15th May – 21st May
This tour combines two of Australia’s richest industries, cotton and opals with the magic of the outback. Stay overnight in Goondiwindi, home of the mighty race horse Gunsynd and Goondiwindi Cotton. Enjoy a fabulous guided tour of Gundy. Meet some local icons, experience a working cotton farm via the cotton gin and go places not open to the public. Visit the iconic Victoria Hotel where you will be taken on an informative walk through the oldest hotel in Goondiwindi and learn all about their famous horse, Gunsynd and be shouted a light shandy of comedy. In Moree, visit Strahmann’s Pecan Nut Farm, ‘Trawalla’ the largest and most productive Pecan Nut Plantation in the southern hemisphere.
In Lightning Ridge we explore all the ‘ridge’ has to offer including the Chambers of the Black Hand and Bevan’s Cactus Nursery with some free time to visit the many opal shops. In St George visit Steve Margaritis’ ‘World Expo’ accredited display of carved, illuminated emu eggs followed by a delightful lunch and tour of Riversands Winery. On our return journey stop at Stanthorpe to visit Lawdogs Australia. Be captivated as you see the dogs training for future arrest scenarios, controlling suspects, finding hidden scents, working around agility equipment, developing their bite skills and barking on command. This short tour is certainly packed with a variety of experiences…don’t miss out, book soon!
DAY 1 HERVEY BAY – GOONDIWINDI D
Monday, 15th May: With Wide Bay passengers onboard begin our journey south, picking up passengers joining the tour at designated locations enroute, we make our way to Roma Street Station to welcome aboard our Brisbane and Gold Coast passengers. Travel the Cunningham Highway to Warwick where we pause for lunch (own expense) then continue on via Inglewood to Goondiwindi. Stay The Jolly Swagman Motor Inn.
DAY 2 GOONDIWINDI – MOREE BLD
Tuesday, 16th May: A special treat this morning with a guided tour of Goondiwindi. Experience a working cotton farm via the cotton gin and go places not open to the public. Learn some interesting facts and legends and finally discover the Fashion House of Goondiwindi Cotton. Next, a ‘B & B’ tour through the iconic newly renovated Victoria Hotel which features the most outstanding architecture in Goondiwindi. At the conclusion of the tour enjoy lunch and a drink on the verandah. Travel on to Moree where we visit Moree Plains Gallery housed in a magnificent 1911 Edwardian-style building. Stay Burke & Wills Motor Inn.
DAY 3 MOREE – LIGHTNING RIDGE BLD
Wednesday, 17th May: Start our morning with a guided tour to Stahmann’s Pecan Nut Farm, ‘Trawalla’ the largest and most productive Pecan Nut Plantation in the Southern Hemisphere. Following our tour, enjoy lunch at the Amaroo Tavern with time to browse the C47 Dakota plane which served in many different squadrons including the Papua New Guinea Defence Force and officially opened as a tourist attraction in 1994. After lunch continue on to Lightning Ridge. Two night stay Wallangulla Motel.
DAY 4 LIGHTNING RIDGE SIGHTSEEING BD
Thursday, 18th May: This morning enjoy a sightseeing tour of Lightning Ridge before visiting Bevan’s Cactus Nursery. Said to be the largest display of old and rare cacti in the southern Hemisphere, this cacti garden is a labour of love and well worth a look! Meet the only black opal mining cacti farmers in the world! Next, a guided tour of the opal mine known as the Chambers of the Black Hand – a national treasure in the making. 11.2 metres underground, in a 100 year old mine, subterranean tunnels open into vast chambers. Walls are decorated with the hand carvings of artist Ron Canlin, the owner of this uniquely Australian attraction. This afternoon is yours to explore the attractions of Lightning Ridge, perhaps visit John Murray’s Art Gallery or do some opal shopping.
DAY 5 LIGHTNING RIDGE – ST GEORGE BLD
Friday, 19th May: Leaving Lightning Ridge we head out along the Castlereagh Highway passing by the Hebel Hotel, originally opened in 1894 as a Cobb & Co. Changing Station, then through Dirranbandi and Thallon to Nindigully for a stop at Queensland’s oldest hotel, still in its original condition and position on the banks of the Moonie River. Built in 1864 the pub was also a Cobb & Co Changing Station. Continue on to St George for lunch, a tour and tasting at Riversands Winery followed by a visit to the Unique Egg. These amazing World Class hand carved, illuminated emu eggs were handcrafted by Steve Margaritis over a period of 40 years. When the lights turn off and the LED lights shine through the emu shells – for a moment – you can catch a glimpse into Steve’s mind and what he imagines. Stay Merino Motor Inn.
DAY 6 ST GEORGE – STANTHORPE BLD
Saturday, 20th May: This morning we make our way along the Barwon Highway stopping at Goondiwindi for morning tea then on to Stanthorpe for lunch at the Granite Belt Brewery. See how a real brewery works from the viewing lounge, for beer lovers, experience fresh beer on tap straight from the brewery or select a tasting paddle with four beers of your choice. After a delicious lunch, it’s off to Lawdogs Australia for a ‘Dog Show with Bite’, a Law Enforcement dog training and demonstration experience including protection, detection and agility dogs. Lawdogs Australia is Australia’s first privately owned training kennel open to the public to see puppies and adult dogs going through the law enforcement training. Stay High Street Motor Inn.
DAY 7 STANTHORPE – HOME BL
Sunday, 21st May: All too soon our holiday is almost over! Heading north along the New England Highway to Toowoomba, we stop at the Cobb & Co Museum for morning tea and to explore the outstanding National Carriage Collection which features nearly 50 horse-drawn vehicles and galleries showcasing the natural and cultural history of Toowoomba and the Darling Downs. Continuing on our way, stop at the Gatton RSL for lunch then on to Roma Street Transit Centre where we farewell our Brisbane passengers. Northbound passengers stay onboard for arrival in the Wide Bay late afternoon.
Adult: $2249 pp
Pensioner: $2235 pp
Past Passenger: $2228 pp
Single Supplement: $364 pp
Final Payment Due: 31st March 2017
Bookings Close on Sunday May 15th, 2016