This boutique tour of Victoria & Hobart will take you to areas rich in gorgeous gardens, fantastic art, and world-renowned cuisine. We start in Melbourne, where we'll explore the rich architectural heritage, incredible food, and amazing interactive shows. We’ll wander the labyrinth of lanes and alleyways, revealing quirky Melbourne at its best. We’ll discover one of the world’s finest gardens at the Botanic Gardens and explore the Ian Potter Centre dedicated to Australian art. This outstanding collection features works from Aboriginal art through the Heidelberg School and on to contemporary mixed media. We’ll travel from Melbourne to Daylesford, an area that contains Australia's largest concentration of natural mineral springs. It’s a gorgeous town, and we’ll spend a couple of days exploring the town’s fine collection of historic buildings, art galleries, and boutique shops. Expect plenty of scenic countryside, quaint boutiques, bathhouses, and incredible food & wine. It may be small, but Tasmania sure packs a punch—a place where the cities and wilderness are as enticing as the food and wine. We'll stay in charming Hobart, a study in avant-garde culture, Australia’s natural flora and fauna, and Tasmania’s colonial history. Here, time slows, locals take the time to say g’day, and food appears from paddock to plate. Come with us. An adventure down under awaits you!
Here's a day-by-day itinerary of the trip.
Arrive in Melbourne
Welcome to Melbourne/Naarm!
Arrive in Melbourne, pass through immigration, collect your luggage, and clear customs. *If you have booked an arrival transfer through us, we’ll meet you outside the secure area and take you to the hotel by private van transfer. Ask our concierge for advice on transfer arrangements.
Check into the QT Hotel and relax. Your host will be there to welcome you shortly. We’ll meet in Bar 133 at the hotel for a cocktail before dinner. It’s the perfect opportunity to meet fellow travelers and discuss the upcoming week’s adventures.
After drinks, we’ll get to know each other at the Gimlet at Cavendish House during our welcome dinner. The restaurant is set in the 1920s. Chef Andrew McConnell reimagined this Chicago-styled space to create a cocktail bar and dining room with classic European charm. Gimlet has been a favorite Melbourne foodie destination for years.
Note: Naarm is the indigenous name for Melbourne.
The best way to discover a city is by walking it - even better – walk it with a knowledgeable ‘inside’ guide on a Hidden Secrets Tour. This tour is a unique way to discover the true character of Melbourne. Your guide will introduce you to the famed Melbourne culture and characteristics. Melbourne's charm is hidden in little nooks throughout the city. Its arcades and laneways hide many of these treasures. On this morning’s tour, you'll discover Melbourne’s enchantment.
After our intro to Melbourne’s hidden laneways, we're off to LUME to see the new show, Connection. It features over 550 digital and original artworks created by more than 110 visual and musical artists. This is the most extensive collection of First Peoples’ art ever assembled. Connection combines First Peoples’ art, music, and culture in an immersive experience, fusing the world’s oldest culture with innovative technology. Lunch is at the galleries’ Restaurant.
After lunch, you’ll have free time to shop and explore Melbourne.
We’ll meet on the Rooftop tonight for an optional group cocktail* before dinner at the Flower Drum, a Melbourne institution offering fine-dining Cantonese cuisine. Critics claim this is Australia's finest Chinese restaurant. The menu emphasizes a creative touch, using high-quality seafood and other proteins. Let’s taste the magic.
*At own cost.
After a lazy breakfast, we’ll stroll to the botanical gardens for an Aboriginal Heritage Walk. The Royal Botanic Gardens is an important cultural site for the local Kulin Nation. Gain insight into the rich history and thriving culture of the First Peoples of Australia as our expert guide identifies significant native plants in the gardens. Learn about Aboriginal plant uses customs, and ongoing connection to the Country.
Royal Botanic Gardens has been a treasured part of Melbourne’s cultural life for more than 170 years – much loved by generations of Victorians and visitors alike. We’ll stop at The Terrace - overlooking the beloved ornamental lake – for a coffee.
We continue to Fitzroy - an eclectic suburb with a rich history etched into its old pubs and bars, narrow streets and terrace houses, retailers, and modern wine bars, maintaining the old décor and the spirit of bygone days. The suburb was once associated with the working class and is known for its bohemian vibe. Fitzroy became a gentrification casualty in the ’80s and ’90s. Today, it is a cultural hub with a vibrant heart, celebrated for its unconventional, arty, and eccentric nature.
After a fabulous lunch at The Builders Arms Hotel (a Fitzroy landmark and one of Melbourne’s oldest pubs), we’ll wander Gertrude Street. Stretching through Fitzroy for one kilometer, the street brims with independent boutiques, galleries, bars, and restaurants that channel a solid creative spirit.
The perfect way to cap a day of shopping and exploration is with a cocktail at The Everleigh, an intimate cocktail bar/speakeasy inspired by the golden era of fine drinking.
We return to our hotel for a free evening to do what you please.
We’re off to Daylesford after breakfast. From the Dja Dja Wurrung people, who first inhabited the land thousands of years ago, to the Swiss Italian migrants of the gold rush and Melbourne's turn-of-the-century holidaymakers, Daylesford has long been a special place of healing. Set in the foothills of the Great Dividing Range, Daylesford is known for its natural mineral springs.
The pretty-as-a-picture village, hilly and replete with church spires and heritage buildings, is an eclectic mix of artists’ studios, cafes, galleries, and shops, exuding a sophisticated bohemian vibe.
We’ll spend two nights in this gorgeous regional town, indulging in exquisite food and wine from across the region. We’ll discover delightful boutiques and galleries and relax with (optional) spa and wellness rituals.
Before lunch, we’ll drop our bags at our stunning accommodation, The Lake House. Our lunch today is at The Boathouse Restaurant, located on the banks of Lake Daylesford. You’ll enjoy exquisite water views from any vantage point at the restaurant.
After lunch, we return to The Lake House, also on the shores of beautiful Lake Daylesford. Walking trails lead from the property, around the lake, and into the Wombat State Forest, complete with local fauna and the abundant healthy mineral springs. Why not enjoy a glass of wine in front of the fire in the Argyle Library Bar or spend the afternoon in the gorgeous *Spa,
We meet tonight on the Lagoon Deck before dining at the Lake House Restaurant. Regarded as one of the best restaurants in Australia, Lake House is a world-class destination for travelers seriously interested in food and wine.
*This is an optional activity and must be pre-booked.
You’ll have to rise early to experience an hour-long hot-air balloon ride* over the stunning Daylesford region because you’ll meet your pilot and crew an hour before sunrise. At the launch site, you can help inflate the balloon, take photos, or watch the entire process as you please. No motors, no noise. You'll float gently in the air, enjoying the spectacular views of the Daylesford countryside with its rolling hills, farms, and red volcanic soil. Your pilot will land the hot air balloon on a friendly farmer’s land. We’ll return you to Daylesford for a 5-star champagne breakfast after your thrilling ride.
After breakfast, we’re off on a full-day private tour of Daylesford and its surroundings. Our day will include wine tasting at the likes of Wombat Forest Wines, and Passing Cloud, lunch at Passing Cloud dining room, and The Convent Gallery (a curator-led tour plus coffee & cake). We’ll visit the Bromley & Co art gallery, enjoy tastings at Terra Australis Distillery & Herbal Lore Liqueurs, a botanical cocktail at Enki (along with many lovely apothecary items) – and we'll wander around the town.
We’ll also see whether we can nab a window seat at Winespeake to enjoy the fantastic array of wines and cheese!
We return to the hotel to rest and refresh before dinner. Tonight, we’ll dine at Bistro Terroir - a neighborhood French Bistro and the best place to savor fine fare and sip beverages from a carefully selected drinks menu. Chef/owner Matthew Carnell is at the heart of the Bistro. Bistro Terroir brings Matthew's accomplished skills as a chef with a Michelin two-star restaurant in Paris, France, to Daylesford.
*This is an optional activity and must be pre-booked.
Hot Air Balloon Ride
Drive to Melbourne, fly to Hobart
After breakfast, we'll transfer to Melbourne for our flight to Hobart. The flight is just over an hour, so we will soon check into The Moss Hotel, our base in Tasmania, for the next two nights.
Tucked above the heart of vibrant Salamanca Place, our hotel is the ideal springboard to discover Hobart. The best of Hobart’s rich culture, history, and world-famous cuisine is on our doorstep. We can meander side streets and back alleyways, find the city’s best culinary spots, and take local advice about favorite hidden treasures. Moss was originally a warehouse created in the mid-1800s for traders, stores, and taverns, so each room is unique.
Our first Hobart outing is a Takara Nipaluna/ Walking Hobart tour hosted by Black Led Tours. This tour gives voice to the Palawa (Tasmanian Aboriginal) perspective, history, and continued presence in Hobart, exposing layers of history beneath the asphalt. The truth-telling performance will resonate with you long after the walk ends. The walking tour of Nipaluna and its waterfront follows the 1832 route that a group of forty members of the Aboriginal resistance took as they progressed to the old Government House to negotiate an end to the Black War.
After a rest, we'll dine tonight at Aløft. Passionate about local produce, the menu reflects Tasmania's changing seasons and raw nature. At Aloft, you have a window seat to one of Hobart’s most spectacular harbor views while enjoying seasonal herbs and vegetables, harvested seafood, small-farm free-range meat, and poultry,
This morning you have free time to wander the famous Salamanca Market. One of Tasmania's most visited tourist attractions, the Salamanca Market, has won many awards for excellence. The market features over 230 stallholders representing artisans, designers, and producers - it's as Tasmanian as possible and the best place to find locally designed and handmade products from this creative island.
At midday, we’ll depart by ferry to MONA just north of Hobart. We’ll travel in style in the ferry’s private lounge, bar, and deck. The Posh Pit has its own dedicated bar and luxurious leather seating. The trip includes complimentary drinks and finger food.
MONA - The Museum of Old and New Art was built by David Walsh to house his ancient, modern, and contemporary art collections. Located on the banks of the Derwent, MONA is Australia’s largest private museum with three levels of underground galleries that visitors explore with custom-built, handheld technology called the O. O tells visitors about the displayed artworks. MONA also has two wineries, a brewery, several bars and restaurants, luxury accommodation pavilions, a library, and a tennis court.
We’ll have lunch at The Source. Perched atop the MONA site, the Source is a temple to seasonal Tasmanian dining. We’ll settle into sweeping views, lush and living moss-and-herb tables, an award-winning wine list, and fresh, uncomplicated food.
We'll spend the afternoon discovering the museum’s delights before taking the ferry back to Hobart. After such a big - but fabulous! – day, your evening is free.
Back to Melbourne
After a lazy breakfast, we’ll transfer to the airport for our flight to Melbourne. We're going back to the QT Hotel for our final night.
After check-in, you have free time for any last-minute shopping, gallery hopping, or café lounging. Your host will be on hand to offer recommendations and options.
We meet in Bar 133 for a pre-dinner cocktail.
Tonight’s farewell dinner is at Cumulus Inc., Andrew O’Connell’s acclaimed eating house. Open since 2008, Cumulus is in Melbourne’s famous art and fashion precinct, Flinders Lane. Celebrating the historic turn of the century rag trade building in which it is located, the space is a busy social hub with a healthy, seasonal menu celebrating the best in Victorian produce. Like the fashion precinct, the Flinders Lane restaurant constantly evolves without losing its sleek, laid-back, forever-classic feel.
Raise your glasses to a memorable week and say a fond farewell to new friends.
As the sun rises on departure day, we bid farewell to the vibrant city of Melbourne.
With hearts filled with anticipation and a sense of adventure, we embark on a journey to new horizons.
Melbourne, with its bustling streets, cultural treasures, and captivating energy, has left an indelible mark on our souls.
The QT Hotel is located in the heart of Melbourne, just 650 feet from the Regent Theater, and features a rooftop terrace and views of the city. The QT Hotel is perfectly groomed & accessorised and provides boutique accommodation.
The Lake House lies on the shores of beautiful Lake Daylesford. Walking trails lead from the property, around the lake and into the Wombat State Forest, complete with local fauna and the abundant health creating mineral springs the area is renowned for.
The Moss Hotel, tucked above the heart of vibrant Salamanca Place, is the ideal spring board to discover Hobart and Tasmania.
Gardens, Art, Cuisine
Victoria and Tasmania, located in the southern part of Australia, offer an enchanting blend of natural beauty, cultural richness, and culinary delights. Victoria boasts the vibrant city of Melbourne with its architectural wonders, hidden laneways, and iconic Botanic Gardens. In Daylesford, immerse yourself in a charming town adorned with historic buildings, art galleries, and the serenity of Lake Daylesford. Meanwhile, Tasmania captivates with Hobart's waterfront charm, Georgian warehouses, and thriving food scene. Explore Tasmania's wilderness and encounter unique wildlife. These destinations promise an unforgettable experience filled with diverse landscapes and captivating cultural treasures.
Everything specified in the itinerary
All meals (except where indicated), including beer & wine with dinner
Accommodations at unique, 4-star or better hotels
All transportation during the trip (except where indicated)
Expert guides and trip leaders
A small group experience
Round-trip airfare to Melbourne
Additional wine, beer, and/or spirits beyond what’s offered at meals
All personal souvenirs
Travel and medical insurance (strongly recommended)
The trip officially starts the afternoon of Sunday, February 20th, but if you’re traveling across an ocean to get to Melbourne, consider arriving a day or two early so you have time to relax and adjust to the local time zone. If you do decide to arrive early, just let us know and, if you need it, we’ll help you with arrangements.
Because everyone is arriving at different times and it’s not difficult to get into town, we have not included the cost of private airport transfers in the trip. When you land in Melbourne, just hop in a cab or an Uber after you collect your luggage. We can also organize a private transfer, just let us know and, if you need it, we’ll help you with arrangements.