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West Coast Wilderness Railway tours

Take a breathtaking train journey

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Tasmania
West Coast Wilderness Railway

All aboard for a taste of Tasmanian history

West Coast Wilderness Railway tours are an iconic piece of Tasmanian history. The track stretches 35 kilometres between the port of Strahan and Queenstown through Tasmania’s ruggedly beautiful West Coast region. The railway, museums, and beautifully restored steam train give visitors a chance to experience what life might have been like in the late 19th century.

Through onboard commentary, passengers learn of the hardship, struggles, and lighter moments of the area’s pioneers. West Coast Wilderness Railway offers several tours including a fascinating steam train journey to the remote station at Lynchford and the popular River and Rainforest tour that traverses the rainforest and mountains of Tasmania’s rugged west coast.

Take a Tassie holiday & experience this epic train journey

Physical rating icon
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.

An incredible feat of railway engineering

West Coast Wilderness Railway tours are a ‘must-do’ experience on a visit to Tasmania’s West Coast. Passengers relax in comfort as this historic steam train travels the same journey it’s been making for the past 200 years.

Through stunning rainforest wilderness, past deep gorges, and breathtaking harbour views, guests marvel at the stories shared about this important line and the people involved in building it. In the 1890s, using only picks and shovels, the lines were carved through some of Tasmania’s most formidable mountain terrain to allow Queenstown’s copper riches to be transported to the port of Strahan. 

West Coast Wilderness Railway was acclaimed as an extraordinary engineering feat of its day and remains the steepest steam-haul railway line in the Southern Hemisphere. Although costly to build, the railway gave the mine owners the access they needed to ship products both in and out and opened up many wilderness areas to settlers.

Take a breathtaking train journey

Some fascinating tours to enjoy

West Coast Wilderness Railway tours take visitors aboard the heritage steam train on some of Australia’s most historic and exhilarating Australian railway experiences. The Lynchford Express visits the remote station of Lynchford with an opportunity to pan for gold or stroll through the Lynchford Museum and learn more about the West Coast’s pioneering history.

The half-day River and Rainforest Tour is one of West Coast Wilderness Railway’s most popular. This five-hour journey departs from the port of Strahan on Macquarie Harbour, travelling around steep mountains, over historic bridges, and deep into Tasmania’s ancient rainforest. 

Onboard, guests will wonder at stories shared by guides of the men, women, and children of the rail and how they created a life in this wild environment. Along the way, the tour stops at remote landmarks, and guests can take a stroll through the cool, temperate rainforest at Dubbil Barril Station before returning to Strahan.

Frequently asked questions

How often do West Coast Wilderness tours run?

West Coast Wilderness Railways runs their historic train tours daily from Queenstown, and every day except Tuesday and Sunday from the Regatta Point Station in Strahan. 

What type of carriages are on the West Coast Wilderness Railway?

Guests can choose either the heated and air-conditioned heritage carriages or the wilderness carriages, with booth seats and tables and access to the carriage balcony.

Where do the West Coast Wilderness Railway tours depart from?

You can board the historic steam train for a full-day or half-day itinerary at either Strahan or Queenstown.

Is food available on the West Coast Wilderness Railway?

Yes! The Wilderness Carriage is all-inclusive with catering (depending on the tour) and a complimentary glass of sparkling wine. The Heritage Carriage offers drinks and snacks for guests to purchase at station stops. 

There are also Tracks on Point Cafe in the Regatta Point Station, Strahan, and Tracks Cafe in Queenstown Station. Both cafes offer a wide variety of food and snacks.

How many of the original locomotives are in use?

Three of the five original locomotives used on the railway are still in operation. One locomotive was unable to be restored and one was relocated to a Tasmanian Transport Museum collection in Hobart.

How do West Coast Wilderness Railway locomotives climb steep mountains?

Through a Swiss-engineered system called an Abt Rack and Pinion featuring a central cog under the locomotive that engages the teeth of a ‘rack.’ This innovative system was installed on the steep slopes of Rinadeena Saddle and allowed trains to haul themselves up over the steep one-in-16 gradient. West Coast Wilderness Railway is the only Abt Rack and Pinion railway in Australia. 

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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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