Hells Gates from the Gordon River Cruise that departs daily from Strahan
Beaches, fantastic fishing, river cruises, waterfalls, forests, fresh seafood, fascinating history and entertaining theatre to boot: If you want it all, Strahan is the destination for you. This tiny town on the north shore of Macquarie Harbour is a perfect example of just how diverse the experiences are that you can find in Tasmania.
Strahan - The Esplanade at night
Strahan is an important tourist centre and a paradise for lovers of the outdoors. From here you can cruise Macquarie Harbour or the Gordon River, visit Sarah Island or take a boat out to the open ocean for some deep-sea fishing. The Mount Dundas Regional Reserve is only a stone’s throw from town but you don’t even have to leave Strahan to experience the rainforest: Peoples Park is in the eastern part of town and an easy walk will take you to the beautiful Hogarth Falls. You may even see platypus along the way.
Just west of Strahan is the 30 km of sandy bliss called Ocean Beach, Tasmania’s longest beach, which receives waves that come all the way from South America. If you love playing in the sand, hire a toboggan in Strahan and drive 11 km north to Henty Dunes.
The 'Lady Jane Franklin II' at Heritage Landing on the Gordon River.
A Great Australian Secret Experience - In June this year we traveled to Strahan to experience one of the Macquarie Harbour cruises. We were staying in a friends shack and arrived later than planned. It was dark and rainy. We decided to go out to eat and went to Hamers Grill on The Esplanade. Of course, being late, the kitchen had stopped for the evening but Estelle, the Food and Beverages Manager told us she would see what was available after showing us to a table. She returned saying that all that was left was Cream of Cauliflower Soup, so we had that. Even though we were late and obviously inconveniencing everyone, who were tidying up for the day, the service from all of the staff was friendly and brilliant. We were made to feel very welcome. We returned the following evening, earlier this time, and the service was just as good. Thank you Estelle, you and your staff are a credit to Hamers and to Strahan. Oh....and the Cream of Cauliflower Soup was the best!
Strahan at night from across the bay
If the arts are more your thing, you’ll find several galleries and timber workshops. The Round Earth Theatre Company is based here and their interactive play The Ship That Never Wasis not only Australia’s longest-running play but also an incredibly entertaining history lesson.
Strahan has an excellent range of accommodation options, which is a good thing since you’ll definitely want to stay here. You may even wish to base yourself in Strahan for a while and travel to other fascinating, interesting and beautiful places in the West Coast area, places such as Queenstown, Zeehan, Trial Harbour and Rosebery
The West Coast Wilderness Railway just departing from Strahan
Things to do in Strahan. (Post Code 7468)
The West Coast Wilderness Railway. 1 Driffield St, Strahan (03) 64710100 Click here.
World Heritage Cruises. The Esplanade, Strahan, (03) 64717174 Click Here.
Gordon River Cruises. The Esplanade, Strahan. (03) 64714300 Click Here.
Bonnet Island Experience. Activities Centre, The Esplanade, Strahan. 1800420155 Click Here.
The Strahan Platypus Experience. Strahan Holiday Park, Strahan. (3) 64717442 Click Here.
West Coast Yacht Charters. 10 The Esplanade, Strahan. (03) 64717422 Click Here.
The Ship That Never Was. The Esplanade, Strahan. (03) 64717235 Click Here.
Wilderness Woodworks. 12 The Esplanade, Strahan. (03) 64717244 Click Here.
Morrisons Huon Pine Sawmill, The Esplanade, Strahan. (03) 64717235
Regatta Point Tavern. Regatta Point, Strahan. (03) 6471 7103 Click here.
If you would like your business or organisation listed or featured on this page or, if you would like to share your experiences or images of Strahan, then please contact us here.
Departing Strahan on the Macquarie Harbour cruise
Another Great Australian Secret Experience - When we did the Macquarie Harbour cruise we experienced all kinds of weather - rain, wind and sunshine. The bad weather that we did have in no way detracted from our overall enjoyment of the cruise and in a way enhanced it. Please don't let the weather stop you from from going on one of the cruises, you won't be disappointed!
You can almost hear your body relaxing...
Traveling to Strahan.
Strahan is about 4 hours’ drive from Hobart. To get here from the Tasmanian capital, you can simply take the Lyell Highway, which is also known as the A10, to Queenstown and then the B24 to Strahan. From Launceston there are several options, most of which also take about 4 hours. For example, you can take National Highway 1, the Tasman Highway, to Burnie and then continue south along either the Murchison Highway, also called the A10, or along the B18, the Ridgley Highway, which joins the A10 near Waratah. Another option is to drive along the Tasman Highway to Elizabeth Town and then drive via Railton, Sheffield, Moina and the C132 or Cradle Mountain Road to its intersection with the Murchison Highway. At Zeehan, the B27 or Zeehan Highway will take you to Strahan. You can even drive south along the Tasman Highway to Perth, then drive via Longford, Cressy, Poatina and Miena to where the road intersects with the B11, also called the Marlborough Highway. This road in turn meets the Lyell Highway a little beyond Bronte Park.
Looking over to the West Coast WIldernes Railway terminus from The Esplanade at Strahan.
A Little History.
The original inhabitants of the area were the Toogee. In 1815, a party led by James Kelly explored the region and once they had told of the vast stands of Huon pines there, timber cutters started moving in. Soon the arrival of Europeans led to clashes with the Aboriginal population and at the Strahan Wharf Centre you can find out more about this part of the town’s early history.
A penal colony at Sarah Island followed in 1821 and operated until 1833, with convicts contributing to the timber industry around Macquarie Harbour. A small port called Long Bay and later Regatta Point was established and in 1877 this was renamed Strahan, after Sir George Strachan, who had been Governor of the colony until the year before. Strahan is pronounced more or less like strawn.
Early Strahan. Date unknown. Image courtesy of the Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office. No PH30-1-6996
Strahan became increasingly important as a port not ony for the timber industry but also for the area’s mines. By the turn of the century it was Tasmania’s second busiest port and home to about 2,000 people. However, when the railway links to Zeehan and Queenstown were closed down in the 1960s, Strahan went into a decline and today fewer than 1,000 people live here.
See our range historical Tasmanian DVDs available here.
West Coast Wilderness Railway carriages at rest for the night at Strahan Station