the australia we know and love
photo by BlackTomato

The Australia We Know And Love

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The Facts
Flight time23 hours (direct from LHR) 15 hours (direct from LAX)
Ideal length10 days
PriceFrom £3,954pp (LHR) or US
When to goSeptember to April

Look forward to...

Investigating the art galleries, bars and boutiques of vibrant Melbourne, Australia’s cosmopolitan centre of culture, and the country’s second largest city.

A sunrise balloon ride to see the city from a truly different viewpoint, driving to the Twelve Apostles, one of Australia’s magnificent landmarks, in a classic convertible.

A helicopter transfer to the High Country, where you’ll be trekking by horseback, and rounding up cattle before camping out under the stars.

Criss-crossing the Howqua River and swimming in its crystal clear waters, before finishing off with a traditional cattleman’s roast.

Here at Black Tomato we’re always finding exciting new places for you to visit. (think Gorilla safari’s in Uganda or 4x4 driving in Western China). But sometimes, it’s the well travelled destinations that can offer something different, you’ve just got to know where to look (that's why we're here). So if you’re like us, and the idea of sightseeing with a bunch of tourists has you travel sick before you step on the plane (bleh), then read on…

melbourne skyline

Often overlooked by the tourist crowd, Melbourne is a thrilling and vibrant city, with an artistic and bohemian influence making it a destination within itself in Australia. Well, we’ll organise for you to be dropped right in the centre of the city, at a brand spanking new design-inspired boutique hotel (if you like art, you'll love it). This will be your base for the next three days where you can investigate the city’s many galleries, studios and bars. We’ll also organise for an early wake up call (don’t worry, you’ll thank us) so that you can take in the sights of the city on your very own sunrise balloon ride. (Oh, and that one’s on us!).

twelve apostles

where the wild things are

A short drive outside of Melbourne you’ll find the Great Ocean Road, sandwiched between the coast and some spectacular areas of national park. If you haven’t seen it already, the striking scenery of this coastal region features in Spike Jonze’s recent film adaptation of Maurice Sendak’s children’s book “Where the Wild Things Are” (which we love) and one of our favourite landmarks in Australia is nearby. The "Twelve Apostles", a series of limestone rock stacks off the shore of the Port Campbell National Park, are only a couple of hours drive outside of Melbourne. Their proximity to one another, along with the waves rolling on to the cliffs, give the site a truly majestic quality. So, if you want to investigate the surrounding area, we’ll hire a classic car for you to make your journey there even more of a spectacle.

escape to the high country

Once you’ve had a couple of days to explore Melbourne and its surrounds, we’ll organise a helicopter transfer to the Victorian High Country (wow!). Here, you’ll spend the day on a horseback trek with a second and fifth generation high country cattleman and Master of Horses of “Man from Snowy River” fame. You’ll start at a working cattle station following the backroads of the low country before camping out under the stars in a traditional swag (an Aussie bedroll).

cattle ranch

The following day you’ll traverse the traditional bridle trails used by mountain cattlemen. You’ll criss-cross the Howqua River, taking breaks to swim in its crystal clear waters, before ending up at a group of cabins, where you’ll be treated to a traditional cattleman’s roast (yum). For the next couple of days you’ll assist with driving cattle along the majestic Howqua River whilst exploring the rich history of the surrounding hills.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see how cattlemen have lived here over the last 150 years, whilst taking in the diverse wildlife and scenery of this beautiful area. You’ll return to the cattle station, invigorated and feeling at one with the nearby countryside, before being transferred back to your hotel in Melbourne for some creature comforts (yay!). One thing we’re sure you’ll agree on is that this is a truly unique Aussie trip that you’ll find hard to forget.

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This travel guide also includes text from Wikitravel articles, all available at WikitravelView full credits

This travel guide also includes text from Wikipedia articles, all available at WikipediaView full credits

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