VICTORIA73The Gippsland LakesTHE GIPPSLAND LAKESGentle sea breezes, mountain air, villages dozingin the sun and lakes flanked by endless whitesand beaches. This area is a beautiful andexpansive network of inland waterways. Quietcanals and light winds make this a great placeto take to the water for a day with just dolphinsfor company. There are three coastal parks inthe region. At Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park youcan cross the slim arm of dunes that separatethe inland waterways from the magnificent,oceanfront Ninety Mile Beach. Lakes NationalPark is home to Lake Victoria and supports anetwork of bush trails draped with seasonalwildflowers and orchids. The least populated ofthe three parks, Lake Tyers State Park, has loftyeucalypt forests and calm waters, perfect for aday's canoeing. METUNGIn the heart of the natural beauty of theGippsland Lakes, life at the village of Metungproceeds at a gentle, slow pace and yetpossesses a smattering of sophistication. Sandybeaches circle bushclad hills and the picturesquemarina at its heart make this a favourite place tobreak the journey between Melbourne andSydney, or as a base for those who wish toexplore the Gippsland Lakes by boat or on foot. Clovelly House, Metung From the moment you arrive and are presented witha glass of wine by your hosts, Graham and Polly, youknow that Clovelly House is special. Set inlandscaped grounds overlooking Bancroft Bay, thislovely property dates back to 1881 but has beenlovingly updated: each of the three bedrooms havedouble spa baths and there is a new cottage withglorious views. Graham, a trained chef, ensures thatbreakfasts are sensational, with daily-changingmenus often served on the sunny veranda with justthe birds for company.tailor-made travelAll our travel arrangements are on a private,individual basis to offer you complete freedom ofchoice. The itineraries and accommodation optionsthroughout the brochure are designed to give you aflavour of what is possible and can be tailor-made tosuit your preferences. Prices vary according toselected accommodation and season. Please callour Australia specialists on 01869 276 345 todiscuss your individual requirements.CROAJINGOLONGNATIONAL PARK This extraordinary park, at the border betweenVictoria and New South Wales, was declared aUNESCO World Biosphere Reserve because of itswhite beaches, rocky coastal headlands,rambling heathlands and towering eucalypts.Hundreds of bird and plant species flourish heremaking it a paradise for bushwalking and birdwatching. The peaceful estuary at Tamboon isknown for wading birds and at Clinton Rocksgranite boulders line the shore, dyed a vividorange by lichen. Mount Everard Lookout hasmagnificent coastal views, while some of themost beautiful walks are at Lake Elusive,through silvertop ash and fern gulleys to theWingan Rapids. The ideal base to explore thispark is Gipsy Point at the Mallacoota Inlet.Gipsy Point Lodge, Gipsy PointSurrounded by the Croajingolong National Park, thislodge has a peaceful, secluded atmosphere. It is acomfortable base to explore the area's remarkableforests, rivers, lakes and coastline. Each of the sevenguestrooms and three self-contained cottages arespacious and comfortable. Extensive gardenssurround the property and the lodge offerscomplimentary use of rowing boats and canoes, withmotorised launches available for hire.Clovelly HouseHidden Treasuresof VictoriaSome of Australia's most fascinating wildlife andquirky goldrush towns are to the east of Melbourne,from Gippsland onwards. Discover penguin coloniesand wildlife on Phillip Island, the far stretches oflush, untouched forests on Wilson's PromontoryNational Park and the fascinating old gold-miningtown of Walhalla.Day 1:Leave Melbourne for Phillip Island andwatch hundreds of penguins leave the seaand waddle across the dunes to nest.Day 2:Leave Phillip Island and continue to thepristine National Park of Wilson'sPromontory.Day 3:Spend the day exploring the manywalking tracks.Day 4:Head inland for Walhalla and a taste ofthis historic mining township.Day 5:Spend the day in and around the town,exploring above ground and below.Day 6:Leave Walhalla and return to Melbournethrough the Dandenong Ranges.EXTENSIONTake a detour through the lovely Dandenong Rangesand on into the wine regions of the Yarra Valley for afew days of food and wine indulgence beforereturning to Melbourne.Thomson River, Walhalla
HOBARTAs Australia's second oldest city, Hobart is rich incolonial and maritime history. Hobart is also thesecond sunniest city in Australia, after Adelaide,contributing to its bustling café culture which isfocused on the waterfront where fishing boatsare berthed next to cruising yachts and a squarerigger or two. First populated in 1804 as aragtag collection of tents and huts with apopulation of 262, of which 178 were convicts,Hobart soon developed into a penal colony.Convict and early settlement history highlightsbegin with the diverse Salamanca Place and itsmany galleries, cafés and the extraordinarilyvibrant Saturday market, or you can venture up'Kelly's Steps' to emerge in the city's bestpreserved village area of Battery Point; so calledafter the defensive guns built by the British.Also worth including are the views from MountWellington, the serene parkland of the 'Queen'sDomain' and the harbourfront heritage area ofthe Henry Jones Jam Factory, established by itsrags-to-riches namesake who was, at one point,the largest private employer in the southernhemisphere. Hobart offers so much to seewithin its own boundaries, but it is also amarvellous base from which to explore thesurrounding area's diverse attractions whethertaking wildlife cruises or guided convict tours. Tasmania74Part and yet not part of Australia,Tasmania's southerly latitudes have ledto a distinctive landscape, climate andculture. Balmy weather caresses the eastcoast's beautiful beaches, encouragingwonderful arable produce and some ofthe best cool-climate wines in theworld, while the Southern Oceans crashonto the western side creating dramaticcliffs and dense rainforest. Diversehabitats and huge expanses ofwilderness ensure that unique flora andfauna have developed and flourishedand there is nowhere better to see sucha range of exciting wildlife in Australia.Colonisation took place during the 19thcentury, establishing the island asBritain's most feared penal colony. Thelegacy of this period is some of theoldest and most attractive colonialvillages and Georgian architecture inAustralia and a fascinating history ofpersonal strife and success against allodds. Tasmania is experiencing arenaissance and new-found assurance asmore and more travellers realise that itreally is a special destination in its ownright and not simply the small island offthe south of Australia.Battery Point GuesthouseBattery Point Guesthouse,HobartLocated in the historic old town of Battery Point, thisis the closest guesthouse in Hobart to the thrivingwaterfront area of Constitution Harbour and is justa two minute walk to the renowned SalamancaPlace Market. The listed building was originally thecoach house to the nearby Lenna Mansion and isnow infused with character and charm by hostsRoger and Sue. The six spacious and ensuitebedrooms are all individually decorated, includingthe Empire Suite which is a replica of that found onthe Titanic. After a hearty breakfast in theconservatory you may wish to simply lounge in thebeautiful garden or put your feet up in front of a logfire. For those that wish to head out exploring, youwill not find a better-located place to stay.