Wine, dine and dance the night away at the famous annual Monte Cristo Charity Ball. Fun Over Fifty will donate funds from our Green Bank on the night as part of this Helping Hand Holiday. With 9 days of touring there’s plenty of time for visits to Texas Rabbit Works, The Dish, Mount Oriel Homestead, Canberra’s Floriade, and to lend a hand at Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary.
8th September 2020
Departing from Roma Street Transit Centre in Brisbane we head out for a country Devonshire morning tea at Bestbrook Mountain Resort. From here we make tracks via Warwick, Leslie Dam, Coolmunda to Texas, breaking here for lunch followed by a guided tour of the Texas Rabbit Works Museum.
1 Night Stay: Best Western Ascot Lodge, Goondiwindi
After breakfast, we board the coach to depart and travel the Newell Highway breaking at Moree for a cuppa. We continue on through Narrabri before arriving at Pilliga Pottery for lunch and free time to view the artisan works. Our afternoon travels take us via Gilgandra and finishing our day checking into our accommodation at Dubbo.
1 Night Stay: Quality Inn, Dubbo
A leisurely start today before we depart making our way to Taronga Western Plains Zoo where we take an on coach guided Zoofari Tour followed by free time to explore on your own. We regather for lunch before boarding our coach and moving on to Parkes taking time to visit The Dish.
1 Night Stay: Quality Inn Parkes International
Leaving Parkes, we travel via grazing sheep, amid paddocks of wheat and canola, and the last thing you would expect to see is a castle, however, this is just what you will see. We take time at Mount Oriel homestead, also known as Iandra Castle, for morning tea and time to explore this unique part of Australia’s heritage. This was the home of George Henry Greene, local landowner, grazier, and politician, after whom nearby Greenethorpe is named. From there we continue on to Young for lunch before we are back on the road making tracks to Wagga Wagga.
2 Night Stay: Mercure Wagga Wagga
This morning we tour Monte Cristo House, an old mansion on the very tip of a hill and place where spirits roam. The full stories we learn about upon our guided tour this morning through the home. From here we visit Junee Licorice & Chocolate Factory where we tour the production process and learn about the historic Junee Flour Mill. We return to our accommodation in readiness for tonight’s famous Monte Cristo Annual Ball, the longest running private ball of its type in the southern hemisphere, where money is raised for charity. Step back in time and experience a forgotten era of beautiful ball gowns and dashing gentleman waltzing the night away. The evening begins with sherries and savouries, then a two-course meal followed by an evening of dancing and fun. Dress attire is Victorian ball gown and suits. Tonight, Fun Over Fifty will donate funds from its Green Bank and give to the cause.
We continue on our travels breaking for a cuppa and visit at the ‘Dog on the Tuckerbox’ at Snake Gully, five miles from Gundagai. The statue was inspired by a bullock driver’s poem, Bullocky Bill, which celebrates the life of a mythical driver’s dog. From here we make our way to Canberra where at this time of year is blooming beautiful! On arrival at Cockington Green we enjoy lunch then take time to wander through the beautiful gardens viewing the miniature buildings and monuments. We then make our way to check-in to our accommodation.
3 Night Stay: Mercure Hotel, Canberra
We start our day with a visit to Canberra’s icon event Floriade. Showcasing one million flowers in bloom throughout springtime, it is the biggest flower festival in Australia. At 2pm we visit the War Memorial, touring through the Hall of Memory, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Pool of Reflection and the Roll of Honour, finishing with a moving closing ceremony. **Lunch is at your own expense today.
This morning we take a drive-by tour of Canberra’s International Embassies and High Commissions enroute to Parliament House for a tour. We then arrive at Canberra’s National Gallery of Australia for self-guided tour and free time. From here we are privileged to part-take in the Helping Hand section of the tour. Visiting Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary, we engage with rangers and ecologists and participate in a range of wildlife and land management activities. Tonight, we revisit with a twilight tour – taking a guided spotlighting tour through the woodlands at night in search of critically endangered animals re-released into the area as part of research. Here locally extinct animals like the Eastern Bettong and Eastern Quoll have been reintroduced to Mulligans Flat. It is the only place in Canberra where you can see these critters in the wild. **Lunch is at your own expense today.
This morning we take a drive up to Mount Ainslie lookout for magnificent views over Canberra before transferring to the airport for respective flights home.
PRE TOUR EXTENDER OPTION
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. Flights are arranged to suit the tour as a group in advance, therefore we cannot book individual preferences or guarantee direct flights.
B = Full Breakfast MT = Morning Tea L = Lunch AT = Afternoon Tea D = Two Course Dinner
Passengers must be able to:
Fun Over Fifty has Respecting Our Culture (ROC) certification and are committed to operating in ways that respect and reinforce Indigenous cultural heritage and the living cultures of Indigenous communities. We are committed to protecting cultural authenticity and integrity, developing sound business practices, environmental protection and acknowledging Indigenous peoples spiritual connection to the land and water.
Fun Over Fifty holds Climate Action certification and is recognised as a Climate Action Leader. We have incorporated strategic climate change responses across all relevant levels of our planning and operations. We measure and audit our carbon footprint via a creditable system, and have undertaken an advanced level of adaptation, emissions reduction and offsetting. Fun Over Fifty is working towards becoming carbon neutral.
Fun Over Fifty’s Ecotourism certification assures our guests that our products are backed by a strong, well-managed commitment to sustainable practices. Our nature-based tourism experiences focus on leaving minimal impact on the environment and offering interesting ways to learn about the environment whilst using resources wisely, contributing to conserving the environment and helping local communities.
As an Advanced Ecotourism accredited tour operator, Fun Over Fifty’s innovative ecotourism products operate with minimal impact on the environment. We provide opportunities to learn about the environment and are committed to achieving best practice, whilst using resources wisely, contributing to conserving the environment and helping local communities.
Fun Over Fifty has ATAS accreditation and has met strict criteria in order to become nationally accredited. This accreditation means we are the best in the industry; credible, well trained and a professional business. We are required to conduct business in compliance with Australian Consumer Law and in accordance with ATAS Charter and Code of Conduct.