Sunday Herald Sun - Escape
DO+ C HOLIDAY Who f lies to Kingscote now? For a tour that fits right in with a milestone birthday, try ASA’s A Taste of Tasmania
This week Escape welcomes a new Doc Holiday to the team. Dilvin Yasa, a long-term contributor and travel fanatic, will answer your queries and ensure your next adventure is memorable (for all the right reasons).
I’m looking at taking my family to Kangaroo Island for a holiday, but I’m not sure what my best options are now that Rex no longer flies between Adelaide and Kingscote. What would you suggest?
What a great start to the year. Kangaroo Island is one of my favourite spots. The good news is that although Rex will cease flying to Kingscote once the federal government’s Regional Airline Support Network (RANS) program finishes, this is currently slated for March 28. Until then the airline will continue to fly between Adelaide and Kingscote twice a week so you can still take this option over the next few weeks.
QantasLink, of course, continues to operate between Adelaide and Kingscote, with seven return services each week. Sadly, the airline is not currently operating its direct-flight service between Melbourne and Kingscote so you will need to book the first leg of your trip to Adelaide.
Flying to Kangaroo Island is obviously the quicker option, but don’t discount the benefits of flying to Adelaide, then taking the scenic 90-minute drive down the Fleurieu Peninsula to Cape Jervis where you can board one of two ferry services to make the island crossing. Driving can be kinder on the back pocket
(and remember, you’ll also need a car while you’re on the gargantuan island), but you can also stop to tour the wineries of McLaren Vale or take the coastal road and swing by scenic
Port Willunga for a bite to eat before you continue on to the island.
At Cape Jervis, SeaLink offers four daily departures and the 45-minute ferry crossing to Penneshaw will transport you and your car, while Kangaroo Island Connect has a daily 30-minute passenger service with vehicle hire once you reach the island.
My sister has a milestone birthday coming up and she’s very keen to celebrate it in Tasmania. We’re a little past strenuous activity but would like to do a tour that includes pretty gardens and some food experiences. Any thoughts?
You’re certainly going to the right place. Not only is Tasmania brimming with lush public spaces, but it has around 600 private gardens open to the public each year. For a tour that fits right in with a milestone birthday, there are some great options, such as ASA’s A Taste of Tasmania: Autumn Gardens, Cradle Mountain & Gourmet Delights, an 11-day tour with Gardening Australia’s John Patrick that explores the gardens, agricultural landscapes and natural scenery around the state.
Renaissance Tours, too, has a variety of solid garden tours, such as the 10-day Gardens of Tasmania’s West Coast tour, which travels between Launceston and Hobart via the West Coast and Cradle Mountain, while Botanic World Discoveries offers a seven-day Private Gardens, Art & Taste of Tasmania small-group adventure, complete with a botanical guide. Guests will tour private gardens not usually open to the public, but also enjoy galleries such as Mona and the private art collection at Henry Jones Hotel and dining experiences at celebrated local restaurants.
Of course, if you would prefer a tour that encompasses the best of everything the state has to offer rather than a strict focus on gardens, you may like to consider AAT Kings’ Perfect Tasmania, a 13-day guided holiday that takes in historic sites, tours national parks and gardens, allows you to meet producers and includes gentle cruises such as the one on Gordon River.
Regardless of which tour you opt for, be sure to do a little homework beforehand and check out the Garden History Society’s Remarkable Gardens list, as well as Blooming Australia, which has details on some of the most spectacular gardens the state has to offer. If these aren’t included in the tour you book, you can always plan a self-guided visit to these separately.