Strahan: West Coast Wilderness

After a few glorious days at Cradle Mountain National Park, we head down a winding and adventurous road along the west coast of Tasmania, through bushland and mountains. We stopped for a ‘playground break’ at Zeehan – a little and less than attractive town – even though the playground was more of a skateboard park. Having no skateboards with us, we had to improvise and came up with a ‘run and slide’ game. When you travel with young children, every short break turns out to be a two-hour activity, but as long as the kids enjoy it, it’s a blessing. Across the road there was an exhibition of train engines which I thought was very impressive but the kids were clearly disappointed with the lack of resemblance to Thomas The Tank Engine and his friends.

Our next stop is Strahan, a historic and very touristic town, considered to be one of the highlights of a visit to Tasmania. It offers what they call an “Award-Winning Wilderness Cruise” on the Gordon River to give you a unique perspective on our natural wilderness and the amazing West Coast. You can also take the “West Coast Wilderness Railway Experience” and step back in history as you board a majestic steam train and journey deep into the heritage of the Tasmanian wilderness and hear tales of resilience and triumph over rugged terrain, hardship and adversity. If that’s not enough, you should definitely embark on a true wilderness experience for a nine-day “Franklin River Rafting Expedition”. All we did was collected a pack of brochures and looked for a place to sleep. The only two caravan parks in town were fully booked, and we stopped by the river for a picnic to think about our next step, as we compared the photos on the brochures with the views in front of us. Slightly disappointing…

The following day started with pouring rain, and as we checked the multiple attractions in the area, they all seemed to be booked out and pretty expensive. Not our taste anyway, so we moved on and took a lovely walk across what seemed to be a tropical garden ending with an impressive waterfall.

Afternoon, we hired toboggans and climbed up Henty Dunes for a real slice of West Coast Wilderness Experience – a very simple and fun-filled Sandboarding. It’s quite an extraordinary sight to climb up 30 metres and enjoy endless views of the sand dunes. Then, slide down with the kids on our lap. Needless to say they were having a great time. Needless to say we had to do it over and over again. It was worth every bit of effort. Clearly that was the highlight of the overrated town of Strahan.


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