The Best Things to do in Strahan

Some say visiting Strahan is like visiting the edge of the world; this isolated harbour town sits on the edge of McQuarie Harbour and is surrounded by world heritage-listed wilderness. It’s a four-hour drive from Hobart, and although isolated, it is a gateway to several incredible experiences on Tasmania’s West Coast.

Updated: September 7, 2023

I visited Strahan for a couple of days and loved it. I grew up in Tasmania and travel the state in my van.

Gordon River Cruise

24 Esplanade, Strahan

Highly reccommended

Likely to sell out

The Gordon River Cruise departs from Strahan and takes you to Hell’s Gates – the narrow entrance into the Southern Ocean – and Sarah Island – a nineteenth-century penal colony.

You’ll learn the area’s history while enjoying drinks and food from the bar. It’s a six-hour cruise and one of the most popular ways to take in the west coast’s raw beauty.

The best places to stay in Strahan

Franklin Manor


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Big4 Strahan Holiday Retreat


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The Ship That Never Was

The Esplanade, Strahan

Alongside Tasmania’s longest beach, Strahan is also home to Tasmania’s longest running play.

The Ship That Never Was is a story about The Frederick, the last ship built at the convict settlement of Sarah Island in Macquarie Harbour.

In 1834 it was set to sail for the new prison at Port Arthur. Instead, ten convicts commandeered the vessel in a mission for freedom.

The play runs for an hour and 15 minutes and is a great family outing.


Hogarth Falls


Highly reccommended


This delightful waterfall is at the end of a 1.2k walk. Not far from the town centre, start at the People’s Park and follow the track. It’s an easy walk, and takes around 40 minutes return.

Just outside of Strahan

Venture just out of Strahan to find the following attractions.

Ocean Beach

Ocean Beach


This is Tasmania’s longest beach, spanning 40 kilometres. Just six kilometres from Strahan, it feels incredibly isolated. Looking out over the ocean, the closest landfall is South America, a mere 10,000 kilometres away.

Ocean Beach isn’t for swimming. Instead, talk a walk and watch the waves crash to shore.


Henty Dunes

Ocean Beach, Strahan


Henty Dunes are North of Strahan and directly next to Ocean Beach. They were formed by a strong wind called the Roaring Forties, which blows through the southern hemisphere.

The dunes are large enough to sandboard down, and you can rent one from several businesses in Strahan.


Iron Blow Lookout



The entrance to the lookout of the Iron Blow Lookout.

The Iron Blow was established in 1883 on Mount Lynell. Prospectors had hoped to find gold, instead, they found a large amount of copper.

The area is now desolate, and while void of life, has its own unique beauty. The lookout will give you a view of the Iron Blow. There is plenty of parking and the lookout is easily accessed by foot.



Looking up the main road at Queenstown.

Like all towns on the West Coast, Queenstown has a long mining history. Visit the Galley Museum to get a better understanding of the trials of the Queenstown prospectors. Housed in an old pub, several rooms are filled with photographs and relics, all documenting the West Coast.

Queenstown also has a notable football field. Unlike traditional footy fields, this one isn’t covered in grass; it’s gravel.

It’s not easy to grow grass due to the contaminates left over from the mine and the West Coast’s large rainfalls – the town gets 2,408 mm of rain a year. Every year the council tips ten truckloads of gravel and compresses it with rolling machines.

Taylor was born and raised in Tasmania. He moved to Melbourne to study Film & television, and went on to start a marketing agency for hospitality.

He has a love for rock ‘n’ roll bars & New York-style pizza. In 2020 he was amongst the top 1% of Frank Sinatra listeners on Spotify.


Is it better to stay in Strahan or Queenstown?

I would recommend staying in Strahan, it is a much nicer town. It’s by the harbour, and has more accomodation and food choices. It also has perhaps the best coffee on the West Coast at ‘The Coffee Shack.’

Definitely visit Queenstown, however as a historic mining town it has a unique feel. It is surrounded by stark mountainous ranges and many of the houses are rundown. It has much fewer accommodation and food choices.

How many nights should spend in Strahan?

You should spend at least one night in Strahan. This will give you enough time to enjoy the surrounding activities, as well as spend a beautiful morning by the bay.

What is the best time to visit Strahan

Strahan can be visited year-round, but the weather is generally mild during the Summer months (December to February). The shoulder seasons of Spring (September to November) and autumn (March to May) also offer pleasant temperatures and beautiful scenery.

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