The small Macquarie Harbour town of Strahan is the gateway to some of the most spectacular landscapes on earth. The UNESCO World Heritage listed Tasmanian Wilderness makes up much of Tasmania’s west coast and the listed properties in this area contain some of the only remaining temperate rainforests in the world.
There are half a dozen national parks within a 200-kilometre radius of Strahan and three of these – Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park and the Southwest National Park – are Tasmania’s hottest natural attractions. Experience them all by scenic flight, by boat or, best of all, on foot.
Europeans founded Strahan village in 1881 and today it offers a relaxing escape for the visitor. Its colonial style 19th century buildings showcase artisanal products handmade from local goods and, at dusk, picturesque reflections can be enjoyed across its nearby bays and coves.
From 1822 to 1833, convicts were taken to the new colony on nearby Sarah Island and boat building became their primary activity. Local Huon pine was much sought after and before long the western industrious spirit was in full force around the Strahan region. Strahan became the main service town for piners, prospectors, miners and fisherman, and was a major port for west coast operations. After the UNESCO inscription in 1982, the region’s economic focus shifted to wilderness adventures and tourism.
The adventures can be large or small scale with local activities such as kayaking or jet boating. An easy walk into Hogarth Falls will bring you face to face with Australia’s most intriguing animal – the platypus. Enjoy the 30-kilometre Ocean Beach and some old-fashioned fun with sand boarding at nearby Henty Dunes. Another favourite is the West Coast Wilderness Railway, a scenic steam train journey running between Strahan and Queenstown.