Photo above is the Port Arthur Penitentiary.

Tasmanian Conference Tours

Tours before, during and after the Conference.

Page updated 16 February 2019.

Delegates attending the Conference in Hobart will be treated to a number of exciting and different tours taking you to places and experiences with a difference.  Because of the exclusivity of these tours designed especially for OAA members there are limitations in numbers participating.  All proposed tours are subject to final appointment and number of members who wish to book.   As it is hoped all tours will be filled with the maximum number of participants to keep the costs down all those who book will be invoiced separately from the Conference registration payment.

A summary of each of the tours is shown below.  Early expressions of interest with no obligation will assist and can be sent to  Tours 1 and 2 are scheduled before the conference on Tuesday 9th and Wednesday 10th April and tours 3 and 4 after the conference on Monday 15th and Tuesday 16th April. These tours all leave from the Hotel Grand Chancellor at 9.00 am.  Each tour is a full day in duration  and in each case your return to the Hotel is expected to be between 5.00 pm and 6.00 pm

These tours have been designed for our Association by Kim Dudson of award winning Bespoke Tasmania, who specialises in exclusive visits to private properties not open to the general public and unique experiences at those that are. They are all subject to appointment and a cancellation policy applies.

Places for each tour will be confirmed once full payment is made which will be on the basis of the minimum number for that tour.  Reimbursements will be made for the difference should the full tour number be reached.  Remember that the cancellation policy applies.

This three minute video produced by Brand Tasmania three years ago, shows Tasmania’s innovative and inspiring community that celebrates its difference fitting the Conference theme of “Making the Difference”.

Please select from the following tour options:

View more tour photos

Before the Conference

Tour 1, Tuesday, 9th April 2019,  9.00am sharp to 5.30pm

Colonial Resourcefulness.   Tour at capacity

Discover the fascinating story of Tasmania’s fine merino wool industry, prized by elite spinning mills world-wide.  Hear about its origins, and latest exciting developments. A remarkable tale of an English woman, who clearly identified the Saxon merino sheep breed attracted the highest prices.  In 1828 she walks the breadth of Saxony, buying these sheep with coins sewn into her skirts, then walks them to Hamburg’s Port to be shipped to Australia to breed.  And some ingenious “way-laying” by a resourceful Colonial administrator that changed wool history.

We will visit a ground-breaking Tasmanian property tracking their fine wool through to “single-source suiting showcased in the best outfitters on New York’s 5th Avenue”.  Not normally available to the public, listen to this far-sighted 4th generation farmer and his wife speak about this exciting development, combined with their sensitive, visionary conservation/restoration of the land.

Added to this tour delegates will visit Oatlands, a country town with exceptional colonial buildings to observe fascinating and precious heritage building skills such as:

Old art of shingle splitting

Old art of shingle splitting

  • a demonstration by the State’s leading shingle splitter. Using basic contemporary style tools, be amazed how easily craftsmen split mature hardwoods (now increasingly rare both in age and species) and by their skills to maximise longevity of singles;
  • a master heritage stone mason will talk to us about sandstone construction – such a feature of Tasmania’s heritage buildings. Discover how it was it was quarried, watch how it was shaped/dressed. Then lots of smoke/bubbles as we observe the preparation of the critical limestone mortar and the role of sea-shells;
  • and having addressed the construction of roofs/walls we consider colonial interiors. Learn about the superb sophisticated range of colonial wall-papers to be found in Tasmania, through to basic oilskin layers and their restoration.  All brought to life within the small cottage being restored by a wallpaper expert.

$315 per person (8), $280 per person (10) including morning tea and lunch

Minimum of 8 and a maximum of 10, $315 per person (8)   $280 (10) including morning tea and lunch.

Tour 2, Wednesday, 10th April 2019

Fab Farm to Fork – 9.00 am to 5.00pm   Tour at capacity


Driving amidst beautiful coastal waterways and fertile hills, be uplifted with the success stories behind highly innovative producers of boutique items, from a selection including:

Saffron is laboriously hand picked

Saffron is laboriously hand picked.

  • sheep’s cheese, and world award-winning gin & vodka using sheep’s whey;
  • native botanicals and herbs prized internationally amidst a verdant kitchen garden, native bush and wonderful sculpture park along with an iris farm;
  • ground-breaking saffron farm, producing some of the best in the world;
  • smoked salmon and trout, sustainably sourced, using native Tasmanian timbers and organic apple-wood from nearby extensive orchard;
  • why some of Australia’s leading Pinot Noir makers have chosen an unrecognised corner of Tasmania to make remarkable wine;
  • how Tasmanian organic apples/craft cider has been leading the world, now extended to Calvados.

NB: Participants expressing their favourites within the selection will be appreciated.

Minimum of 8 and a maximum of 10 at $315 per person (8)   $280 (10) including morning tea and lunch.

Part of the Conference Programme

Incat Express 3

Express 3 completes sea trials on the River Derwent, Hobart

This tour included in your Conference Registration fee is a visit to two innovative world renowned marine engineering businesses.

Incat, known for its ocean-going wave piercing catamarans, began from the inspiration and farsightedness of its founder Robert (Bob) Clifford AO.  Incat has continued to develop the breed with lightweight, environmentally friendly fuel-efficient ships carrying heavier vehicle loads than ever before and at the lowest operational costs.

Liferaft Systems Australia (LSA) is a dynamic company formed specifically for the design and manufacture of high quality Marine Evacuation Systems (MES) and large capacity liferafts.

LSA has developed a product that is synonymous with quality and reliability, which is of paramount importance in the marine safety industry.

After the Conference

Tour 3, Monday 15th April 2019

Hops, Hooch and Heritage – 9.00am to 5.30pm

  • In a mountain ringed river valley, we gain a privileged insight into some of Tasmania’s most impressive heritage properties.  Privately owned, and meeting with the owners, hear about leading edge agriculture on the edge of the world: then and now, including a selection from:
    Oast house for drying hops

    Oast house for drying hops

    • the first hops grown for commercial production in Australia;
      • their crucial role in founding a new colony, and exciting future
    • a colonial garden with heritage trees/plants, a rose arbour modelled on Giverny, Nugget the pony with his one horse-power and extraordinary time-keeping
    • alongside pristine river waters and tree lined ponds listen to the tenacity behind the first trout breeding– the origins of trout fishing in Australasia;
    • visit an 1860’s remarkable pastoral property, restored meticulously, with a world award winning distillery. Superb sandstone and heritage milled wooden buildings;
    • lunch* at internationally renowned restaurant, highlighting locally sourced heritage produce; *of your choice and not included in price.

Minimum of 8 and a maximum of 10 at $350 per person (8)   $325 (10), including morning tea & tasting at distillery.

Tour 4, Tuesday 16th April 2019

Make your own gin, and explore the Tasman Peninsula – 9.00am to 6.00pm

In possibly the only place in the world where you can distil you own gin using your own mini still and recipe, hear gin’s fascinating history combined with a tutored tasting, watch centuries old water bubbling up in a natural spring amidst a beautiful bushland mountain setting. Located at one of Gourmet Traveller’s favourite distilleries.  Includes gin-flavour matched picnic lunch.

Combine this with a selection from the following:

Guests distilling there own special gin.

Guests distilling there own special and unique gin.

  • private guided tour of Port Arthur;
  • hear how entrepreneurial wife of a diesel engineer and sheep farmer, “rebranded” lavender, with her own farm to make it stylish and sustainable;
  • discover how a potato farmer uses second grade potatoes most profitably;
  • arising from the ashes of major bushfire, entrepreneurial farming families have created a most successful vineyard cafe/oyster outlet;
  • see soaring cliffs, and evocative seascapes.

NB: Participants expressing their favourites within the selection will be appreciated.

$650 per person (4)  –  $540 (10) including morning tea and lunch


CANCELLATION POLICY: All cancellations to any paid tour must be made in writing to the OAA Conference
Co-ordinators, 10 Aotea Road, Sandy Bay 7005 or E-mail

An administration charge of $50.00 will be made to any participant cancelling after 28 February 2019. After 31 March 2019 the full tour cost will apply to all cancellations or non-attendance. Substitutes are welcome at no additional cost. Conference Co-ordinators will confirm receipt of your alteration or cancellation in writing.