Friday, 23 February 2018

Strahan and the Gordon River

This post is about a place called Strahan. Now, if you're not from, or been to, Tasmania you probably pronounced that in your head as "stra han." That is how it's spelt after all. The correct pronunciation is actually "strawn." Welcome to Tasmania: home to Launceston, Frecinet, and numerous other places with bizarre names.

The West Coast of Tasmania is a beautiful part of the world. It gets quite a bit of rain and is covered in lush rainforest. Strahan is the biggest coastal town on the west coast, boasting a population of almost seven-hundred at the time of writing. You read that right. The west coast of Tassie is quite sparsely populated!

We visited Strahan on several occasions, (You can purchase Excelsior Leatherwood Honey for $10 a kg there!) but our most exciting trip was on the Gordon River Cruise.

This cruise commences from Strahan, and cruises through Macquarie Harbour. Traversing through the harbour, you'll pass some salmon farms and islands before reaching the river. Macquarie Harbour is big, and covers six times the area of Sydney Harbour!

The west coast of Tassie gets quite a lot of rain. A lot of that rain runs from the King William Ranges and into the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park. That water collects at the Gordon Dam, powers the impressive hydro system, then meanders through the rugged landscape towards Macquarie Harbour.

The landscape is absolutely beautiful. During the cruise, you'll hear commentary about the early settlers and how they went about harvesting timber. The famous Huon Pine was quite a big deal back in the day—and still is today—due to the fact it doesn't really rot.

On the return trip you will stop off at Sarah Island. Tassie is covered in historical penal settlements, and this island must have been one of the more harsher ones! Guides will take you around the island, telling you stories about some of the interesting individuals and how rough times truly were. The prisoners here used all that quality local timber to build some of the finest ships around back in the early 1800's.

The Gordon River Cruise is a good day out, and well worth checking out if you're in the area. The staff on the ship were all great, and the food and drinks were amazing!

Another quirky thing to see in Strahan is a play called The Ship That Never Was. We were unsure whether or not to hang around for the play on the day, but it was the perfect finisher for the ultimate Strahan experience. Funnily enough, the actors are the same guides that show people around Sarah Island! While acting out the tale of a failed escape attempt, the actors build a ship and involve the audience in all sorts of embarrassing, and hilarious, ways.