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Stay and play – Strahan, TAS

Set on the shores of majestic Macquarie Harbour along the state’s rugged west coast, this historical village oozes charm by the bucketload. 

Cruise mode: The essential Strahan experience. More below. Image courtesy: RACT Destinations.

Where is it?

Strahan is 300km northwest of Hobart (4hr 15min drive) or 270km southwest of Launceston (3hr 30min drive) in the Strahan and the West Coast region.

Why go?

For its thoroughly fascinating history, blistering beauty, enchanting nature, and its ability to immediately evoke feelings of being a world away from everyday life. Strahan and its surrounds dish up a series of unforgettable experiences.

All aboard for an exciting adventure. Credit: Tourism Tasmania/Rob Burnett.

The essentials – things to do in Strahan, TAS

Gordon River cruises

Spectacular scenery meets evocative, emotive stories from the past. Regular departures take in the likes of Macquarie Harbour, notorious Hells Gates at the harbour’s mouth, and a stop at the former penal colony on Sarah Island.

Arguably, the highlight is cruising along Gordon River, which snakes within Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park. Here, sprawling temperate rainforest of this World Heritage area abounds. 

Gordon's greatness. Credit: Jess Bonde.

Alternatively, cruises to remote Bonnet Island offer another exceptional experience. The island is home to a little penguin colony, includes a historical lighthouse, and gifts excellent bird-watching opportunities.

See the light and get yourself to Bonnet Island. Credit: Paul Fleming.

Hogarth Falls walk

The 1.2km one-way trek to the falls – 50-60min return – is listed as one of Tasmania's 60 Great Short Walks. The path starts in the town centre and passes rainforest-clad surrounds and towering trees before revealing excellent close-ups of the cascading creation.

Hogarth Falls in full flight. Credit: Pete Harmsen.

West Coast Wilderness Railway

Linking Strahan and Queenstown, the 35km railway takes in a huge array of breathtaking sights that include huge gorges, harbour views, and more of that expansive rainforest. Various tour options are available.

While at Queenstown Station, wander through the railway museum to better gauge the significance and history of these tracks.

Wow! The West Coast Wilderness Railway. Credit: Hype TV.

Ocean Beach

While Macquarie Harbour offers Strahan protection from the elements, a short drive west of the town centre reveals a whole new side to these surrounds. The beach is so named for its position overlooking the wild Southern Ocean. It is dramatic and beautiful and experiencing its isolation is a truly memorable experience. 

Ocean Beach is not your average. Credit: Jason Charles Hill.

Strahan Historic Foreshore Walking Track

This 3km-long walking-cycling trail combines a common pairing in Strahan: interesting history and immense beauty. Stretching from West Strahan Beach to Regatta Point Station, the path passes various heritage sites and includes useful information pillars. 

Picturesque: Strahan waterfront. Credit: Paul Fleming.

Water Tower Hill lookout

Soak up vibrant views from an excellent vantage point that incorporates the waterfront, Macquarie Harbour, Ocean Beach, and more.

The Ship That Never Was

Recount more of the area’s rich convict past by witnessing a performance of The Ship That Never Was. This live theatre production is highly rated, evidenced by the fact it’s been performed since 1994. The show runs daily at 5.30pm from September to May and at selected times in winter months.

The Ship That Never Was really is worth seeing. Credit: Stu Gibson.

Things to do around Strahan, TAS

Henty Dunes

Extending for roughly 15km along the coast, these towering sand dunes provide yet another fascinating focal point for photographers. They’re also a popular site for sandboarding; several businesses in town have toboggans for hire.

Distance: 15km north of Strahan.

There is plenty to love about Henty Dunes. Credit: Ollie Khedun.


Copper mining and mass logging have created an interesting moonscape backdrop to this heritage town. Learn more about Queenstown’s captivating past on an underground mine tour or stop by Galley Museum, which is crammed with items of interest. Tours of the art deco Paragon Theatre and a look at the town’s quirky gravel football oval are other key experiences.

Distance: 40km northeast of Strahan.

The roads around Queenstown are unworldly like. Credit: Jess Bonde.


Another old mining town in these parts, Zeehan is lined with striking buildings that are headlined by the iconic Gaiety Theatre. A visit to the West Coast Heritage Centre is the best way to retrace footsteps from the past.

Distance: 45km north of Strahan.

Retrace the past at the West Coast Heritage Centre. Credit: Poon Wai Nang.

Near Zeehan is the Spray Tunnel, a 100m-long abandoned train underpass that makes for a fascinating and eerie walk. It leads to mining relics that make for compelling exploration.

Eerie and interesting: The Spray Tunnel. Credit: Jess Bonde.

West coast waterfalls

This side of the state boasts a handful of wonderful waterfalls. Pay particular attention to these two:

  • Montezuma Falls: Its 104m drop is one of the state’s highest. The falls are located 65km northeast of Strahan.
  • Nelson Falls: This mesmerising creation is reached a short walk from the Lyell Highway, 70km east of Strahan. 

Nelson Falls dazzle. Credit: Luke Tscharke.

Random fact

In and around the start of the twentieth century, Strahan was the state’s second busiest port.

Strahan accommodation

BIG4 Strahan Holiday Retreat

Park type: Classic.

With a spacious garden setting featuring imposing trees and platypus streams, this park truly does offer a sanctuary to escape. Various cabin and cottage accommodation options combine with powered and self-contained drive-through sites.

Holiday haven: BIG4 Strahan.

Conveniently, BIG4 Strahan has a café, shop, and bottle shop onsite in addition to a camp kitchen and games room. Bike and kayak hire is available, too.

Tell me more

Relax in pleasant surrounds.

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