Weekend with the Devils

A three-day journey to recharge your soul with nature, fresh food, and a private tour of Aussie Ark.

Devil Cuddles Aussie Ark

AEA Luxury Tours is proud to be the first tour operator to design an experience that supports the Aussie Ark’s historic efforts bringing the Tasmanian devils back to the mainland to rewild Australia. Join us for a weekend with the devils! 

On this 3-day, 2-night journey, you’ll escape off the beaten path and into the world of nature to enjoy quaint country towns, meandering rivers, fresh mountain air and farm gates in this less-visited part of New South Wales.

Whilst most flock to the wineries of the Hunter, you get to unwind on an experience designed to take you away from the crowds. Intimate encounters with farmers and park rangers shed light on the Gondwana Rainforest region of Barrington Tops, and still leave you plenty of time to relax for bushwalks, catered picnics, and a memorable dinner party. We plan every special detail so you can appreciate learning about this region’s conservation efforts and happenings. 

Pick-up

Sydney and Surrounds + In-Region

Duration

3-days / 2-nights

Guide

Expert local guide

Transport

Luxury 14 seat Mercedes Sprinter

Type of tour

Small Group or Private

Covid

Registered Covid Safe Business

Highlights
  • 3 days of personalised exploration of the beautiful Barrington Tops National Park, which is part of the Rainforests of Australia, and the Hunter Valley wine region
  • A private tour of Aussie Ark, where your group learns about the recent release of Tasmanian devils to the mainland in a historic initiative to rewild Australia
  • Comfortable accommodations at the Gloucester Country Lodge with breakfast, saltwater pools, and serene views of the Bucketts Mountains from your room
  • Intimate dinners each night featuring live music, fresh fare, and outdoor settings
  • A short, guided walk through a herb farm, where you get to pluck fresh greens straight from the bush
  • Picnic lunches prepared with seasonal produce, and the finest local ingredients
  • Wine tastings and lunch at wineries in the Hunter on your last day

WHATS INCLUDED

  •   Twin-share accommodation with ensuite @ Gloucester Country Lodge
  •   Meals as advised (B= Breakfast / L = Lunch/ D= Dinner)
  •   Private 2.5 Hour Devils Tour at the Aussie Ark
  •   All admissions & National Park fees
  •   Sustainable water bottles on board
  •   Goods and Services Tax (GST) @ 10%

EXCLUSIONS

  •   Beverages with meals (unless otherwise specified)
  •   Travel Insurance

ITINERARY

DAY 1 (FRIDAY): SYDNEY – DUNGOG – GLOUCESTER (LD)

At 9.00am, meet AEA Luxury Tours at Central Station for pickup. Depart Sydney for a 2.5-hour drive by private luxury transport to Dungog, the historic country town where you’ll kick off your 3-day journey. On arrival, expect coffee and tea refreshments as your private guide, a national park ranger, greets your group for a walk. 

Image Credit: Destination NSW

A bushwalk and a picnic kick off the long weekend

This nearly 3-hour riverside walk on the Blue Gum loop trail takes you to outstanding patches of untouched rainforest and blue gums in the lower region of the Barrington Tops National Park. The trail crosses the magnificent Williams River, winding past cascades, eucalypts, and rainforest before joining the southern end of Rocky Crossing walk

Pause for a short break on a high steel-span bridge to take in panoramic views of the river. Further on, a short detour leads to scenic Fern Creek cascades, where you enjoy a prepared picnic. Soothing sounds of rushing water play backdrop to your leisurely lunch as you nibble on fresh seasonal fare that could include fruits and sandwich wraps — and we can always accommodate your dietary restrictions. Once finished, your ranger will escort you back across the river on a track surrounded by an enchanting patch of ancient rainforest, where you’ll want to be sure to look up into the moss-covered branches for bird nests, and along the track for ferns and orchids. 

Wine tastings and leisure time fill the afternoon

After saying farewell to your park ranger guide, return to the vehicle for the leisurely 45-minute drive to the country town of Gloucester.  Depending on how you want to spend your time, there are ways to customise this leg of the trip to visit the small historic town of Stroud; stop at a local winery; or simply head to your accommodations at the Gloucester Country Lodge to check in and relax before dinner.    

Music and dinner round out the day at a local herb farm

This evening we have a unique dining experience planned for you at the Hillview Herb Farm — a farm gate property offering a wide range of fresh culinary and medicinal herbs to smell, taste and touch. Your host will take you for a walk through the gardens before you get settled for a delightful outdoor dinner. You’ll be served dishes prepared with home-grown herbs and produce, as you sip on beer and wine, and listen to musicians play some relaxing tunes. 

Back to your accommodation for the next 2 nights

After dinner, you’ll be driven back to your accommodation for the evening. The Gloucester Country Lodge sits at the base of Bucketts Mountain, two kilometres south of Gloucester town centre. Breakfast is served every morning, and you will have access to a saltwater pool for dips before or after our daily itinerary.

Barrington Tops

DAY 2 (SATURDAY): BARRINGTON TOPS – THE AUSSIE ARK (BLD)

After an early breakfast, head out of Gloucester for the day’s main event: a memorable 2.5-hour visit to the Aussie Ark. This incredibly unique property, established in 2011, located in the beautiful Barrington Tops, is dedicated to saving the iconic Tasmanian devil from extinction as well as creating a long-term future for a range of threatened Australian species. 

On this special outing, you’ll have exclusive time with some of the staff to talk about how over the last decade they rigorously studied the life and habits of the nearly extinct Tasmanian devil to ensure they could properly reintroduce them into the wild on mainland Australia. In partnership with the Global Wildlife Conservation and WildArk, there are now some 26 devils roaming freely about Aussie Ark’s 400-hectare wildlife sanctuary.

Tassie Devil Aussie Ark

Get up close to see the devils with an experienced ranger

Over tea, you’ll receive an introduction to the project and some quick facts on the Tasmanian devil at the Interpretation Centre. From there, an expert Devil Ark keeper takes you around the grounds, where you will see the devils in free-range enclosures. This includes a rare opportunity to enter an area where you are witness to a communal feed designed to encourage wild behaviour. Finally, depending on the time of year you visit, you will even get the chance to hold and interact with one of the newest devil joeys.

A picnic and leisure time along the Manning River in Barrington Tops

After bidding farewell to the devils and their friends at the Ark, sit back and relax on your ride back down the mountain to enjoy a picnic lunch beside the Manning River. From there, you set out for a series of short walks and lookout stops designed to immerse you in the ancient Antarctic Beech forest.  

Finish off the day with dinner at a local pub

After a beautiful day learning about the conservation efforts going on in New South Wales, you’ll be returned to the lodge in the late afternoon to rest before dinner. Tonight’s menu includes a 2-course spread at a local pub (drinks at your own expense). The evening is then yours to enjoy as you please.

DAY 3 (SUNDAY): GLOUCESTER – HUNTER VALLEY – SYDNEY (BL)

After breakfast, depart Gloucester and travel to Pokolbin, the heart of Australia’s oldest and best-known wine region, the Hunter Valley. With some 150 cellar doors and 65 restaurants in the area, there’s a little something for everyone here. Expect visits to two wineries for tastings, and indulge in a charcuterie board lunch that includes wines. From here, you’ll depart from the Hunter Valley at approximately 3.30pm for a journey back to Sydney to arrive at approximately 6.00pm.

Contact us today to plan your experience

TOUR DATES

This tour is available for travel dates starting now as a private tour. Contact us today to inquire and book.

The following scheduled dates are available for 2021.

Friday 26 – Sunday 28 February 2021

Friday 19 – Sunday 21 March 2021

Friday 07 – Sunday 09 May 2021

Friday 10 – Sunday 12 September 2021

Friday 15 – Sunday 17 October 2021

Friday 19 – Sunday 21 November 2021

PRICING

$1,575 per person, twin share accommodation. Add $125 for a single supplement.

Please note: A minimum of 6 passengers is required for this tour to operate. If minimum numbers are not met, you will be notified 14 days prior to departure that your tour will not be able to operate, and be advised of alternate available departures. If alternate dates are not suitable, you will be provided with a full refund.

SINGLE TRAVELLERS REQUESTING TWIN SHARE:

Our policy is that all solo travellers must pay the single supplement. If at the time of departure there is another single that has requested to share, we will then refund the single supplement to both guests. We must wait until the tour has departed as circumstances can change with new bookings, cancellations etc.  

PAYMENT TERMS:

  • Deposit of 25% of tour cost per person is required to secure booking 
  • The remaining balance will be due in full by no later than 30 days prior to travel date

CANCELLATION TERMS

  • Cancellations received within 30 days of travel, 100% cancellation fees for full-tour costs will apply.
  • Cancellations received outside of these parameters will be refunded in full 

CANCELLATION TERMS – TOUR CANCELLED DUE TO GOVERNMENT IMPOSED COVID RESTRICTIONS

  • Should the tour not be able to operate due to unexpected Government imposed Covid restrictions, no cancellation penalties apply and full refunds will be provided, on the basis that all suppliers of AEA Luxury Tours waive all cancellation fees.  Any cancellation fees charged by suppliers of the touring itinerary which are outside of the control of AEA Luxury Tours will be withheld from any refunds due to the client.

Level of Fitness Required – Medium

Whilst this tour is not physically demanding it does include nature walks in National Parks.  There will be times where you will be required to navigate uneven tracks, inclines/descents on walks and all participants are required to be able to walk unaided and will not need any foreseen assistance throughout the journey. For all clients to fully enjoy this travel experience, excellent health and mobility is required by all.

Weekend with the Devils

Tour Enquire Now

Why Choose AEA Luxury Tours ?

• 29 Years of experience
• Best luxury tour experience
• Fleet of luxury vehicles
• Flexible tailored packages
• Preferred partner for Destination New South Wales
• Internationally renowned as Sydney’s leading small group tour operator
• Comprehensive Covld-19 Safety Plan registered with Service NSW