Get back to nature in Carnarvon Gorge with its beautiful escarpments, daily naturalist guided walks and a breathtaking scenic helicopter flight. Take bird watching tours and eco reef walks on a coral cay whilst staying on secluded Heron Island. Then venture out on a full paradise tour to Bustard Head on the iconic LARC whilst staying in Seventeen Seventy.
28th August 2019
Departing on Fun Over Fifty’s opulent ‘Diamond Class’ coach from Brisbane Transit Centre on Roma Street, we travel through the rich fertile area of the Lockyer Valley, arriving at Picnic Point Toowoomba for a cuppa, taking time to admire the stunning view. We continue through Dalby, breaking for lunch at Chinchilla, then make our way to Roma.
1 Night Stay: Explorers Inn, Roma
Today we farewell Roma and head north, breaking at Injune for morning tea, before making our way into the Carnarvon Gorge National Park, an oasis hidden in the rugged ranges of Queensland’s Central Highlands. Featuring towering white sandstone cliffs, spectacular scenery, incredible bushwalks, pockets of rainforest and an amazing diversity of flora and fauna. On arrival we enjoy lunch before our chartered Heli-Central helicopter flight provides us with a birds-eye view of the sandstone cliffs and picturesque gorges of the famous Carnarvon National Park. Absolutely the best view of the plateau! Take in a 20-minute flight in a modern, comfortable helicopter and see the white cliffs and hidden wonders that cannot be seen any other way. Sit back and watch as Carnarvon Gorge opens into the vast bushland. Whilst waiting for your flight, our local expert guide will take you to the local information centre to discover more about the local area and its inhabitants. After our exhilarating flights, we make our way to Springsure, where we stay for the evening.
1 Night Stay: Springsure Overlander Motel
**We are unable to stay at Carnarvon Gorge Wilderness Lodge as it was heavily affected by the bushfires that swept through Queensland late in 2018.
After breakfast, we make our way back to Carnarvon Gorge National Park. Today we have organised a walk through the wilderness area. We embark on an adventure to the moss garden which offers a rich mosaic of mosses, ferns and lichens where the micro-climate sustains a lush rainforest environment. The walk into the Moss Garden has some of Carnarvon’s classic views. As you approach the mouth of Violet Gorge, the cliffs start to close in around you, towering above ancient palms and multiple creeks. The Moss Garden is supported by the largest spring in the Gorge. Over one hundred metres of sandstone cliff produces drop after drop of water, which is why the waterfall has never run dry in recent history. Lunch is served after our walk and we depart the national park area travelling to Rolleston for a cuppa break. This afternoon, we arrive in the country town of Moura to bed down for the night.
1 Night Stay: Moura Meridian Motel
We track northeast towards the coastline today, stopping for a cuppa at the Westwood Hotel before continuing on through the beef capital, Rockhampton, and onto the Capricorn Caves. Here we sit down to lunch before commencing our one-hour long guided Cathedral Cave tour. The magnificent fig tree lined limestone walls greet you at the entrance, followed closely by a set of smaller caves decorated with ancient stalactites and flowstones. This walk will leave you with lasting memories of ancient geological and early explorer history, the wonders of local wildlife and you will experience the special cave acoustics. We check into our hotel this afternoon and take some time to rest before our special dinner this evening. Tonight, we get to let our hair down and have a night of laughs when we visit Footlights Theatre Restaurant for a dinner and show.
1 Night Stay: Kortes Resort, Rockhampton
For the early risers, you may wish ton take a self-guided walk and stroll along the shady banks of Carnarvon Creek that provides a snapshot of the plant life on the gorge floor. Departing our wildlife and wilderness oasis, we travel through cattle and crop country, breaking for a cuppa at Rolleston. We then continue on through cattle and mining country breaking at Greycliffe Homestead in Biloela for lunch and tour of this historic home. We finish our afternoon arriving at the harbour city of Gladstone.
1 Night Stay: Rydges Hotel, Gladstone
This morning we make our way to board our fast cat ferry for transfers to beautiful Heron Island. Located in the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef off northern Queensland’s east coast, Heron Island is a haven for nature lovers and is surrounded by pristine beaches and brilliant blue waters. A true coral cay, the island is surrounded by colourful coral teeming with marine life and as a Marine National Park, all flora and fauna is protected. We check-in to our Reef Rooms which are located near the beach and offer filtered water and reef views with a living area which extends out to a private balcony or garden. We enjoy two nights at Heron Island Resort where we will join naturalist eco guides for daily activities discovering the birdlife, coral cay formations, and native flora and fauna. At low tide, we take the reef walk that will expose some of the most fascinating creatures found on the coral reef.
**Please note: Fast cat transfers take 2 hours and are in open waters. Those who suffer motion sickness are advised to take the necessary precautions. Optionally, at additional expense you may like to organise return helicopter transfers from Gladstone.
2 Night Stay: Heron Island Resort in Reef Rooms
We bid beautiful Heron Island goodbye and depart on the 2pm fast cat heading back to the mainland where we break for lunch before taking a short journey to the Town of 1770.
2 Night Stay: Lagoons 1770 Resort & Spa
This morning we take the ideal getaway on the Pink Amphibious LARC. The Paradise Tour takes us along the coastline of Eurimbula National Park, where we are given commentary on wildlife and the history of Bustard Bay. We cross four tidal creeks and take a 4WD tour up the steep climb to the historic Bustard Head Light Station. Return to Lagoons 1770 Resort & Spa.
Homeward bound this morning, we break at historic Childers for a cuppa and time to visit the Palace Backpackers Memorial. Back on the road our next break is at the historic Hideaway Hotel at Tiaro for a BBQ lunch in the beer garden. We return to Brisbane Transit Centre at approximately 4:30pm.
Non-refundable deposit of $800pp required within 14 days of making booking to secure your reservation. N.B. This package is subject to a fuel levy without notice for coach component.
Please refer to the ‘Diamond Class’ Coach page for seating expectations that apply to both sole use and twin/double bookings. Click here
PRE & POST TOUR EXTENDER OPTION
2 additional days (TOTAL 12 DAY TOUR)
Return economy class flights ex Sydney, Melbourne or Adelaide to Brisbane
2 additional nights bed & breakfast (1 night pre & 1 night post tour) at Sofitel Brisbane Central
Return Airtrain tickets ex Brisbane Domestic Terminal to Central Station
Plus $850pp Twin Share
Plus $1019 Sole Use
**Subject to availability – some block out dates apply. Prices are subject to change without notice**
B = Full Breakfast MT = Morning Tea L = Lunch AT = Afternoon Tea D = Two Course Dinner
Please click here to view our ‘Diamond Class’ seating expectations that apply to both sole use and twin/double bookings.
Passengers must be able to:
All meals were excellent, and all attractions were interesting and enjoyable. Overall it was a great holiday experience that I will remember for a long time to come.
Meals, accommodation, helicopter ride, Camden Park – amazing. Thompson River cruise – great. Croc and crab tour – unique. Cobbold Gorge – WOW!