The small cities of the countryside and coastline surrounding Melbourne have a wealth of cultural sites to tempt visitors. Chief among them is an outstanding collection of regional and private galleries. This new itinerary gives art lovers the chance to sample a range of Australia’s best smaller galleries as well as enjoying varied scenery, great food and wine. Background talks and meetings with gallery directors and curators will add depth and context to the works we explore.
Get to know
The impact of the Victorian Gold Rush on colonial art and architecture
The role of the bush and the beach in creating Australia’s visual identity
Cutting-edge contemporary sculpture and painting in superb natural settings
The patronage of the visual arts by prominent Australians, ranging from Nellie Melba to the Besson family
Great food and wine along the Bellarine Peninsula and Yarra Valley
Regional galleries in the goldfields towns of Bendigo and Ballarat
The wineries and landscapes of the Bellarine and Mornington Peninsulas, on either side of Port Phillip Bay
The McClelland Gallery and Sculpture Park and Tarrawarra – two of Australia’s leading private galleries
Dame Nellie Melba’s former estate in the Yarra Valley
Heide Museum of Modern Art – celebrating Nolan, Albert Tucker and the thoroughly modern Reid family
The Lyon Housemuseum in Kew, an architect’s home bursting with contemporary art
Days 1–2: Explore the superb Bendigo Regional Gallery and take an afternoon excursion to the goldfields town of Castlemaine.
Day 3: Spend the day at the Bendigo and Geelong galleries, both highly regarded, before heading to the Bellarine Peninsula.
Days 4–5: Take the ferry crossing to Sorrento, visiting the Mornington Peninsula Gallery and McClelland Sculpture Park.
Days 6–7: Enjoy lunch at Tarrawarra Gallery in the Yarra Valley. Visit Nellie Melba’s estate and sample some of the region’s great food and wine.
Day 8: Visit Heide and the Lyons Housemuseum in suburban Melbourne.
A detailed itinerary for this tour is available. Click on the link above to view or download.
The tour begins and ends at Melbourne’s Tullamarine Airport. Qantas, Virgin and Jetstar have regular flights from all over Australia. Contact us for quotes and bookings.
A detailed itinerary for this tour will be available in September. However due to the high amount of interest in this tour, bookings are now open. If the final itinerary is not as you expected and you wish to withdraw from the tour, you will have the option of cancelling your booking with no penalty. Online bookings can be made to the right of this page.
In the meantime, if you would like to be notified when the detailed itinerary become available, please fill in the form below.
Dr Nick Gordon
Has a University Medal and a PhD in History and lectures on European art. Nick is also a practising painter and brings this passion to the visual arts.
Dr Nick Gordon holds a University Medal and a PhD in history from the University of Sydney. He has taught European history at universities in Sydney for 10 years and continues to lecture regularly on art and history for Sydney University’s Nicholson Museum and Centre for Continuing Education. Nick’s interests range from classical antiquity, to architecture, modern and contemporary art, and the history and culture of medieval, Renaissance and early modern Europe. His knowledge of and passion for these fields have developed from both his academic research and practice as an artist. He has led tours for Academy Travel since 2007.
Hotels to be advised. Hotels will be selected principally for their central location, with an average 4* rating.
What is included in the tour price? Unless otherwise stated in the itinerary, our tours include the following:
Any flights mentioned in the itinerary that take place during a tour
Land travel by private air-conditioned coach. Where appropriate public transport is also used for short distance travel on some tours
All accommodation in hotels or apartments as stated in the itinerary
Breakfasts, lunches and dinners specifically stated as included in the itinerary
Drinks at welcome and farewell meals. Other meals may not have drinks included
Background talks on tour, site notes and online resources
Services of tour leader throughout tour
All entrance fees to sites mentioned in the itinerary
Local guides at some sites
Tips for drivers, local guides and restaurants for included meals
Tours begin either at the arrival airport or the first hotel, depending on the itinerary. If you have booked your international flights with Academy Travel and arrive before the tour commences, we will provide airport to hotel transfers to the closest main city on your arrival, and to the closest airport at the end of the tour. These may be either individual or group transfers.
What is not included in the tour price? Open-age tours do not include the following:
Return international/domestic air travel unless those flights take place during the tour
Special taxes and airport levies that can only be paid in cash at the destination. We will advise you of these charges (if any) before you depart
Costs involved in obtaining visas for countries visited, where required
Travel insurance. We require all participants to have comprehensive travel insurance. A typical policy for one of our tours will cost from $160 upwards, depending on your age, pre-existing medical conditions, the countries you are visiting and the overall length of your trip
Lunches and dinners not specifically mentioned as included in the itinerary
Personal expenses such as laundry and phone calls
Costs associated with any activity mentioned as “optional” in the itinerary, or any suggested free time activity
You will be asked to sign an acknowledgement of these conditions when you book a place on a tour.
A deposit of $500 per person is required to confirm your booking on a tour. Final payment of the tour fee, insurance and any additional travel will be due 60 days before departure.
If you decide to cancel your booking the following charges apply:
More than 60 days before departure: $500*
60-45 days before tour start: 25% of total amount due
44-15 days before tour start: 75% of total amount due
14 days or less before departure: 100% of total amount due
*This amount may be credited to another Academy Travel tour within 12 months of the original tour you booked.
Unused Portions of the tour
We regret that refunds will not be given for any unused portions of the tour, such as meals, entry fees, accommodation, flights or transfers.
Academy Travel requires all participants to obtain comprehensive travel insurance. We offer a comprehensive policy with a reputable insurer if required.
Passport and Visa
A valid passport is required for all international travel. If you do not hold an Australian passport you may require a re-entry permit. Some countries require a visa to be issued before you depart Australia. We will advise you of all passport and visa requirements, but it is your responsibility to ensure that you meet passport and visa requirements before you depart.
Will the tour price change?
If the number of participants in a tour is significantly less than budgeted, or if there is a significant change in exchange rates Academy Travel reserves the right to amend the advertised price. If this occurs you will be given the option of cancelling your booking and obtaining a full refund. If an Academy Travel tour is forced to cancel you will get a full refund of all monies paid.
Will the itinerary change?
Occasionally circumstances beyond the control of Academy Travel make it necessary to change airline, hotel or to make slight amendments to daily itineraries. We will inform you of any changes as soon as they occur.
Full and final payment for the tour, airfare travel, insurance and any additional travel you book is due 60 days before departure. Payment may be made by bank deposit, cheque, cash or credit card. Please note there is a surcharge for payments made by credit card.
Academy Travel reserves the right to decline the booking or terminate the holiday of any traveller.