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. Although isolated, it is a gateway to several incredible experiences on Tasmania’s West Coast.
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.
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.
West Coast Heritage Centre
Main Street, Zeehan
The Tasmanian West was largely uninhabited until tin was discovered at Mount Bischoff in 1871. This led a bevy of prospectors to the area, and in 1872 more tin was discovered near Mount Zeehan. This mining boom led to the formation of Zeehan.
The West Coast Heritage Centre documents the area’s mining history, from the boom to the bust. Featuring photographs, mineral collections and old mining equipment.
It is the best way to enhance your visit to the West Coast.
The Spray Tunnel is a 100m abandoned railway tunnel built in 1904. The West Coast was once a mining mecca, so much so that in the late 1800’s, Zeehan was referred to as the ‘silver city.’
This tunnel led to the Silver Spay Mine; now, it is a fascinating walk. The entrance to the tunnel is a peculiar keyhole shape. Whilst inside, shine your torch and you might spot some glow worms.
Getting there can be tricky; the road up is unsealed and single-lane only. There is plenty of parking outside the tunnel.
This 9.8 kilometre walk takes you along an old tramway, through lush forest and ultimately to the base of the 104-metre falls.
You’ll cross the rope bridge towards the end, offering spectacular views of the falls.
It is an easy walk and takes approximately three hours. It’s popular, so expect to share the track. Make sure to pack proper hiking boots, it can be rather muddy.
Lake St Clair National Park
Cradle Mountain is Tasmania’s most famous peak. It is the fifth highest in the state and stands above the tranquil Dove Lake. You can tackle a visit to Cradle Mountain in a day or stretch it out over a week.
Arrive at the Cradle Mountain Visitor Centre, and book the shuttle bus; cars aren’t allowed into the grounds.
Dove Lake is the most accessible walk; this 6km trek around the lake will take 2-3 hours to complete.
Cradle Mountain is also a great place to enjoy the snow. There is a substantial amount of snowfall during Winter, and with the great selection of walks, it’s accessible to most.