- Visit to Margan Winery in the beautiful Hunter Valley
- Visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame in Tamworth
- The Big Golden Guitar in Tamworth
- Visit Saumarez Homestead in Armidale
- The Forest Sky Pier & Sealy Lookout in the Bruxner Park Flora Reserve
- North Coast Regional Botanical Gardens Tour & Devonshire Morning Tea
- The Dolphin Marine Magic Park Show in Coffs Harbour
- Bunker Cartoon Gallery housed in a WWII military bunker
- Scenic Drive through the stunning Bellingen Valley and Waterfall Way *rated the best scenic drive in NSW!
- Dorrigo National Park Skywalk & Interpretive Centre
- Visit to picturesque Dangar Falls
- Don Dorrigo & Guy Fawkes Historical Society Museum
- Shopping at Bellingen Village
- Wine tasting at the Raleigh Vineyard & Winery Cellar Door
- Visit the Slim Dusty Centre & Museum in Kempsey
- Wine tasting at Cassegrain Wines
- Two Triple Four Restaurant
- Visit to the world's first preservation centre for Koalas - The Koala Hospital - tour cost includes a $20 donation
- Visit to the beautiful Hunter Valley Gardens
- Friends for Company!
- Fully Escorted by a Sisterhood Tour Hostess who is on hand to ensure your holiday is a memorable one
- Return Economy Airfares ex Melbourne to Sydney including taxes (other departure cities available upon request)
- Return Airport Transfers
- 5 Nights Quality Accommodation
- All Sightseeing and Tours as per itinerary
- All entry fees, attractions & guides as per Itinerary
- Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Daily and other Meals, as per Itinerary
- $20 donation to the Koala Hospital Port Macquarie
- Willing to Share Option
- Meet and Greet Prior to Departure (Subject to Minimum Numbers Atttending)
The itinerary is subject to change due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Should social distancing measures remain in place, Sisterhood Womens Travel will adapt our itinerary accordingly.
Proposed Flight Times ex Melbourne are:
VA 827 15AUG MELSYD 0900 1025
VA 850 20AUG SYDMEL 1500 1635
** Flight times and airline is subject to change.
Day 1 - Sunday 15 August 2021
Melbourne - Sydney - Muswellbrook (L,D)
Welcome to Sisterhood Womens Travel. Your tour hostess and fellow travellers will meet you at the designated departure point at Melbourne Airport for your flight to Sydney. Sit back, relax and enjoy your flight.
On arrival into Sydney Airport we are met by our coach captain and fellow passengers before starting our journey up to the stunning Bellingen Valley and Coffs Coast region which were impacted by the November Bushfires. Our first stop en-route will be for lunch at Colo Heights Riverside Cafe before continuing on to Margan Winery based in Broke Fordwich, a picturesque region of the Hunter Valley. We'll enjoy a tasting and talk about this family owned, award winning winery where all wines are uniquely estate grown and estate made. Afterwards, we continue on to our accommodation for check in with time to freshen up before dinner.
Overnight - Muswellbrook, The Remington Motor Inn (or similar)
Day 2 - Monday 16 August 2021
Muswellbrook - Tamworth - Armidale – Coffs Harbour (B,L,D)
After an early breakfast and check out, this morning we continue our journey north visiting Tamworth’s iconic Australian Country Music Hall of Fame and Big Golden Guitar. The Country Music Hall of Fame features an unmatched collection of memorabilia from Australian Country music artists and also includes the Walk a Country Mile exhibit. The Big Golden Guitar stands tall and is a striking tribute to Tamworth’s Country Music reputation and a replica of the famous golden guitar used for Australia’s Annual Country Music Awards.
After lunch we continue to the city of Armidale where we visit the Saumarez Homestead taking in a guided tour through the White family’s Edwardian mansion and gardens followed by afternoon tea. The last leg of our journey has us passing through the scenic Dorrigo National Park, Bellingen arriving at Coffs Harbour for check in at the Best Western Zebra Motel, before we enjoy dinner in the motel restaurant.
Overnight - Coffs Harbour, Best Western Zebra (or similar)
Day 3 - Tuesday 17 August 2021
Coffs Harbour (B,L,D)
After breakfast, our first stop is the Forest Sky Pier, which is located at Sealy Lookout, within Bruxner Park Flora Reserve. The pier extends 21 metres out from the lookout and stands 15 metres above the forest floor offering an amazing panoramic view. We then visit the North Coast Regional Botanical Gardens enjoying a Devonshire morning tea before our guide accompanies us on an informative walking tour. The Dolphin Marine Magic Park provides a highly interactive marine show that entertains all with exciting routines that showcase the natural abilities of both seals and dolphins, then we will enjoy a light lunch at their cafe. We finish our day with a visit to the Bunker Cartoon Gallery housed in a restored WW11 military bunker, the gallery showcases a unique collection of over 18,000 archived cartoons.
After returning to our motel, dinner is served in the restaurant.
Overnight - Coffs Harbour, Best Western Zebra (or similar)
Day 4 - Wednesday 18 August 2021
Bellingen Valley - Dorrigo – Coffs Harbour (B,D)
This morning we make our way through the stunning Bellingen Valley and back along the beautiful Waterfall Way “rated the best scenic drive in NSW” to Dorrigo. We stop en-route at the Griffith Lookout which offers some of the most superb views on the Coffs Coast. We’ll enjoy breathtaking wilderness views of the Great Dividing Range unfolding to the south. To the east, we’ll see the Pacific Ocean and, on clear days, right down to Kempsey some 100 kilometres away.
Our next stop is the Dorrigo National Parks Skywalk and Interpretive Centre which offers superb views over Dorrigo National Park encompassing Bellingen Valley to the coast. The Skywalk Lookout is a 70m boardwalk that soars over the edge of the escarpment some 21m above the rainforest. Next stop is the picturesque Dangar Falls where we enjoy the views from the platform or take the 20 minute return walk to the bottom of the falls. After free time in Dorrigo to purchase lunch, we visit the Don Dorrigo and Guy Fawkes Historical Society Museum which highlights the district’s past by showcasing a collection of district and personal histories, artefacts and photographs.
We then begin our journey via Waterfall Way to Bellingen Village where we have time to visit some of the unique specialty shops. Our next stop is the award winning Raleigh Winery where we sample unique boutique wines before arriving back at our accommodation for dinner.
Overnight - Coffs Harbour, Best Western Zebra (or similar)
Day 5 - Thursday 19 August 2021
Kempsey - Maitland (B,L,D)
After breakfast and check out we begin our journey south via Kempsey and Port Macquarie. In Kempsey we enjoy a stop at The Slim Dusty Centre and Museum. This exhibition features objects and images from the Kirkpatrick family’s own extensive archive as well as contributions from fans and friends from all over the world.
Following our tour we have morning tea in the Dinner Camp Cafe and then continue down to Port Macquarie stopping at Cassegrain Wines for a wine tasting then enjoy lunch at the Two Triple Four Restaurant.
After lunch we depart for the unique Port Macquarie Koala Hospital. The hospital is a world’s first dedicated solely to the care and preservation of koalas. Hear the story of Paul the koala and his treatment after being rescued from hectares of scorched habitat at Lake Innes in early November 2019. The loss of significant core koala habitat in the 2880 hectare fire has been described a national tragedy. Our guide will explain how koalas are brought into the hospitals care, issues they encounter, as well as provide important information in the conservation of our koala populations. Why not adopt a koala while there!
After our visit we continue our journey south to Maitland with a comfort stop along the way. On arrival we check in to our accommodation with time to freshen up before our last dinner together in the Old Maitland Inn Restaurant.
Overnight - Maitland, Old Maitland Inn (or similar)
KOALA HOSPITAL PORT MACQUARIE
The Koala Hospital commenced in 1973, in Port Macquarie a regional town in NSW. An extremely far sighted couple, Jean and Max Starr, local shop keepers, setup the Koala Preservation Society a not-for-profit association to run the Koala Hospital.
The Port Macquarie Apex Club built the first little Koala Hospital in 1975 with two recovery yards adjacent to Historic Roto House. It became apparent that the Society needed some sort of place where the koalas could rehabilitate. The trees around Roto House and the Hospital even to this day, are home for many koalas.
In 1986 a substantial hospital building replaced the original ‘log cabin’ and 1990 saw the third stage of development with the construction of the John Williamson Wing housing 6 ICU’s. John a nationally known Australian Country Music Singer happened to be in Port Macquarie and during a visit to the Koala Hospital, an emergency rescue call came in. The entire experience was so impressive for John that it inspired him to write the song, “Good Bye Blinky Bill” which became enormously popular throughout Australia. John very generously donated the proceeds from the song to the Society.
Today The Koala Hospital consists of a treatment room, 8 Intensive Care Units, 6 outdoor intensive care units and 33 rehabilitation yards, many of which have trees for koalas to learn to climb as part of the rehabilitation process. It is not only a Hospital to treat sick and injured koalas but it is also involved in research with University Sydney, University Technology Queensland and the Australian Museum into koala diseases. Between 200 and 250 koalas are admitted through the Hospital annually.
The recent November 2019 bushfire impact on wildlife, koalas in particular, has been catastrophic. Hectares of pristine bushland has been destroyed by fire, most of which is regarded as core koala habitat and food trees. Some of the rescued koalas are doing really well, while the koalas in the intensive care units are being fed formula and have their burns regularly dressed. After the fires The koala hospital turned to the crowdfunding platform GoFundMe to seek donations to fund wildlife drinking stations. The money will go towards drinking stations to help koalas and other wildlife in the fire-affected region. The Koala Hospital hoped to raise enough funds to have in excess of 30 drinking stations put out and so far 13 has been deployed. Port Macquarie Koala Hospital have plans to put together two, even three, koala breeding facilities as an insurance policy against future fires.
Day 6 - Friday 20 August 2021
Maitland - Hunter Valley Gardens - Sydney - Melbourne (B)
After breakfast and checkout we travel down to Pokolbin to the amazing Hunter Valley Gardens designed with sight, colour and fragrance very much in mind. The creation of Bill Roche who along with his wife Imelda and family, form the Australian owned company Roche Group. The entire Hunter Valley Gardens property spans over 300 hectares with the central heart and soul being the gardens themselves – Bill Roche’s vision. Our tour begins with a tractor train tour through the different themed gardens as our driver gives us an overview of the gardens as well as some interesting history and plant facts along the way. The Garden Terrace Restaurant provides the perfect place to sit down for a cuppa and snack before heading back down to Sydney Airport for our flight back home.
We depart Sydney after a wonderful time away discovering the Bellingen Valley and Coffs Coast and supporting the Communities and Wildlife affected by the devastating bushfires.
Arriving into Melbourne we say goodbye to new found friends and promise to stay in touch.
Thank you for travelling with Sisterhood Womens Travel and we look forward to welcoming you back for your next adventure!