Strahan and West Coast

Cruise the Gordon River  |  Strahan and West Coast Tasmania

Strahan and West Coast Tasmania sit right in the teeth of the “Roaring Forties,” the huge Southern Ocean weather system that has driven mariners from Magellan onwards around the globe.

The coastline is battered by the wind and waves generated by this weather system, and only the brave and hardy venture offshore.

Hell’s Gates is a small opening to the large and tranquil Macquarie Harbour, and nestled at Risby Cove is the sheltered township of Strahan (pronounced “strawn”).

> Hotels in Strahan     > Gordon River Cruise from Strahan

3-Day Tasmania West Coast Tour from Hobart:
Strahan, Cradle Mountain, Launceston

Strahan and West Coast Tasmania Strahan Village View

A village that was once home to miners, timbercutters (piners), fishermen and convicts and their keepers, is now a major tourist centre and the gateway to the Tasmanian West Coast Wilderness.

Reminders of the miners, piners and the convicts are everywhere, but only the fishermen, the local Strahan residents and the visitors are here today.

Gordon River Wilderness Cruise – Strahan and West Coast

Along with Cradle Mountain, the Gordon River Wilderness Cruise from Strahan is one of the “must do” experiences in Tasmania.

This world class experience takes you deep into the heart of the virgin rainforest. The licensing of the boats that operate on the Gordon River is very strict to keep the environment in its original condition.

Hotels in Strahan     > Gordon River Cruise from Strahan

Strahan and West Coast Tasmania Gordon River Wilderness Cruise

A stop in the rainforest and a walk among the trees is a unique experience. Make sure you use the following link to book the best of the boats, the one that leaves first to be certain you see the best reflections.

More Information and Bookings:  > Gordon River Cruise from Strahan 

Hotels in Strahan and West Coast

If you have arrived by road, you will know that it is a very good idea to have your accommodation booked in advance – it is a long way back to the last outposts of civilization.

The range of accommodation in Strahan and the West Coast is wide.

Hotels in Strahan     > Gordon River Cruise from Strahan

Strahan and West Coast Tasmania Strahan Village Waterfront

The Strahan Village is situated right on the waterfront and is the best location.  Always book ahead before arrival in Strahan.

Compare Strahan Hotel Prices: > Hotels in Strahan     

Tour to Strahan and West Coast Tasmania from Hobart

Visiting Strahan and West Coast Tasmania can be difficult if you are not driving yourself.

A very good 3-Day Tour leaves Hobart and takes in Strahan and West Coast and Cradle Mountain. The tour finishes in Launceston.  Click below for details.

Strahan and West Coast Tasmania Strahan Village Evening

More Information:  > 3-Day Tasmania West Coast Tour from Hobart: Strahan, Cradle Mountain, Launceston     

Hell’s Gates and Sarah Island Convict Station

The narrow channel that linked Strahan and Macquarie Harbour to the outside world in the 1800’s, was named Hell’s Gates by the convicts imprisoned on Sarah Island.

This small island, situated south of Strahan in Macquarie Harbour, was established as a place of banishment for the worst offending, escape-prone convicts of the Australian convict penal system.

Hotels in Strahan     > Gordon River Cruise from Strahan

Strahan and West Coast Tasmania Hells Gates

It was considered that escape was “next to impossible,” and conditions were such that the entrance to the harbour itself was thought by convicts the gates to hell on earth – Sarah Island.

The best way to visit Hell’s Gates and Sarah Island is by taking the Gordon River Cruise from Strahan. It stops at the Island so you can get off and look around.

You may never get back to Strahan again, so be sure to book ahead to get on the right boat, and secure the best level of service on this “once in a lifetime” experience.

More Information and Bookings:  > Gordon River Cruise from Strahan 

Miners and Piners of Strahan and West Coast Tasmania

The history and development of Tasmania’s West Coast and Strahan itself is tied to the tough, independent men who first developed the area.

The “Piners” were a rugged breed of men who cut timber (mainly Huon Pine for boatbuilding), taking the valuable timber from the areas around Strahan, Macquarie Harbour and the Gordon River.

The Mount Lyell Mining Co. opened in 1892, and established the railway between Queenstown and Strahan as the only way to move copper ore to the deepwater port at Strahan for access to the outside world.

The railway ceased operations in 1963, but was then re-opened as a tourist attraction in 2002 as the ABT West Coast Wilderness Railway. Unfortunately, operations have been suspended.

Hotels in Strahan     > Gordon River Cruise from Strahan

Strahan and West Coast Tasmania ABT Wilderness Railway

This attraction has been suspended for operation from the end of April 2013. The State Government of Tasmania is responsible for track maintenance, while Federal Hotels run the actual Railway.

I hope that once issues between the Government and the operator are resolved, the West Coast Wilderness Railway will re-commence its run through the wilderness.

Map of Strahan and West coast: > Drive Map Cradle Mountain to Strahan

Compare Prices on Hotels: > Hotels in Tasmania

Find Tours and Activities: > Tasmania Tours & Activities

More Information on Strahan: > Strahan,Tasmania – Wikipedia