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West Coast Tasmania
The west is a region of World Heritage-listed wilderness: cool-temperate rainforest, alpine plains, mountains and glacial valleys, wild rivers, deep lakes and windswept coasts. Challenge the infamous Franklin River on a white-water rafting expedition, cruise down the majestic Gordon River and hike past 1,000-year-old Huon pines in one of the world’s last temperate rainforests for a true taste of this rugged corner of Australia.
West Coast Tasmania
On Tasmania’s west coast, you’ll find world-famous wilderness rich in convict heritage, stunning national parks and historic mining towns.
Gateway to Tasmania’s Wilderness World Heritage Area, its rugged mountains, ancient rain forests and heath make Tasmania’s west one of Australia’s last true wilderness frontiers. Yet, despite its remoteness, it’s easy and safe to visit and travellers can still enjoy the best of Tasmania’s quality accommodation and fine dining.
Tasmania’s west is often remembered for the conflict between forestry workers and environmentalists to save the flooding of Lake Pedder, and once you visit you’ll get an idea of what the protest was all about.
Strahan and Queenstown
Strahan is a 4.5-hour drive (300 km) from Hobart and a 3-hr drive (226 km) from Devonport. The largest coastal town is Strahan on the West Coast, situated on Macquarie Harbour. Strahan Harbour and Risby Cove form part of the northeast end of Long Bay on the northern end of Macquarie Harbour. Sarah Island – one of the harshest penal colony settlements in Australia.
From Strahan, you can do a boat cruise through World Heritage Wilderness into the pristine temperate rainforests of the Gordon River. Strahan is also the departure point for the West Coast Wilderness Railway. West Coast Wilderness Railway, is a unique heritage and wilderness experience that runs full and half-day steam train journeys along a historic 35km track between Queenstown and Strahan.
The inland population centres of Queenstown and the smaller towns of Zeehan, Tullah and Rosebery are rich in mining history and are all within a short distance of magnificent lakes, rivers, rainforests, giant sand dunes and historic sites.
Queenstown has a unique ‘moonscape’ due to its rich and rugged mining history. It is close to the edge of Tasmania’s World Heritage Wilderness Area and surrounded by great fishing lakes. There are underground mine tours, visit local history museum or walks in the nearby wilderness. There are beautiful scenic lookouts, waterfalls and relics of the old mining days.