grindelwald Swiss Village and at leisure.
  • Day 10: Launceston / Hobart (Fri, 23 April)
    Visit Woolmers, a stately home with its rose garden and Museum of Social History. Drive south down the heritage highway to Ross to site of the female factory. Continue to Pontville and the Shene Estate and the historic whisky and gin distillery for a tour and tastings. Arrive Hobart. Farewell dinner.
  • Day 11: Hobart (Sat, 24 April)
    Depart Hobart after breakfast.

Tour cost

The cost of the tour is $4,540 per person sharing

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Coronavirus Update

Updated information on our response to COVID-19.

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