This morning, in Sydney, we board our private jet for our first flight, to the raw and unspoiled outpost of Flinders Island, a place that is impossible to reach by regular commercial airline. Bass Strait has always deterred the casual sailor with its rough and unpredictable moods, but the resulting isolation is to our favour. Empty beaches, sapphire waters, rocky peaks, hillsides bursting with flowers, abundant seabirds and wallabies converge to create an utterly idyllic day.
Only when we are content with our discoveries, do we travel on to Hobart, set stunningly on sloping hillsides leading down to the Derwent River. The Henry Jones Art Hotel, right on the waterfront and across the pier from Salamanca Place, welcomes us for three nights.
Hobart is a charming town, but we reserve its urban delights for tomorrow. Today, we leave town to explore Bruny Island. Once just a quiet, forgotten corner of Tasmania, Bruny has become the epicentre of the state's gourmet renaissance and is a wonderland of plant and wildlife. Discover the island with these Your World experiences.
Historic Salamanca Place beckons this morning. The sandstone buildings, built in the 1840s, are warehouses that have been converted into restaurants, galleries and craft shops. Saturday is also market day, and we enjoy our stroll through the stalls offering fine Tasmanian crafts, clothing and food. We take a city tour, then visit the quirky and provocative MONA, the Museum of Old and New Art, set uniquely in an underground bunker. Afterwards, sit down to a superb lunch at the museum's The Source restaurant. The best of Tasmania's heavenly produce shows up on the menu, paired with wines from all over the world, including those from MONA's own estate, Moorilla. We return to Hobart on the scenic route, boarding the museum's catamaran for a journey down the Derwent River to the Brooke Street Pier.
This evening, we dine at a selection of Hobart's best restaurants. A favourite is Aloft, which focuses on what's fresh, in-season and made by Tasmania's best small producers. Another is the Drunken Admiral, where we recommend ordering from the Fishmonger's Board, which features only what's been caught that very morning.
We leave Hobart for a scenic drive to the mirror-still waters of Lake St Clair. It is at the Lake St Clair Lodge, on the lake's southern shore, that we stop for lunch. Our next stop is The Wall in the Wilderness, a singular sculpture that pays tribute to the history, hardship and character of the people in Tasmania's Central Highlands. It is an epic work in progress by the renowned sculptor, Greg Duncan, who estimates that it will take ten years to finish. We travel on to Queenstown, a copper mining town, en route to Strahan on Tasmania's west coast, and the gateway to the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park. On arrival, we check in to Strahan Village, our residence for two nights.
This evening, we discuss the highlights of our day over dinner. At View 42o, Tassie’s finest and freshest seafood is plated up with a panorama that is Macquarie Harbour.
The Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park is named after the two rivers that snake through some of the most untamed forests in the world, watched over by the peak of Frenchmans Cap. In the 1970s, plans were made to dam the Franklin River, but protests that reached Melbourne and Sydney finally led to the creation of the park, a landmark moment that set a precedent for conservation of the Daintree region and many other natural wonders of Australia. On board the exclusively chartered MV Ocean Spirit, we cruise the Gordon River, its unpolished beauty now preserved, hopefully forever.
We return to Strahan for a production of 'The Ship That Never Was', a comedic recounting of actual events from 1834, when ten convicts hijacked a ship and made an extraordinary escape from nearby Sarah Island. This evening we dine at Risby Cove, a perennial favourite offering fresh seafood and a beautiful harbourside setting.
Our exploration of Tassie takes us away from the main island today. On the way to Burnie Airport and our waiting jet, we drive through the magnificent and untamed forests of its northwest corner. It's a short hop to King Island, where we indulge our inner gourmands with a visit to the famed King Island Dairy and a stop to savour the locally-raised beef. We make the most of the pristine outdoors over an epicure's picnic lunch. Then, at Cape Wickham, explore Australia's tallest lighthouse and look out onto the turbulent Bass Strait.
This evening, Boomerang by the Sea, a collection of studios with great ocean views, welcomes us for one night. We dine in our hotel, on a menu composed of the island's best ingredients.
This morning, our jet takes us to the Australian mainland for an exploration of Mt Gambier and the Coonawarra wine region. Its 'terra rossa' soil is renowned for producing spectacular cabernet sauvignon wines. And at the award-winning Katnook Estate, we are treated to an exclusive tour by its Head Winemaker, Wayne Stehbens. He regales us with the stories behind each vintage as we taste them, then accompanies us through lunch, happily answering any question we might have.
Afterwards, we drive to the pretty Blue Lake, a large crater left behind by an ancient volcanic eruption. From December to March, the lake is a lurid blue, and in the colder months, a more natural hue. The astounding Umpherston Sinkhole draws our attention next. Sinkholes are normally seen as a disastrous occurrence, but here, a local saw it as a chance to plant a garden. Today, the 'Sunken Garden' is a lush space - plants cascade from the lip to the base of the sinkhole and a perfectly manicured collection of ferns and hydrangeas cover the floor. We spend the night in luxurious suites on the idyllic grounds of The Barn.
We spend the morning strolling the quaint streets of Mount Gambier, stopping in at its antique shops and galleries, before boarding our private jet for the flight to Kangaroo Island.
Upon arrival, we check in to the sumptuous Southern Ocean Lodge for two nights. Its dramatic location overlooking the wild surf is one draw. Its gastronomic offerings are another. We sample these on a gourmet picnic lunch, then head to Seal Bay, where we have the chance to get up close to our country's third largest colony of sea lions - part of the reason why the island is nicknamed 'Australia's Galápagos'. Kangaroo Island is blessed with artisanal farmers and growers, and the menu reflects this bounty at tonight's dinner. It is also an emerging wine region, with a temperate climate that allows a long, slow ripening of the grapes, producing wines known for strong varietal fruit flavours and intense colour. Our sommelier handpicks the finest wines to pair with our delectable four-course meal.
This morning, we head to Flinders Chase National Park. Many of the island's natural charms are to be found here. The foremost among them must be the Remarkable Rocks - enormous boulders that have been shaped by wind, rain and surf into intriguing architectural forms. Parts of the boulders are covered in a unique orange lichen, which in certain sunlight, glows. Next, we view the Admirals Arch, a cave that has been turned, after millennia of battering by waves, into a rock bridge. From its viewing platform, you might also spot the resident fur seal colony.
At lunch, our chef indulges us with three courses, suffused with flavour but deceptively light, so as not to slow any afternoon plans. Take a walk along the clifftop, wander down to the beach or explore the trails on a mountain bike - all are equally splendid ways to imbibe nature. Before dinner, we meet for drinks in the Great Room and anticipate our chef's delicious surprises.
Mildura is said to be where the Mediterranean meets the outback. Citrus groves and vineyards stretch as far as the eye can see. Endless sunshine and sandy beaches along the Murray demand that life be lived at a slower pace. Our private jet flies us here in the morning and we check in to the historic Hotel Mildura Grand, a stone's throw from the river.
This evening, we have the distinct pleasure of dining at Stefano’s in our hotel. The celebrated chef, Stefano de Pieri, has long drawn gastronomes to town. With a sure hand, he applies an exquisite Italian awareness, creating simple combinations that really sing. There is no more fitting farewell dinner than tonight’s.
This may be the last day of our journey, but we certainly make the most of it. We greet the morning with a cruise on a privately chartered classic Murray paddlesteamer, languidly making our way past the scenic river red gums that line each bank. Our destination is the Trentham Estate Winery, where we indulge ourselves with a leisurely tasting session and lunch.
Sometime in the afternoon, we rejoin our private jet for the flight to Sydney. This hedonistic exploration has been a buffet of sights and flavours, and we reflect on our favourite moments as our jet heads towards home.
As travelling should not be a chore, distracting you from the new and fascinating places you are in, we've moved everything mundane behind the scenes. You will never have to carry a map. Or your luggage. Or reach for your wallet.
There are no hidden costs. Everything is included - flights on your private jet and other travel arrangements, accommodation, travel insurance, all dining and drinks, every sightseeing trip. Even the extraordinary Your World experiences within your itinerary. And internet access when available.
Welcome to your homes away from home. Each one has a certain something that sets it apart from every other residence at its location. Whether for its history, cultural significance or natural setting, we’ve selected only the very best.
Business-class private jet journey from Sydney return.
Prices are in Australian currency.