Strahan is located 41km southwest of Queenstown on Tasmania’s west coast. The seaside fishing village is situated on Macquarie Harbour, once occupied by a convict settlement on the harbour’s Sarah Island. Today the Macquarie waterway and the region’s convict history are the village’s main tourist attraction.
The pretty village centre boasts beautifully restored old buildings now occupied by cafes, restaurants, hotels and shops overlooking the picturesque harbour. Once operating as a port for the western mining towns, the wharf is now where the cruise boats moor and depart from in the town centre.
The Gordon River Cruise is a unique and popular attraction here. Boarding an enormous catamaran you cruise through the harbour and out the narrow passage known as “Hell’s Gates”, aptly named by the convicts as they arrived to their punishing grounds of hell on Sarah Island. Riding the rougher waters of the Southern Ocean you view the old lighthouse which stands on Cape Sorell and then cruise back into the harbour past the salmon farms to the mighty Gordon River. A beautiful cruise down the majestic river takes you to Heritage Landing Boardwalk where you get off the boat and explore the World Heritage Listed temperate forest with magnificent Myrtle and Huon Pine Trees. The next stop is Sarah Island, known for its harsh penal settlement in the 1820’s where convicts built boats from Huon Pine before Port Arthur was established. The Gordon River Cruise is scenic, interesting and educational and included in the ticket is a fabulous buffet lunch and morning tea.
This town’s port history, servicing the inland mining town of Queenstown, required a railway to be built to transport the copper. You can experience the 35km route through scenic rainforest on a steam train along the West Coast Wilderness Railway between here and Queenstown. Tours depart daily from Regatta Point and a coachride returns you to town later in the day.
Views over town and Macquarie Harbour can be seen from Water Tower Lookout on Esk St, which is just a short drive from the village centre.
Ocean Beach stretches along the coast of the Southern Ocean and is Tasmania’s longest beach. Just 6km from town along Ocean Beach Rd is the long flat stretch of beach littered with pebbles. It might be a bit cold for a swim though.
Further on is Henty Dunes 15km from town. The 30m high golden sandy dunes stretch across the coast along Ocean Beach and are constantly affected by the strong southerly winds roaring from the ocean. The dunes are a playground for sandboarders.
Picturesque Strahan is one of those villages you could keep coming back to, with waterfront dining of local seafood, old country charm, river cruising and scenery to boot. Strahan is one of Tassie’s treasures.
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Destinations in Tasmania
Franklin Gordon Wild Rivers
Freycinet National Park
Mt Field National Park
Return from Strahan to Tasmania