An Artistic Journey from the Darling Downs to Fraser Island – September 2021

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31 Aug – 13 Sep 2021

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An Artistic Journey from the Darling Downs to Fraser Island – September 2021
Tour Highlights

Join award-winning artist David Henderson on a journey through the Darling Downs, Lamington National Park, Kingscliff, Brisbane and Fraser Island, to explore how the Australian landscape has exerted a powerful influence on Australian painting and literature.

  • At Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) view the exhibition European Masterpieces from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, an extraordinary opportunity to see one of the finest collections of European painting in the world.
  • Attend a performance of Boy Swallows Universe as part of the Brisbane Festival. This sell-out production is an adaptation of Trent Dalton’s award-winning novel.
  • Tour historic homesteads on the Darling Downs including the grand country house, ‘Jimbour’, Bromelton House (birthplace of novelist Rosa Caroline Praed), and Coochin Coochin, home of the Bell family, whose past guests there included the Queen Mother, Laurence Olivier, Vivien Leigh and Agatha Christie.
  • In Toowoomba visit the Lionel Lindsay Gallery and Library Collection. The gallery includes works by the Lindsay family, as well as by Tom Roberts, Frederick McCubbin, Arthur Streeton and Rupert Bunny. The library collection, considered of national importance, includes letters by Henry Lawson and Lionel Lindsay’s personal papers.
  • Visit sites associated with author, P.L. Travers, best known for her Mary Poppins By private appointment we visit her former home in Allora, and in Maryborough we visit the museum housed in the former bank where her father worked, and where she was born.
  • With zoologist, Dr Ronda Green, explore Lamington National Park’s World Heritage Gondwana Rainforests, the inspiration for painter William Robinson’s celebrated Creation and Mountain series. We visit at a time when we will most likely see a bower constructed by the satin bowerbird, filmed by David Attenborough in his series Life on Earth.
  • Explore the development of Australian landscape painting at the Queensland Art Gallery which includes important works by artists like Gordon Bennett, Arthur Boyd, Ian Fairweather and Sidney Nolan. We also view the permanent exhibition which tells the story of Albert Namatjira whose landscape paintings created a distinctive vision of the Australian outback.
  • Learn about David Malouf’s Brisbane and tour his former home in Arran Avenue which he described in Johnno.
  • At the Queensland Performing Arts Centre we view the mural by Lawrence Daws before travelling to the Glasshouse Mountains where many of his best-known works were created.
  • On the Gold Coast visit the new HOTA Gallery (opened on the 8th May 2021), and view the special exhibition Lyrical Landscapes: The Art of William Robinson. Both the architecture and gallery space of this new Home of the Arts were inspired by William Robinson’s stunning painting The Rainforest, a key work in HOTA’s ‘City Collection’.
  • At Old Government House, Brisbane, visit the William Robinson Gallery and meet best-selling author, Nick Earls, who wrote William Robinson: A New Perspective, which chronicles Robinson’s life and career.
  • Visit the private studio of celebrated artist Leonard Brown, best known for his minimalist abstract painting and his Russian icon paintings.
  • In Murwillumbah we meet with artist Andy Reimanis and tour the Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre to view the recreated areas of Olley’s famous home studio.
  • While based at the Kingfisher Bay Resort explore World Heritage Listed Fraser Island, the source of inspiration for numerous artists including Sidney Nolan, whose initial group of twelve paintings on the adventures of Eliza Fraser were first exhibited in Brisbane in 1948. Our visit is timed for October when the humpback whales may be easily viewed during our excursion to Hervey Bay.
  • Conclude with a journey by Tilt Train from Maryborough to Brisbane which affords picturesque views of the Glasshouse Mountains and the Sunshine Coast hinterland.

Overnight Toowoomba (2 nights) • Lamington National Park (2 nights) • Kingscliff (2 nights) • Brisbane (3 nights) • Noosa Heads (1 night) • Fraser Island (3 nights)



The following itinerary describes a range of sites which we plan to visit. At the time of publication (October 2020) most visits had been confirmed. While several are accessible to the public, others require special permission which may only be confirmed closer to the tour’s departure in 2021. The daily activities described in this itinerary may change or be rotated and/or modified in order to accommodate alterations in opening hours and confirmation of private visits. Participants will receive a final itinerary, together with their tour documents, prior to departure. The tour includes meals indicated in the detailed itinerary where: B=breakfast, L=lunch and D=dinner.

Toowoomba – 2 nights

Day 1: Tuesday 31 August, Brisbane – Ipswich – Toowoomba

We depart Brisbane this morning for Ipswich where we meet with artist Leonard Brown at his home studio. He will discuss his work and that of his friend, Sam Fullbrook. Leonard Brown is best known for his minimal abstract paintings and his Russian icon paintings which he creates using traditional techniques. In 2011, the Queensland University of Technology Art Museum presented Union with Reality: The Art of Leonard Brown, a 30 year survey of his work which is also represented in numerous public collections including the National Gallery of Australia and the National Gallery of Victoria. Leonard had a close association with Sam Fullbrook (1922-2004) who was described as the “last of the bushman painters”. Fullbrook won the Archibald Prize for portraiture and the Wynne Prize for landscape. We shall view his work during our visit to the Queensland Art Gallery; this includes the portrait of his friend, Brisbane-born novelist Ernestine Hill (1899-1972), who shared a history of life on the land and his deep appreciation of the Australian bush.

In the mid-morning we travel to Toowoomba, where after some time at leisure for lunch, we tour the Lionel Lindsay Gallery and Library at the Toowoomba Art Gallery. William Robert Fossey (‘Bill’) Bolton MBE was a businessman and philanthropist based in Toowoomba. He founded Redmans Transport in 1935 which was later renamed ‘Cobb & Co. Redmans Transport’ in 1948. His interest in Australian pioneer heritage led him to amass an important library of journals, prints, letters and maps. This collection includes records of voyages in the Pacific, the exploration and early history of Australia, Australian art, Australian literature (including letters by Henry Lawson), and Lionel Lindsay’s personal papers. The release of the Cobb & Co. stamps in 1955 inspired Bolton to contact Sir Lionel Lindsay and over five years, under the direction of NGV director, Sir Daryl Lindsay, Bolton collected over 400 artworks, the majority of which were by Lionel Lindsay. The collection also included works by other members of the Lindsay family, and by McCubbin, Streeton, Roberts and Bunny.

We end the day with a visit to the private studio of landscape painter, Leisl Baker, whose work was featured in Amber Creswell-Bell’s book A Painted Landscape (Thames & Hudson 2018). Leisl’s expressive, contemporary landscape works are recognisable for their painterly, bold brushwork, rural scenes and rapid sgraffito. Working both en plein air and in her Toowoomba studio, Leisl aims to capture the essence of a time and place in her paintings. Her work has been shortlisted in numerous national awards for landscape including the Paddington Art Prize and the Hadley’s Prize for Landscape.

Tonight we enjoy a welcome dinner at a local restaurant. (Overnight Toowoomba) D

Day 2: Wednesday 1 September, Toowoomba – Jimbour – Drayton – Toowoomba
  • Jimbour: Heritage Homestead & Gardens, Long Table Lunch
  • Royal Bull’s Head Inn, Drayton

This morning we travel some 111 km north-west of Toowoomba to Jimbour, a heritage-listed homestead at the centre of one of the earliest stations established on the Darling Downs. Jimbour, designed for politician, businessman and grazier Joshua Peter Bell, is Queensland’s only grand country house designed in the English manner. We shall tour this magnificent homestead and its heritage gardens, and enjoy a long table lunch here. Set on a hill overlooking vast plains, this magnificent home was used as a film location for the popular series Return to Eden. George Essex Evans wrote of it with admiration in his book  The Garden of Queensland  (1898). Gertrude Bell, mistress of ‘Coochin Coochin’ station, also visited Jimbour, recording in her diary her astonishment at finding such an imposing mansion in the Queensland bush. She was given plant cuttings to take home to her own garden at ‘Coochin’.

This afternoon we return to Toowoomba via Drayton, the first town established beyond the Great Dividing Range (1842). The Royal Bull’s Head Inn, built in 1847, became a popular haunt for squatters and workers. A guided tour of this inn will give us insights into the early days of settlement on the Darling Downs; its interior, including its original kitchen and rooms, have been lovingly restored and preserved by the National Trust.

Conrad Martens (a friend of Charles Darwin) was the only major colonial artist to work in Queensland. He arrived in Moreton Bay by ship in 1851 and set out across the range to the Darling Downs where he sketched homesteads and properties, including ‘Coochin Coochin’, in the hope of attracting commissions for paintings. By March 1852, Martens had completed over 90 drawings which today provide an invaluable visual record of the region’s history; several of his works are held by the Queensland Art Gallery. On 23 December 1852 he probably stayed at the Royal Bull’s Head Inn whilst sketching views from Drayton Range. (Overnight Toowoomba) BL

Lamington National Park – 2 nights

Day 3: Thursday 2 September, Toowoomba – Allora  – Coochin – Lamington National Park
  • The Mary Poppins House, Allora
  • Coochin Coochin Station

This morning we continue south to the Southern Downs town of Allora. Pamela Lydon Travers OBE (1899-1996) is best known for her Mary Poppins series for children. Born in Maryborough, she grew up in the bush before going to boarding school in Sydney. At the age of 25 she migrated to England and adopted the pen name ‘P.L. Travers’ while writing the first of eight Mary Poppins books. Saving Mr Banks, the 2013 movie starring Emma Thompson as Travers and Tom Hanks as Walt Disney, includes flashbacks to Travers’ difficult childhood in Allora, which became the inspiration for much of Mary Poppins. We will visit the house where Travers spent 2 years of her childhood, and in which her father, Travers Goff, died. The heritage-listed house, built in 1879, now owned by Les and Loraine Struthers, was both a home and the Australian Joint Stock Bank, where Travers’ father worked.

The Scenic Rim’s history inspired various important pioneers, including poet Judith Wright, filmmaker Charles Chauvel and the Bell Family of ‘Coochin Coochin’. This afternoon we meet with Tim and Jane Bell to discover the fascinating history of their homestead, which is one of the Scenic Rim’s oldest homes. ‘Coochin Coochin’ dates from 1842, when the 120,000-acre property was established by David Hunter; its name ‘Coochin’ means ‘red’ in the Jagera language, for the red bill of the black swans that frequented the area. In 1870 the property was purchased by Thomas Alford, who moved the homestead to its present site on a hill. In 1882 James Bell bought 22,000 acres of freehold land, and with his wife, Gertrude, and their two sons, came to live there. Gertrude Bell (née Norton), Tim’s great grandmother, had come from an affluent home at Darling Point in Sydney and at ‘Coochin Coochin’ she resumed her former social life, inviting many guests to stay. Her detailed diaries record the visits of distinguished visitors, including the Queen Mother, the Prince of Wales, Laurence Olivier, Vivien Leigh and Agatha Christie. Agatha Christie loved her visit, was involved in a local concert and grew fond of Guilford Marsh Bell (Gertrude’s grandson) who later worked on renovations to her beloved Devonshire home ‘Greenway’. Agatha greatly admired the Australian women she met in the region and you will learn about their influence on her future life and career.

In the late afternoon we continue south to O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat. Established in 1926, the retreat is located in Lamington National Park which lies on the Lamington Plateau of the McPherson Range. (Overnight Lamington National Park) BLD

Day 4: Friday 3 September, Lamington National Park
  • Lamington National Park with zoologist, Dr Ronda J Green
  • The Rainforest Works of William Robinson: talk by David Henderson

Queensland pastoralist Robert Martin Collins drew public attention to the beauty and invigorating climate of the McPherson Ranges in the 1890s. In parliament he campaigned vigorously for the protection of the area. Lamington was proclaimed a National Park in 1915, two years after his death, and in 1994 the park was incorporated into the ‘Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area’. The biodiversity of these ancient rainforests was presented by David Attenborough in his 1979 TV series Life on Earth in which he featured their beech trees and bower birds.

Many artists have been inspired by the region including Arthur Boyd and William Robinson. In 1984 Robinson moved from Brisbane to live on an 80-hectare property in Beechmont; this move marked a critical turning point in his career. In 1994 he also acquired a rainforest studio at Springbrook. His affinity with the spectacular hinterland of verdant rainforest and dramatic mountains gave rise to a major new body of work. Between 1984 and 2005 Robinson painted some of his most original and compelling compositions including his celebrated Creation and Mountain series. The area has also inspired many writers including Germaine Greer who described the ‘irresistible’ decade-long battle to rehabilitate the damaged forest in her book White Beech: The Rainforest Years (2013). Judith Wright spent nearly 30 years in this region; her growing concern about its devastation led her to co-found, and become the first President of, the Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland.

We spend the day exploring Lamington National Park with Dr Ronda J. Green, Chair of Wildlife Tourism Australia and Chair of the Scenic Rim branch of the WPSQ. Ronda, who is a zoologist, studied the birds that dispersed seeds of rainforest plants for her post-doctoral research. She also attended the WPSQ Spring School when it was run by Judith Wright.

This evening David Henderson will give a pre-dinner talk on ‘The Rainforest Works of William Robinson’. (Overnight Lamington National Park) BLD

Kingscliff – 2 nights

Day 5: Saturday 4 September, Lamington NP – Bromelton – Gold Coast – Kingscliff
  • Bromelton House & Gardens
  • The City Collection, HOTA and special exhibition ‘Lyrical Landscapes: The Art of William Robinson’
  • Dinner at Season Restaurant

Novelist Rosa Caroline Praed produced over 45 books between 1880 and 1931, about half of which are set in Australia. She was born in 1851 at Bromelton, by the Logan River in Queensland. Her father was the Hon. Thomas Lodge Murray-Prior, pastoralist and politician. She was educated by governesses and her mother until the latter died when Rosa was seventeen. Rosa then ran the house in the bush and sometimes accompanied her father to Brisbane for his political work. Following her marriage in 1872 to Arthur Campbell Praed, who’d come to Australia to make his fortune as a squatter, she spent two lonely, miserable years on Monte Christo, a cattle run located on Curtis Island, near Gladstone. These experiences figure in her autobiographical My Australian Girlhood (1902) and in her novels The Romance of a Station (1889) and Sister Sorrow (1916). In 1876 the couple moved to England where she resumed writing, drawing upon her Australian experiences. In London she achieved considerable celebrity and is considered to be the first Australian novelist to gain an international reputation. Her Politics and Passion (1881), is thought to be the first novel to make lengthy reference to Brisbane. This morning we visit Bromelton which is today a working pecan and beef property. We’ll tour the historic homestead which sits within two hectares of landscaped gardens, and see the large lagoon, believed by the Aboriginal people to be bottomless and the home of the bunyip. These beliefs appear in some of Praed’s writings.

The pristine beaches, tropical beauty and relaxed lifestyle of the Gold Coast and its hinterland have attracted 20th-century artists. Artists who have recorded its beauty include Lloyd Rees, Fred Williams, Albert Tucker, Vida Lahey, Ethel Carrick Fox, Betty Quelhurst, Jeff Carter, and Graham Burstow. Contemporary artists who began their careers on the Gold Coast or still live there, include Michael Zarvos, Scott Redford, Chris Bennie, Anna Carey, Victoria Reichelt and Donna Marcus.

This afternoon we travel to the Gold Coast to visit the revolutionary new HOTA Gallery (opened 8 May 2021). Both the colourful architecture and collection of this new six-storey ‘Home of the Arts’ were inspired by William Robinson’s stunning painting The Rainforest, a key work in HOTA’s holdings called ‘The  City Collection’. This painting won the Wynne Prize for Landscape in 1990, and was purchased by the gallery shortly afterwards.  The City Collection, which features more than 5,000 art works, includes an important corpus of paintings from the 1970s by artists including David Aspden, Michael Johnson, Col Jordan, Alun Leach-Jones, and Ron Robertson-Swann. There is also a fine collection of award-winning ceramics, and one of the largest collections of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island art in regional Australia. We are fortunate that our visit coincides with the Gallery’s second major exhibition ‘Lyrical Landscapes: The Art of William Robinson’.

In the late afternoon we continue to Kingscliff, a small seaside town located in Northern New South Wales. The Robinsons began spending weekends at Kingscliff beach in the early 1990s, and eventually moved there in 1994. Living on the edge of the ocean inspired William Robinson’s seascapes including Dark tide, Bogangar (1994), Creation landscape – earth and sea (1995) and The sand Ziggurat, Kingslciff (1995). Tonight we dine together at the award-winning Season Restaurant. (Overnight Kingscliff) BLD

Day 6: Sunday 5 September, Kingscliff  – Murwillumbah – Kingscliff
  • Andy Reimanis, art tutor and founder of the Caldera Wildscapes Gallery, Murwillumbah
  • Green Cauldron Panorama painting interpretation by principal artist Andy Reimanis
  • Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre (MOAC), Murwillumbah

This morning we travel to the country town of Murwillumbah which lies in a green caldera, the vast crater of the eroded Tweed Volcano, surrounded by rainforest and farmland. Overlooking the town is the striking Wollumbin Peak (Mt Warning). The Tweed has some of Australia’s most diverse flora, fauna and landscapes. Its unique natural history and cultural resonance prompted Parks Australia and Tourism Australia to declare it one of only sixteen ‘Australian National Landscapes’.

On arrival we meet with Andy Reimanis who is an artist, art tutor and founder of the Caldera Wildscapes Gallery. Andy’s work reflects his passion for preserving the biodiversity and ecosystems under constant threat from human impact in the region. In 2017 he organised the exhibition ‘The Works in Caldera Art’ which was held at the Tweed Regional Gallery. Andy was also the coordinator and principal artist of the Green Cauldron Panorama, an 18-metre long painting depicting the 360 degree view from the summit of Wollumbin/Mt Warning. We will view this panorama at the Murwillumbah Visitors Centre and discuss his work during a private tour of the Caldera Wildscapes Gallery.

There will be some time at leisure for lunch and to explore Murwillumbah’s interesting M-Arts Precinct. From the centre of Murwillumbah we transfer to the Tweed Regional Museum which offers spectacular views to Wollumbin/Mount Warning.

In the afternoon we enjoy a guided tour of the Tweed Regional Gallery and visit the adjoining Margaret Olley Art Centre (MOAC). Born in Lismore in 1923, Margaret Olley is Australia’s most celebrated painter of still lifes and interiors. When she died in 2011, she left a treasure trove of paintings and objets d’art at her home, a converted hat factory and adjoining terrace, at 48 Duxford Street, Paddington Sydney. In 2014 parts of her house and its contents, which had provided the subject of so many of her famous works, were dissembled and transported to a purpose-built centre at the Tweed Regional Gallery in Murwillumbah. At MOAC, we view the recreated areas of Olley’s famous home studio, principally the Hat Factory and the Yellow Room.

We return to Kingscliff in the late afternoon where the evening will be at leisure. (Overnight Kingscliff) B

Brisbane – 3 nights

Day 7: Monday 6 September, Kingscliff – Brisbane
  • Lunch at Lady Harriet’s Bar and Kitchen
  • Old Government House: William Robinson Gallery with award-winning author, Nick Earls
  • Walking tour of Central Brisbane including Albert Street Literary Trail

This morning we transfer to Brisbane’s city centre.

After a group lunch at Lady Harriet’s, we meet best-selling author, Nick Earls, who wrote William Robinson: A New Perspective, which chronicles Robinson’s life and career. Nick will talk to us about his work as a writer, and will then accompany us on our visit to the William Robinson Gallery, in the beautiful setting of Old Government House. Born in Brisbane in 1936, Robinson is recognised not only for his unique interpretation of the Australian landscape but also for his whimsical portraits and narrative scenes. His self-portraits were awarded the Archibald Prize in 1987 and 1995. The 2009 documentary by filmmaker Catherine Hunter, William Robinson: A Painter’s Journey, explores the places that have inspired him.

We end the day with a walking tour which highlights some of Brisbane’s most important heritage buildings, including Parliament House; Anthony Trollope visited the Legislative Assembly Chamber in 1871. We also visit the Treasury Building and the old Queensland State Library. The Albert Street Literary Trail features 32 brass plaques with quotes by authors who have called Brisbane home. (Overnight Brisbane) BL

Day 8: Tuesday 7 September, Brisbane
  • 19 Arran Avenue, Hamilton: former home of David Malouf (to be confirmed in 2021)
  • David Henderson’s studio, Albion
  • Afternoon at Leisure
  • Queensland Performing Arts Centre: Lawrence Daws Mural
  • Performance of Boy Swallows Universe as part of the Brisbane Festival

Widely recognised as one of Australia’s finest contemporary authors, David Malouf was born in Brisbane in 1934. Amongst the most loved of his works are those set in his hometown, including his first novel, Johnno (1975), the semi-autographical tale of a young man growing up in wartime Brisbane, and his later memoir 12 Edmondstone Street (2012) which begins at his childhood home in South Brisbane. In 1947 the family moved from Edmondstone Street to 19 Arran Avenue, Hamilton. By special appointment, we visit this house which was designed by his father, George Malouf.

When not leading tours for ASA, David Henderson is a full-time artist. David’s response to the Queensland landscape has been informed by a multiplicity of contexts. An outback childhood, studies in architecture, and training at London’s Royal Academy, have all left their mark on his painting. And while Queensland-born, like Jeffrey Smart and Justin O’Brien, he has spent much of his life in Italy. Whether painting local views, monumental urban spaces or the human figure, David’s approach can broadly be described as classical: a synthesis of light and geometry. We shall view a number of his most recent works in his studio where he will present a brief overview of his development and working methods.

After an afternoon at leisure, we gather again for a wonderful night at the theatre as part of the Brisbane Festival at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre. At the QPAC we will first visit view Lawrence Daws’ grand mural in preparation for our journey to the Glasshouse Mountains where many of his best-known works were created. The mural affords us an opportunity to reflect on the significance of the local landscape for this remarkable painter. We then settle in to our seats for the performance of Boy Swallows Universe, an adaptation of Trent Dalton’s award-winning novel by Tim McGarry. (Overnight Brisbane) B

Day 9: Wednesday 8 September, Brisbane
  • Queensland Art Gallery: Australian Art Collection & the Indigenous Australian Art Collection
  • Queensland Gallery of Modern Art: European Masterpieces from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Today we visit the Queensland Art Gallery where we tour the Australian Collection which includes works by Gordon Bennett, Arthur Boyd, Rupert Bunny, William Dobell, Ian Fairweather, Ethel Carrick Fox, R. Godfrey Rivers, Sam Fullbrook, Vida Lahey and Sidney Nolan. There are also landscapes painted by Conrad Martens at ‘Coochin Coochin’ and in the nearby McPherson Range. We also view the Indigenous Collection which tells the story of Namatjira and features his early works, along with works by those he influenced.

We then visit the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art (QAGMA) to view the exhibition ‘European Masterpieces from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York’. Spanning 500 years, the exhibition includes works by Fra Angelico, Titian, Raphael, Rembrandt, Turner, Van Gogh and Monet. “Highlights of the exhibition include Fra Angelico’s finely painted altarpiece The Crucifixion of ca. 1420–23; Titian’s poetic Venus and Adonis of the 1550s; the immediacy and drama of Caravaggio’s The Musicians 1597; Rembrandt’s painterly Flora of c.1654; Vermeer’s beautifully observed Allegory of the Catholic Faith c.1670-72, and Van Gogh’s idyllic The Flowering Orchard 1888.” (Overnight Brisbane) B

Noosa Heads – 1 night

Day 10: Thursday 9 September, Brisbane – Maleny – Noosa Heads
  • Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve & the Glasshouse Mountains National Landscape
  • Free time in Maleny
  • Lunch at The Tamarind, Spicers Retreat

This morning we travel north from Brisbane through the Blackall Range to the cluster of rugged volcanic peaks of the Glasshouse Mountains; these are registered as a ‘landscape of national importance’ due to their cultural significance for the area’s traditional owners, the Gubbi Gubbi people.  This was a special meeting place where they gathered for ceremonies and trading; many of their ceremonial sites can still be seen. In 1963 Judith Wright published The Day the Mountains Played, a short story in which the great mountains, which had once been men in the Dreamtime, help two boys to protect their tribe from the Doolamai warriors. The landscape has also inspired many other writers and artists including Lawrence Daws, Conrad Martens, Peter Kennedy, David Malouf and Fred Williams. On his journey to Brisbane by ship in 1851, Conrad Martens created his watercolour sketch, Glasshouses, Moreton Bay. In his 1970 poem ‘Glasshouse Mountains’, David Malouf described the view of the mountains from the Redcliffe Peninsular. From 1970 until 2010, Lawrence Daws lived at his farm ‘Owl Creek’ at Beerwah on the edge of the rainforest by the Glasshouse Mountains. Many of his best-known works were created here. Daws hosted many artist friends including Brett Whiteley who, in 1976, made several sketches of the area and wrote ‘the view from the Daws balcony onto the Glasshouse is one of the absolutely monumental views.’ Donald Friend produced a series of red ink drawings (shown at Philip Bacon Galleries in 1983), including The House at Owl Creek. Charles Blackman and Robert Dickerson also painted the mountains when they resided nearby.

We visit the ‘Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve’, 55 hectares of subtropical rainforest which is home to a remarkable array of native flora and fauna, including 141 species of birds. Light refreshments are available at the Mountain View Café which offers breathtaking views of the Glasshouse Mountains. Here we explore the Discovery Centre, walk along the Elevated Glider Gallery Boardwalk which showcases the rainforest mid-storey, and follow one of the easy rainforest trails.

We then drive to the delightful village of Maleny where there will be time at leisure to explore the town’s shops, many of which offer local produce. Of particular interest is the Maleny Food & Co. Café, Store & Fromagerie.

Following lunch at ‘The Tamarind’, an award-winning restaurant featuring Asian cuisine, we continue our journey north to the coastal town of Noosa Heads, arriving in the mid-afternoon to allow time to enjoy this lively town. (Overnight Noosa Heads) BL

Fraser Island – 3 nights

Day 11: Friday 10 September, Noosa Heads – Maryborough – Fraser Island
  • Statue of Mary Poppins
  • Story Bank Mary Poppins Museum, Maryborough
  • Brennan and Geraghty’s Store Museum, Maryborough

We depart Noosa Heads early this morning for Maryborough. Our journey takes us past Mount Cooroy, painted by Sam Fullbrook in the late 1960s from his farmhouse at Eumundi. Just north of Noosa is Boreen Point where Judith Wright holidayed from 1953 until Jack McKinney’s death in 1966. Further north are the Gympie goldfields.

Maryborough, a city in the Fraser Coast Region, has a number of heritage-listed buildings, including the former Australian Joint Stock Bank where P.L. Travers’ father, Travers Goff, worked as bank manager and where, in August 1899, she was born in a room on the second floor. We will view the bronze statue of her at the front of the building which commemorates her literary achievements. Born Helen Lyndon Goff, she lived in Maryborough until the age of five when the family relocated to Allora. Within the former bank we visit the ‘Story Bank Mary Poppins Museum’ which describes her life story and her ties with Maryborough.

Following time at leisure for lunch we make a short visit to the National Trust-run Brennan and Geraghty’s Store Museum. This charming old store, established in 1871, is a rare survivor of our commercial heritage and features goods dating back to the 1890s. From the museum we continue to River Heads where we take the 50-minute ferry trip to our resort overlooking Kingfisher Bay. (Overnight Kingfisher Bay Resort) BLD

Day 12: Saturday 11 September, Fraser Island
  • Lake McKenzie
  • Central Station and Wanggoolba Creek
  • Pile Valley’s Satinay and Brush Box forests
  • 75 Mile Beach
  • The Maheno shipwreck and the coloured sands of The Pinnacles
  • Fresh waters of Eli Creek

Known as K’gari (‘paradise’) by the traditional owners, the Butchulla people, World Heritage-listed Fraser Island has inspired many writers and artists. Sidney Nolan lived in a ménage à trois at Heide in Melbourne with Sunday and John Reed until 1947, when he moved to Brisbane. There he stayed with his friend Barrett Reid, a Brisbane poet and the youngest contributor to the literary and arts journal Angry Penguins. With Reid, Nolan made his first visit to the rainforests, swamps, and lagoons of Fraser Island. It was here that Nolan learnt about Eliza Fraser, a Scottish woman who was shipwrecked near the island in 1836. He was fascinated by the story of her survival and rescue by escaped convict John Graham who had lived alongside the island’s Aboriginal people. Nolan painted various island sites including Lake Wabby and Indian Head. His Platypus Bay, Fraser Island was purchased by the Queensland Art Gallery in 2014. Other works include a lone female or male figure in the landscape such as the famous Mrs Fraser (1947) which has long been regarded as emblematic of his animosity towards Sunday Reed, and Island (1947) on display at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. The QAG website states: ‘Between 1947 and 1948, Sidney Nolan painted at least 15 images of Fraser Island and Eliza Fraser. He then returned to the same theme briefly in 1952, and again during the late 1950s and early 1960s, when he produced numerous works referring, either obliquely or directly, to the Eliza Fraser story and the landscapes he had encountered on the island. Their continuing presence in his paintings, almost 20 years after his initial curiosity, suggests that the episode affected his work greatly, making Queensland instrumental in his development as an artist.’

Nolan shared his fascination for the island with his friend Patrick White, who visited it in the 1960s and early 1970s. White used the island’s primal wilderness as the setting for his novel The Eye of the Storm (1973), and in A Fringe of Leaves, a fictionalised retelling of Eliza’s saga. Judith Wright, a friend of Nolan’s, argued in the 1975 Fraser Island Enquiry not only for the island’s protection on environmental grounds, but also for its cultural significance. Thanks to environmentalists, most of the island was designated a National Park with World Heritage status.

We spend a full day exploring the island’s unique landscape, including Wanggoolba Creek, which remains a crystal-clear freshwater creek running through rainforest at Central Station, just as Nolan painted it. (Overnight Fraser Island) BLD

Day 13: Sunday 12 September, Fraser Island
  • Whale Watching, Hervey Bay
  • Afternoon at leisure
  • Farewell Dinner

The calm waters of Platypus Bay off the north-western coast of Fraser Island, in the Hervey Bay Marine Park, have become world famous as a prime whale watching area. From August to October humpback whales, migrating south to the Antarctic, stop to rest, play and nurture their calves in the bay. We rise early this morning for our Whale Watching tour in Hervey Bay. Following an afternoon at leisure to relax and enjoy the facilities of our resort, we enjoy a final farewell meal. (Overnight Fraser Island) BLD

Day 14: Monday 13 September, Fraser Island – Brisbane
  • Early morning Ferry from King Bay Resort to River Heads
  • Tilt Train from Maryborough West to Brisbane Roma Street (1158-1450)

After an early breakfast, we take the return ferry from our resort to River Heads. On arrival we transfer to the Maryborough West Station where we board the Tilt Train to Brisbane. From our seats we will enjoy the picturesque scenery of Gympie, the Glasshouse Mountains and the Sunshine Coast hinterland. A light lunch will be served on the train. We are scheduled to arrive at Brisbane’s Roma Street Station at 2.40pm. There our tour officially ends. BL



All hotels provide rooms with private facilities. A hotel list will be given to all participants prior to departure, in the meantime a summary is given below:

  • Toowoomba (2 nights): 4-star Potter’s Boutique Hotel – a modern boutique hotel located in the city centre, 1km from the Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery. pottershoteltoowoomba.com.au
  • Lamington National Park (2 nights): 4-star O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat – set in the World Heritage-Listed Lamington National Park with accommodation overlooking the mountains. oreillys.com.au
  • Kingscliff (2 nights): 5-star Peppers Salt Resort & Spa – a luxurious beachside resort situated on Kingscliff’s stunning Ocean Beach. www.peppers.com.au/salt/
  • Brisbane (3 nights): 5-star Treasury Brisbane – offering accommodation with old world charm, located 200m from the Brisbane River and 800m from the Queensland Art Gallery.  www.treasurybrisbane.com.au
  • Noosa Heads (1 night): 5-star Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort – a modern resort located in the centre of town on Hastings Street. www.sofitelnoosapacificresort.com.au
  • Fraser Island (3 nights): 4-star Kingfisher Bay Resort – a modern eco-friendly resort with accommodation overlooking the low ‘wallum’ heaths. www.kingfisherbay.com

Note: Hotels are subject to change, in which case a hotel of similar standard will be provided.

Single Supplement

Payment of this supplement will ensure accommodation in a double/twin room for single occupancy throughout the tour. People wishing to take this supplement are therefore advised to book well in advance.

How to book

How to Book


Please complete the ASA RESERVATION APPLICATION and send it to Australians Studying Abroad together with your non-refundable deposit of AUD $500.00 per person payable to Australians Studying Abroad.

Passport Details

All participants must provide no later than 75 days prior to the commencement of the program a photocopy of the front page of their current passport.

Practical Information

Practical Information

The number of flags is a guide to the degree of difficulty of ASA tours relative to each other (not to those of other tour companies). It is neither absolute nor literal. One flag is given to the least taxing tours, seven to the most. Flags are allocated, above all, according to the amount of walking and standing each tour involves. Nevertheless all ASA tours require that participants have a good degree of fitness enabling 2-3 hours walking or 1-1.5 hours standing still on any given site visit or excursion. Many sites are accessed by climbing slopes or steps and have uneven terrain.

This 14-day tour of Queensland involves:

  • A moderate amount of walking mainly during outdoor site visits, often up and down hills and/or flights of stairs and uneven terrain.
  • A moderate amount of coach travel, several on winding mountainous roads.
  • The daily schedule generally involves an early-morning departure (between 8.00-8.30am), concluding in the late afternoon (between 5.00-6.30pm).
  • 3- to 5-star hotels with 5 accommodation changes.
  • You must be able to carry your own hand-luggage. Hotel porterage includes 1 piece of luggage per person. Porterage is NOT included for the Tilt Train from Maryborough to Brisbane.

It is important to remember that ASA programs are group tours, and slow walkers affect everyone in the group. As the group must move at the speed of the slowest member, the amount of time spent at a site may be reduced if group members cannot maintain a moderate walking pace. ASA tours should not present any problem for active people who can manage day-to-day walking and stair-climbing. However, if you have any doubts about your ability to manage on a program, please ask your ASA travel consultant whether this is a suitable tour for you.

Please note: it is a condition of travel that all participants agree to accept ASA’s directions in relation to their suitability to participate in activities undertaken on the tour, and that ASA retains the sole discretion to direct a tour participant to refrain from a particular activity on part of the tour. For further information please refer to the ASA Reservation Application Form.

Practical Notes

Prior to departure, tour members will receive practical notes which include information on weather, clothing and what to pack.

Tour Price & Inclusions

Tour Price & Inclusions

AUD $8490.00 Land Content Only

AUD $1690.00 Single Supplement

Tour Price (Land Content Only) includes:
  • Accommodation in twin-share rooms with private facilities in 3- to 5-star hotels.
  • Meals as indicated in the tour itinerary where: B=breakfast, L=lunch & D=dinner
  • Drinks at welcome and farewell meals. Other meals may not have drinks included.
  • Transportation by air-conditioned coach, Tilt Train from Maryborough West to Brisbane
  • Porterage of one piece of luggage per person at hotels (porterage is NOT available for the Tilt Train to Brisbane)
  • Lecture and site-visit program
  • Entrance fees
  • Use of audio headsets for site excursions
  • Tips for the coach driver, local guides and restaurants for included meals
Tour Price (Land Content Only) does not include:
  • Airfare to Brisbane
  • Airport-hotel transfers
  • Personal spending money
  • Luggage in excess of 20 kg (44 lbs)
  • Travel insurance
Tour Map

Tour Map

Terms & Conditions

A deposit of $500.00 AUD per person is required to reserve a place on an ASA tour.

Cancellation Fees

If you decide to cancel your booking the following charges apply:

  • More than 75 days before departure: $500.00**
  • 75-46 days prior 25% of total amount due
  • 45-31 days prior 50% of total amount due
  • 30-15 days prior 75% of total amount due
  • 14-0 days prior 100% of total amount due

**This amount may be credited to another ASA tour departing within 12 months of the original tour you booked. We regret, in this case early-bird discounts will not apply.

We take the day on which you cancel as being that on which we receive written confirmation of cancellation.

Unused Portions of the Tour

We regret that refunds will not be given for any unused portions or services of the tour, such as meals, entry fees, accommodation, flights or transfers.

Will the Tour Price or Itinerary Change?

If the number of participants on a tour is significantly less than budgeted, or if there is a significant change in exchange rates ASA reserves the right to amend the advertised price. We shall, however, do all in our power to maintain the published price. Occasionally circumstances beyond the control of ASA make it necessary to change airline, hotel or to make amendments to itineraries. We will inform you of any changes in due course.

Travel Insurance

ASA requires all participants to obtain comprehensive travel insurance. A copy of your travel insurance certificate and the reverse charge emergency contact phone number must be received by ASA no later than 75 days prior to the commencement of the tour.

Final Payment

The balance of the tour price will be due 75 days prior to the tour commencement date.

Limitation of Liability

ASA is not a carrier, event or tourist attraction host, accommodation or dining service provider. All bookings made and tickets or coupons issued by ASA for transport, event, accommodation, dining and the like are issued as an agent for various service providers and are subject to the terms and conditions and limitations of liability imposed by each service provider. ASA is not responsible for their products, services, terms and conditions. If a service provider cancels or does not deliver the product or service for which you have contracted, and does not give a refund, your remedy lies with the service provider, not ASA.

ASA will not be liable for any claim (e.g. sickness, injury, death, damage or loss) arising from any change, delay, detention, breakdown, border closures, cancellation, failure, accident, act, omission or negligence of any tour service provider or authority however caused (contingencies). You must take out such travel insurance as is available against such contingencies.

ASA’s liability in respect of any tour cancelled or changed will be limited to the partial refund of amounts you have paid, less an administration fee of $500 and other costs and charges of third party service providers. No compensation will be payable to you by ASA where ASA cancels or changes a tour, or any part of a tour.

ASA reserves the sole discretion to cancel any tour or to modify itineraries in any way it considers appropriate and in the best interests of health, safety and wellbeing of tour participants. Tour costs may be revised, subject to unexpected price increases or exchange rate fluctuations.

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