How to have fun in three days on Tasmania's West Coast »

A spectacular place famed for its wilderness – but there's more!

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West Coast Wilderness Railway - trundling over the bridge

West Coast Wilderness Railway - trundling over the bridge

Strahan Village Watefront
Strahan Village - Tourism Tasmania and Dan Fellow


Tasmania’s West Coast is famed for its wilderness and rugged scenery, but there are plenty of things to do, places to stay and good things to enjoy – including cafes and food! Good roads service the area and major attractions operate year-round. Tasmania is not just about the East Coast and Port Arthur!

Before you head west  though, here's a tip: dress for changeable weather (think layers, even in summer), and take comfortable walking footwear to ensure you make the most of the beauty of the region. And it's too cold and wet (so far) for vineyards, so pick up some Tasmanian wine en route or enjoy at the local restaurants. 

This suggested 2 night-3 day itinerary can be taken as a self-drive journey, or incorporated into longer itineraries visiting other regions of Tasmania.

Allow up to five hours to travel to and from the West Coast from major airports at Hobart or Launceston or around four hours from the Spirit of Tasmania ferry terminal in Devonport.

Day 1 – Hobart or Launceston to Strahan

Consider breaking your journey. From Hobart, pause at Tarraleah for coffee at Teez Café and visit the amazing Huon pine sculptures at The Wall in the Wilderness at your stopover at Derwent Bridge.

Weather permitting, consider a short walk, such as the Franklin River Nature Trail, Donaghys Lookout or Nelson Falls.

If approaching from the north, short walk options en route include Montezuma Falls near Rosebery or the Spray Tunnel Loop at Zeehan, or you can explore the West Coast Heritage Centre in Zeehan.

Stay overnight in Strahan, and enjoy one of several dining or cafe experiences (see TripAdvisor for the latest.)

Day 2 – Explore Strahan

8.30am-3.30pm Cruise up the Gordon River into the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park. Along the way, step back in time on Sarah Island, the infamous penal settlement that was once the colony’s largest shipbuilding centre.

During the afternoon, depending on the weather, explore Strahan’s waterfront, take the short walk to Hogarth Falls, visit a gallery, drive out to Ocean Beach or relax in a café.

For the more adventurous, consider exploring the nearby coast with Strahan ATV Adventures, or call in at the Strahan Visitor Centre for more information on activities.

5.30pm The Ship That Never Was is a live professional theatre production, performing nightly in Strahan since 1993. The play tells the dramatic and hilarious true story of the Great Escape from Sarah Island. Delightful family entertainment not to be missed! Duration 1.25 hours approx. – dress warmly. (Please note: From June-August, there are no live performances of The Ship That Never Was; instead a movie version of the show plays at the Risby Cove Theatrette, Strahan, at 5.30pm every day from June to August.

See for details.

Overnight in Strahan or Queenstown (if you stay in the latter, there are several pub, cafe and dining options on TripAdvisor).

Day 3 – Explore Queenstown

Rise early for breakfast before departing Strahan by 7.30am for the 55 minute drive to Queenstown. The West Coast Wilderness Railway’s half day Rack and Gorge rail tour from Queenstown to Dubbil Barril and back departs Queenstown Station at 9am, returning 1pm (Daily from January-Easter and Monday-Saturday September-December, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday during May).

Travel in comfort over the Rinadeena Saddle and down the King River Gorge and deep into the rainforest. Morning tea and a light lunch is included in this all-wilderness carriage service.

In June, July and August, the West Coast Wilderness Railway operates its winter timetable, with the Rack and Gorge tour operating on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, departing Queenstown at 10am, returning 2pm. Other full and half day tours depart from Strahan – contact the Railway or see website for full timetable.

In the afternoon, consider allowing time for another adventure. Queenstown Heritage Tours offer explorations of the region’s industrial heritage. Tours last 2.5 hours and include a tour of the art deco Paragon Theatre in Queenstown.

Afternoon/evening – continue your journey to other areas of Tasmania.

This itinerary provided by Cradle Coast Tourism.

For further details on what to see: and Visit Cradle Coast


  • West Coast (TAS)

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December 10th, 2018
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