The Wild West Coast
The Western region of Tasmania is a dramatic landscape that runs from the rugged mountains around Queenstown and Zeehan down to a coast that is awesome and beautiful at the same time. The winds of the ‘Roaring Forties’ rush ashore, bringing high rainfall and chill – but such times are contrasted with some of the most perfect days on earth. Clean air, waters teeming with life and a genuine feeling of being a long way from the cares of the city. There’s also some wonderful history and unique natural and man-made wonders. The west coast is an unforgettable experience.
Tasmania’s west coast was the first part of the island sighted by Europeans, yet the last part to be serviced by road.
The west coast’s four main towns - Queenstown, Zeehan, Strahan and Rosebery, were for many years isolated from the rest of the State by the rugged forests and steep mountains of the region. One of the most beautiful rivers, the Gordon, is renowned for its mirror reflections.
You can still trace the outlines of buildings on Sarah Island in Macquarie Harbour, site of Australia’s most infamous penal settlement.
One of the most conveniently located waterfalls in Australia is the Hogarth Falls, almost in the heart of Strahan on Macquarie Harbour. At Newell Creek, nine kilometres south of Queenstown on the Mt Jukes Rd, a visitor platform offers easy access to a fine example of thamnic rainforest, complete with King Billy and Huon pine, two species not normally seen so close together.
Several different types of cruise boats operate from Strahan, on Macquarie Harbour. You can also sail to Sarah Island to walk among the historic ruins, and on to Kelly Basin. Up the Gordon River cruises stop at Heritage Landing where passengers can disembark and walk along a boardwalk to see a giant 2000-year-old Huon pine in its natural rainforest setting.
Accommodation on the west coast ranges from hotels, motels, youth hostels and camping grounds to the beautifully restored self-catering holiday cottages.