Strahan is a picturesque fishing village on beautiful Macquarie Harbour and sits on the doorstep of Tasmania's World Heritage Wilderness Area. Strahan has a unique pioneering heritage and a dark convict past that is at odds with the beauty of the surrounding forests and wilderness.
The town has many stories to tell of the convicts and pioneers who tamed Tasmania's West. Sarah Island in Macquarie Harbour was once the most cruel convict prison in Australia and is a reminder of the brutal treatment handed out to Tasmania's convicts. An ideal starting point for any visit to Strahan is the Strahan Visitor Centre with its excellent display recounting the story of Tasmania's West Coast.
From Strahan, you can take a cruise along the Gordon River into the World Heritage Wilderness Area of the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park, passing through one of the last pristine temperate rainforest in the world. At the northern end of Strahan Harbour is the People's Park, a combination of natural forest and botanical gardens with picnic and camping facilities. From here, visitors can take a 60-min return walk to Hogarth Falls through rainforest with the trees identified for those interested in botany.
An essential experience in Strahan is a visit to Ocean Beach. Standing on this hard, flat beach with huge waves breaking on its shore, visitors are further south than the Cape of Good Hope and on the same latitude as the southern reaches of Patagonia. Ocean Beach, just out of town, is 40 km long and the dunes behind the beach are huge. On a fine day, the sunsets over the beach are particularly beautiful.
Strahan is a 4.5-hr drive (300 km) from Hobart and a 3-hr drive (226 km) from Devonport.