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8 Great Things to Do in Strahan on Tasmania’s Remote West Coast

8 Great Things to Do in Strahan on Tasmania’s Remote West Coast

Planning a trip to Tasmania and unsure about whether to visit the west coast? This post highlights all the best things to do in Strahan.

Strahan was once a bustling port during Tasmania’s mining mecca of the 1800s. It is now a historic harbour-side village, famous throughout Australia for its river cruises, which attract visitors to Strahan’s magnificent heritage wilderness.

Being the remotest village on the west coast of Tasmania and the last piece of land separated by the southern ocean before South America made me instantly want to explore the area.

So, after an incredible 2-nights in Cradle Mountain, we continued our adventure by adding a 2-night stay in Strahan onto our 8-day Tasmania road trip itinerary.

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My First Impressions of Strahan

Many of Tasmania’s towns are small, and Strahan was no exception. We mainly travelled here to go on a Gordon River wilderness cruise, listed as one of Tasmania’s best points of interest and one of Australia’s best cruises.

We were excited to sail the tranquil waterways and take in the exceptional views of the Unesco-listed wilderness.

Sadly, our cruise never materialised due to torrential rain and wind. Instead, we spent one of our days in Strahan listening to heavy rain hitting the tin roof of our bungalow. The plus point was that I got a suitcase load of washing done; the perks of booking accommodation with a washer/dryer!

River with reflection in the water of trees
Gordon River

Useful Information About Strahan

Best time to go to Tasmania

The best time to visit Tasmania is Australia’s summer season, between December and February. Tasmania’s weather should be comfortable to allow full enjoyment of all the outdoor activities you may want to do.

Strahan has an oceanic weather front with wild mild damp summers, so be prepared for inclement weather, such as the unexpected downpour we encountered in February.

Remember that the island is covered by dense rainforest, meaning that a significant amount of rain falls throughout the year!

How to get to Strahan

When you get to Strahan, you will experience the most incredible scenery, ranging from mountains to lakes and rainforests to the sea. I felt that Tasmania was extremely special and very different from mainland Australia.

You can fly into Launceston and Hobart or catch the ferry from Melbourne to Devonport. An overnight sailing on The Spirit of Tasmania was my choice to get to Tasmania from Melbourne.

Once you arrive in Tasmania, you can hire a car to explore the island at your own pace. If driving isn’t for you, then guided tours are bookable to show you the diverse nature of this incredible island.

Path besides the Strahan esplanade with buildings in the distance
Strahan Esplanade

Driving Times in Tasmania

Strahan From Devonport will take three hours with no stops. We chose to stop in Cradle Mountain for 2-nights, which perfectly suited our road trip itinerary.

Strahan From Launceston is a little under four hours and will once again take you through Cradle Mountain National Park.

Strahan From Hobart is a five-hour drive and will take you from southeast Tasmania to west Tasmania. The drive covers some fantastic sights, including Lake St Clair National Park – Australia’s deepest lake.

Accommodation in Strahan

I booked an Airbnb called the Red Door. It had great views across the bay and was perfect for a 2-night stay during my lap of Tasmania.

Strahan has varied accommodations, from apartments to camping grounds. I have listed several places that will suit all budgets and lifestyles.

Aloft Boutique Apartments – these contemporary, self-contained apartments are less than 5 minute drive from Ocean Beach. They have private patios, free wifi, and on-site parking.

Check availability and pricing for Aloft Boutique Apartments

Salt Box Hideaway – this one-bedroom apartment offers mountain and sea views and free wifi. It is a cosy retreat after a day of exploring the hidden gems in Strahan.

Check availability and pricing for Salt Box Hideaway

Strahan Village – a favourite holiday accommodation for visitors to the Tassie town of Strahan, offers several dining options. Fantastic views of Macquarie Bay from most of the rooms.

Check availability and pricing for Strahan Village

Strahan Backpackers – features quirky, budget accommodation, a shared lounge, a garden, barbecue facilities and a terrace.

Check availability and pricing for Strahan Backpackers.

Macquarie Head Campsite – situated at the entrance to the harbour, this campsite might have one of the best views in Strahan!

Check availability and pricing for Macquarie Head campsite.

The Best Things to Do in Strahan

Gordon River Cruises #1

Gordon River cruises are the number one experience in Strahan Village. Sail to Hells Gate, the meeting point of the harbour and the Southern Ocean, out into vast Macquarie Harbour, a waterway six times larger than Sydney Harbour and along the Gordon River.

Cruise packages through Tasmania’s wilderness world heritage site include a visit to the convict ruins on Sarah Island and a walk through the temperate rainforest at Heritage Landing.

West Coast Tasmania Wilderness Railway #2

A must-do Tasmania activity is the fabulous 4-hour return journey aboard the Wild Coast Wilderness Railway that will appeal to all ages.

Leave the shores of Macquarie Harbour and head into the ancient rainforest and mountains of the rugged Tasmania west coast. Stopping at remote train stations, you will visit Lower Landing, Dubbil Barril and Queenstown before returning to Strahan.

Hogarth Falls #3

A short stroll from Strahan Esplanade is Peoples Park. A 50-minute return route will take you to Hogarth Falls, classed as one of Tasmania’s 60 Great Short Walks. Another great walk that I did from this list was the Dove Lake Walk in Cradle Mountain.

Wander alongside Botanical Creek and through the beautiful rainforest until you reach the waterfall. Take a moment to enjoy the serene atmosphere before making your way back along the same route. 

Ocean Beach #4

If you are itching to spend some time on a beach, then Ocean Beach is 6 km from Strahan. This 40km sandy beach is the last landmass before South America and a great place to come and watch the stunning sunsets for which Australia is famous. I don’t think you will be swimming in the ocean; this is one of the wildest beaches on the planet!

Henty Dunes #5

For adventure seekers on Tasmania’s wild west coast, this is a chance to do a spot of sand tobogganing at Henty Dunes. Book with Gordon River cruises, which can also set you up with hire bikes to explore the roads around the Strahan waterfront.

Activities Along Strahan Waterfront

The Ship That Never Was #6

This top-rated theatre show has been running for the last 25 years and tells a hilarious story of convicts escaping from Sarah Island. We didn’t have time to see it; however, it appears to be very funny from local reviews, and as it is Australia’s longest-running play, I guess it must be.

Morrisons Huon Pine #7

You can smell this shop before entering it, but that’s a good thing, as the scent is of earthy pine timber. We stumbled upon this working pine mill/ gallery/ shop, which makes furniture and trinkets from the Huon pine trees around the area. It is located just along the seafront by Gordon River cruises.

Watch a Tasmanian sunset #8

I have witnessed some of the most stunning and dramatic sunsets in Australia, and one of the free things to do in Strahan is to watch the evening light show setting over Macquarie Bay.

Final Thoughts About Strahan

I am glad we visited Strahan, as even though it is isolated, there is still plenty to do if you have good weather or don’t mind getting wet!

If you aren’t particularly interested in doing the Gordon River cruise, leave Strahan off your itinerary and add on a different town, such as Stanley – famous for its fairy penguins – or Launceston – Australia’s third oldest city and the location of some of Tasmania’s best outdoor adventure pursuits.

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Sunday 30th of October 2022

Such a shame that you couldn't do the cruise but it seems like you still found plenty to do to occupy yourselves in Stahan (after the washing was done;)). I haven't been to Tasmania yet although I've been to Australia loads. I return this year for Christmas so maybe this is the year. Thanks for all the info.


Sunday 30th of October 2022

I think you would love Tasmania. I preferred it over mainland Australia.


Saturday 29th of October 2022

Sorry that you weren't able to enjoy the cruise you had planned due to the weather, but it sure does look like it was a beautiful destination to experience overall. The landscape is just stunning. Being remote, quiet and small - Strahan sounds exactly the place I would want to go if I am looking for a relaxing holiday.


Saturday 29th of October 2022

It was a lovely town and very remote. Just what I like.