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Strahan on historic Macquarie Harbour

Explore the rugged West Coast wilderness

Convicts, cruises, and a charming railway journey

Strahan is by all appearances, a quaint harbour village, but its history is long, rich, and filled with fascinating characters. Set on the shores of the Macquarie Harbour, Strahan is a great base for exploring the rugged western wilderness of Tasmania. Take a trip back in time on a West Coast Wilderness Railway tour onboard a historic steam train.

Join the award-winning family-owned World Heritage Cruises for a guided tour across Macquarie Harbour, to Hells Gates, past the salmon farms, and along the peaceful Gordon River. Take a guided tour of Sarah Island, Tasmania’s first penal colony and learn of its brutal history as you walk among its ruins. You’ll certainly experience the West Coast spirit at Strahan.

Enjoy a Tassie holiday travelling through the rugged West Coast

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Physical rating:
3 - Active/Moderate
Tour duration icon
Tour duration:
11
days

Treat yourself this Christmas with the awe-inspiring sights and tastes of Tasmania with 11 days discovering Port Arthur Penal Settlement, Tasman Arch, Derwent Valley, Eaglehawk Neck, Bruny Island and more. We celebrate Christmas in Hobart with a long sumptuous lunch and spend New Years Eve in Launceston. You’ll be tempted by heritage, culture, taste sensations and glorious natural scenery whilst also visiting Cradle Mountain, Strahan and Launceston.

Physical rating icon
Physical rating:
3 - Active/Moderate
Tour duration icon
Tour duration:
11
days

See the icons of the Apple Isle on this in-depth tour of Tasmania. Fly into Hobart for 2-nights and explore the Port Arthur Historic Site. Enjoy an epic Gordon River Cruise travelling to Strahan and Queenstown. Enjoy a train journey on the West Coast Wilderness Railway line before arriving into Tullah. Take in all the sights of Wine Glass Bay with an aerial view whilst exploring the Freycinet Peninsula before heading back to Hobart.

A ‘must-do’ West Coast experience

It may be one of the most remote towns in Tasmania, but Strahan is a place offering amazing adventures. A World Heritage Cruise is certainly top of the list of Strahan tours. This local family-owned and operated business has been taking guests through this extraordinary wilderness area for over 125 years. 

The custom-built catamaran cruises to Hells Gates, the narrow-channel entrance to Macquarie Harbour, stopping to view the aquaculture farms, one of Strahan’s major industries. Then a cruise up the peaceful Gordon River, to learn of its history, from logging to the fight to keep it from being dammed and saving it for visitors to enjoy. 

The cruise stops at Heritage Landing for guests to walk through the rainforest to a 2,000-year-old Huon Pine tree. Guides then take guests on a tour around Sarah Island, Tasmania’s first penal settlement, sharing stories of hardship, ingenuity, and a bit of mischief.

Explore the rugged West Coast wilderness
Explore the rugged West Coast wilderness

A train ride into Tasmanian history

A visit to Strahan wouldn’t be complete without a historic train ride with West Coast Wilderness Railway tours. There are many tours to choose from and all include onboard commentary where passengers learn of the hardship, struggles, and brighter moments of the West Coast pioneers and settlers.

West Coast Wilderness Railway is an iconic piece of Tasmanian history. The track stretches for 35 kilometres through some of Tasmania’s ruggedly beautiful West Coast region and guests travel as they would have 200 years ago on a meticulously restored steam train. 

Strahan tours with the railway include a journey to the remote station at Lynchford, and the popular River and Rainforest tour that takes passengers on an exhilarating ride past deep gorges, deep into the mountains and rainforests.

West Coast Wilderness Railway was highly praised as an extraordinary engineering feat of its day and remains the steepest steam-haul railway line in the Southern Hemisphere.

Frequently asked questions

Apart from tourism, what else is in Strahan?

Strahan is a small town but has its fair share of shops, galleries, cafes and restaurants, and some superb accommodation.

Why is Strahan famous?

In the 1980s Strahan activists fought a long, hard battle to protect the Gordon River from a proposed dam on the Gordon River where it meets the Franklin River. This would have flooded the Franklin and destroyed a large, important wilderness area.

In 1982, the protestors finally celebrated as the pristine waters of the Gordon and Franklin rivers, were declared a UNESCO Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.

In more recent times, the Bay of Fires TV series was filmed in Strahan as well as other Tasmanian towns.

What is the population of Strahan?

In the 2016 Census, there were 708 people in Strahan, almost equally made up of men and women, with 7.5 percent identifying as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people. The median age was 41 years.

What is the main industry in Strahan?

Salmon farming is one of the biggest employers in Strahan. The tourism industry is also a main drawcard with many Strahan tours employing locals.

See nearby cities, sights, and festivals

Get in touch if you have any questions

Our team is always happy to help if you have any questions about us or our tours. Fill out our form and we will get back to you soon.

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