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.
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. If you have a 4WD, you can also tackle the dunes.
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.
Our Tip: The Ship That Never Was is only performed occasionally throughout Winter. Check their website for show times.
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
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.
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.
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. Whilst in Melbourne he also founded a walking tour company. 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.